Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepodochelys kempi)
This turtle is the smallest sea turtle and the most endangered. Adults only grow to 75cm (30in) in shell length and weigh up to 45kg (100 lbs). The carapace is heartshaped and black in the young turtle. The adult turtle has an olive gray carapace. The males have a longer tail than the females.
The Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle prefers shallow water and can be found along the coast of the Gulf Of Mexico and northwestern Atlantic Ocean. The nesting season occurs during the months from April to August The major nesting beach for this endangered turtle is the northeastern coast of Mexico at Rancho Nuevo, Mexico. Babies like to eat saragassum (sea weed) while adults are carnivorous and prefer crabs.
One of the reasons that the numbers of this turtle is dropping is that the nesting area is being invaded by humans for fishing. Also, about 500 to 5000 Kemp's Ridleys were killed each year by shrimp trawling before TEDs (Turtle Excluder Devices) were used.
This turtle eats trash like cellophane, styrofoam, and may become tangled in ropes, garbage and plastic holders for soft drinks. He can digest most of this garbage unlike most turtles.