Sea Turtles

The Salty Tears

Chelonia mydas | Green Turtle | Penyu Agar | Chagar Hutang, Redang Island | Photo By Dr. Mohd Uzair Rusli

She’s not even sad!
Legend has it say that sea turtles shed tears while laying their eggs due to pain. The truth is, sea turtles secrete excess salt through the salt glands behind their eyes as an adaptive trait to maintain lower concentrations of salt inside their body while nesting on the beach. The salty tears that are released from their eyes also help to flush the mother turtle’s eyes from the sand on the beach. If you see a crying sea turtle, don’t worry as it is just part of their metabolic process.

Ocean Hope Message: Mother turtles come to the beach to lay eggs at night-time, and they need a clean, quiet and dark surroundings to complete this process. Please do not litter at the beach because dirty beaches will make the sand digging process become difficult for the mother.

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