# WAVE Foundation. Introduction. How to Use This Guide

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6 6 Geometric Turtle Activity

9 Temperature Will Tell - Activity Sheet Sea turtles lay their eggs in nests that they have built in the sand. The eggs will take about 60 days to hatch, during which time they need to be kept warm, about 29 degrees Celsius (C). At this temperature 50% will be males and 50% will be females. The eggs in the bottom of the nest are more insulated but may be a little cooler. The eggs in the top of the nest have less insulation and may be exposed to changes in temperature, either cooler or warmer, depending on the weather. Generally speaking, eggs that develop at a cooler temperature, less than 29 degrees C, will be male turtles, and eggs that develop at a warmer temperature, more than 29 degrees C, will be females. Use the following information to answer the questions. - Each nest contains 100 eggs. - At a temperature of 29 degrees C, eggs will develop 50% male, 50% female. - Average temperatures above 29 degrees C will yield all females; average temperatures below 29 degrees C will yield all males. - Eggs exposed to temperatures less than 25 degrees C and greater than 35 degrees C may not develop. - Formula to convert from Celsius to Fahrenheit: Degrees Fahrenheit = (1.8 x degrees Celsius) A turtle lays her eggs in a nest with a bottom temperature of 28 degrees C. The top of half of the nest gets warmer because the sun is out every day. The top half of the nest develops at a temperature of 30 degrees C. A. How many male sea turtles do you expect? B. How many female sea turtles do you expect? 2. Sand has been brought to the beach in large trucks to help a beach erosion problem; it is very coarse and not as packed as the natural sand. This sand is a poor insulator and not able to maintain consistent temperatures. A turtle lays her eggs in the new sand. The temperature of the whole nest is pictured on the thermometer to the left. A. Read the thermometer. What is the temperature in the nest? In degrees Celsius In degrees Fahrenheit B. What do you think will happen to the eggs in the nest? C. How many male sea turtles do you expect? D. How many female sea turtles do you expect? 3. The number of storms has been uncommonly high this summer and the coastal area where turtles lay their eggs has had lots of rain and very high tides. This has cooled the sand and the nests where sea turtle eggs have been laid. A. Read the thermometer to the left and determine the temperature of the nest. What is the temperature in In degrees Celsius In degrees Fahrenheit B. What do you think will happen to the eggs in the nest? C. How many male sea turtles do you expect? D. How many female sea turtles do you expect? 4. A dog discovers the nest and uncovers it, exposing the eggs to the bright sunlight. The average temperature of the nest climbs to 37 degrees C. A. Convert this temperature to Fahrenheit. B. What do you think will happen to the eggs in the nest? 9

11 The Struggle for Survival Sea turtles have been around for approximately 100 million years, in numbers too large to count. However, within the last 100 years their numbers have dramatically declined, placing all seven species on the IUCN (The World Conservation Union) Red List of Threatened Species. Each year, The IUCN reviews the conservation status of thousands of plants and animals and lists those in danger of extinction on the Red List. What is Happening to the Sea Turtles? The Threats: In the wild, sea turtles can live up to 40 or 60 years, but they face many dangers throughout their long life. It is estimated that only one in thousands will survive to adulthood and reproduce. Some of these dangers are natural threats such as disease, sickness, weather and predators. Until they can make it to the water from the nest, sea turtle hatchlings make a tasty meal for crabs, sea birds, raccoons and foxes, reptiles and ants. As young hatchlings in the ocean, they also have to contend with predators. It is not until they attain their adult size that the threat of predators declines to an occasional shark attack. Sea turtles have been enduring these natural threats for as long as they have been in the oceans, so it is not these threats that have created the current endangerment of the turtles. The turtles' plight is due to the actions of humans, both direct and indirect. Direct threats to sea turtles: Sea turtles and their eggs have long been a staple in many cultures' diets. Even with laws to protect the endangered turtles, the poaching of the turtles and their eggs is still a large problem with little or no enforcement of these laws. Sea turtles, like the Hawksbill, have also been hunted and killed for their shells for use in jewelry and personal products like combs and eyeglass frames. As long as there is a market and demand for these products, turtles will continue to be killed to provide the materials. Indirect threats to sea turtles: Indirect threats can be difficult to pinpoint and can be even harder to prevent, but they are probably the most significant cause of the dwindling sea turtle populations. They include: Commercial Fisheries. Turtles become entangled or ensnared in fishing gear and drown. Currently, trawl fisherman in many countries are required to use a Turtle Excluder Device (TED) to help keep turtles out of their nets. However, not all fisherman use these devices and turtles are still being killed. Habitat Degradation. The destruction of turtle habitats is limiting the ability of turtles to reproduce and repopulate. Turtles return to the same coast on which they hatched to mate and to lay their eggs. If the beach or habitat has changed or is perceived as dangerous, the turtle will abort the eggs at sea. Pollution. Trash, debris, sewage and chemicals are being dumped into our oceans and water ways in alarming quantities. This pollution kills aquatic life. Chemical pollution may be to blame for causing diseases that are killing the turtles. Solid waste pollution can be mistaken for food such as jellyfish, and ingested, blocking the turtle's intestinal tract. Turtles can also become entangled in debris and die. Matthew G odfrey 2004 Boating. As we have learned, a sea turtle's shell is not as hard as it seems. It is made of living tissue and is comprised of the turtle's backbone and ribs. Because sea turtles must surface to breathe, they can be hit with passing boat propellers that can slice through the shell or skull. Boaters moving at fast speeds in the water usually do not see the surfacing turtles. 11

