How Sea Turtle Hatchlings Move Quickly on Sand

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hatchlings sea turtles must move quickly over a variety of terrain to reach the ocean.  Dr. Daniel Goldman along with Biology graduate student Nicole Mazouchova, Physics graduate student Nick Gravish and research technician Andri Savu studied in the field (Jekyll Island, GA) how Loggerhead hatchlings move on loose sand and on hard ground. The study revealed that on sand the turtles solidified the material behind their limbs and achieved performance comparable to that on hard ground. The results of this study could be valuable to biologists who seek to understand mechanics organisms use to move in the natural world as well as to roboticists who would like to build robots with performance comparable to animals. For more about this study see