Posted by: oliveridley | Thursday, September 27, 2007

Now we know where Juvenile sea turtles Hide

You see the hatchlings as they dig out of the nests all small and helpless and make a beeline towards the sea. You see the adult female as she comes back to lay her eggs. You see adult males when you go snorkeling , but the juveniles had kept a low profile, until now…

Sea turtles’ mystery hideout revealed – LiveScience – MSNBC.com

Once sea-turtle hatchlings hit the surf, they vanish for up to five years. Where the half-dollar-size tots spend these ‘lost years’ while ballooning to the size of dinner plates has been a mystery, until now.

New research, published in the online edition of the journal Biology Letters, indicates the green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) hide out in the open ocean, where they feast on jellyfish and other marine creatures.

Turns out that they’ve been “hiding out” in the open ocean eating meat to augment their vegetarian adult diet. I have not seen the paper (reference below), but the study was based on an analysis of their shell content. Carbon and Nitrogen isotope analysis was used as a marker for diet and location.

The ‘lost years’ of green turtles: using stable isotopes to study cryptic lifestages

Kimberly J. Reich, Karen A. Bjorndal, Alan B. Bolten

Archie Carr Center for Sea Turtle Research, Department of Zoology, PO Box 118525, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA

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Responses

  1. Found this site and it is right up my alley. I am a youth sea turtle conservationist in florida. A senior in high school and a intern at Mote Marine Lab.

    Have read this new report on the Lost Years. Very interesting. Great job, to solving the riddle of the juvenile sea turtle.

    Check out my project that I have been doing since I was eleven years old. It is called Turtle Talks, and is a eco-literacy program. I have 50,000 books in print on sea turtles that I give away free to kids. It is available in three languages.

    Look at the Volvo For Life Awards and give me a few votes. In the environment category, I need a tipping point to get to the next level. I will then be able to donate $25,000 to a conservation project.
    Zander Srodes

    http://www.volvoforlifeawards.com/cgi-bin/iowa/english/vote/environment/index.html


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