The sea turtles’ long years of quest as they disappear for decades had bewildered scientists.
They start as early as when they are one year old when these little baby turtles called “yearlings” instinctively head to a journey in the wide open sea where they just completely vanish for several years . Researchers now are able to track them using a solar-powered tracking device . This allowed them to follow the 44 turtles while they were at the point of choosing specific directions which were highly unexpected since it was highly believed that they just drift with the current.
This had challenged Katherine Mansfield , the lead author and head of the turtle research group of the University of Central Florida , to do some tests and to determine the truth on what is behind the “ passive migration” among turtles during a certain stage . A collection of young turtles ages six months to two years were chosen to complete the test. Finding the turtles was difficult that Dr. Mansfield and her team would be looking for for miles and couldn’t find a trace of any of them.
Eventually , after a long difficult time in searching for the samples, Mansfield and Nathan Putman , a co-author were rewarded with a sufficient numbers enough for the test . They tagged 20 Kemp’s ridley turtles and 24 green turtles . Each were attached with a solar-power tracking device complete with a floating buoy which functions as “drifters”.
The data showed exactly the opposite results of what they believed before the turtle migration study. The turtles were actually not just wandering aimlessly but were swimming following a definite direction in a slow determined pace. They would then move to another direction. They are independent at deciding where they would want to go.
“The results of the study have huge implications for better understanding early sea turtle survival and behavior, which may ultimately lead to new and innovative ways to further protect these imperiled animals,” Mansfield stated.