A super-turtle without a name still needs to eat!

This is an update on a rescued loggerhead sea turtle brought to the Aquarium on January 2. The rescue team put up a poll up allowing you to help name this turtle. The winning name was announced in this post.

Our New Year turtle started being offered food on Saturday and like most loggerhead patients, this one started eating right away!

Like a typical loggerhead this turtle was sleeping in the corner at the bottom of the pool. A very good sign. Why is this a good sign? Being able to sleep at the bottom of the tank usually indicates that the turtle does not have any GI gas and is unlikely to be suffering from pneumonia. If a turtle suffers from either ailment they usually float at the top of the pool or do not rest flat on the bottom of the tank.

Wake up and smell the herring!

The chase begins... You may notice that the herring appears a little thin. When the turtles first start eating we only feed pieces of food that contain no skeletal structure or what we call No Hard Parts (NHP). The GI of the turtles after being stranded slow to almost a stop and if we feed items that may not easily pass through the digestive system items may become stuck and block food from passing through. Or worse a bone could puncture through an intestine causing a perforation to occur. Once we know for sure the GI is moving we then start giving them larger pieces of fish and squid.

Normally loggerheads don't need the tongs. But, because of the bluntness of their beak and the flatness of the herring fillet if it lands on the bottom they sometimes struggle to pick up the fillet. Occasionally the turtle may give up on eating if they become frustrated. The ridley's and greens on the other hand can easily grab pieces off the tank bottom due to the shape of their beaks.

After a good snack a well-deserved breath is needed!

Here is my shameless plug for naming this turtle Beast. In X-Men The Beast is an intellectual, well-versed, problem solving individual and does not always need to rely on brute strength to get things done.

Watching the loggerheads from the other side of the glass I sometimes wonder if they are not actually watching me. You can see their eyes follow you and one can only guess as to what they are actually thinking. Unlike the ridleys that are usually frantic swimming about the tank or the greens that follow you around, not because they are curious but because they think you are going to feed them the loggerheads have a cool detachment. They're big, strong, curious and smart!

Definitely sounds like Beast to me! (UPDATE: Find out the winning name here.)



  1. Name him Clark (as in Clark Kent).

  2. Do normal turtles have names?