The Canadian buffet

Canadian waters are an all-you-can-eat jellyfish buffet for leatherback turtles. Atlantic leatherbacks migrate to Canada to feed on jellies. One way you can see this is by looking at their tracks. Check out the mess of spaghetti up around Atlantic Canada. Those meandering tracks show turtles foraging for months in our jellyfish-dense waters, growing fatter and fatter. Riley, whom we talked about last post, is doing something similar off New England.

And then, like clockwork, in mid- to late October, they’re done. They leave Canadian waters, and the tracks lengthen out considerably, as you can see here. Now the animals are in “migration” mode—on their way south. They’ll still eat jellies when they can find them. But you won’t see them settle in and stay like they do in Canada again until they reach the waters off the nesting beaches.

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