29 Sep '14, 4pm
#Turtle Trivia: What species dives the deepest of any sea turtle? #CreatureFeature
When female leatherbacks come ashore to nest, they haul themselves out of the ocean and crawl towards a desired beach nesting spot—typically picking beaches within their natal range. Leatherback nest clutch sizes average around 100 eggs, which resemble ping pong balls in shape and are slightly larger than other sea turtles’ eggs. Like many reptiles, sex determination is temperature dependent, with average nest incubation temperatures above 85° Fahrenheit predominantly producing females, and below that producing males. As soon as leatherback hatchlings crawl from their nest, often called a “nest boil” for the way they all crawl from the sand at once, they face a range of threats, like falling prey to hungry sharks and birds or being injured by beach or vessel traffic. It’s estimated that only one in 1,000 leatherback sea turtle hatchlings make it to adulthood.