Quantcast

Loggerhead Sea Turtle Outfitted with 3D Printed Titanium Jaw

May 18, 2015



A loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) that had its jaw and face damaged by a boat propeller has a new lease on life thanks to 3D printing technology. The turtle, name AKUT3, was found lifeless on the surface of the Mediterranean Sea. It was taken to the Sea Turtle Research, Rescue and Rehabilitation Center at Pamukkale University (PAU). It was unable to eat on its own due to the severity of the damage to its face and jaw, so scientists began to get to work while workers at the center were able to force feed the turtle, nursing it back to health. 


Read More

Loggerhead Sea Turtle In Japan Fitted With Artificial Limbs

Vet Attaches Lego Wheels Onto Tortoise to Help it Walk

Tortoise That Lost Legs to Rat Bites Gets Wheels


The doctors at the center decided that a 3D printed jaw would be the best hope for this turtle and turned to BTech Innovation, a Turkish 3D printing specialist that specializes on 3D printed devices such as implants, 3D models and prosthetics. The company worked up a 3D model after scanning the turtle’s head and jaw area and with close consolation with the veterinarians and the surgeons who would fit the new jaw, created a medical grade titanium prosthetic device for the turtle, free of charge. 

damaged jaw of the loggerhead sea turtle

Sea Turtle Research, Rescue and Rehabilitation Center

Damaged jaw of the loggerhead sea turtle.

loggerhead sea turtle with prosthetic jaw

Sea Turtle Research, Rescue and Rehabilitation Center

The medical grade titanium jaw gets stitched and riveted into place.

In all the design of the device took two months, using existing models designed for humans and customizing them for the turtle’s damaged jaw and face. The surgery was a success and the turtle will be released back into the wild when it is fully rehabilitated.

The loggerhead sea turtle can grow to about 7 feet in length and reach a weight of approximately 300lb. The turtle's range includes the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, the Indian ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. The turtle reaches sexual maturity in as little as 17 (20 to 30 years is the norm) years and has an approximate lifespan of up to 67 years, though are known to live longer.  The loggerhead sea turtle feeds mainly on invertebrates, including sponges, shellfish, jellyfish, shrimp, squid, and sea urchins.


John B. Virata keeps a western hognose snake, a ball python, two corn snakes, a king snake, and two leopard geckos. His first snake, a California kingsnake, was purchased at the Pet Place in Westminster, CA for $5. His first pet reptile was a green anole that arrived in a small box via mail order. Follow him on Twitter @johnvirata 

 

Related Articles

Two Southwestern Garter Snakes Proposed For Endangered Species Protections

USFWS will render a decision on the narrow headed garter snake and the northern Mexican garter snake in fiscal year 2014.

Eight Tentacled Snakes Born At National Zoo In Washington D.C.

Zoo had been trying to breed Erpeton tentaculatum for the last four years.

Connecticut Homeowner Can Continue Home-Based Snake Breeding Business

City issues cease and desist order, later issues home business permit for breeder of ball pythons and boa constrictors.

Add your comment:
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit Module

Cast Your Vote

Where is your dream herping destination?



 

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleEdit Module

Find Us On facebook

Edit Module