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Cover image of The Leatherback Turtle
Cover image of The Leatherback Turtle
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The Leatherback Turtle

Biology and Conservation

edited by James R. Spotila and Pilar Santidrián Tomillo

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The most comprehensive book ever written on leatherback sea turtles.

Weighing as much as 2,000 pounds and reaching lengths of over seven feet, leatherback turtles are the world’s largest reptile. These unusual sea turtles have a thick, pliable shell that helps them to withstand great depths—they can swim more than one thousand meters below the surface in search of food. And what food source sustains these goliaths? Their diet consists almost exclusively of jellyfish, a meal they crisscross the oceans to find.

Leatherbacks have been declining in recent decades, and some predict they will be gone\u2026

The most comprehensive book ever written on leatherback sea turtles.

Weighing as much as 2,000 pounds and reaching lengths of over seven feet, leatherback turtles are the world’s largest reptile. These unusual sea turtles have a thick, pliable shell that helps them to withstand great depths—they can swim more than one thousand meters below the surface in search of food. And what food source sustains these goliaths? Their diet consists almost exclusively of jellyfish, a meal they crisscross the oceans to find.

Leatherbacks have been declining in recent decades, and some predict they will be gone by the end of this century. Why? Because of two primary factors: human redevelopment of nesting beaches and commercial fishing. There are only twenty-nine index beaches in the world where these turtles nest, and there is immense pressure to develop most of them into homes or resorts. At the same time, longline and gill net fisheries continue to overwhelm waters frequented by leatherbacks.

In The Leatherback Turtle, James R. Spotila and Pilar Santidrián Tomillo bring together the world’s leading experts to produce a volume that reveals the biology of the leatherback while putting a spotlight on the conservation problems and solutions related to the species. The book leaves us with options: embark on the conservation strategy laid out within its pages and save one of nature’s most splendid creations, or watch yet another magnificent species disappear.

Reviews

Reviews

Despite the dire issues facing the Leatherback, the book shows tremendous respect for its subject and a genuine, educated commitment to save the remarkable Leatherback.

The Leatherback Turtle provides a global reference for a globally distributed species and fills any number of data gaps for biologists, managers and citizen-scientists, especially in places such as the southeastern United States that are documenting an increasing trend in leatherback nesting.

About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
7
x
10
Pages
246
ISBN
9781421417080
Illustration Description
9 b&w photos, 70 line drawings, 16 color plates
Table of Contents

List of Contributors
Preface

Part I: Biology
Chapter 1. Introduction: Phylogeny and Evolutionary Biology of the Leatherback Turtle
Chapter 2. Phylogeny, Phylogeography, and Populations of the

List of Contributors
Preface

Part I: Biology
Chapter 1. Introduction: Phylogeny and Evolutionary Biology of the Leatherback Turtle
Chapter 2. Phylogeny, Phylogeography, and Populations of the Leatherback Turtle
Chapter 3. Diving Behavior and Physiology of the Leatherback Turtle
Chapter 4. Anatomy of the Leatherback Turtle
Part II: Life History and Reproduction
Chapter 5. Reproductive Biology of the Leatherback Turtle
Chapter 6. Nesting Ecology and Reproductive Investment of the Leatherback Turtle
Chapter 7. Egg Development and Hatchling Output of the Leatherback Turtle
Chapter 8. Sex Determination and Hatchling Sex Ratios of the Leatherback Turtle
Part III: Population Status and Trends
Chapter 9. Leatherback Turtle Populations in the Atlantic Ocean
Chapter 10. Leatherback Turtle Populations in the Pacific Ocean
Chapter 11. Leatherback Turtle Populations in the Indian Ocean
Part IV: From Egg to Adulthood
Chapter 12. Leatherback Turtle Eggs and Nests, and Their Effects on Embryonic Development
Chapter 13. Leatherback Turtle Physiological Ecology: Implications for Bioenergetics and Population Dynamics
Chapter 14. Movements and Behavior of Adult and Juvenile Leatherback Turtles
Chapter 15. Relation of Marine Primary Productivity to Leatherback Turtle Biology and Behavior
Part V: The Future of the Leatherback Turtle
Chapter 16. Warming Climate: A New Threat to the Leatherback Turtle
Chapter 17. Impacts of Fisheries on the Leatherback Turtle
Chapter 18. Conclusion: Problems and Solutions
Index

Author Bios
James R. Spotila
Featured Contributor

James R. Spotila, Ph.D.

James R. Spotila is the L. Drew Betz Chair Professor of Environmental Science at Drexel University and director of the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation. The founding president of the International Sea Turtle Society and chairman of the board of The Leatherback Trust, he is the author of Sea Turtles: A Complete Guide to Their Biology, Behavior, and Conservation and Saving Sea Turtles...
Featured Contributor

Pilar Santidrián Tomillo, Ph.D.

Pilar Santidrián Tomillo is a Marie Curie Fellow at the Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies and the research director of The Leatherback Trust.