Turtles Break Record by Swimming Non-Stop for 4,000 Kilometres

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By Afza Fathima | July 30, 2014 1:32 PM EST

A new study suggests that green sea turtles have created a scientific record by swimming the longest distance when considering marine animal migration.

REUTERS/Randall Hill
A "No Swimming" sign is pictured at Myrtle Beach State Park in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Arthur, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina July 3, 2014. Arthur became the first hurricane of the 2014 Atlantic season on Thursday after sparking evacuations, closing beaches and tourist sites and disrupting Independence Day celebrations along parts of the U.S. East Coast. REUTERS/Randall Hill (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENVIRONMENT DISASTER)

Scientist belonging to Australia, Britain and the United States have been tracking eight turtles with the help of satellites to prove that the turtles can travel a distance of 4,000 kilometres without stopping for even their food. The turtles are said to rely on their fat reserves.

Question about protection of these turtles at marine park is being raised. A trip like this by even dolphins and seals, without food, will result in their death due to starvation.

Dr Daniel Ierodianconou, a scientist from the team that conducted the study from Deakin University said that they observed the turtles, which are vegetarians, swimming for such long distances as no such study has been recorded in scientific literature. He added that the green turtles travelled from the middle of the Indian Ocean to the borders of Africa.

The team of scientists have been tracking every little movement of the turtles for a span of more than two years.

Ierodiaconou explained that when the green turtles are born, they leave their grounds and drift in currents. He added that if some modelling were done to the current movements, one can notice the spread of the turtles across the Indian Ocean. 

The scientists believe that the turtles are going back to their grounds from where they've been pushed towards because of the currents. They found that the turtles moved far away, way beyond the borders of the zones protecting large marine animals, which are about 640,000 square kilometres in an area called the Chagos Archipelago protected area.

Protection zones, though serving a purpose, are considered artificial by Ierodiaconou. He said that all the marine parks and regional organisations should work together to bring together a world network. 

The study highlights the small marine parks being complimented by big marine parks to protect the areas of foraging to protect the history of the turtles.

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(Photo: REUTERS/Randall Hill / )
A "No Swimming" sign is pictured at Myrtle Beach State Park in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Arthur, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina July 3, 2014. Arthur became the first hurricane of the 2014 Atlantic season on Thursday after sparking evacuations, closing beaches and tourist sites and disrupting Independence Day celebrations along parts of the U.S. East Coast. REUTERS/Randall Hill (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENVIRONMENT DISASTER)
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