# video | What does the largest turtle in the world look like?

Probably few people can be surprised by the fact thatthat turtles are a very ancient species of animals. According to paleontologists, they arose more than 200 million years ago, that is, they lived during the time of the dinosaurs. Today, scientists know about 328 species of these reptiles, but leathery turtles occupy a special place on this list. Unlike everyone else, they are truly gigantic in size and next to them people seem to be small and defenseless creatures. Recently, one of the largest individuals of leatherback turtles was photographed on the territory of the Florida island of Hutchinson.

Leather turtles have truly huge body sizes

Since the aforementioned island is populara place of rest for many people, it is not surprising that tourists discovered the giant tortoise. Fortunately, none of the eyewitnesses began to approach her - they just quietly watched and shot her on video. A huge representative of the species of leathery turtles slowly crawled over land to water and soon disappeared into the waves. About an unusual meeting of people and turtles told the publication Truly Mind.

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How do turtles lay eggs?

Apparently, a female caught the eye of tourists,who buried her eggs off the coast. Such a spectacle can be seen quite rarely, because representatives of this species of turtles crawl out to land only at night, and during the day they can be seen only during the laying of eggs every 1-3 years. In the breeding season, females can make up to 7 clutches with a hundred eggs, and the breaks between laying are approximately 10 days. The depth of the dug nests is at least one meter - the eggs are carefully buried in order to protect them from predators.

By the way, in the future, only females will hatch from turtle eggs due to global warming

From hundreds of eggs, turtles subsequently hatch,which almost immediately get out of the nest and crawl to the water. From these tiny creatures, real giants then grow up with a body length of up to 2.6 meters and practically the same scale of fins. Body weight with all this is equal to an impressive 916 kilograms. Like it or not, these turtles are still larger than even humans. It is simply impossible to raise such giants without special machines.

Leather turtle underwater

Besides gigantic sizes, these turtlesdiffer from their relatives in body structure. Firstly, their carapace is not connected in any way with the skeleton and consists of small bone plates. Secondly, the surface of the shell is covered with a thick layer of skin that protects the turtles no worse than chitin, scales and other protective formations found in animals. In all other respects, these are quite ordinary turtles that live in the tropics and feed on fish, crayfish and jellyfish.

This is interesting: Turtles began to eat plastic. What to do with it?

Why are poachers hunting turtles?

Leatherback turtles are currently underspecial protection, because their nests are the coveted prey of many poachers. The fact is that their eggs on the black market are very highly regarded as aphrodisiacs - substances that enhance sexual desire in people.

An interesting fact: the word aphrodisiacs was named after the ancient Greek goddess of love and beauty Aphrodite.

Leatherback turtles egg hunting is soa serious problem is that in 2013, in an attempt to get to what they wanted, poachers killed a young animal defender. The Costa Rican activist was named Jairo Mora Sandoval - he was killed while patrolling the beach of the city of San Jose.