Moving turtle eggs to protect them disrupts brain development

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Moving sea turtle eggs to protect them comes with its own risks, as the resulting hatchlings tend to be less well-developed than those that remain in their original location



Life



13 July 2022

An olive ridley turtle leaving its egg

An olive ridley turtle leaving its egg

Photo by Sumit Sanyal/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Sea turtles that hatch from human-made nests may have less well-developed brains, sexual organs and motor skills than hatchlings from natural nests.

Conservationists regularly move the eggs of endangered sea turtles when their original nest site is at risk, such as from poaching, predation or floodwaters. This is either to indoor incubation facilities or to hand-dug holes in a protected area of the same beach where they were laid. However, it is a delicate task since reptile eggs are highly sensitive to their environment. …



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