Ian Somerhalder, the Vampire Diaries, featured on Favorite Wildlife Friday, spoke before Congress to protect wildlife species.
Favorite Wildlife Friday this week features an animal that’s part of a group of species ‘The Vampire Diaries’ actor Ian Somerhalder spoke about before Congress last month. Can you guess the species from these clues?
Who am I?
- I am a marine species with a wide distribution. I’m found as far north as Alaska and as far south as Africa.
- I am one of the largest living reptiles; reaching nearly 2 metres in length and weighing over 500kg.
- I can survive in cold waters due to my unique blood supply system that allows me to regulate my body temperature several degrees above that of the surrounding water.
- I dive to depths of 1000 metres in search of food and can hold my breath for up to half an hour.
- I have backward-facing spines in my throat that stops my prey (mainly jellyfish) from escaping once swallowed.
- Females leave the sea and dig burrows into the sand in which they lay between 60 and 120 eggs.
- My name comes from my smooth and rubbery carapace (shell).
- I am critically endangered. Threats pushing me to extinction include: accidently being killed by fishing fleets; trade; hunting for my eggs and meat; pollution and habitat loss.
Have You Guessed?
I am the leatherback turtle. Ian Somerhalder asked Congress in July to fund conservation efforts to help save species, including marine turtles like the leatherback. The ‘Lost’ actor also founded the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, which aims to “positively impact the planet and its creatures”.
Blog contributed by Nikela Volunteer Danielle Boobyer