Dermochelys coriacea schlegelii   (Garman,  1884) (Turtle)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Reptilia

Image copyrights: FAO

Size: Carapace length (straight-line distance) maximum to 180 cm; common to 140 cm.

Weight: Maximum to 725 kg; common to 200 kg.

Color: Upper side dark brown to almost black; whitish spots on neck, increasing in number on the ventral and caudal areas. Underside pink and white.

Body depressed and covered by a smooth leathery skin lacking lamellae or scutes. Head small, ending in a horny beak with a well defined cusp at each side of upper jaw and a central cusp on lower jaw (beak W-shaped when viewed from the front). Seven longitudinal ridges (including the outer or lateral pair) on carapace and 5 on plastron. Flippers very large, without claws.

Eggs: white, spherical, normally about 5.5 cm in diameter and 75 g in weight; the proportion of unfertilized small eggs may often be high.

Hatchlings: length of carapace about 6.0 cm. They show basically the same features as the adult, but the flippers are much larger and the skin is rugose with a reticulate pattern of small scales. Upper side black, with central and lateral ridge, white; underside white, mottled with light brown and black.

Synonym (s)

Common Name (s)
• Pacific Leatherback Turtle (English)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Used mainly for bait; the fat and other parts are made into oil used as boat paint cure. )
Threats:  Anthropogenic
(Over exploitation)

Habitat:  Pelagic, Open Sea, Coastal


• South West Coast INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Fischer, W and Bianchi, G (Eds.) (1984) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean (Fishing Area 51) FAO, Rome 5 Available at -
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -

Page last updated on:2010-06-04

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