Between the months of January and March, female Olive Ridleys come ashore at night to lay their eggs. This is quite a problem for them, as a turtle’s front flippers enable it to swim gracefully and effortlessly but are not very useful for moving on land. The turtle has to haul itself laboriously onto the beach. Then it chooses a spot well away from the high-tideline. Here, it scoops out a nest cavity 45 cm deep, into which it lays about 100 eggs. Each egg is in the shape and size of a table tennis ball. Once all the eggs are laid, the turtle fills in the cavity, then it camouflages the nest by tossing sand on it using its flippers. That done, it returns to the sea. The eggs are left to incubate under the warmth of the sun.
How do female Olive Ridley turtles lay their eggs?
- When - January to March
- Time - Night
- Where - on the shore
- Problem - Difficult to move with their front flippers on land (though it can swim easily without any effort in the water). It has to pull and drag itself with great effort on to the sandy beach.
- How - It chooses a spot far from the place where there are high tides. It makes a hollow space 45cm deep and lays about 100 eggs.
- Eggs - The shape and size of a tennis ball.
- After laying the eggs, the turtle closes the hollow space. Then it hides the nest according to the surroundings, by tossing sand on it, with the help of its flippers. Nobody can find the spot now because the whole place looks the same now!
- Then the turtle returns to the sea.
- The eggs will hatch under the warmth of the sun.
Meanings of difficult words:
|Flippers||Broad, flat limbs used for swimming.|
|Haul||Pull or drag with force.|
|Laboriously||Takes considerable time and effort.|
|Cavity||A hollow space.|
|Camouflages||Hide or disguise to blend with the surroundings.|
|Incubate||Hatch eggs using warmth.|
State Council of Educational Research and Training (2019). Term-1 English Standard-6. Sea Turtles - Shekar Dattatri (pp. 86-92). Published by the Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation.