Hello! My name is Ms. Elebash . Please join me as I travel to Costa Rica to study sea turtles!

Friday, January 14, 2011

I'm heading down to the land of amazing Chelonioideans...

Chelonioideans? I think that's what they could be called...Chelonioidea is the Latin superfamily name for the two groups of sea turtles which grace our oceans.

Turtles popped up during the Triassic or Jurassic period, somewhere in the neighborhood of 220 million years ago. They lived on land and were thought to be carnivores. When food on land was hard to come by, they adapted and went into the water. Here, through eons and eons of years, their appendages became flippers and their shell elongated and became more water dynamic. Their diets changed as the availability of food changed. They probably became larger as a means for self defense. Female turtles continued to lay their eggs on land. At any rate,they are old on the evolutionary stage. Scientists are studying their past to create the full story.

And scientists are also studying the present because the sea turtle population has declined 90% in the last thirty years. The leatherback in particular is listed as critically endangered. Costa Rica
has the last group of Pacific beaches where the turtles are nesting. The nightly nesting has declined from around 200 a night in the 1980s to about as little as 10 a night in 1996. I am going down to these beaches to help save the leatherback. I will be working at the Goldring Marine Biology Field Station in conjunction with Earthwatch.

Amazing? Just check out the picture.


  1. I had no idea that leatherbacks were so enormous! Or that their evolutionary path took them from land to sea! Thank you for blogging about your trip; I can't wait to hear more!

  2. Hi, Ms. Elebash!
    I can't wait to hear more about your trip! Also, I want to hear if you learn anything new about leatherbacks.
    Enjoy your trip!

    From Ben G.

  3. MS.Elebash,

    we all really miss you Ihope you have a great time in Costa rica.By the how many eggs are in a clutch?

  4. hi miss.Elebash I hope your trip was good.I was wondering if you have met a leatherback yet they look huge.I hope you enjoy your trip and the leatherback

  5. Ms. Elebash,
    I hope you enjoy your trip to Costa Rica. Jumaid 3A

  6. ms. elabash
    how long can a Leatherback live


  7. Ms. Elebash,
    I am looking forward to leatherback sea turtles.Did you see one?


  8. I never knew they were so big either! Massive! I think they are third largest reptile only to the crocs n gators.

  9. Ms.Elabash when are you coming back I miss you I hope you have fun

    From Benjamin Malin