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Predicting When Turtles Will Hatch Could Help Outer Banks Economy04:55

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Every year on Cape Hatteras National Seashore, female sea turtles return to the beaches where they were born to lay the next generation. The turtle digs a hole in the sand with her back flippers, lays her eggs, covers the nest and heads back into the ocean.

This summer, researchers report finding a healthy number of sea turtle nests — a good thing, since they are a "threatened" species.

Park rangers are using electronic sensors to monitor the sea turtle nests. They hope their measurements will allow them to predict exactly when these turtle eggs will hatch — something that would be of great benefit to the local community.

To understand why that is, IEEE Spectrum sent David Schneider to explore.

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This segment aired on August 25, 2014.

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