Sea Turtles return to lay their eggs at the same beach on which they were born.

Adult turtles do not care for their young, leaving the eggs to incubate and hatch alone.
While on the beach, hatchlings find the ocean by crawling towards the lower, brighter seaward horizon and away from the dark, elevated silhouettes of vegetation and dunes. Once they have entered the water, the baby turtles swim out in the direction the waves are coming from, heading towards deeper water.

No one is certain where the young turtles spend the first months, or even years, of their lives. It is thought that they might drift with floating seaweed which provide food and shelter, and disperse widely with the currents.

Juvenile turtles will then typically move into coastal waters, with one exception of the Leatherback Turtle, which remains pelagic throughout its life.
Already at this stage of life, turtles develop favourite feeding sites which they tend to return to after long migrations and experimental displacements.

Similar navigational abilities exist in adult turtles, which acquire an impressive ability to pinpoint specific geographic locations such as feeding areas and nesting beaches.

It is believed that sea turtles orientate themselves along the earth’s magnetic field. They are able to distinguish between different field intensities found along their migratory route as well as sense different magnetic inclination angles. Using this ability, they are able to create a global map to coordinate their routes, which makes them one of the most impressive navigators in the animal kingdom.

« »