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Photos: Thousands of Baby Turtles Hatch in Brazil

Mass Hatching

(Image credit: C. Ferrara/Wildlife Conservation Society)

A mass hatching of Giant South American river turtles occurs each year during the dry season in Brazil's Abufari Biological Reserve. The event produces hundreds of thousands of turtle hatchlings.

Thousands of Turtles

(Image credit: C. Ferrara/Wildlife Conservation Society)

Researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation estimated that some 210,000 turtles hatched in the recent dry season. This image was released on Feb. 10, 2014.

Coming Out

(Image credit: C. Ferrara/Wildlife Conservation Society)

A Giant South American river turtle hatchling emerges from its shell.

Marked Turtles

(Image credit: C. Ferrara/Wildlife Conservation Society)

The researchers used a fence to contain the turtle hatchlings emerging from identified nests. The scientists marked and released a total of 15,000 hatchlings in the space of several days, which helped them estimate the population size.

Adult Turtle

(Image credit: C. Ferrara/Wildlife Conservation Society)

The Giant South American river turtle is the largest member of the side-necked turtle family. Adults can grow up to nearly 3 feet (1 meter) in length.