13 September 2005

"Hain't we got the tekmology?"

The WWF has tagged a bunch of leatherback turtles in Central and South America (though the one in this photo was caught and tagged in Monterrey... still a handsome fella, though, right?) with satellite transmitters. This allows them to track their migratory patterns from nesting beaches to feeding grounds thousands of miles away.

In and of itself, scientists tracking turtles isn't exciting news. What IS exciting (in a "I'm a raging nerd" kind of way) is that you can track them, too.

The WWF has posted each tagged turtle's route on the Internet. It shows their position, how deep they dive and for how long. It's pretty friggin' cool.

As is the leatherback, the largest marine turtle, whose shell is not made of bony plates like other turtles, but soft tissue.

And for $10k to the WWF, you can sponsor one of the tagged turtles. I'm gonna get one and keep it in my bathtub, protect him from dangerous fishing nets and plastic bags. It'll be like Free Willy... he'll leap over the jetty and swim to freedom as I look tearily on.

But I digress. Here's the Reuters article about the project (Link).

And here's where you can track the turtles: WWF site.

They named one of them Shelldon.

Why yes, I did do a middle school project on the leatherback turtle... how did you guess?

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