The Kemp's ridley sea turtle was named after Richard M. Kemp, a fisherman

and naturalist from Key West, Florida, who first submitted the species for

identification in 1880.

Size  24 to 36 inches long

Diet  Crabs, fishes and an array of mollusks

Lifespan  At least 30 years, and possibly 50 years or more

Range  Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and U.S. Atlantic Seaboard

Habitat  Coastal areas, nesting on beaches

Predators  Foxes, weasels, cats, dogs, raccoons, crabs and more eat eggs

and hatchlings. Sharks and other large fishes prey on juveniles and adults.

Humans threaten them with fishing activities.

Relatives  There are seven species of sea turtles, including the green, loggerhead,
Kemp’s ridley, olive ridley, hawksbill, flat back and leatherback.

Family life  Female Kemp’s ridleys nest all at once in a large group called an arribada.

In 1947, about 42,000 turtles nested in an arribada in Rancho Nuevo, Mexico.

Conservation status  Critically Endangered   Kemp's ridleys face major threats from accidental catch in fishing gear and are currently the most endangered sea turtle in the world.

Sea turtles and climate change   Rising temperatures, rising sea levels, and other trends are having an effect on the world’s sea turtles. Read more ...

Explore other profiles   Check out green sea turtles, loggerhead sea turtles and harbor seals.