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Frigid temperatures can greatly impact sea turtles, experts say

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By Natalie Thomas
Reporter
@NatalieTWN
Wednesday, January 29, 2014, 12:03 PM

If you're sick of the cold weather this winter, you're not alone.

In fact, officials at Toronto's Ripley's Aquarium say the frigid temperatures can have an impact on sharks and other species as well.

"The most affected would be our sea turtles," says Ashley Hartness, senior aquarist at Ripley's aquarium "Our sea turtles are very much affected by a cold snap. When the temperature outside gets too cold for them, they are cold blooded and can't regulate their body temperature."


HOW IT WORKS: Aquariums


Hartness adds that sharks can also be affected.

"The colder the weather, usually they will go into a breeding behaviour, which is the opposite of a lot of animals. Usually the colder it gets, animals don't like to breed. The sharks are actually more prone to breed during the colder seasons."

Do the fish actually notice?

"We have an artificial surge machine that simulates waves," says Leah Neal, senior aquarist at Ripley's. "And if you get a good look at the fish you can see that they hardly notice that there's something going on."

Neal adds that if a bigger storm produced larger waves sharks and fish will actually go lower in the water. "Or they can sense it's coming and go to a different area of the ocean," Neal adds.

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