If you are a fan of the National Geographic channel or you are interested in watching documentaries regarding turtles, you would have surely had a chance to look at a scene where dozens of turtles hatch together and then try to get out together from the nest. This must ring a bell or two in your mind, right?
Did you ever wonder why they were doing it? If you are looking for the answer, you are at the right place. In this article, we will have a look at why baby turtles work together to dig themselves out of a nest.
To get a better understanding of this act of social facilitation by sea turtles mostly, we need to get an idea of how the hatching of turtles takes place. The sea turtles hatch on their own. Unlike most of the species, sea turtles do not hatch under the supervision of an adult. They are on their own when they hatch, and they come out of the egg with the help of a front jaw tooth that is specifically there to help them with their hatching, and they lose it after a short time of their birth.
The baby turtles then try to get out of the nest and dig together because it saves them energy. Moreover, they are weaklings at the time of their birth, and a single baby turtle can't dig on its own. They save this energy for the next step of moving towards the ocean.
Time is a matter of life and death for baby turtles. They need to get to the ocean as soon as possible after the time of their birth, and this is why they try to come out of the nest together so that they can have that extra time to get to the ocean to start their lives.
In conclusion, there is still research going on regarding this behavior of baby turtles, and it is a fascinating process, to say the least.