After receiving 27 percent of the votes from our online community last week, our loggerhead has been given the name Sheldon, in honor of the main character from CBS’s 'The Big Bang Theory'.
Sheldon is currently on exhibit in Maryland: Mountains to the Sea, where the turtle will stay until it's grown enough to be released off the coast of North Carolina! As part of the Loggerhead Head Start Program, Sheldon is one of many turtles taking residence at aquariums across the country.
Loggerhead turtles are named for their large heads that support powerful jaw muscles, allowing them to crush hard-shelled prey like clams and sea urchins. They are less likely to be hunted for their meat or shell compared to other sea turtles. However, loggerhead turtles are seriously threatened by “bycatch” which is the accidental capture of marine animals in fishing gear.
Sea turtles are a fundamental link in marine ecosystems and are essential to maintaining the health of coral reefs and sea grass beds. The Loggerhead Head Start program gives turtles like Sheldon the opportunity to grow safely in an aquarium setting before getting a second chance at life out in the big blue!
Stay tuned for more updates on Sheldon!