Leatherback Turtle Journey
Have you ever wondered how far your pet wanders? Though not technically a “pet,” one big leatherback turtle traveled 13,000 miles over almost two years—without getting lost!
You’ve probably heard about pets that get lost for days—and even years—at a time, and then return to their owners. But did you hear about the turtle who wandered through the oceans of the world for over 600 days just to find the best place for a bite to eat?The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) tracked a rather large leatherback turtle from her nesting grounds in Indonesia all the way to the west coast of the U.S., where she found some good grub there off the coast. And she made this 13,000-mile trip over 600 days–all without getting lost! Leatherback turtles are the largest turtles to live in the ocean and can weigh up to 2,000 lbs. That’s about the size of a Volkswagen Beetle. And their shells are almost six feet long, which would just slip under most doorways.
This leatherback apparently had a lot of fans interested in her adventure. An international “paparazzi” followed her via satellite to determine her migration path across international waters. By tracking her movements during such a long journey, the scientists with NOAA hope to learn more about the threats that face such an amazing creature. Already, leatherbacks have become something of international “ambassadors,” the scientists say, as different communities cooperate to learn more about how to protect them. That’s important, since some endangered sea turtles are just one or two members shy of extinction.
It doesn’t appear that the scientists bothered to name their famous leatherback. What would you name her? Let us know in the comments below.