Leatherback Sea Turtle Returns to Texas | Science | Smithsonian
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Leatherback Sea Turtle Returns to Texas

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leatherback.jpg Now there's one more thing that's bigger in Texas: the turtles. Andrew Revkin at Dot Earth reports that a leatherback sea turtle has nested on the Padre Island National Seashore for the first time since the 1930s. Leatherback turtles are the largest sea turtles in the world, growing to nearly 10 feet long and weighing almost a ton. In other words, it's a turtle the size of a horse.  Like many other sea turtles, they are highly endangered. Threats include altered beaches, unintentional catch in the fishing industry ( sound familiar?), and floating, discarded shopping bags that resemble their main prey, jellyfish - yet another reason to carry a cloth bag with you to the grocery store. Check Dot Earth for a shot of the massive mother's 6-foot-wide tracks heading up into the dunes. Our pic opts for the other end of the spectrum, an hour-old baby leatherback making a twilight dash for the surf in Costa Rica. Today's turtle surprise is reminiscent of the unexpected return of a wolverine and a wolf we told you about earlier this year. We're glad to hear it. (Image: Charles Eldermire)
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