Santa the turtle


After getting two big snow storms last weekend, followed by very cold temperatures, we thought that we probably would not be getting any additional stranded turtles for 2008. Usually, once the snow, ice, and freezing temperatures arrive any turtles that are left in Cape Cod Bay die from severe hypothermia. Imagine our surprise when we heard that a live loggerhead turtle had been found stranded on Cape Cod on Sunday December 21!

The turtle was brought to the New England Aquarium on December 22, and is receiving medical care. He is not yet warm enough or strong enough to be swimming very much, but he should be getting stronger over the next few days. The picture shows him resting in a nice padded bed of blankets and towels. Our staff named him Santa. The loggerhead turtles that tend to strand in New England are juveniles that are much larger than the juvenile Kemp's ridley turtles that also strand on Cape Cod. We think that the larger body size of the loggerheads allows them to tolerate colder temperatures than the smaller Kemp's ridley turtles. As a result, we usually see the largest loggerheads near the end of the stranding season, and the smallest ridleys at the beginning of the stranding season.

Happy Holidays,
Dr. Innis

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