On Thursday, approximately 130 sea turtles were released off the North Carolina Coast, into the Gulf Stream. The sea turtles were recovering from hypothermia that was caused after a major drop in the water temperature occurred.
The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and the US Coast Guard joined forces in order to save the turtles from a possible death. The rescue mission was organized after a change in the climate happened in North Carolina, with some parts of the state dropping temperatures alarmingly. The teams found more than 100 freezing turtles floating or on the shore.
The turtles were brought in a rehabilitation facility in order to recover from hypothermia and afterwards they were taken to warmer waters, at 20 miles away from the shore. Then they released the turtles.
The sea turtles are also known as marine turtles and they are reptiles from the Testudines order. The sea turtles have a body plan that is more fusiform than that of the terrestrial or freshwater turtles. Because the volume of their bodies is not that large, the sea turtles can’t retract their head, arms and legs into their shell like the other turtles can. They can be easily distinguished from other turtles because of their inframarginal scutes that are placed on their plastron, the different shape and number of the scutes and by the scales on their head. The largest sea turtle is the leatherback, which can measure up to 5 feet. Most sea turtle species measure between 2 and 4 feet. The sea turtles can be traced back to the Late Jurassic.
Sea turtles can be found in all the oceans of the world, except for those situated in the polar region. Some sea turtles can travel large distances, even from one ocean to another and they can be found in the continental shelves waters. In their first years of life, the sea turtles spend most of their times floating in the seaweed mats. After the age of 5, the sea turtles reach adulthood and they move in areas that are closer to the shore. The females lay their eggs on the beaches.
Like any other reptiles, the sea turtles regulate the temperature of their bodies by the external temperature. They suffer from hypothermia when the water temperatures decrease to less than 10 degrees Celsius. When they are cold stunned their heart rates decrease and they suffer from lethargy. As the turtles are practically paralyzed, they can easily be hurt by boats or predators. , As the approximately 130 sea turtles were released off the North Carolina Coast, they can now be considered safe.
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