In Florida, when sea turtle hatchlings leave the shores to grow in the sea – just like in our sea turtle game presented in our Wonder magazine in the Life Cycle box – scientists had a very patchy view as to where the baby sea turtles actually go.

There are many bodies of water in this part of the world, such as the Caribbean sea, the Gulf of Mexico, the Florida coasts, or the Sargasso Sea in the Atlantic ocean, and knowing where the baby turtles spend most of their time can help us to protect them better.

 

Thankfully, a group of scientists across Mexico, the south-eastern United States, the Caribbean, and Europe, created a computer model that simulates where baby sea turtles from three different species: loggerhead, green turtle and Kemp’s ridley, go using information collected over decades.

 

Such information includes ocean circulation data, sea turtle nesting sites, locations where sea turtles have washed ashore, etc. Scientists then used various observation techniques to check if their predictions were correct.

It turns out, that during their “lost years”, a period after the sea turtles break free from their eggs on the shoreline and head into the ocean, where little is known about their whereabouts, the young sea turtles seem to travel to the Sargasso Sea, where they use sargassum, a brown seaweed, as cover from predators until they are mature.

More research is required to refine and perfect the model. Already, we have a better understanding of how to coordinate the efforts of multiple countries to protect these wonderful animals.

 

Written by,

Tinkerer’s Science Team

 

Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/12/191223122833.htm

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