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Friday, January 15, 2016

A long way from home

We were walking Salmon Creek Beach tonight, and ran into a State Parks Ranger and a Marine Mammal Center volunteer (Hi, Phil!) looking for a dead sea turtle that had been reported washed up on the beach.  We were in the right place at the right time the turtle was spotted at the top of beach, and Phil prepared to transport it to The Marine Mammal Center.

I'll defer to experts, but it appears to be an Olive Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea).  [Note the gray coloration, and that there are at least 6 costal scutes (or scales) — these are the long scutes located between the vertebral scutes (running down the middle of the shell) and the marginal scutes (along the edge).  

Perhaps you heard that an Olive Ridley was spotted off Point Reyes in late December?  Folks have been wondering if sea turtle sightings in northern California this year could be related to El Niño conditions.

If you encounter a sea turtle on a local beach, you can call The Marine Mammal Center or the California Academy of Sciences.

P.S.  Click here for a picture of the only other sea turtle I've seen on Salmon Creek Beach (on 18 September 2013).

1 comment:

beachmama said...

Sad to see he didn't make it but glad Phil and company found it before the crazy surf today . . .