Around half of the approximately 400 ‘cold stunned’ sea turtles sent to Beaufort, NC from Florida have been necropsied. Measurements and weights were taken; samples of skin, tissue and anything unusual were taken and all internal organs and external parts were examined. It seems so far that there was no common pathology in most of the turtles to suggest that death was from a problem other than the cold but all data is not in.
Most had food in their stomachs and intestines suggesting they were healthy and eating until the cold. This one had a bite out of it’s side that was completely healed.
The feathery looking part below is the esophagus and the frilly edge that looks like a wave coming on shore is the lung. The lung is all the color of the edge, the red is from warm water being poured into
the cavity in an effort to thaw the insides.
There were more female sea turtles that were necropsied but the population in general has more females.
It was a great collaboration of agencies and individuals to get this number of necropsies done in such a short time. The rest will be done after everyone has been able to get back to their regular work for a while.
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