3-D Printed Jawbone Helps Injured Sea Turtle Feed Again

A sea turtle who injured his beak in a boat propeller accident has just been fitted with a metal replacement jawbone that was crafted using a 3-D printer.

According to Fox News

“Staff at the Research, Rescue and Rehabilitation center at Pamukkale University in Denizli, Turkey, nursed the injured 99-pound sea turtle back to health, but they realized the reptile would need a new beak if it was ever going to be self-sufficient at sea, as its jaws had been sheared off in the accident.”

The rescue team joined forces with a company called BTech Innovation to develop the prosthetic beak. The team took detailed scans of the turtle’s jaw to make sure the replacement beak would fit snug.

Image Credit: BTech Innovation BBC

According to BBC

“The beak, made of medical-grade titanium, replaces the loggerhead turtle’s jaws, half of which were sheared off in the accident.”

Thanks to the surgery, the turtle (named “Akut-3”) is now able to eat on its own, giving it a fighting chance if and when it returns to the wild.

Right now a team is keeping an eye on Akut-3 to see if the creature will reject its new prosthetic. If everything goes well the turtle will return to the wild soon.

Read more here from BBC or Fox News.

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