A rare two-headed turtle is alive and thriving, surprising scientists

Photo Credit: PopSci

A diamondback terrapin turtle hatched a couple weeks ago with two heads, a condition called bicephaly. The two-skulled, six-legged reptile was brought into a Massachusetts wildlife center, and while it currently seems healthy, veterinarians are continuing to closely monitor its health.

The hatchling looks like a pair of conjoined twins, with two independently moving heads poking out of its green shell. When the turtle splashes around in water, each skull comes up at different times to breathe, and each head controls its own set of three legs. X-rays also show that hidden inside the shell are two distinct gastrointestinal tracts—though they partially share a spine. The Birdsey Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable, MA, has a terrapin program, so the two-headed reptile was brought in on September 22, shortly after hatching at a protected terrapin nesting site in Barnstable.

The Center introduced the little guy in a recent Facebook post.

“When they came in, wow—it knocked us on our butts because we’ve never seen a bicephaly animal or turtle before,” Katrina Bergman, CEO of the New England Wildlife Centers, told The Washington Post.

Read more here PopSci

Baby sea turtle found dead in South Florida had 104 pieces of plastic in its body

The Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton shared a photo of a dead baby sea turtle next to the pieces of plastic that were found inside its body. The turtle washed ashore in Boca Raton. (Gumbo Limbo Nature Center / Courtesy)

Dozens of tiny pieces of plastic dot the counter top next to the dead baby sea turtle.

The 104 remnants, which range from a wrapper to a twist tie used in trash bags, were found inside a baby sea turtle that washed ashore in Boca Raton this week.

”We found a piece of a balloon. There was a wrapper that goes on the outside of bottles,” said Whitney Crowder, a sea turtle rehabilitation coordinator at the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca.

After the center shared a photo of the turtle next to the bits of plastic on Facebook, the image went viral, having been shared more than 3,100 times.

News Source: https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/fl-ne-baby-sea-turtle-dead-plastic-inside-stomach-20191004-puncgag25rf4tehj7xd4javt7q-story.html

This is why we need to keep plastic out of the oceans and upcycle/recycle and reuse everything, in order to keep the carbon footprint prints low and or nonexistent. Not to mention it will keep plastic from hurting our animal life.

Stop the extinction of sea turtles

Petition By: Trieu Nguyen

Sea turtles from all around the world are becoming critically endangered due to pollution, global warming and poachers hunting them for their eggs, shells and leather. My goal for this campaign is to educate the community in why we should help save the sea turtle and stop poaching. It is important the we save sea turtle because they have an important role in our marine eco system, the ocean cycle and food chain will become unbalance without sea turtles causing other species such as Jelly fish to overpopulated and sae grass to die.

Nearly all species of sea turtle are classified as endangered, to this day six out of seven species of sea turtle are becoming critically endangered from all around the world. Human activities have tipped the scales against the survival of these ancient marine animals, slaughtered for their eggs, meat, skin and shells. They also face habitat destruction and accidental capture in fishing gear, climate change also has a massive impact on turtle. Climate change alters sand temperatures which then affects the sex of hatching. Sea turtle habitats are degraded and destroyed by coastal development, this include both shoreline and seafloor alterations, such as nesting beach degrading, seafloor dredging, vessel traffic, construction and alteration of vegetation.

Sea turtles are an important part of the Eco system, and they are rapidly dying that why change is needed to save these ancient creatures. These turtles are dying due to pollution in our waters and poachers hunting them for food and to make products. Without sea turtles, other marine species will become overpopulated and sea grass will die off causing fishes that depend on them will die off. These are the reason why we need to start doing something to save the turtles.

Sea turtles are suffering from pollution that we carelessly throwing in our ocean all over the world. They are vulnerable to pollution at all stages in life, from eggs to catchings to juveniles to adult life. The pollutants that we throw in the waters include plastic, toxic metals, pcb’s, petroleum products, agricultural and industrial runoff. Pollution chemical may cause immediate harm to sea turtles through direct contact or can build up in tissues over time and lead to immunosuppression resulting in disease and death. Sea turtles suffer from all this pollutions and we are doing nothing about it, we’re only making it worse by illegally hunting them for their eggs, meat, leather and shells.

Poachers are a big problem all around the world, they are hunting sea turtles to extinction. Critically endangered sea turtles are being hunted for the eggs, meat, leather and shells. The population of the critically endangered sea turtle has declined more then 75% in the Pacific Ocean. The key threat to these endangered animals are poachers and illegal trades.

Sea turtles have a very important role in our ocean, they are essential to the Eco system. Turtles are important as scavengers, herbivores, carnivores and often contribute significant biomass to the ecosystems. They break down the energy of plant materials and convert them into protein. Green turtles feed on sea grasses and seaweeds that grow on the ocean floor. These sea grasses are home to other marine life such as seahorses and also serve as breeding ground for fishes. However, they must be kept short to remain healthy and this is where the turtles come in. If turtles were to ever go extinct, sea grasses would eventually die off and this would in turn affect the marine life and eventually human life as well.

