Fine perch for a sea turtle

Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas)
Green Sea Turtle perched on the coral at Pulau Sipadan, Malaysia
by B. N. Sullivan

Sea turtles have a knack for finding comfy resting places on the reef.  Earlier this year I posted a photo of a turtle who had plopped down on a bed of soft corals to take her rest.  Here we have another Green Sea Turtle, perched this time on a table coral that jutted out from a steep bank.

We spotted this turtle at the outset of our dive, and as we passed by the same spot about an hour later on our way back to the boat, she was there again -- or still! -- surveying the scene.  She looked so comfy and at ease that we reckoned this must be her regular post.  We know from having observed the behavior of individual turtles in Hawaii over periods of years that each effectively "owns" a particular spot on the reef, returning to the same rocky shelf, or cavelet, or depression in the coral day after day over a long span of time.

To us, this turtle looked a bit like a sentry posted in a watchtower.  From the outcropping, she  had an unobstructed view of the entire bank -- left, right, up to the surface, and down into the gloomy depths -- a fine perch for a turtle.

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