Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The last hatchling

Twenty-two days after we expected them to emerge, a few tiny hatchlings of PB8201 were rescued by Gulf Islands National Seashore bio-techs (one a marine biologist) who assessed the nest this morning.

Not many of the eggs/hatchlings survived, but considering the storms which battered this nest, soaked it in salt water, and buried it under several feet of sand, it's a miracle any survived.

A few eggs were taken in to be candled, perhaps still to hatch when warmed in a quiet environment. If not, this little fellow still emerging from the egg will the be last hatchling of the 2008 season on Pensacola Beach.

I can't account for the pinkish cast to the sand except that it was taken not long after sunrise.

To read more, click HERE and HERE


Jen and Eric said...

That picture is precious! How long to turtles remain in their eggs before hatching?

Barrier Island Girl said...

Hey Jen! Generally speaking, marine turtles hatch after approximately 60 days. The eggs are covered with 18" or so of sand, so once they hatch it takes them close to three days to work their way to the surface.

Below the surface, tiny turtles start climbing their way up once hatched . Rangers (or volunteers) start listening for them after 60 days. We put a towel or blanket down near the nest and put an ear to the ground. You can hear them scratching. Finally, a few days after hatching, they all emerge from the sand at once. It looks like they come boiling out of the sand!

Here are a couple of links to videos of a nest emerging. Keep in mind there are usually 100 or more eggs in a nest. That's a lot of hatchlings. The best way I can describe it is like watching a pot of water at a slow simmer, suddenly go to full boil. Watch the second video especialy and you'll understand:




P.S. I'm looking forward to your wedding in January!

Jen and Eric said...

Awww! I would love to see all those adorable babies hatching some day -- they sure have a lot of energy to dig for such a long time and then make it to the sea! Adorable!

P.S. ~ I'm so thrilled ya'll can make it to the wedding! I look forward to seeing you both and introducing ya'll to Eric! :)