SAND AND SEA
Loggerheads nest in April through September. They
are the most numerous in our region and are the
only ones that are not endangered. Green sea turtles
usually arrive in May and nest through October.
When a female sea turtle is ready to lay her eggs,
she returns to where she hatched many years before.
She comes out of the ocean and carefully takes in
all of her surroundings. While in water she glides
gracefully; on land, she struggles awkwardly. She
must drag her heavy body above the high tide line
to find a suitable nesting spot. If she is not disturbed
by artificial lighting, predators or humans, the turtle
prepares a nest by digging a body pit with her front
flippers. Then she digs a deeper egg chamber with
her rear flippers, throwing sand methodically in all
“The rear flippers are very dexterous, so basically
she’ll scoop sand out with one flipper and kick it to
the side, and the alternating flipper will do the same
thing,” says Jeff Guertin, an environmental specialist
with Inwater Research Group. “The depth of the
egg chamber will depend on the species. Once the
chamber is formed, the turtle will position itself over
that hole and deposit the eggs.”
The number of eggs varies with the species. On
average, loggerheads and green sea turtles lay 110
eggs, which are roughly the size of a ping pong ball.
Leatherbacks lay 80 eggs in a nest and each egg is
about the size of a billiard ball. Sea turtles can nest
multiple times in one season.
After the turtle has laid her eggs, she fills the hole >>
A green sea turtle leaves distinctive
tracks in the sand as it crawls on the
beach to nest.
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OUR SEA TURTLES