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Friday, September 23, 2011

TODOS SANTOS - Video of Turtles Released at Las Playitas


Turtle release, sponsored by Tortugueros Las Playitas, on September 12, 2011 near sunset. The species of turtle released was olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea), also known as a Pacific ridley.


WATCH THE VIDEO


MORE ABOUT THE TURTLE:
The olive ridley is a small surviving sea turtle, with an adult carapace length averaging 60 to 70 cm. The heart-shaped carapace is characterized by four pairs of pore-bearing inframarginal scutes on the bridge, two pairs of prefrontals, up to nine lateral scutes per side. Olive ridleys are unique in that they can have a variable and asymmetrical lateral scute count ranging from five to nine plates on each side, with six to eight being most commonly observed. Each side of the carapace has 12-14 marginals. The carapace is flattened dorsally and highest anterior to the bridge. It has a medium–sized, broad head that appears triangular in planar view. The head has concave sides, most obvious on the upper part of the short snout. It has paddle-like forelimbs, each having two anterior claws. The upperparts are grayish green to olive in color, but sometimes appear reddish due to algae growing on the carapace . The bridge and hingeless plastron of an adult varies from greenish white (younger) to a creamy yellow on older specimens .

Hatchlings are dark gray with a pale yolk scar, but appear all black when wet . Carapace length ranges from 37-50mm . A thin white line borders the carapace, as well as the trailing edge of the fore and hind flippers.Both hatchlings and juveniles have serrated posterior marginals, which become smooth with age. Juveniles also have three dorsal keels; the central longitudinal keel gives younger turtles a serrated profile, which remains until sexual maturity is reached.
Olive ridleys rarely weigh over 50 kilograms.