LEDs Saves Turtle Hatchlings
We all know LED light bulbs are good for the environment because they’re power friendly, but did you know there are other, previously unknown reasons why they’re beneficial to Mother Earth? Like turtles perhaps? A sea turtle’s life begins in darkness. After about 60 days of incubation inside their eggs, turtle hatchlings use a temporary tooth called a caruncle to break out of their shells. That’s just step one. At this point, they are still buried in nests about 50 centimeters below the beach surface. As dozens of baby turtles emerge from their eggs, they then begin to force themselves upward through the sand. Working together, they climb and scrape and push. As they get closer to the surface, they begin to feel the warmth of the sun. Instinctively, they know that the sun’s rays pose the first danger of their young lives. If they get too much sun before they make it to the ocean, the hatchlings could quickly become dehydrated and die. But when they’re ready to emerge—usually during the cool night or a storm—they emerge all at once, take a look around, and head toward the water. That’s where modern society throws them a curve. Under natural conditions, the turtle hatchlings would be faced with two choices: the dark slopes of dunes and vegetation behind them and the gentle light of the ocean horizon ahead of them. Sea turtle hatchlings instinctively head toward the light, sensing the moon and stars reflected on the water. But today the brightest light comes not from the ocean but from the hotels, condominiums, restaurants and homes that crowd most beaches. These man-made lights draw the hatchlings like moths to a flame. They quickly grow disorientated, lose their bearings and either die of dehydration, get run over by cars or are eaten by birds and other predators. Read on at Scientific American.