The Beacon

Blog Tags: Sea Turtles

Ocean Roundup: Filefish Use Chemical Scent to Camouflage, Bangladesh Oil Spill Threatening Endangered Dolphins, and More

The orange-spotted filefish uses chemical scents for camouflage

An orange-spotted filefish (Oxymonacanthus longirostris). These fish both look and smell like coral reef habitat to hide from predators. (Photo: jaredzimmerman [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons)

- Nicaragua's Pearl Cays region has seen a large increase in hawksbill sea turtle nests since 2000, from about 154 nests in 2000 to 468 in 2014. Poaching has also significantly decreased in the area by about 80 percent. ScienceDaily


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Ocean Roundup: Nearly 1,000 Sea Turtles Strand off Cape Cod, Suez Canal Expansion Poses Environmental Risks, and More

A nesting Kemp’s ridley sea turtles. Nearly 1,000 sea turtles, most of them Kemp’s ridleys, stranded off Cape Cod over the past month. (Photo: National Park Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

- Scientists are sounding the alarm on the Suez Canal expansion, saying it will invite invasive species from the Red Sea that could wreak economic and environmental damage in the Mediterranean Sea. Egypt is both widening the existing channel and adding an extra lane.  The Guardian


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Sea Turtles Can Get the Bends after Capture in Fishing Gear, Says New Study

A new study found sea turtles can get decompression sickness

A loggerhead sea turtle caught on a longline in the Mediterranean. New research shows sea turtles can get “the bends” after being caught in fishing gear. (Photo: Oceana / Mar Mas)

If you’re an avid scuba diver, you’re probably all too familiar with decompression sickness (DCS)—more commonly known as the bends—a disease that can strike astronauts, divers, and others, and arises after inadequately recompressing after changes in pressure gradients. In the marine environment, scientists long thought that many diving vertebrates—like sea turtles and marine mammals—were immune to DCS through various adaptations.


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Ocean Roundup: Seagrass Travels via Ocean Currents, Plump Leatherbacks Can Swim More Easily, and More

Seagrass is found to travel via ocean currents and ocean animals

Seagrass meadows off Spain. (Photo: Oceana / Sergio Gosálvez)

- New research shows that seagrass has an incredible ability to spread over vast distances of the ocean, which gives them an ability to migrate with climate change and be able to recover from habitat disturbance. The scientists found that seagrass fruit and flowers spread by hitching rides on ocean animals, in animal feces, and in ocean currents. Phys.org


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Creature Feature: Leatherback Sea Turtle

This creature feature is on leatherback sea turtles

A leatherback sea turtle hatchling (Dermochelys coriacea) in the U.S. Virgin Islands. (Photo: Tim Calver / www.timcalver.com)

If you’re an ocean lover, you’ve probably heard of the mighty leatherback sea turtle—the largest of the seven sea turtle species. Leatherback sea turtles can grow over six feet in length, and weigh more than 2,000 pounds.  Besides their massive size, their unique appearance makes them easily distinguishable from the other sea turtle species. They lack a solid carapace, and instead have a dense layer of black, leather-like tissue, for which they’re aptly named.


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Ocean Roundup: Sea Turtles Released after Swallowing Fish Hooks, UK Builds Massive Salt Marsh to Protect Coastline, and More

Ten kemp's ridleys were released after swallowing fishing hooks

A kemp’s ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) sea turtle. (Photo: Terry Ross / Flickr Creative Commons)

- Ten sea turtles that were rehabilitated after swallowing fishing hooks in the Gulf of Mexico were released into the wild over the weekend. These ten turtles are among 213 endangered kemps ridley sea turtles brought to the Institute of Marine Mammal Studies this year after swallowing fishing hooks around Mississippi. NOLA Media Group


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Photos: Oceana Launches Expedition to Balearic Seamounts

Oceana will venture to the Balearic islands to record seamounts

A hermit crab holding a big sponge pictured during the Oceana expedition to the Balearic seamounts. (Photo: Flickr / Oceana in Europe)

Earlier this week, Oceana launched an expedition to document three seamounts located between the islands of Mallorca, Ibiza, and Formentera, all of which belong to the Balearic Islands. Using an underwater robot known as a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), a team of Oceana marine scientists will capture footage at depths of up to 3,280 feet. The 10-day expedition will allow Oceana to learn about and map areas of ecological importance that are in need of conservation.


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Video: Watch Dozens of Baby Loggerhead Sea Turtles Scurry to the Ocean

This sea turtle cam caught a nest hatch in Florida

Loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings make their way to the ocean in Florida. (Photo: FloridaKeysTV / Florida Keys Turtle Cam) 

It’s that wonderful time of year again on the East Coast: sea turtle hatching season! Turtle nests—from green sea turtles to loggerheads, Kemp’s ridleys, and even more species—are starting to hatch from Virginia to the Gulf of Mexico. If you’re a sea turtle lover and haven’t made it to the beach to catch a nest hatch, don’t worry—the Florida Keys Turtle Cam has got you covered.


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Baby Sea Turtles Found to Make Noise to Coordinate Hatching

Leatherback sea turtles make noises

Leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) hatching from their nest in the U.S. Virgin Islands. (Photo: Oceana / Tim Calver)

If you’ve ever witnessed a sea turtle nest hatch, you’ve probably noticed that it seems like these reptiles emerge from their nests in silence. Scientists have long assumed that too, but a new study adds to a growing body of literature that finds that baby sea turtles can in fact make noise—and this communication is key to a successful hatching  process.


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Video: Migratory 'Superhighway' Possibly Discovered Between Costa Rica and the Galapagos

Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas)

Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) (Photo: Oceana / Eduardo Sorensen)

One green sea turtle may soon become one of the most well-known sea turtles around the world, after he clued researchers into a possible migratory “superhighway” between Costa Rica and the Galapagos last month.


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