Check out these amazing leatherback turtles!
Leatherback turtles are among the world's greatest champion swimmers. Even though these turtles can weigh about a ton and reach an impressive nine feet long, they swim long distances very fast. The turtles swim even faster when they feel threatened.
Did you know turtles go so fast they participate in their own race? A researcher named George Shillinger organized the Great Turtle Race, which happens every year when the leatherbacks migrate. One year a turtle named Billie won the race after swimming over 500 miles. These turtles may be fast, but not always fast enough to escape endangerment.
Turtles around the world are dying. The leatherback turtle is critically endangered and is heading toward extinction, according to The Nature Conservancy. When the turtles have babies, they hatch in the sand. These baby turtles need to race to the sea to escape their predators. Other situations that lead to the death of turtles are entanglement in fishing nets and eating plastic floating in the water. Every turtle that makes it to adulthood is lucky to be alive.
It may take more than their fast speed to save this species. These amazing turtles need all the help they can get to survive!
[Source: National Geographic Kids]