(Collaboration with Jeff Seminoff, Peter Dutton and Scott Benson, NMFS). Anecdotal reports suggest that leatherback turtles foraging near Monterey Bay eat only portions of sea jellies in effort to maximize their daily energetic intake (i.e. optimal foraging model).  While some portions of sea jellies have relatively little caloric value (e.g. bells), other portions such as the gonads are thought to have substantially higher protein and lipid concentrations.  Through bomb calorimetry we will determine the degree to which this is true.  Subsequent components of this study aim to validate this optimal foraging theory and will involve lavage procedures to determine what these turtles are eating.  Ulimately we hope to develop a better understanding of the foraging ecology of leatherbacks in Monterrey Bay.

Last modified: 12/24/2014