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Leatherback turtle

leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)

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Dermochelys coriacea - (Vandelli, 1761)
Pronunciation  DERM-oh-KEE-liss   KOH-ree-AH-say-ah
Etymology  Dermochelys: 'skin-turtle', referring to the leathery skink that covers this species' carapace.
coriacea: 'leathery'.
Other names  Luth
Leathery turtle
Carapace length
Species avg: 250 cm
Clutch size
Description Distribution Natural history Conservation Further information More photos


All coastal waters of Australia. Most sightings are in temperate waters, less frequently observed in tropical or colder areas. Found in all tropical and temperate seas. Limited nesting occurs on the central Queensland coast.

The world's most cosmopolitan reptile, ranging from the Arctic Circle down to south of New Zealand.

Found in the following Australian states/territories

Queensland, Western Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, Northern Territory, 200 m bathymetric


A pelagic species, found in the open ocean.

Notes and disclaimer
This information may not be complete. While all care is taken to ensure the accuracy of the information in this page, primary sources should always be consulted for definitive information. Animals have an endearing habit of disobeying the rules, so the information on this page should be interpreted with a degree of flexibility.
The author and site operator accepts no responsibility for any losses or damages incurred through using this web site or the information contained herein. Don't get bitten by anything!
This page may be cited as:
  Dermochelys coriacea at the Australian Reptile Online Database. Last updated 2012-12-07 14:42:22.
  Retrieved from on the 20th of October, 2021.
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Copyright notice
This page, its content and layout are copyright © 2007-2021 Stewart Macdonald / Ug Media, unless otherwise stated.
All photographs in The Australian Reptile Online Database are © the photographer and may not be reproduced in any form without the express written consent of the photographer.
No part of The Australian Reptile Online Database may be reproduced without written permission from Stewart Macdonald.
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