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turtle voyage
March 7, 2014 10:14 AM   Subscribe

Sea Turtles' "Lost Years" Transatlantic Journey Mapped for First Time "Researchers' stick-to-it-iveness, along with advice from a manicurist lead to radio tags that tracked baby loggerheads across the Atlantic (full paper) without hindering them"
posted by dhruva (8 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
...along with advice from a manicurist...

They soaked the baby turtles in Palmolive first? Those animals!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:34 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]


The "tracked" link is really interesting [It's all interesting actually]. There is that one that seems hell-bent on heading straight up the continental shelf, albeit slowly, and that other one being especially busy headed for the Azores but starting to doubt as they approached the mid-Atlantic rift. I'm suprised at the tangle too - some seem to play it safe while others are gonna go.

I'm horribly bummed that the tracks end, I want them to reconverge so they can tell each other turtle stories.
Yes, I'm anthropomorphising. I've never met a turtle I didn't like.

posted by vapidave at 11:41 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]


I love the manicurist angle on this. Its a great example of where research improves when it looks outside its field. If this had been done by two male scientist, I wonder if they would ever have thought to call a manicurist? Diversity in scientists and cross-pollination FTW!
posted by Joh at 11:42 AM on March 7 [2 favorites]


I'm horribly bummed that the tracks end,

I think the tracks end because the tags fall off.
That's when the real turtle fun begins.
posted by Floydd at 12:58 PM on March 7


I wonder if they lag notably behind their unencumbered compatriots, because as small as the tracker is, it looks pretty damn huge compared to the teeny turtle. Also pretty cool they use the seaweed mats to keep warm as they wander along their journey.

Dear Scientific American, the word is tenaciousness.
posted by Static Vagabond at 1:11 PM on March 7 [1 favorite]


The team tried harnesses resembling tiny one-piece swimsuits, made of stretchy Lycra.
Happy awwwww!
These too warped the turtles' shells
Sad awwwww!
posted by amarynth at 2:37 PM on March 7


This is classic researcher behavior. We will swim after them! We will see what other researchers did! We will clumsily adapt what other researchers did using things we are familiar with and have lying around! We will ask our mom's! ...years later... I know, we should ask someone who knows a lot about this stuff! An.. expert?

Somewhere, right now a field biologist is trying to move something heavy and thinking "maybe if I had some trees and laid them on the ground I could create a circular rolling type object that might allow us to push this along instead of having to lift it? Now how can I possibly get some trees to lay down on the ground for me?"
posted by fshgrl at 3:05 PM on March 7 [3 favorites]


We will ask our mom's

One classic example of this is with photographing spider webs. You get a lot of information from the structure of the web, since it's a physical representation of the behaviour of the spider, and you can tell things like the choices the spider made during the construction. But photographing the webs was quite hard, especially if you need every tiny detail. The best method so far is by sprinkling corn starch on the web so that it adheres to the strands and then is made more visible without damaging the strands. The researcher who came up with this technique attributes the idea to his mother!
posted by dhruva at 3:48 PM on March 7 [1 favorite]


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