13 Glossary Adaptation a) Adjustment to environmental conditions: (b) modification of an organism or its parts that makes it more fit for existence under the conditions of its environment; often hereditary Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary, 2002 Merriam-Webster, Inc. Amniotic Containing a thin membrane forming a closed sac around the embryo containing a fluid in which the embryo is immersed Arribada Great nesting aggregations 07/20/04 Beak a) The bill or nib of a bird, consisting of a horny sheath, covering the jaws. The form varied much according to the food and habits of the bird, and is largely used in the classification of birds. (b) A similar bill in other animals, as the turtles Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc. Calcareous Made of or containing calcium carbonate or calcium; associated with bones and egg shells Carapace A hard bony or chitinous outer covering, such as the fused dorsal plates of a turtle or the portion of the exoskeleton covering the head and thorax of a crustacean Characteristic A feature that helps to identify, tell apart, or describe recognizably; a distinguishing mark or trait Circumglobal Around or about the entire world Clutch The complete set of eggs produced or incubated at one time Cold-Stunned Disoriented due to hypothermia; applies mainly to cold-blooded animals that are trapped in cold waters Dehydrate To lose water or bodily fluids Direct Action Action that seeks to achieve an end directly and by the most immediately effective means Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc. Ectothermic Of or relating to an organism that regulates its body temperature largely by exchanging heat with its surroundings; cold-blooded Endangered To threaten with extinction Extinct No longer in existence; lost or especially having died out leaving no living representatives WordNet 1.6, 1997 Princeton University Flotilla A group moving together comprised of a large number of individuals; commonly used to decribe a group of sea turtles Habitat The area or environment where an organism or ecological community normally lives or occurs Herbivore An animal that feeds chiefly on plants Hydrodynamic Deals with the motion of fluids and the forces acting on solid bodies immersed in fluids and in motion; moves through liquid with minimal resistance Imprint To fix permanently in the memory Ingestion To take into the body by the mouth for digestion or absorption Indirect Not directly aimed or achieved Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc. Jurassic From 135 million to 190 million years ago WordNet 1.6, 1997 Princeton University Latitude The angular distance between an imaginary line around a heavenly body parallel to its equator and the equator itself WordNet 1.6, 1997 Princeton University Longitude An imaginary great circle on the surface of the earth passing through the north and south poles at right angles to the equator WordNet 1.6, 1997 Princeton University Metabolism The chemical processes occurring within a living cell or organism that are necessary for the maintenance of life. In metabolism some substances are broken down to yield energy for vital processes while other substances, necessary for life, are synthesized Myoglobin A red iron-containing protein pigment in muscles that is similar to hemoglobin but differs in the globin portion of its molecule, only one fourth the molecular weight of the hemoglobin and has a greater tendency to combine with oxygen Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary, 2002 Merriam-Webster, Inc. Orbit The path of a celestial body or an artificial satellite as it revolves around another body Plastron The ventral part of the shell of a turtle or tortoise Poaching To take fish or game in a forbidden area Prehensile Adapted for seizing, grasping, or holding, especially by wrapping around an object Southern Hemisphere The half of the earth south of the equator Threatened At risk of becoming endangered. Triassic From 190 million to 230 million years ago WordNet 1.6, 1997 Princeton University Trawl A large bag net attached to a beam with iron frames at its ends, and dragged at the bottom of the sea; used in fishing, and in gathering forms of marine life from the sea bottom Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc. 13

