Texas temperatures paralyze sea turtles

Volunteers rescued thousands of cold-stunned sea turtles affected by the frigid weather in Texas. Credit: Sea Turtles, Inc.

Thousands of sea turtles recently washed up along the Texas coastline after a winter storm caused temperatures to plummet. Unusually cold temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico caused turtles’ heartrates to slow, paralyzing them. Those paralyzed turtles are then at risk from predators, boat strikes and sometimes drowning. After the cold-stunning, volunteers, many of whom were also facing no power or running water due to the cold, came to the rescue of the endangered sea turtles. So far, the volunteers have rescued about 7,000 sea turtles including green (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and Kemp’s ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) sea turtles along the Texas coastline. All of those species are listed as either threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. 

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