Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Turtles are loyal in feeding as well as in breeding

A research team led by the University of Exeter has discovered that, after laying their eggs, sea turtles travel hundreds of miles to feed at exactly the same sites.

The research, funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), shows for the first time that marine turtles appear to be as loyal to specific foraging sites and migratory routes as they are to nesting sites. Published today (25 April) in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, the findings strengthen the argument for the protection of key foraging sites of these endangered species.

‘The extent to which turtles showed fidelity to specific foraging sites and routes was a surprise,’ said Dr Annette Broderick of the University of Exeter. ‘Marine turtles migrate hundreds of miles between breeding and foraging grounds, so it is amazing that they are able to return to exactly the same sites via very similar routes. We do not yet know why they return to the same sites, but these findings give us a much better picture of the behaviour of adult turtles at sea, where they spend the majority of their life cycle.’

Scientists have long known that marine turtles return to the same breeding sites each year, but did not know until now that they also revisited foraging sites. Dr Broderick and her team tracked twenty green and loggerhead turtles nesting at two beaches on Cyprus, using satellite transmitters. All females tracked for more than six months remained in the same foraging grounds, moving to deeper water for the winter where they conducted dives of up to a record breaking 10.2 hours. Five females were also tracked when they nested again up to five years later and returned to the same foraging sites.

... more about:
»Marine »breeding »findings »foraging

Green turtles have been observed cropping sea grass gardens to encourage new growth, so there could be a benefit to them returning to foraging grounds. Loggerheads have an omnivorous diet, including molluscs and crustacea, so the benefit to them revisiting feeding areas is unclear. Scientists do not yet know why this behaviour has evolved, but it is possible that sea turtles are territorial or are responding to limited food resources by sticking to their own feeding patches.

‘There are estimated to be as few as 300 female green turtles breeding annually in the Mediterranean,’ continued Dr Broderick. ‘This new information is timely and our research findings strengthen the case for the protection of key migratory and foraging areas. We have shared our findings with the Libyan authorities and are encouraging them to investigate these ‘hotspots’ further.

One of the major threats to marine turtles globally is fisheries bycatch. Hundreds of thousands of marine turtles die each year as a result of fisheries interactions. Identifying and protecting key habitats is critical for the future of these endangered species.

Sarah Hoyle | alfa
Further information:

Further reports about: Marine breeding findings foraging

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht First time-lapse footage of cell activity during limb regeneration
25.10.2016 | eLife

nachricht Phenotype at the push of a button
25.10.2016 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VDI presents International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation

26.10.2016 | Awards Funding

3-D-printed magnets

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>