Where to Next?
Posted: September 1, 2020
Some ocean animals take v-e-r-y long trips every year. They migrate—or move from one place to another. God designed marine animals with the ability to navigate the ocean. Some animals migrate to find warmer weather. Others move around looking for food. Many travel long distances to find a safe place for their young. Marine migrators follow clues like ocean currents and weather patterns. How do they know where and when to go? It’s their God-given instinct. They just know.
Sea turtles: Sea turtles move back and forth between ocean habitats and sandy nesting grounds. They travel hundreds or even thousands of miles. They migrate toward warmer water when seasons change. Turtles leave the water to make nests in the sand on warm beaches. Many come back year after year to the exact same beaches. How amazing is that?
Bottlenose dolphins: These dolphins migrate up and down the Atlantic coast. They head north in the spring and south in the fall. In the Pacific Ocean, bottlenose dolphins move from northern Japan to Australia and from Southern California to Chile. How do they know when to turn around? They follow food and warm water.
Whales: Whales migrate in late fall. They fill their bellies with fish that live mostly in very cold, deep waters. But when it’s time to have little ones, whales travel great distances to warm, shallow waters. In some whale families, males and females migrate together. In other species, only females swim back and forth to warm waters.
Jellyfish: Palau is an island nation in the western Pacific Ocean. Golden jellyfish in Palau’s Jellyfish Lake migrate every single day. They move like clockwork! Their bodies follow the Sun’s movement in the sky. Before sunrise, the jellyfish squish together on the lake’s western shore. When the Sun comes up, they get moving. They move across the lake, swimming toward the light. When the Sun is overhead, they rest. As the Sun dips west, the jellyfish turn around. They swim back to the western shore just in time for sunset. These jellyfish need the warm rays to survive.