14 Sea Turtle Identification Cards Average size and weight: 27 inches and 85 pounds Diet: Crabs, clams, mussels, shrimp as well as fish, sea urchins, squid and jellyfish Range: Gulf of Mexico, Bahamas and western Atlantic Ocean, along the east coast from Florida to New York. Status: Critically Endangered Fact(s): The smallest of the sea turtles; nests annually, laying about two clutches of 100 eggs each year Kemp s Ridley Lepidochelys kempii Average size and weight: 27.5 inches and under 100 pounds Diet: Crustaceans, mollusks and tunicates as well as seaweed and sea grasses Range: Circumglobal- Found in tropical and subtropical coastal waters ; usually seen in large flotillas travelling between breeding and feeding grounds in the Eastern Pacific and Indian Ocean Olive Ridley Lepidochelys olivacea Average size and weight: inches and 300 pounds (largest was five feet and 871 pounds) Diet: Strict herbivores, eating sea grasses and algae; juveniles eat worms and young sea creatures as well as grasses and algae Range: Circumglobal in tropical and subtropical waters, near continental coasts and around islands Green Chelonia mydas Status: Endangered Fact(s): Known to participate in arribadas and reproduce annually Status: Endangered (C.E. in Mediterranean) Fact(s): Named for the color of its fat 14

15 Average size and weight: Up to eight feet and 1,300 pounds (Largest was 10 feet and 2,019 pounds) Diet: Jellyfish Leatherback Dermochelys coriacea Average size and weight: 36 inches and 150 pounds Diet: Sponges, anemones, squid and shrimp Hawksbill Eretmochelys imbricata Range: Circumglobal - ranging in most of the world s oceans, nests on beaches of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Range: : Circumglobal - the most tropical of all sea turtles; most common near coral reefs in the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific Status: Critically Endangered Status: Critically Endangered Fact(s): The largest, deepest diving and furthest traveled of all sea turtles; lack a hard shell but have a layer of tough, rubbery skin with tiny bone plates Fact(s): Were hunted to endangerment due to the desire for their shell; traditional tortoise shell products are made from the shell of these turtles Average size and weight: 39 inches and 150 pounds Diet: Sea cucumbers, mollusks, prawns, seaweed Range: North coast of Australia and gulf of Papua New Guinea Status: Data Deficient Fact(s): The most poorly understood of all sea turtles because of its limited range; Will only lay approximately 50 large eggs up to four times a season Flatback Natator depressus Average size and weight: 41 inches and 350 pounds Diet: Primarily carnivorous feeding on crustaceans, horseshoe crabs, clams, mussels and shrimp Range: Circumglobal - ranging in most of the worlds oceans; usually visible on continental shelves, in bays and estuaries and lagoons in temperate, subtropical and tropical waters Status: Endangered Loggerhead Caretta caretta Fact(s):Named for their very large head; also the most numerous of the US Atlantic Coast sea turtles 15

16 Paper Plate Turtles Craft Activity Box Turtle / Sea Turtle Objectives: Students will: Identify basic appendages of a turtle and explain their functions Be introduced to basic turtle morphology Materials: Paper plates, one per student Crayons or markers Glue or stapler Scissors Copies of turtle parts sheet, one per student (Optional Items: Brads, googly eyes) Procedure: 1. Choose a turtle type to color, either a sea turtle or a box turtle. 2. Take a paper plate and the turtle sheet. 3. Color the turtle sheet and plate bottom to resemble a real turtle and its shell. 4. Carefully cut out the turtle parts. One head (H), a left front leg (LF), a right front leg (RF), a left rear leg (LR), a right rear leg (RR) and a tail (T). 5. Place the area of the turtle cut out pieces behind the dotted line under the paper plate. Using glue or a stapler, attach the turtle cut out pieces in their appropriate places. Extension: Use brads to attach head, legs and tail so they can move. Use an additional plate for the plastron and stuff the turtle. Use cloth and transfer the turtle designs to the cloth and make a turtle pillow.

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19 No Bones About It Skeleton Activity Word Bank 1. Fill in the labels on the skeletal diagram using terms from the list. 2. What features look similar to a human skeleton? Skull Tail Ribs Bone plate Beak Vertebra (Backbones) Eye socket 3. What evidence do you see in the skeletal diagram that sea turtles evolved from land reptiles?

20 How do sea turtles measure up? You are a junior sea turtle biologist in the field. Can you identify the species of sea turtles you see just by their size? Use the scale, 1 inch = 18 inches, to estimate the turtles sizes. Use the size statistics on your turtle ID cards to determine the identity of each species. Measure turtles from tip of nose to tail then convert from the scale length to actual length. This will give you the actual total length (TL) measurement. Length = Height = 72 inches Length = Length = Name: Human Scale: 1 inch = 1.5 feet

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