Olive Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) - Wiki
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[Photo] Copyright Liz Roy. Taken while in Costa Rica, Jan-Feb 2005. Released under the GFDL with author's permission.
The Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) is one of the smallest species of sea turtle. It is named for the olive color of its heart-shaped shell.
These lightly-built turtles have an average weight just over 100 lb (up to 50 kg.). They have a high-domed shell, with a carapace length of only 27 inches (70 cm). The carapace is made up of five pairs of costal scutes, with occurrences of up to 6 to 9 divisions per side. The margins are smooth. The carapace is a dark olive green in color with a yellowish underside. The head is large.
Olive Ridleys are omnivorous, feeding on crabs, shrimp, rock lobsters, sea grasses, algae, snails, and fish. They are sometimes seen feeding on jellyfish in shallow waters. These turtles forage offshore in surface waters and can dive to depths of at least 150 meters (500 feet).
Though listed by the US Endangered Species Act, populations in the Atlantic Ocean continue to dwindle, while the populations found in areas around the Pacific Ocean seem to be on the rise.
It is usually found in the Indo-Pacific and Atlantic ocean. The common name in Spanish is tortuga golfina o del golfo.
The beaches of Orissa, India provides one of the last nesting grounds of the Olive Ridley turtles in the world. But unfortunately this site where normally thousands of these turtles come ashore to lay their eggs is now threatened. Trawling and offshore drilling for oil and gas has led to over a 100,000 dead Olive Ridley turtles have been washed ashore in the last ten years. Now the striking blow might be the proposed industrial port outside the nesting ground.
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