Leatherbacks Dive Deep for Recon - Oceana USA
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August 12, 2008

Leatherbacks Dive Deep for Recon

BY: efrost

Researchers at the University of Swansea in Britain recently published a study in the British Journal of Experimental Biology with an explanation of the mysterious deep diving behavior of leatherback sea turtles. Sea turtles spend most of their time in shallow surface waters, where they eat and breed, but occasionally they will make a break toward the bottom of the ocean and dive to more than ¾ of a mile below the surface of the water. Scientists have had a handful of theories for why the turtles would dive to these depths, including to escape their predators, to cool off, or to hunt for food. The group found that, in fact, the turtles seem to be heading to the depths in order to check out some of their jellyfish-like prey. This particular kind of prey are found in deeper water during the day and then migrate to the surface at night, so the turtles will occasionally dive down to see where their food will be when it surfaces. Sneaky![Image via www.montereybay.com]