Go, Turtles, Go: Cheering on Sea Turtles at Release Party
Along the beaches of Cabo, Mexico, new life is hatching. With serendipitous timing, you can get a front row seat to watch it.
Our fortuitously timed trip to Cabo in December allowed us to witness two sea turtle releases, which are not-to-miss, heart-warming experiences.
Puppies are cute, but I challenge that baby sea turtles are even cuter. Watching them crawl to their new ocean home just amps up the adorable factor.
A dedicated volunteer closely monitors a corralled-off section of beach near a Palmilla neighborhood to give turtle eggs ample, unobstructed incubation time. Within hours of their hatching, the baby sea turtles are released onto the beach, pointing in the direction of the sea. With each wave, they’re lapped closer to their new life at sea.
Unfortunately, only about one hatchling in 1,000 will make it to adulthood. Surviving to the point of a turtle release is pretty miraculous when you consider the vulnerability of their eggs to predators.
Here are some other interesting sea turtle facts to ponder:
- The earliest sea turtle fossils date back over 150 million years. For perspective, consider that dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago.
- Female sea turtles return to the same nesting grounds where they were born.
- Males spend most of their life at sea and rarely return to land after hatching.
- Sea turtles grow slowly, reaching reproductive maturity between 15 and 50 years. Some species can live more than 100 years.
- Sea turtle species are varied and can weigh between 100 and 1,300 pounds.
- Some species can stay under water up to five hours.
- The leatherback turtle is known to travel around 10,000 miles annually in search of food.
- Threats to sea turtles include entanglement in fishing nets, habitat loss, pollution such as the ingestion of plastic bags, and consumption of their eggs and meat.
For more sea turtle facts and to learn about conservation, check out the Sea Turtle Conservancy.