Aqua Camp Submerges Teens into Marine Biology

Kids at Mystic Aquarium’s Aqua Camp  were in for a treat today as they traveled to Old Lyme to track snapping turtles.

They joined the Aquarium’s research team, who partnered with the Tributary Mill Conservancy and National Geographic to study the behavior of snapping turtles in the wild.

The lucky campers, ages 13 to 14, are part of a week long summer camp that submerges them into marine biology.

The campers are working in the field and tracking turtles with CritterCam, which is a revolutionary technology that allows researchers to track snapping turtles by attaching a small camera to their backs.

The program is teaching about turtle locomotion behavior in environments without human presence.

Mystic Aquarium researchers are collecting the turtle’s blood samples and nail clippings to help teach the campers how it relates to the health of the turtles and the ecosystem as a whole.

Snapping turtles are long living reptiles that can be found in various locations in Connecticut, including in marshes, creeks, swamps, lakes, streams and rivers. The slow-moving reptile can live in a mixture of water that is fresh and sea water.

The Aqua Camp kids get a chance to be a part of this study which will help reveal information about the environment that turtles live in.

The camp includes a sleep-over among the fish at the Aquarium where the kids build their own hydrophone. They are also able to eavesdrop on animals’various forms of communication.

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