Bhubaneswar:  In a pleasant surprise, Olive Riddle sea turtle- which is one of the rare species of turtles – has given birth to a record number of 3.5 crore hatchlings in the coastal areas of Bay of Bengal at Gahirmatha area of Orissa.  The experts are exuberant over the fact as the number of olive riddle turtles had gone down in the last decade due to illegal trawling.

Orissa is the largest breeding and nesting ground of the olive riddle sea turtles in the world. Reportedly it is for the first time when this rare species of turtles have given birth in such a large number.

These turtle gave birth at Gahirmatha area, where a massive port is under construction. A research has confirmed that turtles are free from any hazardous impact of construction.

According to survey, Olive riddles have given birth to hatchling at Gahirmatha because they found friendly environment and plenty of food there. The research also reported that a female turtle could spawn 100- 140 eggs in a year.

A member from the research team said, “Watching the cluster of turtles which come to lay eggs at Bhitarkanika, Gahirmatha, Rishikulya, and Muhan, is a pleasant experience.” These turtles have come to these coastal areas of Bay of Bengal from Philippines, Costa Rica, and other parts of the world.

According to the same source said the Olive riddles used to dig sand and made a circular hole of 40 to 50 centimetres to lay eggs. Hatchlings take 40- 45 days to tear the shells apart and come out. He also added, “Olive turtle weighs around 45 to 70 kg and their life span is around 50 to 80 years.”

JPN/Bureau