Terrapin Hatchlings Rise from September Sands


Terrapin Hatchling Emerges from September Sands

As sun beats down on sand dunes and dirt roadways of Lieutenant Island on Outer Cape Cod, diamondback terrapin nests that have been incubating since late June and early July have begun to yield spunky little hatchlings.


Creature Pokes through the Sand

No larger than a tiny pebble, hatchlings are barely recognizable as they pierce the surface and stare into the sunlight for the very first time.


Eyes of the Sand Creature

Even a closeup image does little to bring this terrapin hatchling into focus.  Turtle Journal should sponsor a “Name That Critter Contest.”

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Creatures Rise from the Warm September Sands

The opportunity to watch these miniature turtles rise from beneath the sand where they have been incubating in eggs for the eighty days seems truly miraculous.

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Hatchlings Tunnel and Scramble to Freedom

A second nest is caught by the Turtle Journal team just as hatchlings break the surface and struggle down the sandy slopes into the safety of the salt marsh.


Emergence Hole in the Middle of Tire Tracks on Marsh Road

Another miracle is how female terrapins survive nest laying in the middle of Outer Cape dirt roads, and how the nests remain architecturally sounds under summer tourist traffic, and how quarter ounce hatchlings can carve their way to the surface through a quarter foot of compacted soil nearly as hard as concrete, and how they evade predators and automobiles as they scramble to freedom and safety in the salt marsh.



Go Terrapins!


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