Shifting sands: Sea turtle nests
An adult female will nest 2–10 times each season. A turtle nest is 45–55cm deep. It is excavated using the back flippers and covered again by throwing over sand with the front flippers. Each nest contains 50–200 eggs, depending on species. The eggs hatch one and a half to two months later. The most common nester at Anna Maria Island is the loggerhead, below.
Clockwise from right: volunteers including Pete Gross (in grey cap) examine a nest to see how many turtle eggs have hatched; anatomy of a sea turtle nest; a sign on the importance of dark beaches – lights scare females and can draw hatchlings away from the sea; a nest at night, with light pollution behind; Suzi Fox, the director of AMI Turtle Watch.