Scientists recognise seven living species of sea turtles, which are grouped into six genera. These species include: the olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea), loggerhead (Caretta caretta), green (Chelonia mydas), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), Kemp’s ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), Australian flatback (Natator depressa) and leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) turtle. Of the seven species, the Australian flatback is the only one that isn’t either endangered or critically endangered. Five of these seven species are found on the roughly 8,000 km of the coastline of the Indian subcontinent, there being only reports of sightings for one of them, the loggerhead; the other four are the olive ridley, green, leatherback and hawksbill.
Largest among all the sea turtle species, leatherbacks get their name from the their unique shell, which is composed of a layer of thin, tough, rubbery skin strengthened by thousands of tiny bone plates that make it appear “leathery”.