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X-Ray Mag #62 - Sep 2014
X-Ray Mag #62 - Sep 2014
X-Ray Mag #62 - Sep 2014
X-Ray Mag #62 - Sep 2014
X-Ray Mag #62 - Sep 2014
X-Ray Mag #62 - Sep 2014
X-Ray Mag #62 - Sep 2014
X-Ray Mag #62 - Sep 2014
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Do young loggerhead turtles swim or drift?

Young loggerhead turtles swim into oncoming ocean currents rather than drifting along
Credit:  
The authors of a new study suggest that the turtles likely use multiple sensory cues that enable them to orient and offset displacement due to wind and ocean currents.
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This study provides (...) compelling evidence that these turtles are able to resist such transport using some mechanism not yet fully understood.

—Dr. Donald Kobayashi, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Despite good swimming abilities, juvenile loggerhead turtles are thought to drift passively for a significant portion of their existence on the high seas

However, a study by researchers from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has found that turtles were swimming against the prevailing current in a statistically significant pattern at a rate of 30 cm/sec, which indicates an ability to detect the current flow and orient themselves to swim into the current flow direction.

The authors suggest that the turtles likely use multiple sensory cues that enable them to orient and offset displacement due to wind and ocean currents.

Further reading ►
| Image 1 of 1 |
Satellite tag trajectories of 42 tagged oceanic juvenile loggerhead turtles. The single star denotes the release site for all 42 turtles, and the circles denote the final transmission site for each turtle.

The 42 turtles swam in a variety of directions with some tendency for either a southwest or southeast direction. However, several turtles ventured north, with one of the longest tracks to the northwest before transmission ceased in the vicinity of French Polynesia. One remarkable trajectory went to the southwest and passed through Bass Strait between Australia and Tasmania before transmission ceased.

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