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Baby Turtles in Swimsuits

(Photo: University of Queensland)

It's a stylish one piece suit with pair of stripes across the midriff to accentuate the body's lines. Why is this baby loggerhead sea turtle wearing it? Owen Coffee, a doctoral student at the University of Queensland built this swimsuit in order to hold a diaper on it. This is how Coffee and his colleagues will collect fecal samples, which are usually difficult to acquire from wild sea turtles. ABC News reports:

But Mr Coffee said it had previously been difficult to collect entire faecal samples because it dispersed into the water.

"To start off I had a different method that wasn't overly successful, and this is what we ended up," he said.

He said the idea with the rash vest had been used a few times with hatchlings. […]

"I had to scale it up and adjust a little bit for my purposes.

"Basically it's a full-size second hand rash vest adapted to sit on the shell of the turtle with a small opening with the tail and the nappy to attach to collect the faeces."

Coffee and his colleagues are using these fecal samples to study the diets of the loggerheads.

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