SCIENTISTS are closer to understanding how green sea turtles navigate hundreds of miles of ocean to nest on the beaches of Ascension Island.

Every year between December and June, thousands of turtles migrate from Brazil to the tiny south Atlantic island to mate, with the females crawling ashore to lay their eggs in the sand.

A team at Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University has developed a model that simulates part of the turtles’ journey, uncovering what they rely on to make the arduous trip.

They found the species uses a range of cues to navigate during their journey, with several “weak” cues typically more successful than fewer strong ones, which

could lead them into “blind spots”, leading them off-course.