Bermuda: ‘Where Sea Turtles Grow Up’

March 5, 2012 | 2 Comments

Bermuda is the place where young sea turtles go to grow up, a Florida scientist who has spent his career studying the animals told environmental website OurAmazingPlanet today.

Dr. Peter Meylan, a professor of natural sciences at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, along with his research partner and wife Ann Meylan, of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, recently summarised years of sea turtle tracking data — including some carried out in conjunction with the Bermuda Turtle Project – in a paper published in the Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History.

Sea turtles are known for the amazing migrations they make, swimming long ocean distances to return to their birthplace to hatch their young.
Yet it turns out these beloved marine reptiles make another migration earlier in life that Dr. Meylan has described as “even more amazing” than the migrations the turtles make as adults.

The couple found that young sea turtles travel extremely long distances before they’re fully grown, including epic journeys to Bermuda.

Dr. Meylan said. “They arrive there after living out in the ocean. In Bermuda waters they grow from about the size of a dinner plate to the size of a wash tub, and then move on to different, adult habitats,” he said.

Green turtles hatched in Costa Rica were tracked as far north as Bermuda and North Carolina before heading south again to spend their adulthoods near Nicaragua.

Some ocean turtle species, such as the world’s largest turtle, the colossal leatherback, are critically endangered.

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Comments (2)

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  1. Questioning Everything says:

    Too bad Eco-Tourism isn't something that is being looked at to generate visitors...

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  2. Biology Major says:

    Agreed!

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