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Rare Leatherback Turtle Spotted Off Hebridean Coast

A rare Leatherback turtle has been spotted off the coast of the Hebrides, an archipelago off the coast of North-West Scotland.

Around 15 miles off the coast of the Isle Of Muck, a crew from the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust were performing an acoustic expedition to survey marine life when they spotted the large 2.5-meter long sea turtle.

This is very rare in the UK, with the last sighting being 17 years ago. All of the ship’s crew were shocked — they had never seen a turtle in UK waters before.

The Ecologist explains the rarity of the situation and how it may be explained:

“Although this sighting is rare, leatherback turtles should feel right at home in Scottish waters as they have a unique set of adaptations, including change in blood flow and a thick layer of fat, that allow them to have internal control over their body temperature. This means that they are able to forage in temperatures lower than 5˚ Celsius (41˚ Fahrenheit).”

Though these sightings are very rare, it’s good to know that this species has multiple options for places it might want to call home.

Whether it’s a turtle, dolphin, whale, or porpoise, it’s great that Scotland’s marine life is alive and well.


Joe is passionate about environmentalism and the effect it has on our planet. He’s been a vegetarian for 10 years and is very strict about recycling in his apartment. As well as writing, he likes to spend time singing, playing the guitar, and defending pineapple on pizza.


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