Dr Ana Sequeira was invited to write a dispatch piece for the journal Current Biology about animal navigation in the open ocean. In the resulting article Animal Navigation: The Mystery of Open Ocean Orientation, Ana discusses how animals move large distances across oceans and return to the same area with dazzling accuracy. This is especially true for turtles who can find isolated islands in the middle of the open ocean. But how do they do it?
It seems turtles use various cues including the earth’s magnetic field and the stars when they are a long way from their destination, then switch to familiar landmarks or wave and tidal patterns when they get closer to home. To learn more about how turtles move, check out the paper Open Ocean Reorientation and Challenges of Island Finding by Sea Turtles during Long-Distance Migration by Graeme Hays and colleagues’ also published in Current Biology.