What reptile outlived the dinosaurs, is the largest of its kind on earth, can dive to a depth of half a mile, and migrates more than 6,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean? The answer is the Pacific leatherback sea turtle — California’s official state marine reptile. This fascinating but critically endangered species is essential to the state’s marine ecosystem. We talk with Scott Benson, marine ecologist with NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center, about Pacific leatherback sea turtles, threats to their survival, and what you can do to help.
Everyday Action: Bring your own bags to the store since sea turtles will mistake plastic bags for jellyfish. Also, never release balloons outside. They also can end up in the ocean and be eaten by sea turtles and other marine life.
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