See Nimbus, the white sea turtle, in a new exhibit

Filed under: Pine Knoll Shores by pineknollshores on Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Nimbus, the Aquarium’s rare white sea turtle, has moved to a new home. The young loggerhead inhabits a spacious tank in the Changing Exhibits Gallery, across from the Gift Shop.

The location is adjacent to the half-circle window in the Living Shipwreck that overlooks the stern of the U-352 replica. Nimbus, now two years old, swims around a scaled-down reproduction of the propeller from the same German submarine that the U.S. Coast Coard sank off Cape Lookout in World War II. A new, hands-on exhibit that lets visitors take part in simulated sea turtle rescues opens in the Changing Exhibits Gallery this fall.

Nimbus was found in a hatched-out Pine Knoll Shores nest excavated for baby turtles left behind, and brought to the Aquarium for care on Aug. 11, 2010. Smaller than average and hampered by a c left palate, the white hatchling had to be coaxed into eating and needed help learning to swim.

But soon Nimbus was thriving and growing. With help from hundreds of suggestions from visitors,  the turtle was named Nimbus, which  means a radiant light or a shining cloud.  The turtle’s gender is not known. A genetic deviation similar to that in albino animals causes the unusual coloring. As the turtle has grown, its nearly white skin and shell have acquired a golden tinge in places. The carapace near the tail has turned slightly darker, though still remaining much lighter than normal coloring for a loggerhead.

Some tiny hatchlings from this summer also can be seen at the Aquarium. The Sea Turtle Nursery exhibit is in the Tidal Waters Gallery. Each year, the Aquarium cares for sea turtle hatchlings that need a little help.