A team of 10 doctors and their assistants crowd around an operating table. An anesthesiologist warns Dr. Greg Lewbart that his patient's heart rate has dropped to 35 beats per minute. But that's a good rate, the doctor says, for a seven-pound endangered sea turtle.
Veterinarians successfully completed experimental skull surgery on a green sea turtle Thursday at N.C. State University in Raleigh. They say the turtle, which is too young to easily tell its gender, needed the operation to close a three-inch gash to the head that had exposed the protective membrane sheathing its tiny brain.