Thursday, February 24, 2011


A Hawksbill turtle swimming off Hondurus. Photo courtesy: Wikipedia

Baby turtles are hardwired to swim the second they feel weightless. If you pick up a newly-hatched turtle using one finger on each side of the shell so the hatchling feels weightless, his/her legs will immediately start paddling and they will move their heads upwards imitating the taking of a breath.

Baby turtles that hatch in a nursery must be released a distance from the ocean. On the day of their release, they are released up the beach from the water. Scientists have determined through their research that the little paddlers need to cross a determined amount of sand in order to come back to this beach during egg-laying time. The time spent making it to the water is needed to imprint the location of this beach in the female's brains so they can return to this same stretch of beach many years later to lay their own eggs.

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