By: Amanda Csipak
After helping out with several night walks I have been able to learn a great deal about the Loggerhead Sea Turtle, especially from the presentation Leah gives in the beginning of the night. One piece of information that is included in the presentation is how these sea turtles are able to rid their bodies of excess salt. I was able to look into this in more detail and it became even more fascinating. When people witness a turtle on land while she is laying her eggs they may see what looks like a tear coming from her eye. Many people have in mind that the turtles are crying because they are leaving their babies and she will never be able to see them again. This tear coming from her eye actually does not have to do with her being upset about leaving her eggs, it is actually how she gets rid of the excess salt that she has ingested. It is also a way for them to protect their eyes from the sand that will inevitably get in their face as they crawl onto the beach. Due to the fact that all plants as well as animals need water to survive, the sea turtle has adapted to its life in the ocean and they are capable of living without any fresh water. This salt secreting gland in their eye allows them to drink the salt water in order to stay hydrated while still maintaining a balanced level of salt in their bodies. The nesting process for a Loggerhead Sea turtle takes approximately an hour to complete which is a rather long time out of the ocean considering that this is where they spend a majority of their lives. This gland also assists in keeping the turtle’s eyes from becoming too dry as they complete their nesting process. I was not aware that something as small as a gland in the turtle’s eye could play such a large role in its life as well as its success while being on land, they are truly amazing creatures!
Sea Turtle Biologist