A new study found that green sea turtles rely on a “crude map” to navigate the ocean, often going several hundred kilometers off course before successfully arriving at their destination. Using GPS tracking devices, the research team tracked the migrations of female green turtles from nesting grounds on Diego Garcia Island in the Indian Ocean to foraging grounds on isolated oceanic islands. Green turtles demonstrate a particularly high fidelity to foraging grounds, which made them an ideal species to study. The researchers say they hope their findings will help inform conservation efforts to protect green turtles, which are an endangered species. When baby sea turtles hatch from their eggs, they skitter across the sand to the shoreline before disappearing into the open ocean. Many years later, by some remarkable feat, female turtles find their way back, sometimes traveling thousands of kilometers, to arrive at the exact beach where they were born. This time, it’s to lay their own eggs. It’s believed that turtles use the Earth’s geomagnetic field to find their way, but there is still a lot that’s unknown about this process. A team of scientists, who published a new paper in Current Biology this month, used satellite […]

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