Sea turtles and the need of the Sun for orientation


The sea turtle, (Cheloniidae), includes the family of the order of the turtles, being that all the species belonging to this family live in the sea. The group consists of 6 genera and 7 species, all of which are threatened with extinction.

Sea turtles inhabit all the seas and still areas of tropical and subtropical water.

Scientists have found that sea turtles use sunrise to orient themselves and return home, according to a study this Thursday by James Cook University in Australia.

Often these reptiles, well known for their guidance abilities, travel long distances, even making them through unknown waters to return to their natural habitats.

Turtles seem to adjust the direction of their paths during dawn, using the light provided by the Sun, as well as the orientation of the sun, to guide them in their journeys and journeys.

The team of scientists investigating this case has already captured 22 sea turtles and then transported them to another place, which would have been 8 to 28 kilometers from their ‘homes’, and followed its route through satellite.

On average, the animals traveled 8 hours and then stopped and rested for about 9 hours. Then they would change direction at the end of this rest break, usually during the early hours of the morning.

The research at James Cook University suggests a new explanation for sea turtles’ sense of direction, as there is some evidence that these reptiles rely on sea currents, winds and even geomagnetic signals (relative to terrestrial magnetism).

“They may find important clues to direct their short-range movements during dawn, as it has been observed that significant corrections occur at this time of day”, said one of the study’s authors, Takahiro Shimada, quoted in University announcement.