Olive Ridley Turtles In Costa Rica, The arribada (arrival) lasts four days, bringing waves of turtles up the beach at each high tide. At Playa Ostional, 150,000 to 200,000 turtles come to nest in just four days.


Olive Ridley turtles get their name from the coloring of their heart-shaped shell, which starts out gray but becomes olive green once the turtles are adults. They have one to two visible claws on each of their paddle-like flippers.

Olive Ridley Turtles Go Back To Sea While Others Arrive At Beach To Lay Their Eggs


Nesting can take between one and three hours. After a female turtle drags herself up the beach, she hollows out a pit with her back legs and deposits from 50-200 eggs the size of golf balls. When the last egg is laid, the turtle covers the eggs with sand,

Arribadas at this beach are considered the largest in the world, with as many as a million sea turtle eggs laid in the beach nesting areas each year

Nesting aggregations of the olive ridley are found in Costa Rica near Ostional on the Nicoya Peninsula and in the Santa Rosa National Park. Recent data show that olive ridleys reside in oceanic habitats of the eastern Pacific Ocean during the non-reproductive portion of their life cycle.

Nesting season is unpredictable and it is unknown what event triggers the animals to nest. Certain phases of the moon and tide and weather conditions have been suggested as triggers. Females can wait for weeks to lay their eggs until the timing is right.

Although sea turtles move swiftly in the ocean, they are slow and defenseless on land. Male sea turtles almost never leave the water. Female sea turtles leave the ocean only to lay eggs and, for most species, nest only at night. Females of most species may nest every two to three years.

Nesting can take between one and three hours. After a female turtle drags herself up the beach, she hollows out a pit with her back legs and deposits from 50-200 eggs the size of golf balls. When the last egg is laid, the turtle covers the eggs with sand, tamps down the sand with her plastron and flings more sand about with her flippers to erase any signs of the nest.

After about two months, the hatchling turtles emerge at night. Any babies still on the beach in the morning are easily picked off by predators or die in the hot sun. It is thought that when the surviving hatchlings reach maturity, they return to the beach where they hatched to lay their eggs.

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To get the most out of your trip, naturalist guides can turn what looks like a mass of green foliage to the untrained eye into a widely diversified trove of plants and creatures great and small—one of the highlights of a trip to Costa Rica. For the full effect, bring a camera & binoculars.


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In this Issue: June 2010
Manuel Antonio Family Vacation Package
Beach, Great Accommodations, Mangrove Boat & Rain Forest Tours

Super HOT Low Season Vacation Specials
For Divers, Non-Divers, Adventurers, Individuals, Families, Groups & Honeymoon Couples

Adventure Tour Report From Costa Rica
Raft In, Raft Out, Overnight Pacuare River Adventure

All About Turtles In Costa Rica
Interview with Dr. Richard Reina

Herpetologist concerned with conservation of turtles
WIDECAST project in southern Costa Rica

Common Costa Rica Vacation Mistakes
It Would be a Huge Mistake to Not Diversify Your Destinations.

Costa Rica Cooking, Food, and Recipes
Olla de Carne (Costa Rican Beef Soup)

Costa Rica Fishing Report
After Heavy Rains, Fishing Good All Along Pacific

Costa Rica Fishing Report
Good Bite on Pacific; Tarpon Season Ahead

Costa Rica Scuba Diving Report
Costa Rica Possesses 3.5% of World’s Marine Life

News Briefs From Costa Rica
Costa Rica Little Summer Is A Little Known Weather Phenomenon

Top 5 Overlooked Costa Rica Vacation Destinations
Best of “off the beaten track Costa Rica”

Adventure Tours In Guanacaste, North West Pacific Area Of Costa Rica

Arenal Volcano Adventure Activities With Bill Beard's

Manuel Antonio Beaches & National Park Tours & Activities

Even infants must have a valid passport to visit Costa Rica and all passports must have six months remaining before expiration at time of departure. For a passport application, go to this link

Bill"s Mexico & CaribbeanAs one of the country's leading tour operators in Costa Rica, we are eager to work with you or your travel counselor to find the perfect vacation! To the thousands of satisfied customers who have traveled with us since 1970, we thank you for entrusting your vacation dreams to BILL BEARD`S COSTA RICA

 


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Hawksbill Tortle, Catalina Islands, Costa Rica by Bil Beard
Turtles are very friendly and curious. We encounter them on evry dive site in Costa Rica
Olive Ridley turtles in Costa Rica are in great abundance
Leatherback turtles can be 7 feet long and weigh 1400 pounds
The hawksbill turtle's (Eretmochelys imbricata) appearance is similar to that of other marine turtles. It has a generally flattened body shape, a protective carapace, and its flipper-like arms are adapted for swimming in the open ocean. E. imbricata is easily distinguished from other sea turtles by its sharp, curving beak with prominent tomium, and the saw-like appearance of its shell margins. It is most often encountered in shallow lagoons and coral reefs where it feeds on its chosen prey, sea sponges. Some of the sponges eaten by E. imbricata are known to be highly toxic and lethal when eaten by other organisms. In addition, the sponges that hawksbills eat are usually those with high silica content, making the turtles one of few animals capable of eating siliceous organisms.
Modern science shows that sea turtles have been swimming the Earth's oceans for well over 100 million years--even pre-dating many dinosaurs. In addition, the turtle is an important symbol in the mythologies of many indigenous cultures, usually representing creation, longevity, and wisdom in these belief systems. Turtles are thus truly ancient beings-both in geological and mythological terms. As integral parts of the marine ecosystem, turtles are also useful indicators of the vitality of the overall marine environment. Sea turtles are gentle reptiles that spend the majority of their lives in the ocean. Females reach reproductive age after 35 to 40 years. A female may lay hundreds of eggs in one season, only a few of the hatchlings will survive to reach maturity.
Olive ridleys reach sexual maturity around 15 years, a young age compared to some other sea turtle species. Females nest every year, once or twice a season, laying clutches of approximately 100 eggs. Incubation takes 50-60 days. The hatchlings are mostly black with a greenish hue on the sides. The olive ridley is mainly a "pelagic" sea turtle, but has been known to inhabit coastal areas, including bays and estuaries. The olive ridley is omnivorous, meaning it feeds on a wide variety of food items, including algae, lobster, crabs, mollusks, shrimp, and fish. Olive ridleys dive to depths of about 500 feet, to forage on "benthic" invertebrates. Hundreds of years ago, there were many millions of sea turtles swimming the Earth's oceans. Today, all seven species of sea turtle are considered threatened or endangered.
The leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) is the largest of all living sea turtles and the world's fourth largest modern reptile. It can weigh more than 1400 Lbs. Leatherback turtles follow the general sea turtle body plan of having a large, flattened, round body with two pairs of very large flippers and a short tail. Like other sea turtles, the leatherback's flattened forelimbs are specially adapted for swimming in
the open ocean. Claws are noticeably absent from both pair of flippers.
The Leatherback's flippers are the largest in proportion to its body among the extant sea turtles. Its most notable feature is that it lacks the bony carapace of the other extant sea turtles. Instead of scutes, the leatherback's carapace is covered by its thick, leathery skin with embedded minuscule bony plates.
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