As every year before, the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher welcomed two more sea turtle hatchlings to our family this past summer. These hatchlings will serve as the upcoming year’s sea turtle ambassadors once our yearlings are released into the ocean.
The hatchlings came from a loggerhead sea turtle nest located on Kure Beach. The nest hatched on July 22, 2016. The nest contained 112 eggs. Of those eggs, 96 hatched and 16 did not. There were 6 live sea turtles found in the nest when it was excavated on July 25th; two of which we acquired with our permit from the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. Turtle A weighed 20.6 grams and was 4.5 cm long. Turtle B weighed 18.5 grams and was 4.3 cm long.
Just like last year’s hatchlings, the new arrivals will live in Aquarium care for a year, providing them a head start before being released into the ocean as yearlings. Again, we will be updating the weight and length measurements monthly on each blog post. Our staff uses the weight of the turtles to determine how much each turtle should be fed. Each turtle is fed a percentage of its body weight. The smaller the turtle, the larger the percentage they are fed. You can see these ratios here:
|Turtle Weight (grams)||Feed %|
Unless an animal is non-releasable and will be living at the aquarium for the rest of its life, animals do not receive names at the aquarium. However, your class has an opportunity to adopt one of our sea turtles. When you adopt a turtle, you will receive a certificate of participation that allows you the to name the turtle. Learn more about this program on our Adopt a Turtle page.
Our current yearlings that were introduced on the blog this time last year are continuing to grow! This week, Turtle A weighs 3455 grams and measures 28.0 cm long and Turtle B weighs 3220 grams and measures 26.6 cm long. They will be released to the Gulf Stream at the end of hurricane season. For their updated growth, refer back to this post.
Follow our blog each month and you can use the updated data to complete the Hatchling to Yearling lesson plan. Your class can graph the growth of the turtles over the course of the school year. See below the new turtle’s weights and lengths so far:
|Turtle A||Turtle B|
|Date||Weight (grams)||Length (centimeters)||Weight (grams)||Length (centimeters)|
For this data set we are using straight length. To learn more about this, watch our video on weighing and measuring sea turtles.