According to a new study published online in the journal PeerJ sea turtles use flippers to target prey, although the limbs are evolutionarily adapted for locomotion.
) in the water column at Hook Island, Queensland, Australia, June 201
The analysis of a Teams of Monterey Bay Aquarium researchers using crowdsourcing photos and videos find common examples of behaviors such as a green turtle with jelly, a loggerhead on the bottom of the sea, and a loggerhead turtle pushing against a reef around an anemone get rid of.
Similar behaviors were doc in the marine mammals from walruses to seals to manatees – but not in sea turtles.
An in-depth study of the phenomenon shows that the behavior is widespread and that this type of faptal exaptation may have taken place 70 million years earlier
"The sea turtle's limbs have developed primarily for locomotion, not for manipulation Prey animals, "said the lead author of the study, dr. Jessica Fujii.
"But that they do it anyway suggests, even if it's not the most efficient or effective way, it's better than not at all."
The discovery came as a surprise to scientists as the ancient lines the sea turtles and the fact that the reptiles have simple brains and simple flippers
The results also provide insight into the evolution of quadruped marine animals, which raise questions about which traits are learned and which are hardwired.
"We expect these things to happen with a highly intelligent, adaptable social animal." Sea turtles are different, they never meet their parents, "said senior writer Dr. Kyle Van Houtan.
"They are never trained to look for their mothers, it's amazing that they figure out how to do this without any training and with fins that are not well suited to these tasks."
YES Fujii et al. . 2018. Limb use of food turtles, an evolutionary perspective. PeerJ 6: e4565; doi: 10.7717 / peerj.4565