leatherback turtle

Scientific name Dermochelys coriacea
Descriptor Vandelli
Year of description 1761
IUCN category VU
Family Dermochelyidae
Genus Dermochelys
Dermochelys coriacea Dermochelys coriacea


Dermochelys coriacea, commonly known as leatherback turtle, is a salt water reptile.

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Who is it?


  • Size
    160 - 200 cm
  • Weight
    400 - 900 kg
  • Longevity
    90 year
  • Size
    160 - 200 cm
  • Weight
    400 - 900 kg
  • Longevity
    90 year

How to recognize the leatherback turtle ?

The leatherback turtle measures between 160 and 200 cm. This reptile is unicolore with a predominantly noir and gris body.

Behaviour & Life cycle

  • Sociability
  • Way of living
  • Venomous
  • Diet

This species is known to emit sounds easily audible by humans.

The leatherback turtle is a reptile solitary. This species is carnivorous .

Although the leatherback turtle is non-territorial, it is sometimes aggressive towards other species. In a constant quest for dominance, the dominant males of this species cannot stand each other. The battle between two individuals can be intense and violent. It will result in the submission and sometimes even death of one of the protagonists.


  • Reproduction
    ovipare qui enfouit ses œufs
  • Migratory species
  • Clutch size
    60 - 140 eggs

The leatherback turtle is a reptile ovipare qui enfouit ses œufs.

Risks for humans

  • Venomous
  • Bite

This species can attack if it feels threatened. It is important to be particularly vigilant especially during dives or fishing sessions.

Where to find it?

What is its habitat?

Natural environment characteristics

  • Temperature
    5 - 25 °C
  • Depth
    0 - 1000 m
  • Environment
    Active pelagic

Biotope presentation

The leatherback turtle is most often found at a depth between 0m and 1000m. However, it is not impossible to find this species at other depths.

Species of the same biotope

To go further

To read on the web

Sources & Contributions

Participation & Validation

The Fishipedia team and specialist contributors are committed to providing high-quality content. However, although the information comes from scientific sources or testimonials from specialists, the cards may contain inaccuracies.

Théo Guillaume

Théo Guillaume


Translation done with the valuable contribution of our translators, who make this information available to a wider audience. We sincerely thank them for their commitment.

Bibliographic references

Effects of illegal harvest of eggs on the population decline of leatherback turtles in Las Baulas Marine National Park, Costa Rica - Tomillo, P. S. - Saba, V. S. - Piedra, R. - Paladino, F. V. - Spotila, J. R. - Conservation biology - 2008.

Maternal investment in reproduction and its consequences in leatherback turtles - Wallace B. P. - Sotherland, P. R. - Santidrian Tomillo P. - Reina R. D. - Spotila, J. R. - Paladino F. V. - Oecologia - 2007.

Nesting ecology of the leatherback turtle, Dermochelys coriacea, at Parque Nacional Marino las Baulas, Costa Rica - Reina R. D. - Spotila, J. R. - Piedra, R. - Paladino F. V. - Mayor, P. A. - Copeia - 2002.

Presence de la tortue luth Dermochelys coriacea dans les eaux tunisiennes - Bradai, M. N. - El Abed, A. - Rapp. Comm. int. Mer Medit - 1998.

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