Eight Northern Australian Snapping Turtles hatched at the National Aquarium this winter are the first of this species ever hatched in captivity.
Photo Credit: National Aquarium
The excitement began in September, when the aquarium’s female turtle laid her eggs. The staff immediately gathered the eggs and placed them in an incubator, where they were closely monitored. On the morning of February 14, the first hatchling emerged from its egg! Since then, seven other little turtles have hatched.
Aquarium staff have observed healthy behaviors in all the hatchlings, including swimming and basking in open areas. The hatchlings will remain behind the scenes until they are large enough to move into exhibits. At hatching, the turtles weighed less than one ounce (24 g). As adults, they will weigh more than 11 pounds (5 kg).
The National Aquarium is the only aquarium in the United States to exhibit this species.