A new study by Duke University and NOAA researchers shows that radiocarbon dating can be used to reliably estimate sea turtle ages, growth rates, and reproductive maturity.

Due to bomb testing during the Cold War-era from the 1950 to 1970, radiocarbon deposited in coral reefs and in turtle shells.  Researchers are able to compare these rates, “Levels of carbon-14 increased rapidly in the biosphere from the mid-1950s to about 1970 as a result of Cold War-era nuclear tests but have dropped at predictable rates since then, allowing scientists to determine the age of an organism based on its carbon-14 content.”

This new study may help researches figure out the decline and slow recovery of sea turtle populations.

Read more online at Duke University by clicking here.