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Sample records for leatherback turtle migrations

  1. Persistent Leatherback Turtle Migrations Present Opportunities for Conservation

    PubMed Central

    Shillinger, George L; Palacios, Daniel M; Bailey, Helen; Bograd, Steven J; Swithenbank, Alan M; Gaspar, Philippe; Wallace, Bryan P; Spotila, James R; Paladino, Frank V; Piedra, Rotney; Eckert, Scott A; Block, Barbara A

    2008-01-01

    Effective transboundary conservation of highly migratory marine animals requires international management cooperation as well as clear scientific information about habitat use by these species. Populations of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) in the eastern Pacific have declined by >90% during the past two decades, primarily due to unsustainable egg harvest and fisheries bycatch mortality. While research and conservation efforts on nesting beaches are ongoing, relatively little is known about this population of leatherbacks' oceanic habitat use and migration pathways. We present the largest multi-year (2004–2005, 2005–2006, and 2007) satellite tracking dataset (12,095 cumulative satellite tracking days) collected for leatherback turtles. Forty-six females were electronically tagged during three field seasons at Playa Grande, Costa Rica, the largest extant nesting colony in the eastern Pacific. After completing nesting, the turtles headed southward, traversing the dynamic equatorial currents with rapid, directed movements. In contrast to the highly varied dispersal patterns seen in many other sea turtle populations, leatherbacks from Playa Grande traveled within a persistent migration corridor from Costa Rica, past the equator, and into the South Pacific Gyre, a vast, low-energy, low-productivity region. We describe the predictable effects of ocean currents on a leatherback migration corridor and characterize long-distance movements by the turtles in the eastern South Pacific. These data from high seas habitats will also elucidate potential areas for mitigating fisheries bycatch interactions. These findings directly inform existing multinational conservation frameworks and provide immediate regions in the migration corridor where conservation can be implemented. We identify high seas locations for focusing future conservation efforts within the leatherback dispersal zone in the South Pacific Gyre. PMID:18630987

  2. Navigational challenges in the oceanic migrations of leatherback sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Sale, Alessandro; Luschi, Paolo

    2009-11-01

    The open-sea movements of marine animals are affected by the drifting action of currents that, if not compensated for, can produce non-negligible deviations from the correct route towards a given target. Marine turtles are paradigmatic skilful oceanic navigators that are able to reach remote goals at the end of long-distance migrations, apparently overcoming current drift effects. Particularly relevant is the case of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), which spend entire years in the ocean, wandering in search of planktonic prey. Recent analyses have revealed how the movements of satellite-tracked leatherbacks in the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans are strongly dependent on the oceanic currents, up to the point that turtles are often passively transported over long distances. However, leatherbacks are known to return to specific areas to breed every 2-3 years, thus finding their way back home after long periods in the oceanic environment. Here we examine the navigational consequences of the leatherbacks' close association with currents and discuss how the combined reliance on mechanisms of map-based navigation and local orientation cues close to the target may allow leatherbacks to accomplish the difficult task of returning to specific sites after years spent wandering in a moving medium. PMID:19625321

  3. Navigational challenges in the oceanic migrations of leatherback sea turtles

    PubMed Central

    Sale, Alessandro; Luschi, Paolo

    2009-01-01

    The open-sea movements of marine animals are affected by the drifting action of currents that, if not compensated for, can produce non-negligible deviations from the correct route towards a given target. Marine turtles are paradigmatic skilful oceanic navigators that are able to reach remote goals at the end of long-distance migrations, apparently overcoming current drift effects. Particularly relevant is the case of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), which spend entire years in the ocean, wandering in search of planktonic prey. Recent analyses have revealed how the movements of satellite-tracked leatherbacks in the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans are strongly dependent on the oceanic currents, up to the point that turtles are often passively transported over long distances. However, leatherbacks are known to return to specific areas to breed every 2–3 years, thus finding their way back home after long periods in the oceanic environment. Here we examine the navigational consequences of the leatherbacks' close association with currents and discuss how the combined reliance on mechanisms of map-based navigation and local orientation cues close to the target may allow leatherbacks to accomplish the difficult task of returning to specific sites after years spent wandering in a moving medium. PMID:19625321

  4. Endangered species: where leatherback turtles meet fisheries.

    PubMed

    Ferraroli, Sandra; Georges, Jean-Yves; Gaspar, Philippe; Le Maho, Yvon

    2004-06-01

    The dramatic worldwide decline in populations of the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) is largely due to the high mortality associated with their interaction with fisheries, so a reduction of this overlap is critical to their survival. The discovery of narrow migration corridors used by the leatherbacks in the Pacific Ocean raised the possibility of protecting the turtles by restricting fishing in these key areas. Here we use satellite tracking to show that there is no equivalent of these corridors in the North Atlantic Ocean, because the turtles disperse actively over the whole area. But we are able to identify a few 'hot spots' where leatherbacks meet fisheries and where conservation efforts should be focused. PMID:15175741

  5. 50 CFR 226.207 - Critical habitat for leatherback turtle.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Critical habitat for leatherback turtle... ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITAT § 226.207 Critical habitat for leatherback turtle. Leatherback Sea Turtle (dermochelys coriacea) The waters...

  6. 50 CFR 226.207 - Critical habitat for leatherback turtle.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Critical habitat for leatherback turtle... ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITAT § 226.207 Critical habitat for leatherback turtle. Leatherback Sea Turtle (dermochelys coriacea) The waters...

  7. Isotope Analysis Reveals Foraging Area Dichotomy for Atlantic Leatherback Turtles

    PubMed Central

    Angulo, Elena; Das, Krishna; Girondot, Marc

    2008-01-01

    Background The leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) has undergone a dramatic decline over the last 25 years, and this is believed to be primarily the result of mortality associated with fisheries bycatch followed by egg and nesting female harvest. Atlantic leatherback turtles undertake long migrations across ocean basins from subtropical and tropical nesting beaches to productive frontal areas. Migration between two nesting seasons can last 2 or 3 years, a time period termed the remigration interval (RI). Recent satellite transmitter data revealed that Atlantic leatherbacks follow two major dispersion patterns after nesting season, through the North Gulf Stream area or more eastward across the North Equatorial Current. However, information on the whole RI is lacking, precluding the accurate identification of feeding areas where conservation measures may need to be applied. Methodology/Principal Findings Using stable isotopes as dietary tracers we determined the characteristics of feeding grounds of leatherback females nesting in French Guiana. During migration, 3-year RI females differed from 2-year RI females in their isotope values, implying differences in their choice of feeding habitats (offshore vs. more coastal) and foraging latitude (North Atlantic vs. West African coasts, respectively). Egg-yolk and blood isotope values are correlated in nesting females, indicating that egg analysis is a useful tool for assessing isotope values in these turtles, including adults when not available. Conclusions/Significance Our results complement previous data on turtle movements during the first year following the nesting season, integrating the diet consumed during the year before nesting. We suggest that the French Guiana leatherback population segregates into two distinct isotopic groupings, and highlight the urgent need to determine the feeding habitats of the turtle in the Atlantic in order to protect this species from incidental take by commercial fisheries. Our

