Turtle Nesting Season Approaches at Ningaloo reef

The nesting season is approaching at Ningaloo Reef.  The photo below was taken last week and is of two Green turtles mating in the shallow waters of Ningaloo Reef. 

Courtship activity occurs several weeks before the nesting season. With their large claws on the end of their front flippers the males grasp the shells of the female to mate. 

In a few weeks time this female will come ashore usually at night and often during high tide to lay her eggs.  She will use her front flippers to crawl past the high tide line to find a safe spot to nest.  Using her front flippers she digs out a “body pit”, then using her back flippers she digs an “egg cavity”. 

Over a course of 2 – 3 hours she will lay between 50 – 200 ping pong ball shaped eggs.  Using her back flippers she covers the eggs with sand.  By burying her eggs she protects them from predators, keeps the shells moist hence protecting them from drying out and the sand maintains the proper temperature for the eggs to hatch.   

The eggs take approximately 2 months to hatch.