"When sand wet by the highest waves is reached by the hatchling, a surge of speed and confidence is often shown, and some of the turtles may even break prematurely into short bursts of swimming strokes. The touch of the wet sand may be the cue that brings on this premature change of gait. When a wave slides up the flat and lifts the turtles, the flying swimstroke is instantly taken up by all the hatchlings; and during the time that they are alternately lifted and stranded by the coming and going of the sheet-flow, some confusion is evident among them. As each wave-wash comes back, however, they begin swimming forward a little toward the surf."

"This sudden “learning” to swim, seems to illustrate what students of animal behavior call the releaser effect. It appears to require no practice period at all. The capacity may develop in the end of a single wave, and along with it there appears to come a current sense too, that causes the turtles to align themselves with the swash and backwash. This response allows them to continue on a seaward course in spite of the changing direction of flow of the surf. It must be their occasional bumping on the bottom that indicates to the hatchlings that the water is in motion, and that it goes first one way and then the other."