Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tracking Sea Turtles - Then and Now

Today, much of our sea turtle knowledge comes from tracking turtles that have been instrumented with transponders. Scientists can then track the instrumented turtle's journey. This is an instrumented Belle o' Brevard from last year's Tour de Turtles, sponsored by the Caribbean Conservation Corporation. (Photo by Wayne Matchett)
Contrast that with this photo of Dr. Archie Carr and a couple of helpers, instrumenting a sea turtle with weather balloons so he could track its journey! I love this picture - judging from the swim trunks, I'd say 1950's? (Caribbean Conservation Corporation photo)
And faithful readers will recall a January post about Blair Witherington's research into sea turtle hatchling "lost years" - he and his graduate school friends constructed a balsa boat with an LED, harnessed it to a hatchling, and followed the "instrumented" hatchling by boat for three days.

And who said scientific research was no fun!

1 comment:

misti said...

Well, that's pretty interesting, a balsa boat!

Chris has seen some hatchlings out at sea before while fishing, chowing on the sargassum.