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 Atlantic Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys kempii)




Atlantic Ridley Sea Turtle | Lepidochelys kempii photo
Atlantic Ridley Sea Turtle

Photograph by United States Government (USGS, Dept of Ag, NOAA, NPS, FAA). License: Public Domain.  (view image details)

ATLANTIC RIDLEY SEA TURTLE FACTS

Description
The Atlantic Ridley is the smallest sea turtle. The head has a beak shaped snout. Adult turtles have a grey-green carapace. and yellow-green or white plastron (underside). The hatchlings dark gray-black.

Other Names
Kemp's Ridley

Size
length about 70cm. Average weight 45kg

Environment
Around North America, Ridley sea turtles inhabit the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana, Florida, and are found as far as New Jersey.

Food
crabs, molluscs, crustaceans, algae, sea urchins.

Breeding
Most females return to a single beach at Rancho Nuevo in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas to lay their eggs. Some nest on Padre Island in Texas. They are the only species of sea turtle that lay their eggs during the day. Females lay about 110 eggs per nesting. The sex of hatchlings is determined by temperature during incubation. If the temperature is below 29.5 degrees Celsius the young will be mainly male.

Range
Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.

Conservation Status
The conservation status in the 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals is "critically endangered".

Classification
Class:Reptilia
Order:Testudines
Family:Chelonidae
Genus:Lepidochelys
Species:kempii
Common Name:Atlantic Ridley Sea Turtle


Relatives in same Genus
  OliveRidley Sea Turtle (L. olivacea)