The endangered leatherback is the largest turtle – and one of the largest living reptiles – in the world. 

Adult leatherbacks can weigh up to 2,000 pounds and be 6.5 feet in length! Unlike all other species of sea turtle, leatherbacks lack a hard bony shell. Instead, their shell is about 1.5 inches thick and consists of leathery connective tissue overlaying loosely interlocking bones. This one was spotted in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. 

(Photo: Mark Cotter)


Monterey Day 1 (May 4, 2017)

About 30 Humpback Whales congregated in 50 feet of water, lunge feeding on lots and lots of baitfish!

The bait was so thick, the ocean floor was barely visible on sonar. Multiple whales would come shooting out of the water all over the place. Just seeing one group of whales lunge feed is spectacular in and of itself, but seeing it happen all over the place for a long period of time was incredible! Harbor porpoises and lots of sea birds were in the mix too.

Viewed aboard the Blackfin at Monterey Bay Whale Watch. 

What do you call a group of sharks? A shiver! 

Here, a shiver of leopard sharks swims in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Leopard sharks live in shallow waters of bays and estuaries and spend much of their time near the sea floor, feeding on animals like crabs, clams, and small fish. 

(Photo: Adam Obaza/NOAA)