BALTIMORE — The National Aquarium announced today the launch of a naming contest for the baby loggerhead that joined the Coastal Beach exhibit in late November.
“The baby loggerhead carries home our key conservation messages and it’s only fitting we ask the public to help us complete its story” said Elizabeth Claus, senior aquarist at the National Aquarium. “The public naming is a great opportunity for us to continue telling the journey of this remarkable creature.”
The public is invited to visit aqua.org/loggerhead between now and January 22 to submit name suggestions. A panel of National Aquarium staff will review and consider all entries. Then, from January 25 to 29, the public can vote on one of four names selected by the panel. The winning name will be announced on the morning of February 1.
The baby loggerhead joined the National Aquarium as part of the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores Sea Turtle Awareness Program, which works to rescue and rehabilitate imperiled hatchlings. Once the hatchlings are recovered, they are outfitted with satellite tags and then released. The baby loggerhead currently resides in the Coastal Beach exhibit, part of the larger Maryland Mountains to the Sea gallery exhibit, and will reside at the National Aquarium for one year before being released into the wild.
Loggerhead turtles are named for their large heads that support powerful jaw muscles, allowing them to crush hard-shelled prey like clams and sea urchins. They are less likely to be hunted for their meat or shell compared to other sea turtles. However, loggerhead turtles are seriously threatened by “bycatch” which is the accidental capture of marine animals in fishing gear. Sea turtles are a fundamental link in marine ecosystems and are essential to maintaining the health of coral reefs and sea grass beds.