Ridley sea turtle

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Ridley sea turtle
Researchers collect
Kemp's ridley sea turtle eggs.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Family: Cheloniidae
Genus: Lepidochelys
Fitzinger, 1843

Lepidochelys kempii
Lepidochelys olivacea

Ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys) are a genus of sea turtle comprising two species: Kemp's ridley sea turtle and the Olive ridley sea turtle.

Kemp's ridley sea turtles are currently on the New York and Federal List of Endangered Species .


Adult ridley sea turtles grow to a length of 20-28 in (51–71 cm). They have a weight of 80-110 lb (36–50 kg). They feed on crabs, fish, cephalopods, clams, and some marine vegetation.

Etymology and taxonomic history[edit]

The etymology of "ridley" is a subject of speculation. Prior to being known as ridleys, the French naturalist Bernard Germain de Lacépède referred to the Lepidochelys species as "bastard turtles". Renowned sea turtle conservationist Archie Carr claimed that "ridley" was a common Floridan term.[1]


Both species of ridley are endangered. The Kemp's ridley sea turtle is mainly threatened by polluted waters and the fishing industry. Kemp's ridley is endangered throughout its range. Two major feeding grounds for Kemp's ridley are both near major areas of oil exploration and protection.


  1. ^ Dundee, Harold A. (2001). "The Etymological Riddle of the Ridley Sea Turtle". Marine Turtle Newsletter 58: 10–12. Retrieved 2008-12-30. 

See also[edit]