Giant Tortoise (Chelonoidis nigra): Hatching
Hatching season comes to an end for giant tortoises after nearly 120-140 days of incubation. Out of a 1-foot (30 cm) deep hole that the female tortoises make, roughly two to sixteen (the number varies from one race to another) tennis ball-sized eggs hatch and make their way to the surface. The hatchlings may weigh only 90 grams and hawks tend to be the only native predator of the newborns.
Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas agassisi): Hatching
Sea turtle hatchlings that have managed to survive the long incubation period will emerge from the sand, typically at night but this may occasionally occur in daylight. If the latter is the case, the hatchlings will move close to the sand’s surface and patiently wait until it gets dark. Failure to wait (typically by being fooled by dreary weather) during daylight makes them instant prey for ghost cabs, hawks, mockingbirds and frigate birds. The dangers remain, however, should the hatchlings make it to sea – at which point they are vulnerable to the wrath of sharks, fish and possibly even boobies and pelicans.
Land Iguanas (Conolophus subcristatus/palidus): Hatching
Hatchlings (roughly two to twenty-five in number) emerge from their burrow about three to four months after being laid, and spend nearly a week digging their way up to the outside world – a world of heavy predation. As a result, you’ll find herons, egrets, hawks and owls congregating in nesting areas during emergence periods and preying on the tiny hatchlings.