With no leatherbacks yet this week on Juno Beach, there are still plenty of interesting things out on the beach to help pass the time. Not only are there a lot of loggerheads nesting this time of year, we see yellow crowned night herons and ghost crabs as well. Last night, we also saw quite a spectacle of plankton (tiny organisms) in the water that were sparkling and glistening with each breaking wave. The glowing is caused by bacteria living inside of the plankton; the bacteria give off light and the result is called “bioluminescence.” This happens when the bacteria are excited by a stimulus, such as being shaken by a breaking wave.
While we discourage the use of lights on the beach during sea turtle nesting season, bioluminescence is an all-natural light show! So even though we haven’t encountered any leatherbacks yet this week, our biologists can still stay occupied by watching nature’s many shows. Keep checking back for updates!