Published on June 16th, 2013 | by James Ayre


Loggerhead Turtles Use Sight To Hunt Jellyfish — Not Sound Or Smell, Research Finds

June 16th, 2013 by

Loggerhead turtles rely on their vision while hunting for jellyfish in the open ocean — not their hearing or sense of smell, new research has found. The new research — from the University of Tokyo — was done by tracking the turtles’ underwater movements with with 3D loggers and National Geographic Crittercams.

Image Credit: Loggerhead Turtle via Flickr CC

Image Credit: Loggerhead Turtle via Flickr CC

The researchers also found that the turtles observed for the study foraged for jellyfish — and similar prey — roughly twice every hour. The researchers think that this means that the turtles may be more reliant upon jellyfish for nutrition than was previously thought.

“Previous studies have shown that turtle diets vary with their age, habitat and other factors, but adult turtles depend on deep-sea hard-shelled animals like mollusks for food. The gelatinous prey studied here are low-energy, easily digestible foods that are unlikely to replace these other prey. However, the authors suggest that opportunistic foraging on such prey may benefit loggerhead turtles during oceanic migrations, when prey at the bottom of the sea is harder to reach.”

The researchers note that the new insight into the diet of the endangered animal may aid in the development of maps detailing where the “areas with higher foraging opportunities along oceanic migratory routes for loggerhead turtles” are.

The new research was just published in the open access journal PLOS ONE.

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About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

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