Posted by Blair | 12.06.2017 | Conservation, Marine Science, Turtle Talk

Sea Turtle Scientific Research

Dr. Archie Carr was one of the first people to intensively study the sea turtle life cycle in the 1950s. What puzzled him most? The “lost years” in turtle’s life history – after they leave the nest and before they return as juveniles or adults.

He collected data suggesting the decline of green turtles in Costa Rica and Florida, and led the way for advances in the flipper tagging techniques. Consequently, through his research and writings, Dr. Carr inspired people to help conserve these wonderful creatures. Today, research into learning more about turtle species and life cycles is being conducted all around the world, even right here in the Carolinas!

North Carolina Sea Turtle Research

  • Scientists at the Duke Marine Laboratory in Beaufort, NC, perform lathroscopic techniques to determine the sex of hatchling turtles. Essentially, we want to know if we have more girls than boys because of global warming and increased sand temperatures. Turtle populations will be in future trouble if only female turtles are developing.
  • Other scientists at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill study the orientation and navigation of sea turtles.
  • Conducted in South Carolina, offshore research on elusive subadults and males requires trawling for turtles that never come ashore. Scientists then measure, weigh and sample the turtles to help solve the mysteries of their life cycles.
  • Ongoing sea turtle studies in the Carolinas include sex ratio, navigational and migratory research.