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The news “Mystery mass deaths of green turtles in Australia” (CNA 30 June 2012) reported that:

Scientists were at a loss on Friday to explain the mysterious deaths of more than 70 green turtles that have washed up on beaches in northeast Australia over the last week.

Queensland state authorities said 62 of the vulnerable species were confirmed dead and another 10 were spotted floating at sea by a helicopter.

Marty McLaughlin, operations manager at Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services, said the turtles were nourished and had no obvious signs of illness.

“There is no obvious cause of death. We’ve tested for all the normal reasons, like boat strikes and starvation, but that has not occurred,” he told AFP.

“It is species-specific to green turtles and we can’t see any signs of toxicity or chemicals, and our analysis to date has shown no parasites. It’s a complete mystery.”

All of the turtles were found around Upstart Bay, south of Townsville, in the past week   (link)

Comments:   It was known that sea turtle navigate well using the s Earth’s magnetic field as their own Global Positioning System (GPS) as widely reported in 2011.  It was also reported in “Florida Lighthouse Tragically Leads Sea Turtles to Their Death”.  So it is possible that there is a combination of bright lights disorientating the sea turtles and possibly the Earth’s magnetic field is changing fast over there at Townville.  Something is happening there. The last giant tortoise, the Galápagos giant tortoise , Lonesome George, the last Pinta Island tortoise, had passed away at Galapagos NP’s breeding centre, Santa Cruz Island, off California.

Not sure if it was linked to Exercise Hamel that was being conducted at Shoalwater Bay, near Rockhampton, including 150 US Marines and 25 NZ medics.

Touche Turtle!

mikey

Reference:

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2011/02/25/how-turtles-use-earths-magnetic-field-to-navigate-ocean-voyages/

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/02/turtle-navigation/

http://www.pawnation.com/2012/03/27/florida-lighthouse-tragically-leads-sea-turtles-to-their-death/#page=1

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