From: University of Central Florida
Published December 6, 2017 04:08 PM

Satellite Tracking Provides Clues About South Atlantic Sea Turtles' 'Lost Years'

A University of Central Florida biologist whose groundbreaking work tracking the movements of sea turtle yearlings in the North Atlantic Ocean attracted international attention has completed a similar study in the South Atlantic with surprising results.

South Atlantic sea turtles do not passively ride prevailing currents as historically assumed, but instead actively swim and orient to keep themselves offshore. Depending on whether they hatch early, in the middle or late in the sea turtle hatching season, they travel in different and sometimes opposite directions, including into the Northern Hemisphere.

“It is important from a conservation perspective to understand where the youngest sea turtles go and how they interact with their environment,” said biology Assistant Professor Kate Mansfield who led the study. “Knowing they disperse in different directions, depending on changes in ocean currents, will help us get a better sense of where and when we need conservation efforts to ensure continued survival of these protected species.”

The team’s findings are published today in the Proceedings of Royal Society B. 

Read more at University of Central Florida

Image: South Atlantic sea turtles do not passively ride prevailing currents as historically assumed, but instead actively swim and orient to keep themselves offshore. Depending on whether they hatch early, in the middle or late in the sea turtle hatching season, they travel in different and sometimes opposite directions, including into the Northern Hemisphere. (Credit: Projeto TAMAR)

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