Extinct Animals : Leatherback Turtle
The largest living turtle, the leatherback can reach a total length of 2.1 m and a weight of 365 kg. Unlike other turtles, the leatherback has no visible shell; instead, it has a carapace made up of hundreds of irregular bony plates, covered with a leathery skin.
This rare sea turtle lives in warm sea waters and is known to breed off the West Indies, Florida, the northeastern coasts of South America, Senegal, Natal, Madagascar, Ceylon, and Malaya.
Occasionally it has been found swimming in cooler waters such as the Gulf of St. Lawrence, possibly carried by adverse winds or currents. Well adapted to life in the ocean, this reptile's front legs are well developed flippers, which propel it through the water. It feeds on jellyfish and other soft-bodied sea animals as well as plants.
Females come ashore in bands and lay their 60 to 100 eggs in holes which have been dug in the sand. Seven weeks later, when the eggs hatch, the babies rush back to the water.
Compared to other sea turtles, the leatherback appears to have a better chance at continued survival.