They are the longest-living marine species to ever ply the world’s oceans. They survived catastrophic asteroid impacts and outlived the dinosaurs. But the leatherback sea turtle, the largest turtle in the world, is on the brink of extinction, and scientists question whether the animal will survive into the next decade.
“Over the last 22 years their numbers have declined in excess of 95 percent,” said Larry Crowder, a marine scientist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. Crowder detailed the plight of the turtle during last week’s annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Denver, Colorado.