26 September 2008

Greens and Loggerheads

When I assessed the green (SR7201) and loggerhead (SR7241) nests last night, there were stragglers in each nest that still had belly folds and needed a day or two in an artificial nest (a cooler) before they were ready to swim.

We keep each nest in a separate cooler to prevent contamination, but having both on hand does present a good opportunity to see the difference between the two. Just look at those bellies... Obviously, neither likes to be on their backs!

Green sea turtle heads are slightly rounded, though many of them still have egg teeth, which makes their true profile hard to see.

If we could get a close look at their jaws, we'd see that greens have a serrated covering on their lower jaws to help them chew through sea grass!

Greens only have four costal scutes, compared to the five on loggerheads. Some of our greens had five, but they were obvious anomalies... Sometimes the pattern of the scutes is a little off!

After releasing just one last night, I did take seven more green hatchlings to the Gulfarium, where they have been placed with their siblings from Monday, who are all either in the Gulf or doing well.

While there, I had a chance to check on Kujo as well. One of our park volunteers found her (or him) in another nesting area and brought it to the Gulfarium after noticing that it had lost a flipper! Despite that, or because of it, this little one is a fighter, biting at Gulfarium staff so much s/he earned the name Kujo!

I couldn't resist including this picture... It looks like s/he's afraid of heights.

1 comment:

Robert V. Sobczak said...

I just discovered your blog ... its terrific.

As you may know, Gustav did a number to our turtle nests down here in Naples.

I too am a "Florida blogger" ... specializing in "water". I'm a hydrologist with the National Park Service.

I am going to add your blog to my blog list.

Take Care

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