Baby Sea Turtle Has a Little Problem

September 3, 2013 at 10:40 am (Georgia, Nature, Photography, Wildlife) (, , , , )

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Watching Annalina, a Loggerhead Sea Turtle on Jekyll Island, GA

July 11, 2013 at 4:38 am (Georgia, Nature, Wildlife) (, , )

It was a bittersweet moment.  A rare thing was happening on this beach in Georgia.  A loggerhead sea turtle obeyed the call of her kind and rose from the buoyant sea to the burdensome sand.  This alien, waterless stuff under her flippers would soon shelter her eggs.  If only she could get above the high tide line.  If only she could make it to the powder-soft dunes.  It was not easy.  She was very large, very heavy, and it was low tide.  But darkness was her ally, and it was time.

Loggerhead Sea Turtle laying eggs on Jekyll Island - photo from GSTC Facebook page

Loggerhead Sea Turtle laying eggs on Jekyll Island – photo from GSTC Facebook page

She finally found the right spot and began digging her nest.  Her hind flippers created a womb in the still-warm sand, two feet deep, large enough to hold 120 or so round, rubbery eggs.  Then she eased herself over the hole to release the eggs, and  the people watching in darkness came up to her.  Red lights played across her carapace.  Alien hands touched her.  No matter what these people did to her, she would not leave until the last of the eggs were secreted away in their chamber. Read the rest of this entry »

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Loggerhead Sea Turtles on the Georgia Coast

August 10, 2012 at 7:09 pm (Georgia, Nature, Photography, Wildlife) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Loggerhead sea turtles are one of those “awwww….” creatures.  They inspire protective instincts in many of us, especially those who are aware of the sad state of many of earth’s species such as these, fighting for survival.

Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Georgia Sea Turtle Center, Jekyll Island, Georgia

I went to Georgia’s Jekyll and St. Simons Islands this week in hopes of seeing at least one of these amazing animals.  I knew that the females come ashore only to lay their eggs.  I knew they come at night and leave a trail in the sand, and that volunteers and biologists check every night and morning to see where new nests are.  I knew the babies generally hatch at night and make their desperate break for the sea, hoping that they make it before gulls or crabs snatch them from their destiny.  Only one in 4,000 of these babies will make it to adulthood and reproduce.  These marine reptiles, on the Endangered Species List,  grow up in the North Atlantic and around the Sargasso Sea, then the females return to the beaches where they were born, drag their 200 to 300 pound bodies up past the high tide line, scoop a hole in the dunes, deposit a clutch of 60 to 100 or more eggs , cover them up, smooth out the sand, and drag themselves back to the sea.  Males never come ashore, unless they are sick or injured. Read the rest of this entry »

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