Who Are Leatherbacks? And Why Should We Care?

Leatherback turtle laying eggs

I had no idea who they were either until I went to Tobago, and now I can never forget them. On an empty, moonlit beach I was stunned to see an enormous black shape emerge from the crashing waves, and slowly drag her 540 kilo bulk up the sand to lay her eggs. This is the only time she ever leaves the sea, a practice that echoes back to their past life on land 150 million years ago. It’s an extraordinary, enchanting sight to see a creature that size come up from the dark abyss of 1000 metres down, into an alien environment. Large adult leatherbacks have almost no predators until the female comes up to lay and meets the most dangerous predator on the planet, the human being. . .

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