Belle, the little loggerhead turtle
Birth and arrival at the Aquarium La Rochelle
Belle was born almost eight years ago. It is the result of an egg-laying of 71 eggs that took place on April 27th 2011 in the marine turtle aquarium in Marineland (Antibes, 06).
After being collected directly from the water by the team of caretakers, her egg was placed in a hatchery at a 30 degrees temperature.
After 57 days of incubation, Belle was born. Her birthday is celebrated on June 23rd. She will celebrate her 8th birthday this year. When she was born, she weighed 19.4 g and was 7 cm long.
Belle arrived at the Aquarium La Rochelle on November 21st, 2012 and weighed 1100g at that time.
Crédit photo : Fondation Marineland
Birth of Belle
Being a member of the "Mission Caretta" program, the Aquarium La Rochelle has been chosen to take care of this turtle; the goal of this program is to study the ability of individuals born in an artificial environment to adapt to wildlife.
In addition to being a scientific program, the mission also enhances global knowledge of the biology of this species and raises public awareness of its fragility.
In order to study their growth and behaviour during the first years of their lives, this programme has brought together scientific and technical teams of various European aquariums, where Belle and her fellows have been welcomed.
Thanks to this team work, the information collected has been used to create a database on which a comparative study between the Atlantic and Mediterranean loggerhead turtle sub-populations has been based. A scientific article gathering the data has been written: Marn et al, 2019, Comparative physiological energetics of Mediterranean and North Atlantic loggerhead turtles, Journal of Sea Research, Volume 143, Pages 100-118.
Copyright : Aquarium La Rochelle
Growth and behaviour
Today, Belle is doing wonderfully well at the Aquarium La Rochelle. She lives with a hawksbill turtle, a green turtle, but also pennant coalfish and royal jacks.
She was recently weighed by Florence Dell'Amico, the manager of the Center for Sea Turtles.
Since her arrival 7 years ago, Belle has grown up well: 36 kilos and more than 40 cm. She has a strong appetite! Her meals are varied and include squid and sardines.
Every day, she conquers the visitors ‘hearts, but also the divers’ ones.