Wrinklebutt and Dr. Jeff Seminoff
Did you know that the largest Eastern Pacific green sea turtle ever recorded is a long-time San Diego Bay resident? The turtle, affectionately known to local scientists as “Wrinklebutt” due to the unique deformity of her shell, weighs in at a hefty 550 pounds! This giant was first identified and named by M. Stinson in the 1970's and regularly spotted over the past three decades, while studies have been ongoing.
Researchers from the Marine Turtle Research Program captured, weighed, and released her on February 1, 2006, as part of an ongoing green turtle research project in South Bay. A satellite transmitter was attached to her shell, allowing researchers to track her movements for several months until the transmitter's battery expired in late June 2006.
Check out the size difference
between an adult male and a juvenile!
photo: John Dutton
How does this local-record holder like to spend her time in San Diego Bay? She probably enjoys foraging on eelgrass and resting in the warm water throughout South Bay. Dr. Peter Dutton, Dr. Jeff Seminoff, and researchers atSWFSC mapped her movements to learn how this enormous turtle makes use of different habitats within her environment, and whether she ever migrates out of San Diego Bay. Throughout the 4-month period during which the transmitter provided information, “Wrinklebutt” did not appear to leave the bay.
The researchers would like to acknowledge our partnership with the Port of San Diego , Navy, and San Diego County Regional Airport Authority .
Learn more about sea turtles: