Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Young Loggerhead Turtles Don’t Go With The Flow

August 11, 2014


Image Credit: Thinkstock.com
Juvenile loggerhead turtles swim into oncoming ocean currents, instead of passively drifting with them, according to a study published August 6, 2014 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Donald Kobayashi from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and colleagues.

After loggerhead turtle hatchlings leave nesting beaches, they live in the ocean for 7-12 years before migrating to coastal habitats. Juvenile loggerhead turtles have good swimming abilities, but scientists aren’t sure if they passively drift in ocean currents or actively swim. Combining turtle movement data with ocean circulation models aids scientists in understanding how juvenile turtles orient themselves in response to a current flow. In this study, scientists compared the daily movement over the course of 13 to 350 days of ~40 juvenile loggerhead turtles tracked by satellite with oceanic circulation data from various sources off New Caledonia.


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