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Costa Del Sol - Spain

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29/02/2016

Costa Del Sol – Turtles Laying Their Eggs On The Beach

The Costa del Sol is worldwide renowned as premier destination for those seeking to relax and unwind - whether it’s the almost perfect weather with over 320 days of sunshine, the soft sandy beaches along the coast or the amplitude of activities, there are countless reasons that set the ‘Sunshine Coast’ apart from other places.

No wonder that many people look for houses for sale by the sea. It’s not just about the beach lifestyle or delicious Spanish food that attracts but the fact that people who live around the Mediterranean enjoy the highest life expectancy in Europe. The warm but relatively mild climate encourages automatically a better and healthier lifestyle – and creates a significantly happier and positive mindset. New residents get easily soaked into this new life of sport and health which subconsciously motivates and makes one more productive. Just imagine waking up in your own seaview apartment or seaview cottage to the sound of roaring waves rather to an annoying alarm clock.

The warm weather causes also a higher intake of water and fluids, speaking, your skin gets moisturized and looks better than ever before.Plus, with access to fresh fruits and veggies at almost any given time you’re set to revamp your life for the good. Who doesn’t want to be part of this?

Aside endless sunny days and the glittering Mediterranean Sea right at your doorstep, the true beauty of the Costa Del Sol lies in its wealthy nature which is second-to-none. Just a short trip away from the beach comes a world full of natural reserves, lush forested parks and natural monuments that are not only meant for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers but for everyone seeking a slice of peace and tranquillity. And on the other side, you have the incredible marine world here which is home to many vivid mammals and creatures.

Turtles around the Mediterranean

Probably most notable are the turtles that live around Spanish coastal waters or more precisely, loggerhead turtles. Loggerhead turtles are the most common turtle species that resides around the Mediterranean and can be even found in Turkey, Greece and northern Africa. It is the largest hard-shelled turtle species (up to 90 cm) and can be easily identified through its distinctive strong jaws and their massive heads while the shell colour is brownish-green.

Why are loggerhead turtles important?

Loggerhead turtles are considered as ecologically important for the marine world: by consuming lots of invertebrates like crustaceans and molluscs, loggerheads are able to transform the seabed by planting sediments. Furthermore, turtles are welcomed by divers and swimmers as they are munching jellyfishes but also crabs and various types of small fishes. It is also important to highlight is that the overall number of loggerhead turtles declined in recent years but several places and institutions work relentlessly to preserve nesting areas from predators, trawling and pollution.

The life of a loggerhead turtle

Sea turtles spend 99% of their life in the water – while some staying in the same reef area their entire life others, such as loggerheads, are known to cross oceans in search of food and nesting places. Depending on the species, female turtles will return to the same nesting beach every 1-2 years to meet with male turtles offshore and lay their eggs. Once the nesting season is over, the female turtle will return back to the ocean to continue with the migration. As nesting requires immense amounts of energy, loggerhead turtles need vast sources of food to build up fat for nesting. This process takes up to two years.

Incubation

Depending on the species, the Incubation time varies but is usually between 6-12 weeks. Other factors that influence the turtle’s incubation time are the nest’s temperature and clutch size.

Hatching

Watching a fleet of these tiny creatures is an absolutely mesmerizing experience. As if they were pre-programmed, they crawl out of the sand directly toward the ocean. It is not really known how hatchlings know where to go but it is believed that light intensity is one of the key reasons. As oppose most other animals, there are no parents around to guide them. Unless being part of a conservation project where the hatching is monitored, it takes up to seven days for the newborn turtles to reach the surface. Most hatchlings leave their nests during the night in groups as it reduces the potential threats of daytime predators. The young turtles dive then right into the water where they remain for the next 24-48 hours.

What happens next? Most young turtles are rarely seen within their first year. Unlike adolescent turtles that travel through entire oceans, researchers believe that the young ones stay within 10-15 kilometres of land where they mainly live off seaweed.


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