Galapagos Green Sea Turtle
December 13, 2011 § 1 Comment
December starts the mating season for the Galapagos Green Sea Turtle. A subspecies of the Green Sea Turtles, the Galapagos Green Sea Turtle is the only of its species to nest on the shores of the Galapagos Islands.
Curious creatures, sea turtles are frequently seen bobbing their heads out of the water to see passing boats and are frequently seen watching snorkelers from a safe distance. Surprisingly enough visitors are more likely to encounter sea turtles in Galapagos than they are tortoises. Galapagos Green Sea Turtles unlike the enigmatic Galapagos Tortoise lives in the sea, while the Galapagos Tortoise lives its life on land. Male sea turtles live their entire lives at sea while females come ashore to nest and lay eggs.
At night the female will come ashore and navigate to above the high tide line where it will dig a pit with its back flippers in the loose sand. It will lie normally between 75 to 100 eggs per pit. When she finishes laying the eggs the female will carefully cover the pit with sand and then return to the sea. It takes the female between 3 and 8 hours to complete the process, as she will often dig false pits to fool predators.
During mating season the female will make a nest every couple of weeks laying approximately 600 eggs per season. Unfortunately Galapagos Sea Turtles have a high mortality rate due to egg beetles, crabs, hawks, mockingbirds and frigate birds as well as feral pigs and rats.