Leatherback sea turtle

Dermochelys coriacea

Fascinating Facts


They are mostly pelagic (open ocean) animals, and they follow the populations of their prey around the globe. Their throats are covered in backwards-facing spines that aid them in catching soft-bodied, gelatinous pelagic animals like jellyfish.

Status in the Wild

Vulnerable – IUCN 2013


Leatherbacks have the widest global distribution of all reptiles, and can be found in tropic and temperate waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. Once adults, they travel as far north as Canada and Norway and as far south as New Zealand and Argentina.


Location in the Zoo

Reptiles and Birds Zone of the Sculpture Learning Plaza

Animals & Exhibits