  8. Bottom-up and climatic forcing on the worldwide population of leatherback turtles.

    PubMed

    Saba, Vincent S; Spotila, James R; Chavez, Francisco P; Musick, John A

    2008-05-01

    Nesting populations of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) in the Atlantic and western Indian Oceans are increasing or stable while those in the Pacific are declining. It has been suggested that leatherbacks in the eastern Pacific may be resource limited due to environmental variability derived from the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), but this has yet to be tested. Here we explored bottom-up forcing and the responding reproductive output of nesting leatherbacks worldwide. We achieved this through an extensive review of leatherback nesting and migration data and by analyzing the spatial, temporal, and quantitative nature of resources as indicated by net primary production at post-nesting female migration and foraging areas. Leatherbacks in the eastern Pacific were the smallest in body size and had the lowest reproductive output due to less productive and inconsistent resources within their migration and foraging areas. This derived from natural interannual and multidecadal climate variability together with an influence of anthropogenic climate warming that is possibly affecting these natural cycles. The reproductive output of leatherbacks in the Atlantic and western Indian Oceans was nearly twice that of turtles in the eastern Pacific. The inconsistent nature of the Pacific Ocean may also render western Pacific leatherbacks susceptible to a more variable reproductive output; however, it appears that egg harvesting on nesting beaches is their major threat. We suggest that the eastern Pacific leatherback population is more sensitive to anthropogenic mortality due to recruitment rates that are lower and more variable, thus accounting for much of the population differences compared to Atlantic and western Indian turtles. PMID:18543633

  9. Coupled solar-magnetic orientation during leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias), arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea), and humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) long-distance migration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horton, T. W.; Holdaway, R. N.; Zerbini, A.; Andriolo, A.; Clapham, P. J.

    2010-12-01

    Determining how animals perform long-distance animal migration remains one of the most enduring and fundamental mysteries of behavioural ecology. It is widely accepted that navigation relative to a reference datum is a fundamental requirement of long-distance return migration between seasonal habitats, and significant experimental research has documented a variety of viable orientation and navigation cues. However, relatively few investigations have attempted to reconcile experimentally determined orientation and navigation capacities of animals with empirical remotely sensed animal track data, leaving most theories of navigation and orientation untested. Here we show, using basic hypothesis testing, that leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias), arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea), and humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) migration paths are non-randomly distributed in magnetic coordinate space, with local peaks in magnetic coordinate distributions equal to fractional multiples of the angular obliquity of Earth’s axis of rotation. Time series analysis of humpback whale migratory behaviours, including migration initiation, changes in course, and migratory stop-overs, further demonstrate coupling of magnetic and celestial orientation cues during long-distance migration. These unexpected and highly novel results indicate that diverse taxa integrate magnetic and celestial orientation cues during long-distance migration. These results are compatible with a 'map and compass' orientation and navigation system. Humpback whale migration track geometries further indicate a map and compass orientation system is used. Several humpback whale tracks include highly directional segments (Mercator latitude vs. longitude r2>0.99) exceeding 2000 km in length, despite exposure to variable strength (c. 0-1 km/hr) surface cross-currents. Humpback whales appear to be able to compensate for surface current drift. The remarkable directional

  10. Pink spot, white spot: the pineal skylight of the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea Vandelli 1761) skull and its possible role in the phenology of feeding migrations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Davenport, John; Jones, T. Todd; Work, Thierry M.; Balazs, George H.

    2014-01-01

    Leatherback turtles, Dermochelys coriacea, which have an irregular pink area on the crown of the head known as the pineal or ‘pink spot’, forage upon jellyfish in cool temperate waters along the western and eastern margins of the North Atlantic during the summer. Our study showed that the skeletal structures underlying the pink spot in juvenile and adult turtles are compatible with the idea of a pineal dosimeter function that would support recognition of environmental light stimuli. We interrogated an extensive turtle sightings database to elucidate the phenology of leatherback foraging during summer months around Great Britain and Ireland and compared the sightings with historical data for sea surface temperatures and day lengths to assess whether sea surface temperature or light periodicity/levels were likely abiotic triggers prompting foraging turtles to turn south and leave their feeding grounds at the end of the summer. We found that sea temperature was too variable and slow changing in the study area to be useful as a trigger and suggest that shortening of day lengths as the late summer equilux is approached provides a credible phenological cue, acting via the pineal, for leatherbacks to leave their foraging areas whether they are feeding close to Nova Scotia or Great Britain and Ireland.

  11. Orientation behaviour of leatherback sea turtles within the North Atlantic subtropical gyre

    PubMed Central

    Dodge, Kara L.; Galuardi, Benjamin; Lutcavage, Molly E.

    2015-01-01

    Leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) travel thousands of kilometres between temperate feeding and tropical breeding/over-wintering grounds, with adult turtles able to pinpoint specific nesting beaches after multi-year absences. Their extensive migrations often occur in oceanic habitat where limited known sensory information is available to aid in orientation. Here, we examined the migratory orientation of adult male, adult female and subadult leatherbacks during their open-ocean movements within the North Atlantic subtropical gyre by analysing satellite-derived tracks from fifteen individuals over a 2-year period. To determine the turtles' true headings, we corrected the reconstructed tracks for current drift and found negligible differences between current-corrected and observed tracks within the gyre. Individual leatherback headings were remarkably consistent throughout the subtropical gyre, with turtles significantly oriented to the south-southeast. Adult leatherbacks of both sexes maintained similar mean headings and showed greater orientation precision overall. The consistent headings maintained by adult and subadult leatherbacks within the gyre suggest use of a common compass sense. PMID:25761714

  12. Orientation behaviour of leatherback sea turtles within the North Atlantic subtropical gyre.

    PubMed

    Dodge, Kara L; Galuardi, Benjamin; Lutcavage, Molly E

    2015-04-01

    Leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) travel thousands of kilometres between temperate feeding and tropical breeding/over-wintering grounds, with adult turtles able to pinpoint specific nesting beaches after multi-year absences. Their extensive migrations often occur in oceanic habitat where limited known sensory information is available to aid in orientation. Here, we examined the migratory orientation of adult male, adult female and subadult leatherbacks during their open-ocean movements within the North Atlantic subtropical gyre by analysing satellite-derived tracks from fifteen individuals over a 2-year period. To determine the turtles' true headings, we corrected the reconstructed tracks for current drift and found negligible differences between current-corrected and observed tracks within the gyre. Individual leatherback headings were remarkably consistent throughout the subtropical gyre, with turtles significantly oriented to the south-southeast. Adult leatherbacks of both sexes maintained similar mean headings and showed greater orientation precision overall. The consistent headings maintained by adult and subadult leatherbacks within the gyre suggest use of a common compass sense. PMID:25761714

  13. Behaviour and Physiology: The Thermal Strategy of Leatherback Turtles

    PubMed Central

    Bostrom, Brian L.; Jones, T. Todd; Hastings, Mervin; Jones, David R.

