Friday, November 25, 2016

Life and Death on a Mexican Beach

One baby sea turtle that didn't make it...
A dead sea turtle hatchling is a silent testament to harsh nature...
On our first day on the beach in Nuevo Vallarta, I noticed the pelicans and gulls over the beach periodically diving down to the sand to pluck at some small dark objects which they promptly swallowed before taking flight again.

I could only glimpse the objects and I initially thought they were some sort of dried fruit. It turns out they were snatching the dead and dying baby sea turtles on the beach.

Sea turtles come ashore to lay their bury their eggs in nests below the sand. The turtles emerge at night and have a few hours to scramble to the water before they succumb to the flying predators, or the sun's burning rays.

The remains of a sea turtle nest...
The remains of a sea turtle nest.
There were a few notices along the beach about not disturbing the nests or the babies, but given that Nuevo is a very crowded public beach with people, horses, dogs, and birds, I suspect that a lot of these animals don't live very long lives.

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