Baby Loggerhead Turtles

PJay

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I was fortunate enough to be on the Atlantic coast of North America for vacation this summer at the right time to see baby Loggerhead turtles emerging from their nest. The main boil, which is what it's called when the majority of babies emerge, had occurred a couple days earlier. The baby turtles in the pictures below were at the deepest point in the nest and had hatched from their eggs and been trying to dig up through the sand for several days. They literally got a helping hand from the local turtle patrol, as you will see, who is on hand for most emergences.

The turtle patrol volunteers walk the beaches at night looking for female sea turtles lumbering up the beach searching for a suitable place to lay their eggs. Locals and visitors can also call a hotline if they see females on the beach and the turtle patrol will send volunteers out to observe the eggs being laid and mark the nest. The nests are then covered with metal screens to keep out predators and ringed with stakes and plastic ribbon so people don't walk on the nests and compact the sand. The turtle patrol is incredibly organized and devoted, as once a nest has been identified, it is assigned to a team who monitor it all summer, and when the time for the turtles to emerge arrives, are onsite to assist.
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The team digs down through the nest looking for hatchlings.

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The babies are transferred to a plastic container and documented for statistical research in conjunction with the North Carolina state wildlife management agency and the University of Georgia. U of G performs DNA testing on unhatched eggs and has found evidence of a daughter, mother and grandmother all nesting on this beach in the same year!

IMG_7302.JPG

Cute little babies!

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They are allowed to walk part-way down to the water themselves so they can somehow imprint the beach location in their little bodies. The females will one day come back to this beach to lay their eggs.

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Some try to stray out of the trench that was dug for their benefit; to direct them towards the water.

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Then it's back into the containers and they are transported to the water edge, where under the watchful eye of the turtle rescue, they make their way into the water. They swim for the Sargasso sea where they will spend their early years searching for yummy jellyfish in floating mats of seaweed. I really like this aspect of sea turtles, as every member of my family was stung by jellyfish on this years trip.

Witnessing sea turtle hatchlings heading for the sea was one of the items on my bucket list, and I hope to knock off another one soon: seeing the females digging a nest and laying their eggs. Maybe next year!
 

TerrapinStation

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Detroit, Michigan
That is so cool. I am very jealous haha. the closest we ever came was the Sea Turtle rescue exhibit at the New England Aquarium in Boston.

Thanks for sharing!!!!!!
 

PJay

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5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2016
Messages
1,167
Location (City and/or State)
Virginia
That is so cool. I am very jealous haha. the closest we ever came was the Sea Turtle rescue exhibit at the New England Aquarium in Boston.

Thanks for sharing!!!!!!
Thanks! I love your alias and avatar! One of the first GD songs I was introduced to and led to a bit of an obsession.
 

TerrapinStation

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Joined
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Messages
669
Location (City and/or State)
Detroit, Michigan
Yes, the good ole grateful dead are a big part of my life.

We are going to Puerto Rico in a few weeks, hopefully we can scope out some sea turtles on the snorkeling trip!
 

Oxalis

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5 Year Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2013
Messages
3,020
Location (City and/or State)
Michigan
I was fortunate enough to be on the Atlantic coast of North America for vacation this summer at the right time to see baby Loggerhead turtles emerging from their nest. The main boil, which is what it's called when the majority of babies emerge, had occurred a couple days earlier. The baby turtles in the pictures below were at the deepest point in the nest and had hatched from their eggs and been trying to dig up through the sand for several days. They literally got a helping hand from the local turtle patrol, as you will see, who is on hand for most emergences.

The turtle patrol volunteers walk the beaches at night looking for female sea turtles lumbering up the beach searching for a suitable place to lay their eggs. Locals and visitors can also call a hotline if they see females on the beach and the turtle patrol will send volunteers out to observe the eggs being laid and mark the nest. The nests are then covered with metal screens to keep out predators and ringed with stakes and plastic ribbon so people don't walk on the nests and compact the sand. The turtle patrol is incredibly organized and devoted, as once a nest has been identified, it is assigned to a team who monitor it all summer, and when the time for the turtles to emerge arrives, are onsite to assist.
View attachment 188288

The team digs down through the nest looking for hatchlings.

View attachment 188289

The babies are transferred to a plastic container and documented for statistical research in conjunction with the North Carolina state wildlife management agency and the University of Georgia. U of G performs DNA testing on unhatched eggs and has found evidence of a daughter, mother and grandmother all nesting on this beach in the same year!

View attachment 188290

Cute little babies!

View attachment 188291

They are allowed to walk part-way down to the water themselves so they can somehow imprint the beach location in their little bodies. The females will one day come back to this beach to lay their eggs.

View attachment 188292

Some try to stray out of the trench that was dug for their benefit; to direct them towards the water.

View attachment 188293

Then it's back into the containers and they are transported to the water edge, where under the watchful eye of the turtle rescue, they make their way into the water. They swim for the Sargasso sea where they will spend their early years searching for yummy jellyfish in floating mats of seaweed. I really like this aspect of sea turtles, as every member of my family was stung by jellyfish on this years trip.

Witnessing sea turtle hatchlings heading for the sea was one of the items on my bucket list, and I hope to knock off another one soon: seeing the females digging a nest and laying their eggs. Maybe next year!
Thank you so much for sharing; I just love it!! :<3: Especially knowing that three generations have laid eggs all on the same beach in the same year. How heart-warming! Awesome photos too. Seeing baby turtles hatch is on my bucket list too. Last summer, we happened to be visiting my parents'-in-law cottage when a clutch of snappers hatched and headed for the lake shore. I was able to dig the deepest ones out and my husband helped take them all down to the water. They were so tiny and adorable!
I would live to do this. Thanks for sharing this with us.
Oh my gosh, me too! Wouldn't that be the most perfect job ever?! :rolleyes: Sigh...
 

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