    2010-01-01

    Background Adult leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) exhibit thermal gradients between their bodies and the environment of ≥8°C in sub-polar waters and ≤4°C in the tropics. There has been no direct evidence for thermoregulation in leatherbacks although modelling and morphological studies have given an indication of how thermoregulation may be achieved. Methodology/Principal Findings We show for the first time that leatherbacks are indeed capable of thermoregulation from studies on juvenile leatherbacks of 16 and 37 kg. In cold water (< 25°C), flipper stroke frequency increased, heat loss through the plastron, carapace and flippers was minimized, and a positive thermal gradient of up to 2.3°C was maintained between body and environment. In warm water (25 – 31°C), turtles were inactive and heat loss through their plastron, carapace and flippers increased. The thermal gradient was minimized (0.5°C). Using a scaling model, we estimate that a 300 kg adult leatherback is able to maintain a maximum thermal gradient of 18.2°C in cold sub-polar waters. Conclusions/Significance In juvenile leatherbacks, heat gain is controlled behaviourally by increasing activity while heat flux is regulated physiologically, presumably by regulation of blood flow distribution. Hence, harnessing physiology and behaviour allows leatherbacks to keep warm while foraging in cold sub-polar waters and to prevent overheating in a tropical environment. PMID:21085716

  14. Hydrodynamic role of longitudinal ridges in a leatherback turtle swimming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bang, Kyeongtae; Kim, Jooha; Lee, Sang-Im; Choi, Haecheon

    2015-11-01

    The leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), the fastest swimmer and the deepest diver among marine turtles, has five longitudinal ridges on its carapace. These ridges are the most remarkable morphological features distinguished from other marine turtles. To investigate the hydrodynamic role of these ridges in the leatherback turtle swimming, we model a carapace with and without ridges by using three dimensional surface data of a stuffed leatherback turtle in the National Science Museum, Korea. The experiment is conducted in a wind tunnel in the ranges of the real leatherback turtle's Reynolds number (Re) and angle of attack (α). The longitudinal ridges function differently according to the flow condition (i.e. Re and α). At low Re and negative α that represent the swimming condition of hatchlings and juveniles, the ridges significantly decrease the drag by generating streamwise vortices and delaying the main separation. On the other hand, at high Re and positive α that represent the swimming condition of adults, the ridges suppress the laminar separation bubble near the front part by generating streamwise vortices and enhance the lift and lift-to-drag ratio. Supported by the NRF program (2011-0028032).

  15. Climate change impacts on leatherback turtle pelagic habitat in the Southeast Pacific

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willis-Norton, Ellen; Hazen, Elliott L.; Fossette, Sabrina; Shillinger, George; Rykaczewski, Ryan R.; Foley, David G.; Dunne, John P.; Bograd, Steven J.

    2015-03-01

    Eastern Pacific populations of the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) have declined by over 90% during the past three decades. The decline is primarily attributed to human pressures, including unsustainable egg harvest, development on nesting beaches, and by-catch mortality. In particular, the effects of climate change may impose additional stresses upon already threatened leatherback populations. This study analyzes how the pelagic habitat of Eastern Pacific leatherbacks may be affected by climate change over the next century. This population adheres to a persistent migration pattern; following nesting at Playa Grande, Costa Rica, individuals move rapidly through equatorial currents and into foraging habitat within the oligotrophic South Pacific Gyre. Forty-six nesting females were fitted with satellite tags. Based on the turtle positions, ten environmental variables were sampled along the tracks. Presence/absence habitat models were created to determine the oceanographic characteristics of the preferred turtle habitat. Core pelagic habitat was characterized by relatively low sea surface temperatures and chlorophyll-a. Based on these habitat models, we predicted habitat change using output from the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory prototype Earth System Model under the Special Report on Emissions Scenario A2 (business-as-usual). Although the model predicted both habitat losses and gains throughout the region, we estimated that overall the core pelagic habitat of the Eastern Pacific leatherback population will decline by approximately 15% within the next century. This habitat modification might increase pressure on a critically endangered population, possibly forcing distributional shifts, behavioral changes, or even extinction.

  16. An oceanographic context for the foraging ecology of eastern Pacific leatherback turtles: Consequences of ENSO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saba, Vincent S.; Shillinger, George L.; Swithenbank, Alan M.; Block, Barbara A.; Spotila, James R.; Musick, John A.; Paladino, Frank V.

    2008-05-01

    We analyzed some of the primary biological and physical dynamics within the eastern Pacific leatherback turtle ( Dermochelys coriacea) migration area in relation to ENSO and leatherback nesting ecology at Parque Nacional Marino Las Baulas (PNMB), Costa Rica. We used data from remote sensing to calculate resource availability via a net primary production (NPP) model, and to analyze the physical dynamics of the migration area via sea surface temperature fronts. Within the migration area, NPP north of 15°S was highly governed by interannual variability as indicated by the Multivariate ENSO Index while south of 15°S, production had a more seasonal signal. Nesting peaks of leatherbacks at PNMB were associated with cool, highly productive La Niña events and with large-scale equatorial phytoplankton blooms encompassing 110°W that were induced by iron enrichment following the termination of El Niño events. Resource availability in the northern migration area (eastern equatorial Pacific) appeared to determine the nesting response for the population at PNMB, Costa Rica. We suggest that ENSO significantly influences the nesting ecology of leatherbacks at PNMB because the majority of the population consists of pelagic foragers that strictly rely on the eastern equatorial Pacific for prey consumption prior to the nesting season. Coastal foragers may be a minority in the population because of high mortality rates associated with coastal gillnet fisheries along Central and South America.

