Nest escape by sea turtle hatchlings takes place between the points of hatching and nest emergence, and is an important stage in the early life of sea turtles. It is during this period that the hatchling’s carapace straightens out and residual yolk is absorbed into the body cavity, both of which will influence the hatchling’s fitness.
SEATRU investigated the effect of sand water content on this nest escaping process, as this information did not yet exist in current literature. It was expected that dry sand, which has a tendency to collapse and make air spaces difficult to create, would take hatchlings longer to escape than moist sand, which tends to stick together and allows for large airspaces to be created. Despite this, results showed that sand humidity does not significantly influence the time it takes a hatchling to escape from its nest.
Researchers setting up for the experiment
The position of turtle eggs in the experimental chamber