How do baby turtles instinctually know to go towards the water?

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How do baby turtles instinctually know to go towards the water?

In: Biology

When they hatch, two factors play into the direction they head

the first is lighting conditions. The majority hatch at night (there are a handful of species that hatch in daytime) – and use the light of moon and stars (and the reflections off the water) to orient themselves towards the water. The presence of man-made lights has been demonstrated to mess with their navigation, leading baby turtles into carparks and the like.

As a result, a lot of identified turtle nesting sites have lighting statutes, which limit colour, intensity, coverage etc of any man-made lighting in the area and may ban artificial lighting completely during nesting/hatching periods

the second is beach slope. When they hatch, baby turtles want go downhill, which *should* be to the water, however if they have been laid on the wrong side of a sand dune they will quite often travel down hill away from the water