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Atlantic Ridley Turtle

Lepidochelys kempi (Garman)


The Atlantic Ridley has a heart-shaped, keeled carapace, pale yellow-grey to grey in colour. The bridge and plastron are white. The upper sides and top of the head and the flippers are grey.


This is the smallest species of marine turtle found in our waters. Adults usually range from 58 to 70 cm in length and weight from 36 to 45 kg.


There are 4 records of Atlantic Ridley in Nova Scotian waters. Two juveniles were collected in 1910, one near the LaHave Islands in Lunenburg County and one at Spry Harbour, Halifax County. Two more juveniles were collected along the Bay of Fundy in 1928, one near Margaretsville in Annapolis County, the other not located precisely.


The Museum of Natural History would welcome more records of Atlantic Ridley - ideally with photos so the identification can be verified.


All marine turtles are considered to be endangered species. For many years their eggs have been dug out of nesting sites on sandy beaches in the southern United States and Mexico and the tropics. The adults are captured and used for food, and their skins and shells are used commercially. We should recognize that they are an important part of ocean life and contribute to their conservation by releasing animals which survive being tangled in fishing gear, and not buying turtle products.

Fresh Water and Land Turtles

Eastern Painted Turtle

Wood Turtle

Common Snapping Turtle

Blanding's Turtle


Sea Turtles

Atlantic Leatherback Turtle

Atlantic Ridley Turtle

Atlantic Loggerhead Turtle


Turtle Information

Observing Nova Scotia Turtles