- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 26, 2014

GLOUCESTER, Mass. (AP) - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says fewer sea turtles were stranded in the North Atlantic due to the cold this winter compared to a spike in strandings last year.

Scientists who partner with NOAA say there were more than 200 fewer standings in 2013 than in 2012 due to a condition called “cold stunning.” A cold stun occurs when the cold-blooded turtles get the equivalent of hypothermia.

NOAA says the scientists from Massachusetts to Virginia work to recover and rehabilitate the turtles before their heart rates slow and they die from exposure.

The scientists were unsure why the spike occurred in 2012. They speculate warmer than average ocean temperatures could have caused the turtles to wait longer to migrate south and become caught in winter conditions.

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