The rays of the sun heat the beach, warming the turtle’s eggs buried in the sand. The eggs develop in the nest. They are ready to hatch in about two months. The patchlings pick at their shells with a small, sharp point at the front of their snout—this particular part will disappear after hatching. The hatchlings crack their shells. All must hatch at almost the same time, for all must share the work to escape from the nest.
aThe baby turtles scrape away at the sand overhead. The sand falls upon their empty shells, forming a platform that allows the hatchlings to rise. In a few days, they have scraped their way up to the roof of the nest. Then at night, or in the early morning, little dark heads and flippers wriggle out onto the beach. Two-inch long hatchlings crawl away and look for the sea.