  17. Solitary Large Intestinal Diverticulitis in Leatherback Turtles (Dermochelys coriacea).

    PubMed

    Stacy, B A; Innis, C J; Daoust, P-Y; Wyneken, J; Miller, M; Harris, H; James, M C; Christiansen, E F; Foley, A

    2015-07-01

    Leatherback sea turtles are globally distributed and endangered throughout their range. There are limited data available on disease in this species. Initial observations of solitary large intestinal diverticulitis in multiple leatherbacks led to a multi-institutional review of cases. Of 31 subadult and adult turtles for which complete records were available, all had a single exudate-filled diverticulum, as large as 9.0 cm in diameter, arising from the large intestine immediately distal to the ileocecal junction. All lesions were chronic and characterized by ongoing inflammation, numerous intralesional bacteria, marked attenuation of the muscularis, ulceration, and secondary mucosal changes. In three cases, Morganella morganii was isolated from lesions. Diverticulitis was unrelated to the cause of death in all cases, although risk of perforation and other complications are possible. PMID:25239052

  18. Resource requirements of the Pacific leatherback turtle population.

    PubMed

    Jones, T Todd; Bostrom, Brian L; Hastings, Mervin D; Van Houtan, Kyle S; Pauly, Daniel; Jones, David R

    2012-01-01

    The Pacific population of leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) has drastically declined in the last 25 years. This decline has been linked to incidental capture by fisheries, egg and meat harvesting, and recently, to climate variability and resource limitation. Here we couple growth rates with feeding experiments and food intake functions to estimate daily energy requirements of leatherbacks throughout their development. We then estimate mortality rates from available data, enabling us to raise food intake (energy requirements) of the individual to the population level. We place energy requirements in context of available resources (i.e., gelatinous zooplankton abundance). Estimated consumption rates suggest that a single leatherback will eat upward of 1000 metric tonnes (t) of jellyfish in its lifetime (range 924-1112) with the Pacific population consuming 2.1×10(6) t of jellyfish annually (range 1.0-3.7×10(6)) equivalent to 4.2×10(8) megajoules (MJ) (range 2.0-7.4×10(8)). Model estimates suggest 2-7 yr-old juveniles comprise the majority of the Pacific leatherback population biomass and account for most of the jellyfish consumption (1.1×10(6) t of jellyfish or 2.2×10(8) MJ per year). Leatherbacks are large gelatinous zooplanktivores with consumption to biomass ratios of 96 (up to 192 if feeding strictly on low energy density Cnidarians); they, therefore, have a large capacity to impact gelatinous zooplankton landscapes. Understanding the leatherback's needs for gelatinous zooplankton, versus the availability of these resources, can help us better assess population trends and the influence of climate induced resource limitations to reproductive output. PMID:23071518

  19. Resource Requirements of the Pacific Leatherback Turtle Population

    PubMed Central

    Jones, T. Todd; Bostrom, Brian L.; Hastings, Mervin D.; Van Houtan, Kyle S.; Pauly, Daniel; Jones, David R.

    2012-01-01

    The Pacific population of leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) has drastically declined in the last 25 years. This decline has been linked to incidental capture by fisheries, egg and meat harvesting, and recently, to climate variability and resource limitation. Here we couple growth rates with feeding experiments and food intake functions to estimate daily energy requirements of leatherbacks throughout their development. We then estimate mortality rates from available data, enabling us to raise food intake (energy requirements) of the individual to the population level. We place energy requirements in context of available resources (i.e., gelatinous zooplankton abundance). Estimated consumption rates suggest that a single leatherback will eat upward of 1000 metric tonnes (t) of jellyfish in its lifetime (range 924–1112) with the Pacific population consuming 2.1×106 t of jellyfish annually (range 1.0–3.7×106) equivalent to 4.2×108 megajoules (MJ) (range 2.0–7.4×108). Model estimates suggest 2–7 yr-old juveniles comprise the majority of the Pacific leatherback population biomass and account for most of the jellyfish consumption (1.1×106 t of jellyfish or 2.2×108 MJ per year). Leatherbacks are large gelatinous zooplanktivores with consumption to biomass ratios of 96 (up to 192 if feeding strictly on low energy density Cnidarians); they, therefore, have a large capacity to impact gelatinous zooplankton landscapes. Understanding the leatherback's needs for gelatinous zooplankton, versus the availability of these resources, can help us better assess population trends and the influence of climate induced resource limitations to reproductive output. PMID:23071518

  20. Effect of longitudinal ridges on the hydrodynamic performance of a leatherback turtle model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bang, Kyeongtae; Kim, Jooha; Lee, Sang-Im; Choi, Haecheon

    2014-11-01

    Leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) known as the fastest swimmer and the deepest diver among marine turtles have five longitudinal ridges on their carapace, and these ridges are the most remarkable morphological features distinguished from other marine turtles. To investigate the effect of these ridges on the hydrodynamic performance of the leatherback turtle, we model a carapace with and without ridges using a stuffed leatherback turtle in the National Science Museum, Korea. We measure the drag and lift forces on the ridged model in the ranges of real leatherback turtles' Reynolds number (Re) and angle of attack (α), and compare them with those of non-ridged model. At α < 6°, longitudinal ridges decrease drag on the ridged model by up to 32% compared to non-ridged model. On the other hand, at α > 6°, the drag and lift coefficients of the ridged model are higher than those of the non-ridged model, and the lift-to-drag ratio of the ridged model is higher by about 7% than that of the non-ridged model. We also measure the velocity field around both models using a particle image velocimetry and explain the hydrodynamic role of ridges in relation to diving behaviors of leatherback sea turtles. Supported by the NRF Program (2011-0028032).

  1. Effect of longitudinal ridges on the aerodynamic performance of a leatherback turtle model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bang, Kyeongtae; Kim, Jooha; Kim, Heesu; Lee, Sang-Im; Choi, Haecheon

    2012-11-01

    Leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) are known as the fastest swimmer and the deepest diver in the open ocean among marine turtles. Unlike other marine turtles, leatherback sea turtles have five longitudinal ridges on their carapace. To investigate the effect of these longitudinal ridges on the aerodynamic performance of a leatherback turtle model, the experiment is conducted in a wind tunnel at Re = 1.0 × 105 - 1.4 × 106 (including that of real leatherback turtle in cruising condition) based on the model length. We measure the drag and lift forces on the leatherback turtle model with and without longitudinal ridges. The presence of longitudinal ridges increases both the lift and drag forces on the model, but increases the lift-to-drag ratio by 15 - 40%. We also measure the velocity field around the model with and without the ridges using particle image velocimetry. More details will be shown in the presentation. Supported by the NRF program (2011-0028032).

