When sea turtle hatchlings emerge from their sand-covered eggs and scurry quickly toward the ocean, we know that, if they’re lucky enough to avoid predators, they’re helped forward on their journeys by the ocean currents. What we don’t always know is where their journeys lead, even during their first hours at sea. From The New York Times:

With the help of a new gadget called a nano-tag, a miniature acoustic device that weighs less than two-hundredths of an ounce, Rebecca Scott and several colleagues for the first time got detailed records of the early hours of baby turtles, information that adds to understanding of this internationally endangered species…

Dr. Scott said that the use of such tags on turtle hatchlings could lead to a better understanding of how the young behave after they hatch, which can be matched with recent work that relies on computer models of ocean currents to track where they go.

Of the seven species of sea turtle, six are threatened or endangered, so there is a great need to understand their behavior and migrations.

Related videos: more ScienceTake, more baby animals, and more turtles, including The Survival of the Sea Turtle and Olive Ridley Sea Turtle hatchlings scurry out to sea.

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