|Leatherback - Photo: NOAA|
Atlantic leatherback turtles are the largest of all sea turtles. Adults have been known to weigh up to 2,000 pounds.
A review of the species' status published in 2013, concluded that the Atlantic leatherback population is either stable or increasing overall, but the species has been listed as endangered in New Jersey since 1979.
It is easily distinguished by its black, leathery skin, huge, spindle- or barrel-shaped bodies and long flippers. Rather than the typical marine turtles horny shields, their bodies are covered with a layer of rubbery skin that has seven longitudinal ridges (keels) on the back and five underneath.
This giant of the sea was spotted trapped in a mussel farm near Cottrell's Cove, Newfoundland and was freed.