During checkout, you will have the option to add one to your cart!
Use the instructions below to determine:
1) What species you rescued.
2) Where your sea turtle was rescued.
3) What ID number your sea turtle has.
Every year, the FAU Marine Research Laboratory rescues, studies, and releases up to 400 baby sea turtles from various nesting locations along the East Coast of Florida. In doing so, the founders of the laboratory: Professors, Jeanette Wyneken and Michael Salmon, have created a marking system that gives every sea turtle its own identification code. Every code is different from the last - just like a fingerprint! Each baby sea turtle is marked with colored, non-toxic nail polish.
The color of the mark, is used to distinguish between three species of nesters:
If your key chain has green markings - it represents a green sea turtle.
If your key chain has blue or yellow markings - it represents a loggerhead.
If your key chain has NO MARKINGS - it represents a leatherback.
*Because Leatherback Sea Turtles are VERY RARE in the wild, we only send out 1 leather back keychain with every 10 orders!
Vertebral Scute & Coastal Scute Markings:
The vertebral scutes are found along the midline of the shell (or "carapace"), and correspond to the specific beach where the female nested. The coastal scutes, are found on either side of the vertebral scutes, and correspond to the number assigned to the nest location on a particular beach in Florida. This mark, distinguishes the nest from all the others on the same beach. The code used can involve as many as 3 different marginal scutes. For example, if scute 1 (nearest the head), 2 and 5 are marked, then the nest is the 125th nest placed on that beach. On Florida's East coast, the main nesting beaches are located adjacent to two cities: Melbourne Beach to the north, and Juno Beach to the south. Together, these sites account for about 80% of all the nests places on Florida's beaches. If the mark is on the vertebral scute closer to the head, it signifies a northern location toward Melbourne Beach. If the mark is on a vertebral scute is towards the tail, it signifies a southern nesting beach such as on located at Juno Beach, Boca Raton, or even Miami. A different coding system is used to leatherbacks, because leatherbacks do not have coastal and vertebral scutes described.
These scutes are on the outside edge of the shell. The marking indicates the turtle's individual ID number. Scientists rescue no more than 10 hatchlings from each nest so each individual hatchling receives a number between 1 and 10. This number is coded by placing a mark on one of the marginal scutes on each turtle. The first marginal scute towards the top of the shell corresponds to hatchling number 1, the second to hatching number 2, ect., proceeding backwards on each turtle towards the tail.
Did you know? Sea Turtles hatchlings are male or female depending on the temperature in which they were nested in, known as the "pivotal temperature." The temperature varies slightly among species, ranging roughly 83-85 degrees Fahrenheit (28-29 degrees Celsius). Temperature above this range produce females and colder temperatures produce males.
Beaches on the East Coast of Florida support thousands of marine turtle nests annually, deposited by three species; leatherbacks in the Spring, loggerheads during the Summer, and green sea turtles during late Summer and Fall. Loggerhead nests are most common, and each of their nests contains on average about 110 eggs. But of the hundreds of thousands of loggerhead hatchlings that emerge from those nests each year, less than 1% will survive to produce the single male and female destined to become the next generation. The problem is that these numbers are just a fraction of what they were 500 years ago, before human's destructive behavior pushed these turtles close to extinction.
At the FAU marine laboratory, research projects under the direction of Professors Jeanette Wyneken and Michael Salmon, represent part of the international effort to promote the recovery of these animals to population size that minimally approach this historical levels. They do so through their own research efforts and those of their students. These projects center on both conservation issues (such as monitoring the production, sex, and health of the turtles from each nest) as wall as learning how how they navigate in the open ocean, and what they detect using their sense of smell, their vision, and their ability to use Earth's magnetic field to find their way through multiple oceans and somehow manage to return as adults to beaches within 1 mile where their nest was originally located.
Today’s sea turtle population is facing more dangers than ever before. In fact, 999 out of 1,000 sea turtles will die before reaching maturity. These problems are largely human-created but fortunately many are avoidable. From boat collisions and entanglement in marine debris, to the extreme loss of their very nesting habitats, the populations of our aquatic friends are at an all time low.
Tragically “sky glow,” the illumination of the night sky by artificial lights, is one of the deadliest culprits. Many hatchlings die simply by wandering towards the bright lights of town instead of out into the ocean. Once exposed, the hatchlings can end up being run over, attacked by predators, or even stranded in parking lots. Other lurking threats include over-fishing and illegal egg harvesting.
Sea Turtles deserve better.
This is why Devocean pledges 20% of net profit to the FAU Marine Lab at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center. The professional staff at Gumbo Limbo have been helping save hurt and sick turtles for years. In 2010 they were able to launch a new facility dedicated to on-site treatment, just prior to a severe cold snap which threatened over 5,000 green sea turtles.
Gumbo Limbo was able to deliver expeditious first aid to many, and even conducted surgery on 35 of them, to remove tumors caused by fibropapilloma. As a “Friend of Gumbo Limbo,” Devocean Jewelry has committed themselves to financially support the center and, through them, our shelled associates of the seas.
Devocean Jewelry is very dedicated to helping Florida’s fragile ecosystem. Sea turtles are an integral part of that delicate balance. These turtles spend most of their lives underwater, munching on crab and shrimp while also eating sea grass, which keeps it short. Shortness is crucial to the health of the sea grass, which in turn is a vital breeding ground for many fish, shellfish, and crustaceans. For this reason, the sea turtle population must be protected.
Alex and Andrew, life-long Southern Floridians, are working close with Gumbo Limbo Nature Center to aid 5 of the world’s 7 sea turtle species: the Leatherback, the Loggerhead, the Green, the Hawksbill, and the Kemp’s Ridley. All are gravely endangered.
Remember, sea turtles have inhabited our planet for over 110 million years. These lovely creatures have been coming to Florida a lot longer than Man has been here. We owe it to them to do everything we can to help.
If you agree, check out Gumbo Limbo’s incredible Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Program: http://www.gumbolimbo.org/Sea-Turtles
Top Turtle Trivia Teasers
- Nine minutes can pass between a sea turtle’s heartbeats!
- Sea turtles may travel up to 1400 miles from their feeding grounds to their nesting area!
- A Leatherback sea turtle can reach 6 feet in length, and up to 1,000 pounds.
- Kemp Ridley turtles are the most endangered--because they hatch their eggs in the daytime.
- Barnacles love sea turtles and can live their entire lives attached to a turtle’s shell!
- Sea turtles return to the nesting grounds they were born at.
- The heat of the sand itself determines the sex of the unborn turtle. Over 85 degrees and the turtle will be a female.
A clutch of eggs can be as large as 190.
If you find a dead, sick, or injured sea turtle, please call FWC's 24-hour Wildlife Alert Number
at 1-888-404-FWCC (1-888-404-3922).
Please be prepared to answer the following questions:
What is the exact location of the animal?
Is the turtle alive or dead?
What is the approximate size of the turtle?
Is the turtle marked with spray paint? (This may indicate that the turtle has been previously documented.)
What is the location of the closest access point to the turtle?