Natural History

Olive Ridley Sea Turtle

posted: 05/11/13
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OLIVE RIDLEY SEA TURTLE, Santa Rosa National Park, Costa Rica | ARKive Animal Profile: Olive Ridley Sea Turtle| Photo Caption: Excerpted from North America: A World in One Continent by Huw Cordey

The olive ridley is considered to be the most abundant sea turtle in the world, with an estimated 800,000 nesting females annually. At any given moment during the wet season, you can spot the female turtles swim to the shore, walk fifty yards up the beach, dig their holes to lay eggs, and walk back to the sea. There are so many of them that the newest arrivals inevitably dig up the eggs laid by those who have gone before them.

Although the olive ridleys can weigh up to 100 pounds when they reach adulthood, they start out tiny when they first emerge as one ounce hatchlings. The most vulnerable time for a hatchlings is the dash from the beach to the sea; all kinds of predators arrive at the nesting grounds to eat the eggs, including: raccoons, coyotes, crabs, iguanas, hawks, and even jaguars.

EXPLORE THE SAVAGE COASTS: Lion's Mane Jellyfish | Manatee | Killer Whale | Olive Ridley Sea Turtle | Bottlenose Dolphin | Horseshoe Crab | Peregrine Falcon | Spinner Shark | Gray Whale | Moon Jellyfish | All North American Animals

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