A news story written by Christopher Carbone of Fox News, reported on, “Sea turtles eat plastic because it smells like food, study shows” based on the research article from Current Biology titled, “Odors from marine plastic debris elicit foraging behavior in sea turtles” by Joseph B. Pfaller and colleagues.
The news story was very brief outlining a few key points of the research article, such as mentioning how marine animals have been interacting with the plastic accumulated in their environments, and sometimes consuming it. Carbone then briefly described the methods and the key result including how chemicals released from ocean plastic induced foraging behaviour in the sea turtles. Using a statement from Joseph B. Pfaller in the context of the study, the news story highlighted the importance of the results and how plastic pollution can be dangerous to turtles (e.g. entanglement in the plastic).
The news story was very brief and although the main points of the research article were described, it lacked detail on background information as well as more detail about the study, such as why new and ocean-soaked plastic differed in how it affected the turtle’s foraging behaviours. Additionally, although the link to the research article was provided, the article itself was not publicly accessible, and therefore the accuracy and how well the news story described the paper cannot be verified. The story was written in third person and included a statement from one of the researchers but did not include alternate opinions and statements from other experts in the study field, which would have helped to strengthen this news story by Fox news.
In this brief news article by Christopher Carbone of Fox News, he reports on a new study published in Current Biology about loggerhead sea turtles and their ability to respond to marine plastic debris in a similar manner as they would to odours associated with food.
In the reference article, Pfaller and colleagues discussed the research findings that suggests not only are marine animals attracted to plastic debris due to their looks, but also the odour it gives off. Previous studies referenced in the research paper have shown that sea turtles can detect airborne odorants emitting from organic compounds found in oceanic foraging areas. Formulating their study around loggerhead sea turtles, the researchers noted that the sea turtles appeared to be active and display foraging behaviours in presence of befouled plastic debris as they would when in presence of a food source. The researchers’ mentioned that due to the sea turtles’ ability in responding to airborne odorants coming from the marine plastic debris with the same behaviour as they would act towards food odorants, this would increase the chances that marine plastic debris has the possibility of being involved with marine animal fatalities.
Carbone reports in the article of the new research regarding sea turtles and their confusion with food and marine plastic debris. Carbone then went on to state that a “range of different marine creatures interact with the vast amount of plastic waste”, appearing to assume a study conducted on sea turtles can be generalized across other marine animals. Furthermore, although the research paper was linked in the news article, it was not publicly accessible unless one searched for the paper outside of the news article. Carbone also did not include perspectives from multiple sources and the news article lacked many details from the research paper itself that would have provided a more cohesive and representative summary of the research results. These points altogether undermined the overall credibility of the article.
Regardless, Carbone has successfully explained some of the main points of the research in language suitable for the target audience, clarifying any unfamiliar jargon. In addition, the article was presented in a clean and streamlined layout, allowing for an easy read. Overall, this is a news piece that would greatly benefit from expanding further into the main details of the research as a whole, as well as including multiple perspectives to further improve the credibility and accuracy of this news article.
The views expressed by the reviewers for this article are not endorsed or shared by SciFeye. The interpretation of the review of the news story using the SciFeye Index was done independently by two SciFeye reviewers. We encourage you to conduct your own evaluation of the accuracy and quality of the news story using the Index.
The views expressed by the reviewers for this article are not endorsed or shared by SciFeye. The interpretation of the review of the news story using the SciFeye Index was done independently by two SciFeye reviewers. We encourage you to conduct your own evaluation of the accuracy and quality of the news story using the Index.The views expressed by the reviewers for this article are not endorsed or shared by SciFeye. The interpretation of the review of the news story using the SciFeye Index was done independently by two SciFeye reviewers. We encourage you to conduct your own evaluation of the accuracy and quality of the news story using the Index.