Hello! My name is Ms. Elebash . Please join me as I travel to Costa Rica to study sea turtles!

Monday, January 31, 2011

My new friend Sal from New Hampshire shot a video of a nest excavation. I have tried to download it here, but can't, so I will email it. These are some still lifes. This is the nest I watched for 8 hours in the last day and a half!! We found about 36 billiard sized eggs. they are pictured below. Some are still whole and some are sort of collapsed.

We also found some shells and some SAGS. In the picture with Kim digging in the sand you can see the SAGS which are either shell or sans albumen globs. They are in the corner of the picture. There are about 10 of them. They can be as small as a penny. Scientists don't know what they are for. The people here think they help with the gas exchange in the nest.

Kim, the researcher, is the digger and doing all the work. You can see how deep the nest is...better than arm's length. She relocated it from Playa Ventanas (about one mile away) about 60 ish days ago.

After this picture we took the metal strainer and the eggs down to the water's edge to open everything up, count, and bury the remains. the water will eventually take it back to sea. You can hear me say, the word "ripe." The smell was strong when Kim opened one by mistake while excavating.

In the following pictures you will see one turtle that died early on, about 29 that did not develop at all. They looked like raw eggs when they were opened, about 3 that developed some, and 3 were in the unknown category.

The video is the best. Email me if you want to see it, please.


  1. Are the eggs smaller than the ones we see on Wrightsville??
    - Annie

  2. Ms.Elebash,
    That baby is so cute! I can't wait for you to
    come back!

  3. what do thay eat malcolm (>^-^> ps. hi


  5. That is so cute! :) Sebastian

  6. So sad that one baby died. Mason

  7. how tiny was the turtle?


  8. wow!! I cant belive that baby leatherbacks are that small!But the egg is so big!And what was it like seeing A leatherback up close!We all miss you.


  9. Dear ms.Elebash,My dad knows a lot about birds to!!That baby turtle is so cute!!!! from Tommy

  10. Bobby.
    That is so cute and what is the slime stuff.

  11. I have sent the video. The eggs are larger than the loggerhead and green turtle eggs on Wrightsville. These leather back babies are bigger, too. They are about 3and a half to four inches long. (I can look in the data and see exactly since the ones we saw last night we measured)

    The baby ( the one in the picture) that died was about only one inch to an inch and a half. The "slim stuff," Bobby, is the white of the egg to either to protect it or it is part of the embryo I think. The baby did not develop properly, so it died.

  12. Baby animals are born to survive. There is a lot of power packed in babies..so they can swim right out, just like baby people can wiggle their fingers. They have 2-3 days food supply in their bodies from some part of the inside of the egg. Another good question for Tera.