In order for these horrific things to change, we must take action to stop poaching and reduce the pollution in the ocean. Action needs to be taken because sea turtle have a very important role in the marine life. Without sea turtle, fishes will also die which affects us in the future that why we must act, and I need your help with this campaign to make it possible.

Petition: https://www.causes.com/campaigns/922433-stop-the-extinction-of-sea-turtles/description

Petition: Save Jax Beach Baby Sea Turtles from certain deaths because of Artifical Light

Petition by Casey Jones

The City of Jacksonville Beach and Beach Energy are refusing to protect endangered and threatened nesting mother sea turtles and baby sea turtle hatchlings by ignoring the effect of light pollution (artificial light) used along their beach shoreline.  Parking lots adjacent to beach accesses and right next to the sand dunes have 25-30 foot light poles with super bright light LED light bulbs, which is against Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Sea Turtle Protection Rules.  FWC rules state that only amber LED Sea Turtle Friendly lights are to be used that close to the beach.

Light Pollution (artificial light) is so bright on Jacksonville Beach that it is detering nesting mother sea turtles from coming ashore to lay their eggs, this is called a “False Crawl.”  When a mother sea turtle tries multiple times to nest and the beach is too bright, she will get stressed and deposit her eggs in the ocean, killing the baby sea turtles instantly.  It is a shame that the baby sea turtles do not have a fighting chance of survival. 

If the mother sea turtle does by small chance nest, research has proven that illegal lights along beaches will cause hatchlings to become disoriented and travel away from the ocean, towards artificial lights and sadly they lose their chance of survival. 

Jacksonville Beach Sea Turtle Lighting Ordinance is not up to date with FWC guidelines and has been out of date for over a decade.  We are demanding that the city update their ordinance and make Beaches Energy change out the illegal lights in the parking lots and down First Street.

To prevent sea turtle deaths caused by light confusion we encourage Jacksonville Beach to update their Lighting Ordinance to FWC compliance just like in neighboring Neptune Beach, Atlantic Beach and Ponte Vedra Beach.  Ordinances like these prevent thousands of sea turtle deaths each year. The ordinance is needed to protect the endangered and threatened sea turtles who use Jacksonville Beach to nest and hatch a vital new generation. 

Help me get the word out and give these mothers and little babies a fighting chance to nest and live – sign and share the petition today, please.

Petition: Save the Jax Beach Turtles

Turtles And The Road

It’s dangerous for turtles during their mating seasons. In most countries, roads with cars driving by are the main obstacles in their way. Some drivers don’t stop or yield when they see turtles crossing.

This has caused a decrease in the number of the turtle population. In other words, if turtles can’t survive the roads to mate, it’s likely that some turtle species may end up going extinct.

However, if people are kind-hearted enough to help. Here’s what can be done:

First and foremost don’t put yourself or others in danger. Put your hazard lights on and slow down. This will alert other drivers to do the same.

Second, if you see a turtle on their back and if there are no other vehicles, put hazard lights on in case a car might come and gently flip the turtle right side up. Then move away so they may continue their journey.

Third, start a petition or attend town meetings to ask for turtle crossing signs to be added in the area. As well as a slower mph, sign.

If you see an injured turtle, get them the help they need. Either call animal rescue or control. Or handle them yourself, by way of towel/shirt or some kind of cloth to pick them up with. Get them to a veterinarians office or rescue immediately.

Summer and Spring are usually the busiest of seasons for rescues and veterinarians when it comes to turtles being injured by cars.

While driving or biking please be aware of your surroundings. Pay close attention to the roads at all times. The truth of the matter is these deaths and injuries can be avoided if people just paid attention and or cared.

Animal Rescue Group Wants Your Old Bras To Help Save Injured Turtles

INDIAN TRAIL, N.C. (CBS Local) — An animal rescue group in North Carolina area wants your old bras. It may sound funny, but this is no joke.

Carolina Waterfowl Rescue caused a bit of a bruhaha on social media last week when it requested discarded bras to help save the lives of turtles.

It’s not the bra itself they want, however. They use the clasps to weld turtles’ cracked shells back together.

“It acts like a little fixator, it’s the eyelets that we need,” Keenan Freitas at the Carolina Waterfowl Rescue told CBS affiliate WBTV.

Read more here: Rescue Group Asking for bra donations

Sea turtle found dead with spear through its head at Florida national park

Posted: Jun 27, 2019 / 01:33 PM EDT / Updated: Jun 27, 2019 / 01:33 PM EDT

(Photo: Biscayne National Park)

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (WFLA) — Wildlife officials and federal investigators are looking into the death of a sea turtle that was found with a spear through its head near Biscayne National Park, The Miami Herald reported.

The green sea turtle was found Friday afternoon near Elliot Key by a group of anglers fishing the flats, a park’s service law enforcement ranger said. 

The animal had been poached, according to park officials who are trying to find the person responsible.

Sea turtles are a threatened or endangered species. Killing a sea turtle can result in a criminal conviction. Offenders can also be tried civilly. Anyone who is convicted may face up to one year in prison and/or a maximum fine of $100,000.

Those with information about the dead sea turtle are being asked to call National Park Service investigators at 305-242-7740.