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Beach Microbes Starving Baby Sea Turtles of Oxygen

4 years ago7 views



On a small stretch of beach at Ostional in Costa Rica, hundreds of thousands of sea turtles nest simultaneously in events known as arribadas. Because there are so many eggs in the sand, nesting females frequently dig up previously laid nests, leaving the beach littered with broken eggs. But these endangered sea turtles are facing a new threat: sand microbes encouraged by the decomposing eggs. Despite the large number of nesting females, hatching success at Ostional beach is particularly low. Scientists have long thought that the problem is due to high microbial activity in the sand caused by the decomposing eggs.

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