Can sea turtles read Earth’s magnetic field? Adult sea turtles would leave their birth place, migrate thousands of miles n the ocean and still know to come back to the exact location. But how do sea turtles know their way back home?
Sea turtles have a complex life system that has bee triggering the curiosity of scientists, for over 50 years. After hatching, baby sea turtles, appear to be programmed to know, they have to go into the ocean. The ones who make it to grown ups, they swim thousands of miles in the ocean before returning to the exact beach and location where they first start from.
Study results, implied that sea turtles are able to imprint the exact magnetic field of the beach they were born on and this information helps them to return, said researcher J. Brothers of the University of North Carolina.
One thing that previous studies has proved, was that sea turtles take use of Earths magnetic field to know they way out of the ocean. But their knowledge of returning to their natal beach, which before them was chosen by their mother, remaines unknown.
Some scientists actually said that sea turtles and other animals like salmon, imprint on magnetic fields from the early stages of their lives, but this opinion has been quite impossible to test in the open waters.
New studies has taken a different approach of the matter, and said that if indeed turtles use the magnetic field to return to their birth place, this means the natural changes of the planet’s magnetic field could affect the where sea turtles nest, said J. Brothers.
They investigated a data base consisting out of 19 years of studying turtle nesting along Florida’s eats coast. There was a slight correlation between the small changes of Earth’s magnetic field and how turtles distributed their space.
When the magnetic field shifted, the magnetic prints of surrounding location, along the beach moved closer. This process lead the turtles to get more compact and moved to a shorter piece of coastline. In the areas were the magnetic prints were more apart, the turtles spread around and laid eggs in nests that were located at greater distances from one another.
How sea turtles are able to detect the frequency of the magnetic field is still unknown. It could be that, their brain’s small magnetic particles are programmed to correlate with Earth’s which provides them the basic answers, still this remains a simple assumption.
Image Source: Hawaii Aloha Travel