Sea turtles lay their eggs on land in the sandy dune areas of beaches. There are 5 main parts of the egg-laying process:
- crawls up the beach toward the dunes,
- digs her nest,
- lays the eggs,
- covers the nest back up and
- crawls back to the water.
She is out of the water during this whole time. Since turtles are reptiles and breathe air, she doesn’t have trouble with breathing while on the beach. The hardest part is moving her heavy body around on land! The whole process can take as much as 2 hours.
Females generally lay about 100 eggs.
- Loggerheads: 100 – 125 eggs, 1 to 7 clutches per year, at 14 day intervals, every two to three years
- Greens: up to 200 eggs, up to 7 clutches in a year at 12 to 14 day intervals, every 2 to 4 years
- Leatherbacks: 100 eggs, every two to three years
- Kemp’s ridley: 2 to 3 clutches of about 100 eggs, at 14 day intervals, every year
- Hawksbills: average 130 eggs, 3 to 5 clutches per year, at 14 to 16 day intervals, every two to three years
- Olive ridley: 1 to 2 clutches of appx 100 eggs, every year
- Flatback: 2 to 3 clutches of about 50 eggs, at 15 day intervals, every year