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Return of the leatherback sea turtles

Endangered leatherback sea turtles have been spotted off the California coast by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) folks based in Moss Landing.

The species has been around for 100 million years, but in the last 25 years, its numbers have been reduced by 90%. Scientists have spotted the turtles as close as 5 miles from shore.

The leatherback sea turtles appear to have been attracted by an increased abundance of jellyfish, which apparently has been caused by the increased upwelling off the California coast this year that I wrote about earlier. The leatherback sea turtles swim 7000 miles (11,265 km) across the Pacific from Indonesia and the Solomon Islands, where they lay their eggs.

No leatherback sea turtles at all were observed off the California coast in 2006.

We shall see how long they hang around after the offshore oil drilling begins again.

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

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