Read this section in pairs.
Many of these tiny hatchlings, which weigh less than 20 grams each, will not even reach the sea. They will fall prey to crabs or birds even before they reach the water. Most of those that do make it into the water will also be eaten by many predators in the sea within the first few days of their lives. In fact, scientists estimate that only one in every thousand hatchlings becomes an adult. It is perhaps to ensure that enough hatchlings survive to keep the species going that sea turtles lay so many eggs.
After many years of swimming in the open ocean, the female hatchlings that have become adults return to the same beach where they were born. They come there to lay their own eggs. How they manage to find the place after so many years in the sea is one of the many mysteries of these fascinating reptiles!
Sea turtles are among the many wonderful creatures we share this planet with.
They have survived natural dangers for millions of years. But, sadly, human activities during the last few decades have put them in grave danger. There are many factors that threaten their survival. People hunt them for their meat or collect their eggs. Sometimes they are accidentally trapped in the nests of motorboats. Problems like pollution, dumping of plastics into the ocean and construction activities on nesting beaches also hurt their survival. Only by systematically tackling these problems, and removing these threats, can we ensure that sea turtles will continue to exist in the years to come.
----- Shekar Dattatri
Shekar Dattatri writes popular articles on wild life, conservation and film making. He has been interested in nature from childhood. He is an award-winning wildlife and conservation filmmaker. For more information on him visit www.shekardattatri.com
Fill in the table given below.
survive - continue to live
mysteries - facts thar are difficult to understand
fascinating - attracting greatly
decade - a period of ten years