  2. Predicting bycatch hotspots for endangered leatherback turtles on longlines in the Pacific Ocean.

    PubMed

    Roe, John H; Morreale, Stephen J; Paladino, Frank V; Shillinger, George L; Benson, Scott R; Eckert, Scott A; Bailey, Helen; Tomillo, Pilar Santidrián; Bograd, Steven J; Eguchi, Tomoharu; Dutton, Peter H; Seminoff, Jeffrey A; Block, Barbara A; Spotila, James R

    2014-02-22

    Fisheries bycatch is a critical source of mortality for rapidly declining populations of leatherback turtles, Dermochelys coriacea. We integrated use-intensity distributions for 135 satellite-tracked adult turtles with longline fishing effort to estimate predicted bycatch risk over space and time in the Pacific Ocean. Areas of predicted bycatch risk did not overlap for eastern and western Pacific nesting populations, warranting their consideration as distinct management units with respect to fisheries bycatch. For western Pacific nesting populations, we identified several areas of high risk in the north and central Pacific, but greatest risk was adjacent to primary nesting beaches in tropical seas of Indo-Pacific islands, largely confined to several exclusive economic zones under the jurisdiction of national authorities. For eastern Pacific nesting populations, we identified moderate risk associated with migrations to nesting beaches, but the greatest risk was in the South Pacific Gyre, a broad pelagic zone outside national waters where management is currently lacking and may prove difficult to implement. Efforts should focus on these predicted hotspots to develop more targeted management approaches to alleviate leatherback bycatch. PMID:24403331

  3. Predicting bycatch hotspots for endangered leatherback turtles on longlines in the Pacific Ocean

    PubMed Central

    Roe, John H.; Morreale, Stephen J.; Paladino, Frank V.; Shillinger, George L.; Benson, Scott R.; Eckert, Scott A.; Bailey, Helen; Tomillo, Pilar Santidrián; Bograd, Steven J.; Eguchi, Tomoharu; Dutton, Peter H.; Seminoff, Jeffrey A.; Block, Barbara A.; Spotila, James R.

    2014-01-01

    Fisheries bycatch is a critical source of mortality for rapidly declining populations of leatherback turtles, Dermochelys coriacea. We integrated use-intensity distributions for 135 satellite-tracked adult turtles with longline fishing effort to estimate predicted bycatch risk over space and time in the Pacific Ocean. Areas of predicted bycatch risk did not overlap for eastern and western Pacific nesting populations, warranting their consideration as distinct management units with respect to fisheries bycatch. For western Pacific nesting populations, we identified several areas of high risk in the north and central Pacific, but greatest risk was adjacent to primary nesting beaches in tropical seas of Indo-Pacific islands, largely confined to several exclusive economic zones under the jurisdiction of national authorities. For eastern Pacific nesting populations, we identified moderate risk associated with migrations to nesting beaches, but the greatest risk was in the South Pacific Gyre, a broad pelagic zone outside national waters where management is currently lacking and may prove difficult to implement. Efforts should focus on these predicted hotspots to develop more targeted management approaches to alleviate leatherback bycatch. PMID:24403331

  4. Spatio-temporal foraging patterns of a giant zooplanktivore, the leatherback turtle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fossette, Sabrina; Hobson, Victoria J.; Girard, Charlotte; Calmettes, Beatriz; Gaspar, Philippe; Georges, Jean-Yves; Hays, Graeme C.

    2010-05-01

    Understanding food web functioning through the study of natural bio-indicators may constitute a valuable and original approach. In the context of jellyfish proliferation in many overexploited marine ecosystems studying the spatio-temporal foraging patterns of the giant "jellyvore" leatherback turtle turns out to be particularly relevant. Here we analyzed long-term tracking data to assess spatio-temporal foraging patterns in 21 leatherback turtles during their pluri-annual migration in the Northern Atlantic. Through an analytical approach based on the animal's own motion (independent of currents) and diving behavior distinct zones of high and low foraging success were identified. High foraging success occurred in a sub-equatorial zone spanning the width of the Atlantic and at high (>30°N) latitudes. Between these zones in the centre of North Atlantic gyre there was low foraging success. This "ocean desert" area was traversed at high speed by leatherbacks on their way to more productive areas at higher latitudes. Animals traveled slowly in high foraging success areas and dived shallower (17.2 ± 8.0 km day - 1 and 53.6 ± 33.1 m mean ± SD respectively) than in low foraging success areas (51.0 ± 13.1 km day - 1 and 81.8 ± 56.2 m mean ± SD respectively). These spatio-temporal foraging patterns seem to relatively closely match the main features of the integrated meso-zooplankton distribution in the North Atlantic. Our method of defining high foraging success areas is intuitive and relatively easy to implement but also takes into account the impact of oceanic currents on animal's behavior.

  5. Leatherback Turtle Movements, Dive Behavior, and Habitat Characteristics in Ecoregions of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean

    PubMed Central

    Dodge, Kara L.; Galuardi, Benjamin; Miller, Timothy J.; Lutcavage, Molly E.

    2014-01-01

    Leatherback sea turtles, Dermochelys coriacea, are highly migratory predators that feed exclusively on gelatinous zooplankton, thus playing a unique role in coastal and pelagic food webs. From 2007 to 2010, we used satellite telemetry to monitor the movements and dive behavior of nine adult and eleven subadult leatherbacks captured on the Northeast USA shelf and tracked throughout the Northwest Atlantic. Leatherback movements and environmental associations varied by oceanographic region, with slow, sinuous, area-restricted search behavior and shorter, shallower dives occurring in cool (median sea surface temperature: 18.4°C), productive (median chlorophyll a: 0.80 mg m−3), shallow (median bathymetry: 57 m) shelf habitat with strong sea surface temperature gradients (median SST gradient: 0.23°C km−1) at temperate latitudes. Leatherbacks were highly aggregated in temperate shelf and slope waters during summer, early fall, and late spring and more widely dispersed in subtropical and tropical oceanic and neritic habitat during late fall, winter and early spring. We investigated the relationship of ecoregion, satellite-derived surface chlorophyll, satellite-derived sea surface temperature, SST gradient, chlorophyll gradient and bathymetry with leatherback search behavior using generalized linear mixed-effects models. The most well supported model showed that differences in leatherback search behavior were best explained by ecoregion and regional differences in bathymetry and SST. Within the Northwest Atlantic Shelves region, leatherbacks increased path sinuosity (i.e., looping movements) with increasing SST, but this relationship reversed within the Gulf Stream region. Leatherbacks increased path sinuosity with decreasing water depth in temperate and tropical shelf habitats. This relationship is consistent with increasing epipelagic gelatinous zooplankton biomass with decreasing water depth, and bathymetry may be a key feature in identifying leatherback foraging

  6. Leatherback turtle movements, dive behavior, and habitat characteristics in ecoregions of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean.

