Mashable. By Rayne Ellis.
How much plastic does it take to kill a sea turtle? According to new research, it doesn't take very much.
A study published in the journal Nature Thursday found that sea turtles have a 50 percent higher chance of mortality once they've ingested 14 pieces of plastic.
This means that researchers would expect 50 percent of sea turtles who have eaten this amount of plastic to die. The scientists also found that if a turtle had at least 226 pieces of plastic in its gut, then it was certain to die.
Scientists have been ramping up efforts to examine the precise impacts of ocean pollution on marine life, now that plastic has been found to affect 700 different marine species according to the newstudy's lead researcher Britta Denise Hardesty.
To calculate the impact, a team of scientists led by Hardesty examined data from roughly 300 turtle necropsies around Australia whose deaths were recorded under three different categories: non-plastic related, unknown cause, plastic-related.
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