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Leatherback turtle

The largest representative of the eponymous family is the leatherback turtle. This amazing animal reaches 2.5 meters in length and weighs about 600 kg. There were copies, the weight of which reached up to 900 kg! These reptiles are significantly different from their fellow humans, as they have evolved completely differently. Their shell can not even be called a shell: it consists not of ossified plates, but of a horny thick layer of skin. The skin of these turtles has crests from the side of the belly and back (five and seven, respectively), which are located along the trunk of the animal. The color of its shell is dark brown on top.

The world's largest tortoise has pinnate limbs, which have no claws. The swing of the flippers can reach 3-4 meters. The habitats of these reptiles are tropical and subtropical seas and oceans, but sometimes they can be found in temperate latitudes. They find their food in water and feed mainly on jellyfish, cephalopods, crustaceans, trepangas and ctenophora. Small fry and algae are also included in the diet of these animals. The skin turtle is a great diver: if a predator attacks it, it can quickly descend to a depth of one kilometer. In addition, it moves very quickly in the water, as its fins have good maneuverability. It is very interesting to watch the movements of these seemingly awkward reptiles in their own element - water. Their movements are smooth and very graceful.

The largest turtles are also able to protect themselves from predators. They can repel the impact with their powerful front fins and even bite in half a thick bough with strong jaws. These reptiles are very cautious and fearful, they are quite difficult to detect, as they prefer solitude and never gather in packs. They constantly spend time in the water and only during the laying of eggs briefly creep ashore.

Three or four times a year the leatherback turtle lays eggs. A female digs a hole in the sand 1 meter deep or slightly larger, resembling a well in shape. The female drops its rear part of the trunk into this "well" and sits in one position for a long time until it puts off from 30 to 120 eggs of white color. These eggs are not the same. Some are large, like a tennis ball, others are small, so-called sterile. Having finished laying eggs, the leatherback turtle falls asleep and clamps it very tightly.

It remains to be surprised at how after a while the young turtles manage to free themselves from this dungeon. The fact is that the small eggs that are in the masonry burst and form a free space, allowing the kids to get out. Mother's instinct for mothers is exhausted, and she returns to the sea, completely unconcerned about the further fate of her offspring. Kids stay one on one with nature and, as is the case in the animal world, the strongest survive.

The world's largest turtles are on the brink of extinction. The person in search of the best places for rest takes away from inhabitants of fauna sandy beaches on which turtles make a laying. Reptiles will not lay eggs in the neighborhood of people, so they have fewer places to reproduce. In addition, trappers after turtles destroy them because of the "tortoiseshell" - that is, the horny surface of the skin, which is highly valued in certain circles.

The largest turtles (leathery) are listed in the International Red Book, and in some countries, in particular in Malaysia, for them a beach area of 12 km is specially designated for them, where people do not have the right to be at all. This concern of people about reptiles begins to bear fruit: the turtles come here for the continuation of the genus. I would very much like the example of Malaysia followed by other countries.

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