    PubMed

    Dodge, Kara L; Galuardi, Benjamin; Miller, Timothy J; Lutcavage, Molly E

    2014-01-01

    Leatherback sea turtles, Dermochelys coriacea, are highly migratory predators that feed exclusively on gelatinous zooplankton, thus playing a unique role in coastal and pelagic food webs. From 2007 to 2010, we used satellite telemetry to monitor the movements and dive behavior of nine adult and eleven subadult leatherbacks captured on the Northeast USA shelf and tracked throughout the Northwest Atlantic. Leatherback movements and environmental associations varied by oceanographic region, with slow, sinuous, area-restricted search behavior and shorter, shallower dives occurring in cool (median sea surface temperature: 18.4°C), productive (median chlorophyll a: 0.80 mg m(-3)), shallow (median bathymetry: 57 m) shelf habitat with strong sea surface temperature gradients (median SST gradient: 0.23°C km(-1)) at temperate latitudes. Leatherbacks were highly aggregated in temperate shelf and slope waters during summer, early fall, and late spring and more widely dispersed in subtropical and tropical oceanic and neritic habitat during late fall, winter and early spring. We investigated the relationship of ecoregion, satellite-derived surface chlorophyll, satellite-derived sea surface temperature, SST gradient, chlorophyll gradient and bathymetry with leatherback search behavior using generalized linear mixed-effects models. The most well supported model showed that differences in leatherback search behavior were best explained by ecoregion and regional differences in bathymetry and SST. Within the Northwest Atlantic Shelves region, leatherbacks increased path sinuosity (i.e., looping movements) with increasing SST, but this relationship reversed within the Gulf Stream region. Leatherbacks increased path sinuosity with decreasing water depth in temperate and tropical shelf habitats. This relationship is consistent with increasing epipelagic gelatinous zooplankton biomass with decreasing water depth, and bathymetry may be a key feature in identifying leatherback foraging

  7. Jellyfish Support High Energy Intake of Leatherback Sea Turtles (Dermochelys coriacea): Video Evidence from Animal-Borne Cameras

    PubMed Central

    Heaslip, Susan G.; Iverson, Sara J.; Bowen, W. Don; James, Michael C.

    2012-01-01

    The endangered leatherback turtle is a large, highly migratory marine predator that inexplicably relies upon a diet of low-energy gelatinous zooplankton. The location of these prey may be predictable at large oceanographic scales, given that leatherback turtles perform long distance migrations (1000s of km) from nesting beaches to high latitude foraging grounds. However, little is known about the profitability of this migration and foraging strategy. We used GPS location data and video from animal-borne cameras to examine how prey characteristics (i.e., prey size, prey type, prey encounter rate) correlate with the daytime foraging behavior of leatherbacks (n = 19) in shelf waters off Cape Breton Island, NS, Canada, during August and September. Video was recorded continuously, averaged 1:53 h per turtle (range 0:08–3:38 h), and documented a total of 601 prey captures. Lion's mane jellyfish (Cyanea capillata) was the dominant prey (83–100%), but moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita) were also consumed. Turtles approached and attacked most jellyfish within the camera's field of view and appeared to consume prey completely. There was no significant relationship between encounter rate and dive duration (p = 0.74, linear mixed-effects models). Handling time increased with prey size regardless of prey species (p = 0.0001). Estimates of energy intake averaged 66,018 kJ•d−1 but were as high as 167,797 kJ•d−1 corresponding to turtles consuming an average of 330 kg wet mass•d−1 (up to 840 kg•d−1) or approximately 261 (up to 664) jellyfish•d-1. Assuming our turtles averaged 455 kg body mass, they consumed an average of 73% of their body mass•d−1 equating to an average energy intake of 3–7 times their daily metabolic requirements, depending on estimates used. This study provides evidence that feeding tactics used by leatherbacks in Atlantic Canadian waters are highly profitable and our results are consistent with estimates of mass gain prior to

  8. Jellyfish support high energy intake of leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea): video evidence from animal-borne cameras.

    PubMed

    Heaslip, Susan G; Iverson, Sara J; Bowen, W Don; James, Michael C

    2012-01-01

    The endangered leatherback turtle is a large, highly migratory marine predator that inexplicably relies upon a diet of low-energy gelatinous zooplankton. The location of these prey may be predictable at large oceanographic scales, given that leatherback turtles perform long distance migrations (1000s of km) from nesting beaches to high latitude foraging grounds. However, little is known about the profitability of this migration and foraging strategy. We used GPS location data and video from animal-borne cameras to examine how prey characteristics (i.e., prey size, prey type, prey encounter rate) correlate with the daytime foraging behavior of leatherbacks (n = 19) in shelf waters off Cape Breton Island, NS, Canada, during August and September. Video was recorded continuously, averaged 1:53 h per turtle (range 0:08-3:38 h), and documented a total of 601 prey captures. Lion's mane jellyfish (Cyanea capillata) was the dominant prey (83-100%), but moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita) were also consumed. Turtles approached and attacked most jellyfish within the camera's field of view and appeared to consume prey completely. There was no significant relationship between encounter rate and dive duration (p = 0.74, linear mixed-effects models). Handling time increased with prey size regardless of prey species (p = 0.0001). Estimates of energy intake averaged 66,018 kJ • d(-1) but were as high as 167,797 kJ • d(-1) corresponding to turtles consuming an average of 330 kg wet mass • d(-1) (up to 840 kg • d(-1)) or approximately 261 (up to 664) jellyfish • d(-1). Assuming our turtles averaged 455 kg body mass, they consumed an average of 73% of their body mass • d(-1) equating to an average energy intake of 3-7 times their daily metabolic requirements, depending on estimates used. This study provides evidence that feeding tactics used by leatherbacks in Atlantic Canadian waters are highly profitable and our results are consistent with estimates of mass gain prior to

  9. On the dispersal of leatherback turtle hatchlings from Mesoamerican nesting beaches

    PubMed Central

    Shillinger, George L.; Di Lorenzo, Emanuele; Luo, Hao; Bograd, Steven J.; Hazen, Elliott L.; Bailey, Helen; Spotila, James R.

    2012-01-01

    So little is known about the early life history of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) from hatchling to adulthood that this period has been termed the ‘lost years’. For critically endangered eastern Pacific leatherback populations, continued and rapid declines underscore the urgent need to develop conservation strategies across all life stages. We investigate leatherback hatchling dispersal from four Mesoamerican nesting beaches using passive tracer experiments within a regional ocean modelling system. The evolution of tracer distribution from each of the nesting beaches showed the strong influence of eddy transport and coastal currents. Modelled hatchlings from Playa Grande, Costa Rica, were most likely to be entrained and transported offshore by large-scale eddies coincident with the peak leatherback nesting and hatchling emergence period. These eddies potentially serve as ‘hatchling highways’, providing a means of rapid offshore transport away from predation and a productive refuge within which newly hatched turtles can develop. We hypothesize that the most important leatherback nesting beach remaining in the eastern Pacific (Playa Grande) has been evolutionarily selected as an optimal nesting site owing to favourable ocean currents that enhance hatchling survival. PMID:22378803

  10. Endocrine responses to diverse stressors of capture, entanglement and stranding in leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea).

