Mall Of America Aquarium Fixes Turtle’s ‘Bubble Butt’

by | Nov 13, 2015 | Conservation, Science, Tanks | 0 comments

sea turtle bubble_1447189968654_465741_ver1.0_640_360‘Bubble butt’, although a phrase not ordinarily associated with marine life, is a syndrome that affects turtles. ‘Bubble butt’ occurs when turtles get an air pocket under their shell, causing too much buoyancy and an inability of the turtles to dive underwater. This condition can often be caused by turtles swallowing harmful debris and pollutants like plastic or being impacted by boats. The trapped gas from the decomposition of the debris in the turtles stomach leads to the air pocket, which causes them to float at the top of the surface. A sea turtle unable to dive would eventually starve to death and become an easy target for predators. In this case, Seamour a rescued sea turtle from Florida, was hit by a boat, which caused the air pocket to form. Luckily for Seamour he was rescued by the Mall Of America Aquarium. Based on Seamour’s injuries, the air pocket could not be removed without causing damage to internal organs. Therefore, the aquarium attached a weight to Seamour’s shell to help him swim more naturally and counteract the buoyancy effect of the air pocket. Unfortunately, Seamour will not be able to be released back into the wild, as the weight is a just temporary solution, as the turtles shell will shed and the weight will eventually fall off. Therefore, Seamour will remain at the aquarium so his condition can be continually monitored and he will be able to remain swimming naturally. MORE

  • Francis Yupangco

    Francis is a marine biologist with an MBA and over 20 years of professional aquarium experience. Francis is the former Aquatic Development Manager at Hagen USA., makers of Fluval brand aquarium products. He co-stars on Nat Geo WILD's reality TV series Fish Tank Kings where he is the resident "Fish Geek" and was Director of Marketing at Living Color Aquariums. He is an avid explorer having visited over 45 countries and lived in 7. At 17, he was among the youngest aquarists ever hired by the Vancouver Aquarium, where he worked for 7 years. His aquatic biology experience ranges from larval fish rearing to the design, construction and operational management of renowned public aquariums around the world. Francis is currently head of marketing at the world's largest vertically integrated fish farming company.


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