North Myrtle Beach Sea Turtle Patrol. Powered by Blogger.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

NMB Nest #2

John saw the mother turtle come ashore, late on July 3rd and watched her as she nested early into July 4th.  A big turtle, she seem to pick the right spot, close to the dunes, near a new beach access walkover.....

This nest was watched from Day 50 until day 75 of incubation.  No sign of an emergence or hatchlings was ever seen.  No hole or depression in the sand, no tracks on the beach, no live hatchlings found.  Concern began to grow as the days went by......Did we miss it?   Was the sand to wet from the many days of rain?   Sand to hard packed and moist to let the hatchlings climb out?

Finally as per DNR guidelines, we were able to dig up the egg chamber on day 75.   July 17th.  Within seconds, it became apparent what had happened.   Eggs were found very close to the surface,  60 eggs were found, all unhatched.  2 very small eggs, shaped almost like snow men were also found.  All 60 eggs were opened, all were either never fertilized or all died in very early development.  Yolk was still very runny in some eggs, congealed into a soft, cheesy consistency in other eggs.

This egg was found with a belly button like protrusion.  Interesting!!

Regular egg next to the two small "snowmen" eggs

At least we were treated to a beautiful sky as the day ended.

NMB Nest #2

Natural, in situ nest

Laid on July 4th, left to incubate for 75 days

Egg Chamber dug up on Sept 17th

60 whole or unhatched eggs found, 2 small "snowman" shaped or spacer eggs also found

0 hatched eggs

No live or dead hatchlings found

1 egg taken on July 4th for DNA Study

total eggs in nest 61

0 % hatching success rate

Thank you Julie for your great pictures

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