The VII Festival of the Leatherback [Festival el Tinglar] will take place this coming Saturday, April 14, 2012, from 10:00am to 9:00pm at the Luquillo Town Square [Plaza de Recreo de Luquillo] in Luquillo, Puerto Rico. The festival draws attention to the leatherback, the largest sea turtle in the world, which is in danger of extinction. During the activity there will be live music all day, arts and crafts, a parade, an ecotourism and agriculture fair, natural foods, and activities for children. The grand finale will feature a concert with the groups Terraplén and Cultura Profética.
The leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) is the largest turtle—and the largest living reptile—in the world. The leatherback is the only sea turtle that lacks a hard, bony shell. A leatherback’s top shell (carapace) is approximately 1.5 inches (4 cm) thick and consists of leathery, oil-saturated connective tissue overlaying loosely interlocking dermal bones. The carapace has seven longitudinal ridges and tapers to a blunt point. The front flippers lack both claws and scales and are proportionally longer than in other sea turtles; their back flippers are paddle-shaped. The ridged carapace and large flippers are characteristics that make the leatherback uniquely equipped for long distance foraging migrations.
The leatherback turtle was listed under the Endangered Species Act as endangered in 1970.
For more information, see http://puertorico.sierraclub.org/
For more on leatherback turtles, see http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/turtles/leatherback.htm