    PubMed

    Hunt, Kathleen E; Innis, Charles J; Merigo, Constance; Rolland, Rosalind M

    2016-01-01

    Leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) are exposed to many anthropogenic stressors, yet almost no data on stress physiology exist for this species. As a first step toward understanding the physiological responses of leatherback turtles to stress, and with the particular goal of assessment of the effect of capture, we quantified corticosterone (an adrenal stress hormone) and thyroxine (a regulator of metabolic rate, often inhibited by chronic stress) in 17 healthy leatherback turtles captured at sea for scientific study, with comparisons to 15 'distressed' leatherbacks that were found entangled in fishing gear (n = 8), confined in a weir net (n = 1) or stranded on shore (n = 6). Distressed leatherbacks had significantly elevated corticosterone (mean ± SEM 10.05 ± 1.72 ng/ml, median 8.38 ng/ml) and free thyroxine (mean 0.86 ± 0.37 pg/ml, median 0.08 pg/ml) compared with healthy leatherbacks sampled immediately before release (after ∼40 min of handling; corticosterone, mean 4.97 ± 0.62 ng/ml, median 5.21 ng/ml; and free thyroxine, mean 0.05 ± 0.05 pg/ml, median 0.00 pg/ml). The elevated thyroxine in distressed turtles compared with healthy turtles might indicate an energetic burden of entanglement and stranding. Six of the healthy leatherbacks were sampled twice, at ∼25 and ∼50 min after the time of first disturbance. In all six individuals, corticosterone was higher in the later sample (earlier sample, mean 2.74 ± 0.88 ng/ml, median 2.61 ng/ml; later sample, mean 5.43 ± 1.29 ng/ml, median 5.38 ng/ml), indicating that capture and handling elicit an adrenal stress response in this species. However, the corticosterone elevation after capture appeared relatively mild compared with the corticosterone concentrations of the entangled and stranded turtles. The findings suggest that capture and handling using the protocols described (e.g. capture duration <1 h) might represent only a mild stressor, whereas entanglement and stranding might represent moderate

  11. Endocrine responses to diverse stressors of capture, entanglement and stranding in leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea)

    PubMed Central

    Hunt, Kathleen E.; Innis, Charles J.; Merigo, Constance; Rolland, Rosalind M.

    2016-01-01

    Leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) are exposed to many anthropogenic stressors, yet almost no data on stress physiology exist for this species. As a first step toward understanding the physiological responses of leatherback turtles to stress, and with the particular goal of assessment of the effect of capture, we quantified corticosterone (an adrenal stress hormone) and thyroxine (a regulator of metabolic rate, often inhibited by chronic stress) in 17 healthy leatherback turtles captured at sea for scientific study, with comparisons to 15 ‘distressed’ leatherbacks that were found entangled in fishing gear (n = 8), confined in a weir net (n = 1) or stranded on shore (n = 6). Distressed leatherbacks had significantly elevated corticosterone (mean ± SEM 10.05 ± 1.72 ng/ml, median 8.38 ng/ml) and free thyroxine (mean 0.86 ± 0.37 pg/ml, median 0.08 pg/ml) compared with healthy leatherbacks sampled immediately before release (after ∼40 min of handling; corticosterone, mean 4.97 ± 0.62 ng/ml, median 5.21 ng/ml; and free thyroxine, mean 0.05 ± 0.05 pg/ml, median 0.00 pg/ml). The elevated thyroxine in distressed turtles compared with healthy turtles might indicate an energetic burden of entanglement and stranding. Six of the healthy leatherbacks were sampled twice, at ∼25 and ∼50 min after the time of first disturbance. In all six individuals, corticosterone was higher in the later sample (earlier sample, mean 2.74 ± 0.88 ng/ml, median 2.61 ng/ml; later sample, mean 5.43 ± 1.29 ng/ml, median 5.38 ng/ml), indicating that capture and handling elicit an adrenal stress response in this species. However, the corticosterone elevation after capture appeared relatively mild compared with the corticosterone concentrations of the entangled and stranded turtles. The findings suggest that capture and handling using the protocols described (e.g. capture duration <1 h) might represent only a mild stressor, whereas entanglement and stranding might represent

  12. Comparative health assessment of western Pacific leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) foraging off the coast of California, 2005-2007

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harris, Heather S.; Benson, Scott R.; Gilardi, Kirsten V.; Poppenga, Robert H.; Work, Thierry M.; Dutton, Peter H.; Mazet, Jonna A.K.

    2011-01-01

    Leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) are critically endangered, primarily threatened by the overharvesting of eggs, fisheries entanglement, and coastal development. The Pacific leatherback population has experienced a catastrophic decline over the past two decades. Leatherbacks foraging off the coast of California are part of a distinct Western Pacific breeding stock that nests on beaches in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands. Although it has been proposed that the rapid decline of Pacific leatherback turtles is due to increased adult mortality, little is known about the health of this population. Health assessments in leatherbacks have examined females on nesting beaches, which provides valuable biological information, but might have limited applicability to the population as a whole. During September 2005 and 2007, we conducted physical examinations on 19 foraging Pacific leatherback turtles and measured normal physiologic parameters, baseline hematologic and plasma biochemistry values, and exposure to heavy metals (cadmium, lead, and mercury), organochlorine contaminants, and domoic acid. We compared hematologic values of foraging Pacific leatherbacks with their nesting counterparts in Papua New Guinea (n=11) and with other nesting populations in the Eastern Pacific in Costa Rica (n=8) and in the Atlantic in St. Croix (n=12). This study provides the most comprehensive assessment to date of the health status of leatherbacks in the Pacific. We found significant differences in blood values between foraging and nesting leatherbacks, which suggests that health assessment studies conducted only on nesting females might not accurately represent the whole population. The establishment of baseline physiologic data and blood values for healthy foraging leatherback turtles, including males, provides valuable data for long-term health monitoring and comparative studies of this endangered population.

  13. Comparative health assessment of Western Pacific leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) foraging off the coast of California, 2005-2007.

