Snapping Turtle Outfitted With Crittercam Being Released in Old Lyme

Aug 4, 2014

Kids at Mystic's marine biology camp are learning to collect data from snapping turtles.

Researchers from Mystic Aquarium are set to release a snapping turtle into the wild that will be outfitted with a Crittercam. The release is scheduled for Monday afternoon at Rogers Lake in Old Lyme. 

Mystic is partnering with Tributary Mill Conservancy and National Geographic to study the behavior of snapping turtles in the wild.

Children enrolled in the aquarium's Aqua Camp will be on hand for the release. They're taking part in a week-long marine biology camp during which they're learning what it's like to collect data from snapping turtles.

Dozens of animals, from whales to penguins, have previously been outfitted with a Crittercam, which was invented by National Geographic marine biologist Greg Marshall. Below is a video from National Geographic showing a Crittercam on the back of an alligator.

Here's more explanation on the Crittercam from National Geographic:

National Geographic's Crittercam is a research tool designed to be worn by wild animals. It combines video and audio recording with collection of environmental data such as depth, temperature, and acceleration.

These compact systems allow scientists to study animal behavior without interference by a human observer. Combining solid data with gripping imagery, Crittercam brings the animal's point of view to the scientific community and a conservation message to worldwide audiences.

For more than a decade Crittercam has given us insight into the lives of whales, sharks, seals and sea lions, sea turtles, penguins, manatees, and other marine animals. In 2002 the first prototype of a terrestrial Crittercam (designed for land animals) survived its maiden voyage on a wild African lion, opening the door to a whole new world of animal-borne imaging research.

This report includes information from The Associated Press.