Meet the Michael Phelps of the animal world, the loggerhead sea turtle!! These dudes, like all sea turtle species, swim thousands of miles all across the world. The arrows above show the loggerhead’s journey through the North Atlantic. Thousands of turtles hatch along the coast of Florida, fighting their way north up the coast and eventually out into the open ocean, crossing the atlantic to the Azores islands and the western coast of Africa and finally returning to the same beach they were born at to lay their own clutch of eggs—a total of around 8,000 miles! Atlantic loggerheads specifically, use the ocean currents known as the North Atlantic Gyre to assist and guide them in their migration but they also (along with all sea turtle species) are able to use the Earth’s magnetic field to navigate. This is how they are able to find the exact same beach that they were born at even after many (6-12) years at sea. Although both males and females migrate, females are the only ones that ever come back on land after hatching, and only to lay their eggs.
Sadly, all 7 species of sea turtles are declining and more than half are endangered or critically endangered. But here are some things that YOU can do to help:
1. Buy seafood that is sustainably caught
2. Use reusable bags and water bottles to reduce plastic in the oceans
3. Participate in beach cleanups
4. Don’t disturb nesting turtles, nests, or hatchlings
5. As always: spread the word to others; knowledge is power!
Read this article below about the research from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, to learn more about the amazing magnetic navigation of sea turtles:
#wildlifeart #conservationart #polynesianart #seaturtles #endextinction