Turtles took over @ARKive’s Twitter account yesterday when turtle expert Professor Brendan Godley answered your burning questions about sea turtles. We loved Brendan’s guest blogs about his turtle research and leatherback turtles, so we were delighted when he offered to take time out of his busy research schedule on Ascension Island to tweet about turtles (in temperatures of 35 °C).
And Brendan wasn’t just feeling the heat on Ascension, but also on our Twitter stream. You tweeted some tricky questions to test his expertise, but we think you’ll agree that he came up turtle trumps! Here are just some of the #turtletweet highlights:
Turtles on Ascension
@JellicleKat You’re out on Ascension Island at the moment…how long is the nesting season, and how many females nest there? #turtletweet
In the 1930s it was down to a few hundred but now about 5000 per year. 6 month season. #turtletweet
@inthefieldnews Sea turtles return to the same beach where they hatched as juveniles to breed…but where do they go in between?
They go to one or more foraging areas that can be many thousands of miles. eg here on Ascension its Brazil #turtletweet
Top Turtle Facts
@eldenney: what’s your most interesting turtle fact? Thanks! #turtletweet
The fact that green turtles can rest at the bottom of the Mediterrannean sea for as long as 10.5 hours #turtletweet
@eldenney Cool! I can’t stay underwater for much more than 30 secs! Green turtles are impressive #turtletweet
@clairecjl: Hi Brendan, I was wondering how long it takes leatherbacks to reach full size? #turtletweet
This is still debated, with work to be done but anywhere between 10 and 20 years seem the best estimates to date. #turtletweet
What’s the difference between a turtle and a terrapin?
@lillashaw Hi Brendan, we were debating this in the office the other day… What’s the difference between a turtle and terrapin? #turtletweet
Its semantics N america everything can be a turtle, in UK turtle is sea, terrapin is freshwater, tortoise on land. #turtletweet
Turtles and fishing
@Jess_Cripps Do you think more could be done by fisheries to reduce the bycatch of turtles in their equipment? #turtletweet
I do. Much has been done already TEDS (trawlers), Circle hooks (longlines) and these can be improved #turtletweet
One of the great ongoing challenges is that of how to minimise bycatch in gillnets #turtletweet
Which species of turtles are thriving? Which are endangered?
RT @DanielsImage: @ARKive@BrendanGodley How many species of sea turtles are there? Are any thriving? #turtletweet
.@DanielsImage @BrendanGodley Big winners r Atlantic green turtles, ones struggling incl Pacific leatherbacks and hawksbills. #turtletweet
Why are turtles endangered?
@harrypurplmonky What has happened to make turtles endangered? #turtletweet
Exploited for meat and eggs for a long time &have started to recover where they r protected on beach and sea#turtletweet
.@inthefieldnews… what would you say is the biggest threat facing sea turtles worldwide?
as with all marine biodiversity; I would say it fishing followed by climate change #turtletweet
@Jess_Cripps: Do you think turtles will start to breed earlier in response to climate change? #turtletweet
Not yet but it will soon! In Cyprus they are already 90% female…will get worse with inc temps #turtletweet
@eldenney: poor boys! #turtletweet
@Wildlife_Jason: What would you say is the worst problem for #turtles caused by #plasticpollution in our oceans?
“Turtles, partic babies & all leatherbacks eat it..less of a problem than fisheries though” via @BrendanGodley #turtletweet
Turtles on film
@WildscreenFest: What part does wildlife filmmaking has to play in #turtle conservation? #turtletweet
@Wildlife_Film: What did you think of the footage of baby green turtles in @BBCNature #Africa?bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01… #turtletweet
As seen on recent #Africa, there is clearly a role. MT are emblomatic #turtletweet
@Podgeosaurus: When filming do you think crews should aid baby turtles, or stay hands off? #turtletweet
Difficult one; up to individs. they shouldnt do is make things worse by releasing in daylight or hold hatchlings back#turtletweet
@lauriebelch why do some populations of turtles hatch in the day when it seems that predation risk is much higher#turtletweet
.@ARKive @lauriebelch very few do, but for obvious reasons we see more of it on film. More starlight cameras needed. #turtletweet
How can we help turtles?
@eldenney: so is there anything we can do to help turtles? #turtletweet
think about seafood choices, climate change and your role, get involved or help those who are.#turtletweet
@DanielsImage: Our support $ only go so far. Are there any organizations to support turtles you favor? #turtletweet
If I was to plump for one I would choose @seaturtle .org which is a one man show, no overheads and has transformed the field
@dodger_wake Some may not like it can we not ‘farm’ the endangered turtles to allow survival rates for eggs to raise then release
It’s done in the Cayman Islands for over 40 years, adults are now returning that were released #turtletweet
Cute or shocking photos?
@wild_photos: Our question for @ARKive’s#turtletweet! What do you think is more powerful in conservation: cute turtle images or ones showing turtle loss?
.@colaciregui @wild_photos @KACHUGABUT pictures of baby turtles always draws a gasp from the crowd! :)
@harrypurplmonky Wow what a #turtletweet! TY @ARKive & @brendangodley Harry’s learned so much about turtles & conservation!… http://fb.me/KGOX0CX8
@Wildlife_Jason @BrendanGodley @ARKive Thanks for an informative #turtletweet time! :)
We’d like to join our followers in thanking Professor Brendan Godley for his turtle-takeover – informative, thought-provoking, and turtle-tastic!
Get regular updates from Brendan by following him on Twitter @brendangodley, and check out his recommended top tweeters: @UoExeterCEC, @EcoSoc_Tremough, @LifeNatureMag and @BioBlitzTremou.
Would you like to see more twitter takeovers? What topics would you be interested in? Follow @ARKive and let us know!