Nest parents Jackie and Kaye will be starting to nest sit at this nest today, day 50. Although this is exciting news all on its own, this nest has an especially unique update. The Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle photographed this year at Nest #5 in Duck looked awfully familiar. While looking back through some pictures of nesting turtles from previous years, a photo was uncovered of the Kemp’s Ridley nesting in Corolla in 2010. We couldn’t believe our eyes when this turtle appeared to be the twin of our 2012 turtle, due to the very unique notches in its shell.
There could be a couple explanations for these “twin” markings; the turtles could have been notched by researchers and have come from the same nest or year class or it could be the same turtle with these unique notches! NC WRC Sea Turtle Biologist Matthew Godfrey looked into these possibilities and after coming up empty handed in his search for research projects where the turtles would have been marked, we determined that it is probably the same turtle. These well-healed notches most likely came from an interaction with her environment, possibly an encounter with another animal or from bumping into something around her. DNA samples will either confirm or disprove the same turtle theory, but we think we can safely say that this turtle decided to visit NESTers twice!