Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

Pacific Green Sea Turtles

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Egg-laying Green Sea Turtles

Pacific green (black) sea turtle Chelonia mydas, Maui, Hawai’i.

Image: John del Rio [larger view].

Comments

  1. #1 Sven DiMilo
    December 10, 2008

    Nice! I’m all for chelonian pix.
    But I count one turtle, and some rocks. And I’m not certain it’s nesting. Green turtles in Hawaii are known to bask.

  2. #2 MattK
    December 10, 2008

    Basking that far up on the beach? Most freshwater turtles wouldn’t even do that (except the semi-terrestrial ones, and not on a beach). I don’t know much about sea turtles but this seems odd. I had never heard about sea turtles basking terrestrially so that is interesting to learn. Freshwater turtles usually bask by either resting on an object like a log protruding from the water (most Emydids (Pond Turtles)) or floating at the surface (i.e. Snappers and Kinosternids (Mud/Musk Turtles)) I guess neither of these strategies would work well for sea turtles. They are too big and lack nails so they can’t climb up on logs and I suppose the ocean doesn’t stratify the way a weedy slough does either so floating at the surface wouldn’t work as well. I’d always assumed that they were limited to waters warm enough to support activity without the need to bask (except for Leatherbacks and their thermal inertia powered forays into cold waters).

    After I said that I don’t know anything, now I’m going to say that in my non-expert opinion it appears as if she’s nesting judging by the position of the hind limb and the marks on the sand. It looks like she’s sweeping sand over the nest.

  3. #3 turtletalestv
    December 11, 2008

    The Chelonia Mydas or green sea turtle in Hawaii are known to crawl out and bask(or lay in the sun) for no apparent reason.Some believe it is to get away from predators.Green turtles in Hawaii generally go to the unihabitated Northwest Hawaiian Islands to haul out and nest.

    The image says that this is a black turtle in Maui.Black turtles or Chelonia agassizii are found in the Eastern Pacific.
    This basking behavior is only found in the Galapogos and the Hawaiian Islands.

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