Very wide global distribution; inhabit temperate and tropical areas of the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic Oceans. Also found in Mediterranean Sea, and areas in Norway, Canada, South America, and New Zealand.
Inhabit open ocean, gulfs, seas, estuaries, and bays. Can dive as deep as two thousand meters; spotted near the surface at midday but spends most of its time completely under water. Will hardly ever be near land unless nesting. Females will nest on vegetative, sandy beaches and lay their eggs on wet sand.
Compared to other turtles, shell is flexible to an extent and feels rubbery when touched. Unlike any other sea turtle, does not possess scutes on shell and exhibits ridges running lengthwise across carapace. Carapace is either black or dark blue with pink or white spots. Five ridges apparent on whitish plastron. Juveniles are either black or white and have many smaller scales that are shed before adulthood. Females lay clutches containing 50 to 170 eggs. Eggs take about 9 weeks to hatch.
Learn more with Schechter Natural History's Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians