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A distinctive, unique species; the largest of all marine turtles, reaching 1,800 mm in carapace length, 2,770 mm between forelimb tips. Carapace and plastron leathery, without horny plates;carapace depressed, elongate, with 7 longitudinal ridges, posterior edge smooth, ending with a narrow, pointed extensioover the tail. Plastron with 5 longitudinal ridges. Head relatively small; upper jaw with two tooth-like projections. Front limbs very long, with no claws. Not much difference in size between sexes, but males have longer tails. Color of carapace and dorsal sides of limbs and head blackish or bluish black with irregular whitish spots. Ventral sides pinkish white with some dark spots.