According to a , DOE interns and volunteers discovered potential hybridisation event among a nest of hatchlings excavated Thursday.
The hybrid hatchlings are thought to be a cross between a loggerhead and a hawksbill sea turtle.
“Loggerheads typically have 5 scutes on the left and right sides of their shell while hawksbills typically have four. Some of the hatchlings discovered yesterday had four scutes, some had five scutes, and some had four on one side and five on the other. Genetic samples have been taken from the hatchlings and we are awaiting the results,” read the social media post, prepared by a DOE intern.
Hybridisation among sea turtles is thought to be rare in the Caribbean, and has been suspected in only a few nests over the past two decades.
According to the social media post, fossil and genetic data suggests that the family Cheloniidae diverged from a common ancestor at least 10 million years ago.