March 18, 2014
Museum Welcomes Turtle Skeleton and Finders
North Myrtle Beach, SC: North Myrtle Beach Area Historical Museum recently received a partially
reconstructed loggerhead turtle skeleton. Thirteen-year-old Vivian Mills and her brother Naaman of Raleigh, NC, discovered the skeleton last August when vacationing in North Myrtle Beach.
"I was amazed," recalled Vivian, who saw the assembled skeleton in the Museum on Friday. Last summer when she noticed the turtle in the water at 50th Avenue North, "…[the turtle] looked as if it had decided to take a nap, flipped over, and died right in front of our house!"
Vivian and Naaman retrieved the bones and reassembled them on a towel. Their parents contacted
North Myrtle Beach Sea Turtle Patrol volunteer Rob Kayton let the bones dry for several months before painstakingly piecing them together. He installed the skeleton in the Museum.
Because Sea Turtles are an endangered species, it is illegal to have any parts of a sea turtle, bones, eggs, scutes in your possession. The NMB Historical Museum has obtained a permit from SCDR to display this skeleton.
"Frank," the turtle is displayed in the Sea Turtle section of the Museum's long-term exhibits. Also on display are a nest cutaway fabricated by North Myrtle Beach Sea Turtle Patrol volunteers Linda Mataya, Carol McMurrain, and Rob Kayton; and three murals depicting scenes from the turtle life cycle painted by Sherry Kelley. There is a reading area with books about sea turtles where visitors can relax and read about the wonderful creatures which nest on local beaches.
When asked why she named the turtle "Frank,' Vivian replied, "I name everything "Frank."
Sea turtle season begins May 1. North Myrtle Beach Sea Turtle Patrol volunteers will begin their early morning beach treks looking for evidence of nests. On Friday, May 2, a new exhibit opens at the Museum.
Sea Turtles: Captured in Art and Photography features the work of local artists and images taken by
photographer Julie Bostian.