Turtle hatchling highways
In an experiment, objects were put into the water, both in places where many turtles hatch and in places where few or no eggs are found. The objects launched where many hatchlings begin their lives were carried away quickly by a current. After about a month and a half, the objects had already been swept 1500 kilometres away. The objects launched where no or few turtles hatch, however, remained near the coast. Young turtles that hatch at these locations have a smaller chance of survival.
Evolution, according to the researchers, is the reason that most leatherback eggs are laid on the ‘favourable’ beach: the animals hatched there were more likely to survive.
The leatherback turtle is seriously endangered. The scientists involved in this study emphasize that knowledge about all life phases of this animal is essential to the protection of these turtles.