SCUBAZOO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCUBAZOO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) returning to the sea after laying her eggs. The turtle is a wholly aquatic reptile, with the females only coming ashore to lay their eggs every 2-3 years. About 80 eggs are laid in a pit dug in the sand with the turtle's flippers. The eggs hatch about 2 months later. Leatherback turtles are the largest in the world, reaching over 2 metres in length and weighing over 450 kilograms. They are found in tropical to temperate waters in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. The loss of nesting beaches, due to development, and the effects of hunting and pollution have endangered the leatherback turtle. Photographed in Kamiali, Lababia, Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea.
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