A female green turtle will revisit her birthplace, or a beach with similar sand texture and color, to breed and lay her eggs every 2-4 years.
Female green turtles are known to revisit their natal beaches in 2-4 year intervals to breed from June to September. They average a total of 15 days between initial mounting by a male to the time they attempt to nest on their respective natal beaches. If they don’t return to their natal beach, they will select a beach with similar sand texture and color.
Once females find a suitable beach for their nest sites with accessible sloping platforms, they begin clearing the area of debris. Afterwards, the female digs a hole in the sand with her front legs and lays a clutch of eggs. After laying eggs, she fills the nest with sand as a way to camouflage and conceal the eggs, then she returns to the sea.
There is no parental investment by green turtles beyond the mother’s egg-laying and camouflaging of the nest.
Sources: (Ernst & Barbour, 1989; Laguex, 1999; Hersh, 2016; Hirth, 1971, 1997; Laguex, 1999; North Florida Ecological Services Office, 2017; Seminoff, 2004; Stokes, et al., 2015)
Image: Matthew Hammond