Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A rare sight to behold...

While we were at the beach doing some writing, Loki and I were fortunate enough to witness a phenomenon that is rarely seen, let alone photographed. Had the tide been higher, or had we arrived an hour sooner or later, we'd have missed the whole thing. But, the tide was low, we arrived with perfect timing, and I had my trusty Nikon D70s handy.

Thus, we captured the rarely seen mating ritual of the Okinawan Golf Ball Turtle. These creatures are so named because they are turtles, live on Okinawa, and look suspiciously like golf balls.

First, they gather on the sand in small family groups:
Once they've gathered, they move into the water, where they will mingle with other family groups as they search for mates. Here we see one group that has made the migration from turf to surf:
The hunt for a mate begins in earnest...
Hmm...looks like someone is a bit of a third wheel here:
With the mating ritual complete, this male and female go their separate ways. In a few weeks, she will return to lay eggs, and a few weeks after that, miniature Okinawan Golf Ball Turtles will emerge from the sand. Until then, it's sayonara until next year:
So there you have it...photographic documentation of the mating ritual of the Okinawan Golf Ball Turtle.


  1. Wow! Are these things really animals? They look like eggs.