Just like many of us here in Florida, sea turtles do not like the cold! Sea turtles are reptiles and are unable to generate body heat making them very vulnerable in cold environments. This weekend has been one of the coldest weekends this winter, and we’ve been doing everything possible to make sure our turtles stay warm. Our water temperature in the keys has dropped quickly, hovering around 65 degrees Farenheight. Cold turtles have a much slower metabolism, putting them in a very restful state. Turtles that get too cold run the risk of getting “cold stunned”. These turtles get too cold and actually become immobile! In 2010, we received 178 cold stunned turtles in three days due to a quick drop in water temperature!
Here at The Turtle Hospital, we’re making sure our turtles are extra-safe and comfortable. Many of our tanks with critical patients have been fixed with submurgeable water heaters, aiming for a temperature around 78 degrees Farenheight. Some of our turtles are so weak that their water needs to be extremely shallow to make breathing easier, and for them we additionally fix heat lamps and a tank cover overhead. Here in Marathon, we are all looking forward to warmer weather in the next few days!
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