Table of Contents
In this essay, the author, Shekar Dattatri, talks about the lesser known reptile, the turtles. He points out the differences between the various types of turtles found and each of their salient features.
The author starts the essay by saying that people might know the tour toys or the crocodiles but very few people know the other reptile commonly known as the turtles. He even lists the reason why turtles are not necessarily known by saying this is not surprising, since these reptiles spend almost their entire life in the sea.
The author then says that in the world the seven species of turtles. Out of the seven species five of them are found near the coast of India and those five species are:- the Olive Ridley, the Hawksbill, the Green Sea Turtle, the Loggerhead and the Leatherback.
The author points out turtles are quite bigger than the tortoises and even the smallest of the turtles can weigh up to 35 kg once it’s an adult. The largest of them all, the Leatherback, grows to a length of 2.2m and each could weigh as much as 700 kg! Turtles usually lives under the sea and hence, people are not aware of it very much.
Despite that, the turtles have a special connection with the land as they come up to the land to lay their eggs. However, the situation has changed recently and four of the above mentioned species found in the coast of India have become rare but the Olive Ridleys turtles are quite common still.
In a precise manner, the author is able to introduce the topic of the turtles to the readers. Not much is known about the turtles but the author tries his best to convey how turtles live and how different they are by writing this short essay.
In the next section, the author collectively focuses on one species of the turtle which is the Olive Ridleys. He elaborately explains how this particular type of turtle lays eggs or survives on the planet.
The author starts by saying that in the month of January to March, the female Olive Ridleys swim ashore to the land to lay their eggs. These turtles face quite a problem as their front flippers are adapted for the water and not for the land. After laboriously hauling itself to the beach, the turtles choose a spot well away from the tideline.
In this spot, the female turtle scoops out a nest cavity 45 cm deep and lays their eggs there; almost 100 of them. Each egg is in the shape and size of a table tennis ball. After laying the eggs, the turtle would cover the area with sand, with the intent of camouflaging the eggs, and then leave for the water.
The eggs are left behind to incubate under the warmth of the sun. In many places, the local people would trace the footsteps of the turtle and reach the hiding place of the eggs and would eat them. Many a times, wild animals like jackals would also follow the scent of the turtles to the eggs’s hiding place and devoured them.
Those eggs that escape such people and predators hatch 45-60 days later. When the time comes, the hatchlings will open their egg shells and would push through the sand to emerge on the top and then make a run for the sea
In this section, the author focuses on the Olive Ridleys and how the little ones take birth and survive at the very onset of their birth.
In this final section, the author continues talking about the hatchlings and how the turtles are decreasing in number day by day. The author laments the fact that due to a number of reasons, mostly caused by the humans, the turtles are having a hard time to survive.
The author says that out of those hatchlings only a very few number actually make it to the sea and survive at the end. They will fall prey to crabs or birds even l before they reach the water. They even become fodder for many predators while being under the sea and scientists have concluded that one in every thousand hatchlings actually make it till the end of the lives under the sea.
After many years of swimming, the hatchlings transform into adult turtles and swim back ashore to lay their own eggs. It is indeed a miracle how they always manage to find a spot on the land, even after being in the sea for continuous years. Sea turtles are among the many wonderful creatures we share this planet with.
The poet quickly changes the mood of the essay by showing how the turtles are having a hard time surviving in this world. The author points out that human activities have danger to the lives of the turtles. Problems like pollution, dumping
of plastics into the ocean and construction activities on nesting beaches also hurt their survival. Apart from this, humans hunt for the hatchlings and the eggs laid down by the turtles and also causes a lot of problems for the little turtles to even survive while they’re on the land. The author concludes by saying that all these problems should be eradicated immediately in order for the turtles to live and continue thriving, generations after generations.
The author starts by introducing turtles to the readers and ends by sending out a plea for all the humans to consider their actions which is taking quite a harsh toll on the turtles. Turtles are creations of nature and they, too, have the right to live peacefully on this planet which, due to the humans, is becoming less possible day by day.