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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

The Living on Earth Almanac

Air Date: Week of

This week, facts about... It's time once again for lady green sea turtles to do what they've done every year for the past 200 million years or so, trundle ashore to lay their eggs.


CURWOOD: Some call them greenbacks, others cropmays krapes, and still others the aruanas. By whatever name, green sea turtles usually range from Alaska to South Africa. But each year at this time, when the sun is directly over the equator, the females head for the beaches of the tropics to lay their eggs. They've done that every year for the past 200 million years or so. The sea turtle might be the best survivor of the vertebrates, but for the hatchlings nothing is certain in the early going. As they seek the bright horizon that marks the way to the sea, many turtles are distracted by lights from beachfront developments and get lost and die. And even reaching the sea is no guarantee of long life. Each year, more than 150,000 sea turtles get caught in shrimp nets and drown. And while the green sea turtle's size or color may be unremarkable, it does have one distinction: it's tasty. Which might account for its other moniker, the soup turtle. And for this week, that's the Living on Earth Almanac.



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