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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 December 2006, 20:36 GMT
Rare turtle discovered on beach
A rare turtle has been found dead on a north Cornwall beach.

The remains of the leatherback turtle, measuring 145cm (57in) long and thought to be several decades old, were washed ashore at Widemouth Bay near Bude.

Beach rangers think that the leatherback - the biggest species of turtle - may have been washed ashore in recent storms.

Tests are being carried out on the turtle which is normally seen in warmer and deeper Atlantic waters.

'Interesting species'

Other finds in Cornwall over the last weeks include two pufferfish at Summerleaze and Porthcothan beaches.

They are the first discoveries of this exotic species on north Cornwall beaches and two of only 25 recorded in Cornwall since 1776, North Cornwall District Council said.

Beach ranger Jolyon Sharp added: "Their presence on our coastline could be a result of fisheries by catch, could be a result of natural mortality and have been washed in with the stormy conditions, or could be related to rising sea temperatures.

"No scientific conclusions can be made from these two strandings, but irrespective of which it is still an interesting species to find on our coastline."


SEE ALSO
Rare turtle may be Cornwall bound
12 Jul 05 |  Cornwall
Rare turtles need more protection
12 Nov 04 |  Cornwall
Dead turtle washed up on beach
23 Oct 04 |  South West Wales

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