SCUBAZOO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCUBAZOO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Leatherback turtle hatchling (Dermochelys coriacea) heading for the sea. Turtles are wholly aquatic reptiles, the females only coming ashore to lay their eggs. Each female lays about 80 eggs in a nest dug in the sand. The eggs hatch after 2 months. When the majority of the eggs have hatched the hatchlings make a dash for the relative safety of the sea, usually under the cover of darkness. It is thought that they locate the sea by heading for the horizon, which is detected by subtle differences in light frequency. This has led to artificial light sources, such as cars and buildings, guiding the hatchlings in the wrong direction with fatal consequences for the already threatened turtles. Photographed in Kamiali, Lababia, Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea.
Model release not required. Property release not required.