The NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher welcomed two new hatchling loggerhead sea turtles last month! Our new additions will serve as the upcoming year’s sea turtle ambassadors and help educate visitors about their cousins in the wild.
The hatchlings came from a nest located on Fort Fisher’s State Recreation Area. The nest was laid on June 17, 2015. Forty-eight days later the nest hatched on August 3, 2015. The nest contained 112 eggs. Of those eggs, 104 hatched and 8 did not. Seventy-two hours after a nest hatches, it is excavated to count the eggs. The two hatchlings received by the Aquarium were found in the bottom of the nest during excavation on August 6, 2015. You can learn more about this process in our nest excavation lesson plan.
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 weekly 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.
Follow our blog each week 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 turtle’s weights and lengths so far:
|Turtle A||Turtle B|
|Date (2015-2016)||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.