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stretches of open ocean, find their way around. How does the female green turtle find her way back to the beach where she was hatched decades before? “The feat of locating Ascension Island, barely seven miles across, after negotiating 1400 miles of open ocean, by an animal that is hopelessly myopic when it raises its eyes above the level of the water, seems little short of miraculous.” And it is miraculous, God’s miracle.
One marine turtle, the Kemp’s ridley, the smallest, rarest and
most endangered of all sea turtles, has unusual nesting behavior. Unlike
most sea turtles which nest individually, the Kemp’s ridley all
come to the same location, a remote beach in Mexico, gather offshore and
then swarm onto the beach together—perhaps 40,000 strong. Until
the 1940’s this event, known locally as “arribada”,
was a well-kept secret. Natives used it as a way to obtain meat and eggs.
Once it became common knowledge the turtles were exploited nearly to extinction.
Today the Mexican government patrols the beaches with armed guards during arribada, but in recent years only about 400 females come ashore to nest each season, one percent of the number just 50 years ago.
Turtles through myth and legend were generally regarded as symbols of
strength, stability, benevolence and wisdom. We generally like turtles,
unlike most reptiles. Yet, we kill them for their shells and take away
their habitats, leave many species on the brink of extinction. We need
to appreciate these creatures of God, remembering Verse 11:6 There
is not a creature on earth whose provision is not guaranteed by God. And
He knows its course and its final destiny. All are recorded in a profound
Among His proofs is the creation
of the heavens and the earth, and the creatures He spreads in them. He
is able to summon them, when He wills. (42:29)
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