It’s an age-old mystery, but sea turtles’ so-called ‘lost years’ may explain why Cayman’ s waters are full of expatriate turtles.
DOE turtle research intern Lucy Collyer told Cayman 27 scientists aren’t 100% sure what happens to hatchlings in their first few years, but says one theory is that juveniles spend their early years of growth hiding among the seaweed in the Sargasso sea.
“This is why when you actually dive with the turtles here, a lot of them aren’t actually Caymanian turtles,” she said. “These are turtles from places like Florida and Nicaragua, so our turtles are elsewhere and their turtles are here, so it’s one big mixing bowl in effect going on.”
Turtle nesting season is just about all wrapped up, and all three islands have combined for more than 400 nests.