The Green Turtles of Oman!

From Sur Beach Hotel we drove another 60 km to the beach where the turtles were. We arrived there and it was so dark it was just pitch black. An Omani guide who had been working there for 18 years took us to see the turtles which was on the nearby beach. The night was so dark that not a single star was visible. Our guide told us that camera flashes were not allowed and to follow him closely. We only walked a few steps when we came across the first turtles digging holes to lay their eggs. I've never seen turtles use their flippers in this way before. It was like a four wheel drive in action. They flap those flippers like they're swimming but they dig up quite an amount of sand in the process. The turtles were about 3 feet by 1.5 feet. They were huge. These turtles come ashore and start digging holes to lay eggs. After they lay their eggs they make another hole nearby as a decoy so the foxes are outfoxed! They lay up to 140 eggs in one go. After laying a batch they go back to the ocean to return after a period of four months to lay more eggs. They do this four times in succession and then it takes four years before they lay eggs again. We saw two turtles lay eggs, it was amazing. They produce them about 20-30 seconds after the other. The eggs are round and soft so that they don't crack when they fall from the turtle onto the other eggs. They were about 5 by 5cms big. While we were there we spotted a fox and a cat. Out of 1000 eggs laid at any one time only about 2 turtles survive to adulthood. The dangers of eggs and baby turtles being eaten by foxes, cats, crabs, fishes and other predators are so high that such a small number survive. Baby turtles are so tiny that its amazing they grow into 3 by 1.5 feet.

Comments

Vivian said…
I love reading your blogs. Keep writing and one day you will have enough material for a book.
Not only am I getting an education about the culture of Samoa, but also learning about other lands. I really like the story on the sea turtles. The pictures are nice, too.
How on earth did you end up in Oman?

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