An unusual cold snap in Texas has led to a massive cold-stunning event among Texas sea turtles of unprecedented magnitude. By writing this blog post, over 8,000 cold-stunned sea turtle have been recorded along the Texas coast, the majority being juvenile green turtles.
What is “cold stunning”?
Sea Turtles are ectotherm (“cold-blooded”) animals that cannot regulate their body temperature but depend on their environment to do so. They usually need temperatures above 68°F (20°C) to survive. When temperatures drop below 54°F (12°C), and if turtles remain in shallow-water areas that can become very cold very quickly as air temperatures drop, they can become “cold-stunned”.