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,
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 ...
Join the Aquarium's animal rescue team!
The Aquarium is a global leader in saving endangered turtles. A new interactive exhibit gives you hands-on experience with the process of diagnosing, treating and rehabilitating these fascinating animals. Plus, you'll learn how communities are coming together to protect turtle habitats and get a glimpse at some of the Aquarium's greatest turtle rescue success stories.