Researchers are putting baby sea turtles in swimsuits for science (and cuteness)

Did you not know you needed baby sea turtles in swimsuits in your life? Well, you do, you need them very, very, badly and, as it turns out, science needs these little cuties, too.

As CNET reports, researchers at the University of Australia Queensland have put a bunch of little loggerhead sea turtles in turquoise one-pieces, all in the name of science.

Admittedly, the reason behind this cuteness actually a little gross: the swimsuits are designed to collect the poop of the baby turtles so that scientists can track the diet of the little sea creatures. That said, it’s grossness for good: scientists are studying the aformentioned excrement to track where the loggerheads are foraging for food. Sadly, as National Geographic reports, the rapid decline of the species is due to shrimp trawling and development in their nesting areas. The idea is, if the researchers can determine where the loggerheads are finding their food, they can help the species find safer places to forage.

After some tinkering with the pattern (gotta get that swimsuit to fit over the shell), Kathy Townsend, a lecturer and education coordinator of the University of Queensland’s Moreton Bay Research Station, explained in a statement that the team finally figured out the just-right design for the baby loggerheads:

“The suits were easy to put on, comfortable for the sea turtles to wear, looked great, and Owen was able to collect the entire faecal sample.”

It would be enough for these researchers to work to save this species, but they’re also doing it in the cutest way possible with these fashionable and functional turtle swimsuits. Okay, yes, so these suits are basically glorified diapers, but they’re made out of swimsuit material and they’re shaped like swimsuits and, you know, pretty sure we can all agree that sea turtles in swimsuits is infinitely cuter than sea turtles in diapers.

Science,more preposterously cute things like this, please?


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Image via University of Queensland