Science in Style: Bikinis for loggerhead turtles

Ahhh to be a scientist. They have the brains, the hipster bifocals, the ladies and have the opportunity to play with poop.
Researchers from the University of Queensland’s School of Biological Sciences, Owen Coffee and Carmen da Silva, have been tasked with studying and locating the area where loggerhead sea turtles hunt and forage – essentially where do they eat. As science has taught us (and probably your physician at some point), studying the subject’s feces reveals a lot.


That’s where this turtle fashion show comes in


After placing six loggerhead turtles into seawater tanks and collecting their poo, it was apparent the problem was that they were not collecting enough, fast enough before the matter dissipated in the water.
Eventually, Coffee came up with a simple, yet elegant solution after discussing the matter with Moreton Bay Research Station’s education coordinator, Dr. Kathy Townsend. Coffee went down to the local thrift shop and after some creative tailoring and some velcro, the turtle bikini was introduced to the world, maybe one day helping self-conscious turtles get “out of their shell”. (sorry)
“To our great surprise, it worked perfectly,“ Dr Townsend said. “The suits were easy to put on, comfortable for the sea turtles to wear, looked great, and Owen was able to collect the entire faecal sample.”
No turtles were harmed during the research process and all six were safely released back where they were found in Moreton Bay.

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