Hatchling marine turtles show a nocturnal rhythm of emergence from the nest. Here, we highlight aspects of the rhythm that are incompletely understood, with special reference to differences in the rhythm's expression among populations as well as its cessation at dawn. We postulate that the rhythm ceases because the hatchlings, as they dig toward the surface, acquire a time sense that suppresses activity if they approach the beach surface too late in the day.

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