In order to lay an nest, female Sea Turtle hauls herself onto the beach, nearly always at night, and finds suitable sand on which to create a nest. Using her hind flippers, she digs a circular hole about 16 to 20 inches deep. After the hole is dug, the female then starts filling the nest with a clutch of soft-shelled eggs one by one until she has deposited around 50 to 200 eggs, depending on the species. Some species have been reported to lay 250 eggs. After laying, she re-fills the nest with sand, re-sculpting and smoothing the surface until it is relatively undetectable visually. The whole process takes thirty to sixty minutes. She then returns to the ocean, leaving the eggs untended
Incubation takes about two months. The eggs in one nest hatch together over a very short period of time. When ready, hatchlings tear their shells apart with their snout and dig through the sand. Again, this usually takes place at night. Once they reach the surface, they instinctively head towards the sea.
The Ocean Isle Beach Sea Turtle Protection Organization provides a safe and protected environment for all sea turtles that frequent the island of Ocean Isle Beach, helping protect as many sea turtle nests as possible each season. For more information visit https://www.oibseaturtles.org/