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Atlantic leatherback turtle
Common Name:

Atlantic leatherback turtle

Scientific Name:

Dermochelys coriacea

Unique Qualities:

It is the largest living reptile in the world and can grow as big as a double bed! The leatherback has been endangered in Canada since 1981. This is due to a variety of reasons including, people taking eggs from their nests as well as adults getting caught in fishing nets.

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Can be Seen:

In the North Atlantic beside Nova Scotia and Newfoundland when feeding, or on the Atlantic coasts of Central and South America when the females are laying eggs.

Likes to Hang Out:

Swimming in the open water or diving deep into the ocean looking for a meal.

Likes to Eat:

Jellyfish are its favourite! But sometimes it eats fish, squid and other small sea creatures.


The leatherback is listed as endangered by COSEWIC. Leatherback are endangered because of human interference—humans collect turtle eggs and create light pollution on beaches that disorients newly hatched turtles. Also, many turtles eat plastic bags that are floating in the ocean, and get caught in fishing nets.

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