WHAT do you know about Lord Mayor's Turtle? In fact, there are no officially named turtle species. In England, the Lord Mayor's banquet traditionally began with a bowl of green turtle soup, which is why the name was used to refer to the Caribbean green turtle.
You may have already tried a turtle soup made from gelatinous caliphate found under the shell of green turtles. In West Germany, the United States and other affluent parts of the world, it was considered a delicacy. As a source of delicacy and with a wide variety of protein-rich meats, the green turtle is threatened with extinction. Come take a look at the interesting life of these creatures. Here in Costa Rica you have an unusual opportunity to do so.
Green turtle eggs and juicy meat have been sought after for food for centuries. But with the arrival of the Spaniards in America, the hunt for this large amphibious reptile began on a large scale. According to a marine turtle official, zoologist Archie Carr, "the green turtle has helped open up the Caribbean more than any other nutritional factor." More than 75% of the breeding colonies would have been destroyed in the first century after the Spanish invasion. Costa Rica now has the only large playground in the Caribbean.
Until recently, turtles were hunted indiscriminately in Costa Rica. As a result, the government, aware of the dangers of extinction, passed laws prohibiting the hunting of turtles or their eggs on beaches. This was not the first attempt to prevent its deceptive destruction. As early as 1620, the Bermuda community passed a law protecting "such an exceptional inspector." This law prohibited the killing of small turtles on or near the coast of these islands. The perpetrators were fined 5.8 kg of tobacco, half of which was for public use and the other half for the informant.
The green turtle (Chelonia mydas) uses a 32 km-long beach on Costa Rica's Atlantic coast, Tortuguero, as a nesting and nesting site. During the months of July through October, green sea turtles from across the Caribbean congregate on this secluded stretch of beach to perform their mating rituals. True mating takes place at sea and is very rarely observed by humans. Females must therefore risk their lives to lay their eggs in the hot sand which acts as an incubator. Every two weeks, a woman can complete this dangerous mission up to seven times during the mating season.
I decided that I could have described the scene better if I had seen it myself. I arrived at takeoff from Playa Tortuguero when it was dark. Using a flashlight, I managed to get past the branches and other obstacles in the fire. After walking for about fifteen minutes, I came across two parallel paths about six feet apart. My heart jumped. Could it be traces of a turtle looking for a settlement? I decided to follow the trail and it probably led to a turtle half hidden in the sand. It was very big, but I had to wait as an adult green turtle can weigh up to 113 pounds.
However, I found we had company. Three policemen armed with rifles stood guard in front of the hunters. When I told them I just wanted to take pictures, they were very cooperative. The sound of voices and the light of torches and the camera did not interrupt the turtle as he quietly began to dig a suitable hole. Alternatively, he dug his fins in the sand, huddled them, and threw the sand out of the hole in a quick motion.
When she couldn't go any further, she started to lay eggs. They fell into the nest like two or three table tennis balls at the same time. After laying a hundred eggs, he began to fill the hole and cover his tracks with various movements of his pinball machine. The observers were really intrigued.
By this time, young children from the village had arrived on the scene. They help the authorities with their conservation program and receive three colonies (about 35 cents) for every turtle they see. This will not harm the turtles and in the morning they will be marked with a metal sign before being thrown into the sea. These markers are used to follow the migration routes and feeding areas of the turtle. That night I saw about eight turtles at different stages of the spawning process.
Dangers to come
One hundred eggs seems a lot for a sitting. But probably less than one in a thousand turtles will survive. If the sand is too wet or too dry, the eggs can be infected with fungi or bacteria. Poachers are also a constant threat, as eggs are a popular snack or appetizer and are served with drinks at local bars.
The incubation period is about two months. Then the little creatures begin to break free from their shells with their sharp beaks. The next task is to get to the surface. It requires a lot of teamwork. The born first wait for all their siblings to be born and for their shells to harden. In one experiment, twenty-two eggs were buried separately. Of these, only six turtles have emerged.
But how do groups of a hundred or more come to the surface? When the turtles hatch, the space in the nest increases. The space occupied by infants and crumpled eggshells is smaller than that taken by the eggs. When everything is born and the conditions are perfect, the young turtles start fighting with their flippers. The upper ones break the roof, the sides cut the walls and the lower ones pack the sand that falls to the ground. This way, they all come to the surface a lot. The small creatures, which weigh only 85 grams, must now run into the sea. Instinctively, their little legs carry them as fast as they can to the sea they have never seen before. Black vultures can wait over their heads to come down and devour them. Dogs and other animals also cause chaos. While it is only a few minutes to surf, not all turtles get there. If a turtle can survive this dangerous period, it can live for more than a hundred years.
Very little is known about what happens to turtles when they enter the sea. When infants are released into capture pools, they usually swim for about ten days without even eating. At sea, they can be hundreds of miles offshore at this point. After about six years of marine life, the women return to the same beach to recreate their mothers.
The surfing ability
Although we know a little about what happens to turtles when they come out into the water, we can be sure that they do not get lost. According to naturalists, they have a reception and navigation capacity that competes with pigeons, bees and salmon. The female turtles were spotted on the beaches of Costa Rica and in a little over a year they appeared about 140,000 miles away. However, studies have shown that they always return to the same beach to lay their eggs, perhaps a few hundred meters (183 meters) from where they hatched. According to the natural history of sea turtles, a turtle tagged Tortuguero has never been found nesting anywhere else.
How does the turtle return to this beach after thousands of miles at sea? Many theories have been proposed, but a satisfactory answer has not yet been given. Think of some of the possible answers to this wonderful puzzle.
A domestic legend says that the turtles are led by Cerro Tortuguero. It is a volcanic rock mountain at the northern end of the play beach. It is 152 meters high and covered with tropical vegetation. But sea turtles cannot see far above the water, and many turtles return to parts of the 200-mile nesting beach that are out of sight of the mountain.
Another theory is that green turtles use celestial navigation and orient themselves by looking at the stars. Finding a position in the sky would require an incredibly complicated understanding of the map.
The future of our turtles
Despite laws prohibiting the deceptive destruction of these wonderful creatures, their numbers continue to decline. The species is threatened with extinction. Some hunters still defy the law as it is difficult to patrol long distances with a secluded beach. Often, poachers do not break the whole animal with them, but cut the caliph and leave the rest behind. When dry, this meter can weigh less than 2.2 kg. Due to the high demand for soup, poachers can easily earn money instead of doing honest work.
Historical evidence from the ship's records suggests that other nesting sites existed in the past. Operation Green Turtle was organized by the Caribbean Conservation Corporation with the goal of increasing the turtle population and reclaiming some of these ancient nesting areas. Hundreds of thousands of green turtles have hatched in captivity, transported to ancient nesting sites and released in the hope that the women will return to lay their eggs. However, the project was canceled as there did not appear to be an increase in the turtle population and no new nesting sites were established.
In addition, some nations in whose waters turtles have not worked together to conserve this declining resource. Turtles are relentlessly hunted, harpooned or captured in nets in the water near their feeding grounds when breathing.