I’m back from vacation now! Woo! So to get the juices flowing, and the posts ramped back up, here is this Sunday’s Turtle blog post. This one about rare sea turtles beaching themselves on new-years.
Just before New Year’s Eve, the Seaside Aquarium was kept busy with a green sea turtle and a shark both hitting the beaches of the north coast. The salmon shark find is a common occurrence on Oregon beaches, but the sea turtle is rather rare.
The green sea turtle – a species which is ironically reddish in hue – washed ashore in Cannon Beach just south of Haystack Rock, said the aquarium’s Tiffany Boothe.
"A family from Manzanita was out beach combing and found it," Boothe said. "They picked up the turtle and took it to their home where they contacted local authorities. The turtle’s carapace (shell) measures only 12 inches. It is the smallest sea turtle the aquarium staff has seen on the beach."
Boothe said it was likely dead by the time it hit the shore.
Aquarium manager Keith Chandler said these show up on average once every two years, as this kind of sea turtle normally hangs out about 20 miles offshore. They follow warm currents, and either the current dissipated into a colder one or the west winds of winter blew the turtle away from the current – in either case it died of exposure to the cold.