Friday, 24 October 2014

Tiny turtles tracked on swimming frenzy

23 October 2014 Last updated at 18:26

By Jonathan Amos
Science correspondent, BBC News

Tiny tags have been used to follow the frenetic first hours in a loggerhead turtle's life.

When these reptiles emerge from their beach nests, they race down to the sea and start swimming hell for leather.

Their intention is to get as far off shore as possible, away from coastal predators and into currents that will sweep them out into the open ocean.

Now, scientists have documented this mad dash with the aid of little pingers stuck to the turtles' undersides.

These acoustic tags, just 12mm long, enabled Dr Rebecca Scott and colleagues to track the animals' progress through the water.

In a paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the team describes the baby turtles' swimming behaviour, and the dispersal strategies that seem specific to different loggerhead populations.

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