Study: Hatchling drifting influences adult turtle migration

05/16/2014 | BBC

The wanderings of turtle hatchlings adrift in the ocean's currents may influence their migration patterns as adults, according to research to be published in Ecology. Scientists looking at satellite tracking data found that turtles tend to return to places they drifted to when they were very young, if those places were close and good sources of food. "Hatchlings' swimming abilities are pretty weak, and so they are largely at the mercy of the currents. If they drift to a good site, they seem to imprint on this location, and then later actively go there as an adult," said study leader Rebecca Scott of Germany's Geomar Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research.

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