New research has found that migrating sea turtles don’t know exactly where they’re going

Scientists have found that loggerhead turtles often wander thousands of miles to find a nearby island.

presumably it is not the destination that matters most, but the path that leads to it. Everything seems to indicate that this travel cliche is very strong tortoiseshell turtles took to heart.

The question is whether these creatures really seize the day, live in the moment and want to swim longer to admire the scenic views, have they very big navigation problems† Scientists already know the answer to this question.

wandering animals they have been intriguing and enigmatic researchers for hundreds of years. Migrations are often associated with life cycles or changes that occur in the environment. Different species have different reasons for migrating.

Some go to winter, others forage for food, and individual species explore new places suitable for breeding.

The reasons for migration are clear, but scientists they are not always sure how the creatures cope on long journeys. Scientists have been trying for years to understand how, among other things Sea turtles reach their destination and often travel thousands of miles.

An international team of scientists has finally decided to solve this mystery. Researchers analyzed the path turtles take† To this end, they tagged 22 people and tracked them via satellite.

The creatures migrated from the breeding grounds of the Chagos archipelago and foraged for food in the Indian Ocean. Based on this, they created Map “The Turtle Movement”.

Scientists have come to surprising conclusions. It appeared that these reptiles could circle several times around the island, which was 176 km away from them. One of them made up even more this way 1,300 kilometers. According to the study authors, turtles they can’t boast of great navigation skills.

Scholars have discovered that most of these marine reptiles traveled twice the distance they should. Moreover, such wanderings make that the turtles have no access to food for months.

– If the turtles had been great seafarers, they would probably have reached the desired island directly from the nesting site. Unfortunately this is not the case. We suspect the individuals we tracked have not eaten for four or five months – claims Prof. Graeme Hays, a marine biologist at Deakin University and lead author of the study.

Until now it was believed that turtles use the Earth’s magnetic field to orient themselves in the open ocean† Prof. Hays says the creatures probably help each other in this way, but they do it very clumsily.

– Their navigation skills don’t let them determine the exact route. They can only find out if they are not too far from land – claims the scientist. He also adds that compared to other animals, these marine reptiles usually want to beat them only about 150 km.

The authors note that: despite the poor detection capabilities of the geomagnetic signalturtles probably usage your senses to orient you. Prof. Hays suspects, among other things, the smell.

In the final stage of the journey, the animals can smell the scents of the island they are trying to reach. Scientists also say that reptiles can recognize proximity to land as the water becomes shallower.

tortoiseshell turtlesEretmochelys imbricata) are a species of reptile in the sea turtle family. Unlike their relatives, they do not live in open oceans, but in shallow lagoons and coral reefs† They mainly feed on sea sponges, small fish, mollusks and jellyfish. Adults are about 1.3 meters long and weigh on average 80 kg.

Because of hunting and fishing the population of this species around the world has drastically decreased† Unfortunately, their meat is considered a delicacy in many places on the planet. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has recognized it as: a species that is seriously threatened with extinction.

Source: Journal of the Royal Society Interface

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