Female sea turtles have a unique characteristic of returning to the same beaches on which they were born in order to nest (Brothers and Lohmann 2018). Upon leaving the nest early in life (after about 2 months in-nest incubation), sea turtle hatchlings will swim vigorously to escape predator-rich shallow waters and will never return until they reach sexual maturity about 20 years later.
Sea turtles are generally solitary, and in most species, individual female turtles nest on their own. However, out of the seven species of sea turtles worldwide, two species – the olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) and Kemp’s sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii) – exhibit mass nesting, called arribada, the Spanish word for “arrivals.”
Nesting activity typically happens on sandy beaches with sediment types ranging from fine to coarse sands (Kelly et al. 2017). Most of the time, the nest is constructed above the high tide waterline to secure the incubating eggs for the approximately 2 month-long (range, 45–70 days) incubation period. The incubation process depends on temperature where the higher incubation temperature will shorten the time to hatching (Booth and Astill 2001; Jong et al. 2009). However, incubation temperature above 33–35 °C of sea turtle eggs might be causing low-quality and impaired locomotion of hatchlings produced to escape from their nests (Segura and Cajade 2010). Therefore, the behavior of sea turtles constructed their nest under shaded or open area will result in variation in phenotype and performance of an individual.