Often referred to as the champion of all sea turtles, the leatherback turtle grows the largest, dives the deepest, and travels the furthest. Leatherbacks are also the only sea turtles without a hard shell, making them very susceptible to harm. Adults of this species can grow 4 to 8 feet in length and can weigh 500 to 2000 pounds. Females nest an average of 5 to 7 times within a nesting season, which occurs from March to July in the United States.
The leatherback can be seen worldwide from the tropical and temperate waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. They have been found in small numbers in British Columbia, Newfoundland, the British Isles, Australia, Cape of Good Hope, and Argentina.