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Introduces the characteristics of tortoises and turtles.

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Traveling The Ocean Blue.
Teacher Contributed

Traveling The Ocean Blue

Suckerfish (Remora remora) hitch a ride on a leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea).

Now, That's Some Serious Swimming!

Swimming is great exercise and a traditional summer pasttime for many people. But as good at swimming as some people are, people just don't cut it for epic swims, even among air breathers. Take sea turtles, for example. When they leave the beach after laying eggs, they may not return for years. Where do they go? That's exactly what researchers are starting to learn.

"No Duhs" and Head Scratchers

If you need help scratching a mental itch, use the resources below:

  1. What kinds of information do researchers get from radio tags? How do they work? How is this information used to help understand the species? Can you think of any way the tags could be changed to gain even more information? Explain your thinking as fully as possible.
  2. How long does it take a Costa Rican leatherback turtle to return to its nesting ground? Are you surprised by this length of time? Why or why not?
  3. What does the length of this interval mean to people seeking to manage leatherback turtle populations? How does this affect their ability to study these populations and understand population declines?
  4. Do leatherback turtles in Surinam follow similar migratory patterns to leatherback turtles from Costa Rica? Can you think of any geographic reason to explain this situation? How does this situation affect attempts to protect these populations? Is one easier to protect than the other? Why or why not?


A mother returning to the sea after laying her eggs.

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