First Terrapin Hatchling of 2011 Emerges

hatchling 2011 001 960 480

First Diamondback Terrapin Hatchling of 2011

We didn’t have to wait 48 hours; we didn’t have to wait 24 hours for the first 2011 terrapin hatchling to emerge.  This afternoon, shortly after we discovered a pipped egg in Nest 368 (see posting immediately below), we found a hatchling near the bottom of the nest that was scratching its way to freedom.

Terrapin Hatchling Emerges to Freedom

Hatchlings use their temporary egg tooth to pierce the hard shell.  Once a hole has been cut through the egg, the hatchling widens the opening with its sharp and strong claws.  About four to five days after the egg is “pipped,” the hatchling has absorbed its large yolk sac sufficiently to emerge from the egg, tunnel to the surface and scramble to the safety of vegetation.

hatchling 2011 010 480

The 2011 Terrapin Hatchling Season Begins

This hatchling has ripped its shell apart and has managed to squiggle free.  It will shortly be released into its native salt marsh nursery habitat south of Lieutenant Island in Wellfleet on Outer Cape Cod.  In the next few days, hatchlings will begin emerging from nests throughout Southeastern Massachusetts.  Keep a sharp eye to the ground and let Turtle Journal know if you discover hatchlings emerging at our 508-274-5108 hotline.

Comments are closed.