Dra. Daria Siciliano

Dra. Daria Siciliano

Building bridges

Standing on a remote, pristine beach in Pinar del Río province recently, I had the chance to witness one of nature’s most delightful sights: the hatching of sea turtle eggs. Dozens of baby sea turtles were born, taking their first breath, moving their tiny flippers for the first time, and making their way into the ocean… From the nest on the beach I watched as the little hatchlings, with astounding determination, emerged from the sand and crawled their way to the water, braving predators such as crabs and seabirds. As I watched one of these adorable nuggets make it all the way to the surf, I thought about its long and difficult journey ahead at sea, and wished it much luck, knowing its chances for survival were minimal. It is estimated that less than one percent of these hatchlings will make it to adulthood. If the baby sea turtle survived and mated, it would return to this same beach one day to lay its own eggs, in a cycle that has intrigued scientists for as long as these magnificent, enigmatic sea animals have been studied. I was there on that beautiful October afternoon with some Cuban colleagues, scientists from the...

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