Discovery News Leatherback Turtles Consuming Plastic By Emily Sohn April 9, 2009 -- Leatherback turtles are ancient creatures with a modern problem: Plastic. A new study looked at necropsy reports of more than 400 leatherbacks that have died since 1885 and found plastic in the digestive systems of more than a third of the animals. Besides plastic bags, the turtles had swallowed fishing lines, balloon fragments, spoons, candy wrappers and more. Plastic was probably not the cause of death in most cases. Nevertheless, the study is an important wake-up call for a growing garbage problem."Eating something that is plastic can't be good for you, whether it leads to death or not," said Mike James, a marine biologist at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. "It's not what they should be eating. And it's kind of scary that it is showing up in their diet to the extent that it is." Leatherback turtles are critically endangered and highly charismatic creatures. They are big, weighing 1,000 pounds or more, with shells that can measure more than 6 feet across. These
This is the end of the preview. Sign up
access the rest of the document.
This note was uploaded on 09/15/2011 for the course ENG 212 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '11 term at S.F. State.