VIDEO: Shattered Nesting Record Shows Sea Turtles Are Getting Friskier Than Ever

By Anthony Smith on August 9, 2012 2:39 PM EDT

Frisky Sea Turtles
These frisky sea turtles are responsible for a record number of nests in 2012. (Photo: Youtube Screenshot)

It looks like human beings aren't the only ones getting really hot this summer.

We're only halfway through the six-month nesting season, and already the sea turtles who make their nests in the Gasparilla Island area have decimated a twenty-five year-old world record.

According to The Coastal Wildlife Club, their volunteers have gone on the record as uncovering 3,237 sea turtle clutches-- a word which, in the world of marine biology, means hatches of eggs laid and incubated in the same batch-- or just 91 more nests than was held by the previous record of 3,156 sea turtle clutches.

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This means that, in the quarter-of-a-century of sea turtle nesting record keeping, 2012 is the most active year for frisky sea turtles since they were first monitored in Southwest Florida back in 1988.

But before you go thinking that we're going to have the highest litter of sea turtles that we've ever had, scientists aren't so optimistic. What makes this sea turtle nesting record especially compelling? Tropical Storm Debby did its part to stand in the way of cute baby turtle births, inundating more than 90 percent of nests laid before June 27 with a torrential downpour of nearly ten inches of rain.

Still, the Coastal Wildlife Club hasn't lost all hope.

"By about the second week of August, if the weather gods are good to us, we may see quite a few surprise nests from those that hatch at unmarked locations," reported Wilma Katz of the CWC, "I hope there will be many that we cannot match with recorded false crawls or with nests laid just prior to Tropical Storm Debby."

The harsh weather conditions of the storm prevented the organization's volunteers from getting into certain sea turtle zones for three days.

"The turtles probably continued nesting, and though some of those sets probably washed out, I'll bet a lot are still there," Katz speculated, "I sure hope so."

And if this cute video of a sea turtle hatching is what we can expect, we sure hope so, too. Nature can be cruel, but it can be cute as heck, too.

And for those whose interests run a little... saucier, here's what sea turtle mating looks like:

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