Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Loggerheads Unveiled

 Loggerhead turtles are currently a threatened species. However, these turtles on the verge of becoming endangered and are appearing in decreasing numbers. Research by a team of University of Florida biologists from the Archie Carr Center for Sea Turtle Research shows that turtles are unique. The turtles live and eat where they please, but surprisingly they do not eat or live in large numbers. Loggerhead turtles are known to be extensive travelers. They can swim thousands of miles and eat many different bottom-dwelling species such as crab and whelks. However. research has shown that the turtles chose what they eat and prey mostly on what they prefer to eat. The research also has shown that individual turtles stay within a certain range and do not travel far away from the place they make home. The researchers know this because they biopsied fifteen female loggerhead turtles. The removed tissue was observed using mass spectrometry.  The readings showed different densities that correlated with what they ate and where they were living.  The research followed the turtles for a twelve year time span. Future research is being conducted to help predict where the turtles will live and what they will eat. The research then can be used to protect the turtles and help their population size increase.

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