    PubMed

    Harris, Heather S; Benson, Scott R; Gilardi, Kirsten V; Poppenga, Robert H; Work, Thierry M; Dutton, Peter H; Mazet, Jonna A K

    2011-04-01

    Leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) are critically endangered, primarily threatened by the overharvesting of eggs, fisheries entanglement, and coastal development. The Pacific leatherback population has experienced a catastrophic decline over the past two decades. Leatherbacks foraging off the coast of California are part of a distinct Western Pacific breeding stock that nests on beaches in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands. Although it has been proposed that the rapid decline of Pacific leatherback turtles is due to increased adult mortality, little is known about the health of this population. Health assessments in leatherbacks have examined females on nesting beaches, which provides valuable biological information, but might have limited applicability to the population as a whole. During September 2005 and 2007, we conducted physical examinations on 19 foraging Pacific leatherback turtles and measured normal physiologic parameters, baseline hematologic and plasma biochemistry values, and exposure to heavy metals (cadmium, lead, and mercury), organochlorine contaminants, and domoic acid. We compared hematologic values of foraging Pacific leatherbacks with their nesting counterparts in Papua New Guinea (n=11) and with other nesting populations in the Eastern Pacific in Costa Rica (n=8) and in the Atlantic in St. Croix (n=12). This study provides the most comprehensive assessment to date of the health status of leatherbacks in the Pacific. We found significant differences in blood values between foraging and nesting leatherbacks, which suggests that health assessment studies conducted only on nesting females might not accurately represent the whole population. The establishment of baseline physiologic data and blood values for healthy foraging leatherback turtles, including males, provides valuable data for long-term health monitoring and comparative studies of this endangered population. PMID:21441185

  14. Recent Demographic History and Present Fine-Scale Structure in the Northwest Atlantic Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) Turtle Population

    PubMed Central

    Molfetti, Érica; Torres Vilaça, Sibelle; Georges, Jean-Yves; Plot, Virginie; Delcroix, Eric; Le Scao, Rozen; Lavergne, Anne; Barrioz, Sébastien; dos Santos, Fabrício Rodrigues; de Thoisy, Benoît

    2013-01-01

    The leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea is the most widely distributed sea turtle species in the world. It exhibits complex life traits: female homing and migration, migrations of juveniles and males that remain poorly known, and a strong climatic influence on resources, breeding success and sex-ratio. It is consequently challenging to understand population dynamics. Leatherbacks are critically endangered, yet the group from the Northwest Atlantic is currently considered to be under lower risk than other populations while hosting some of the largest rookeries. Here, we investigated the genetic diversity and the demographic history of contrasted rookeries from this group, namely two large nesting populations in French Guiana, and a smaller one in the French West Indies. We used 10 microsatellite loci, of which four are newly isolated, and mitochondrial DNA sequences of the control region and cytochrome b. Both mitochondrial and nuclear markers revealed that the Northwest Atlantic stock of leatherbacks derives from a single ancestral origin, but show current genetic structuration at the scale of nesting sites, with the maintenance of migrants amongst rookeries. Low nuclear genetic diversities are related to founder effects that followed consequent bottlenecks during the late Pleistocene/Holocene. Most probably in response to climatic oscillations, with a possible influence of early human hunting, female effective population sizes collapsed from 2 million to 200. Evidence of founder effects and high numbers of migrants make it possible to reconsider the population dynamics of the species, formerly considered as a metapopulation model: we propose a more relaxed island model, which we expect to be a key element in the currently observed recovering of populations. Although these Northwest Atlantic rookeries should be considered as a single evolutionary unit, we stress that local conservation efforts remain necessary since each nesting site hosts part of the genetic

  15. Maternal Health Status Correlates with Nest Success of Leatherback Sea Turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) from Florida

    PubMed Central

    Perrault, Justin R.; Miller, Debra L.; Eads, Erica; Johnson, Chris; Merrill, Anita; Thompson, Larry J.; Wyneken, Jeanette

    2012-01-01

    Of the seven sea turtle species, the critically endangered leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) exhibits the lowest and most variable nest success (i.e., hatching success and emergence success) for reasons that remain largely unknown. In an attempt to identify or rule out causes of low reproductive success in this species, we established the largest sample size (n = 60–70 for most values) of baseline blood parameters (protein electrophoresis, hematology, plasma biochemistry) for this species to date. Hematologic, protein electrophoretic and biochemical values are important tools that can provide information regarding the physiological condition of an individual and population health as a whole. It has been proposed that the health of nesting individuals affects their reproductive output. In order to establish correlations with low reproductive success in leatherback sea turtles from Florida, we compared maternal health indices to hatching success and emergence success of their nests. As expected, hatching success (median = 57.4%) and emergence success (median = 49.1%) in Floridian leatherbacks were low during the study period (2007–2008 nesting seasons), a trend common in most nesting leatherback populations (average global hatching success = ∼50%). One protein electrophoretic value (gamma globulin protein) and one hematologic value (red blood cell count) significantly correlated with hatching success and emergence success. Several maternal biochemical parameters correlated with hatching success and/or emergence success including alkaline phosphatase activity, blood urea nitrogen, calcium, calcium∶phosphorus ratio, carbon dioxide, cholesterol, creatinine, and phosphorus. Our results suggest that in leatherbacks, physiological parameters correlate with hatching success and emergence success of their nests. We conclude that long-term and comparative studies are needed to determine if certain individuals produce nests with lower

  16. Embryonic Death Is Linked to Maternal Identity in the Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)

    PubMed Central

    Rafferty, Anthony R.; Santidrián Tomillo, Pilar; Spotila, James R.; Paladino, Frank V.; Reina, Richard D.

    2011-01-01

    Leatherback turtles have an average global hatching success rate of ∼50%, lower than other marine turtle species. Embryonic death has been linked to environmental factors such as precipitation and temperature, although, there is still a lot of variability that remains to be explained. We examined how nesting season, the time of nesting each season, the relative position of each clutch laid by each female each season, maternal identity and associated factors such as reproductive experience of the female (new nester versus remigrant) and period of egg retention between clutches (interclutch interval) affected hatching success and stage of embryonic death in failed eggs of leatherback turtles nesting at Playa Grande, Costa Rica. Data were collected during five nesting seasons from 2004/05 to 2008/09. Mean hatching success was 50.4%. Nesting season significantly influenced hatching success in addition to early and late stage embryonic death. Neither clutch position nor nesting time during the season had a significant affect on hatching success or the stage of embryonic death. Some leatherback females consistently produced nests with higher hatching success rates than others. Remigrant females arrived earlier to nest, produced more clutches and had higher rates of hatching success than new nesters. Reproductive experience did not affect stage of death or the duration of the interclutch interval. The length of interclutch interval had a significant affect on the proportion of eggs that failed in each clutch and the developmental stage they died at. Intrinsic factors such as maternal identity are playing a role in affecting embryonic death in the leatherback turtle. PMID:21695086

  17. Current transport of leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) in the ocean.

    PubMed Central

    Luschi, P; Sale, A; Mencacci, R; Hughes, G R; Lutjeharms, J R E; Papi, F

    2003-01-01

    While the long-distance movements of pelagic vertebrates are becoming known thanks to satellite telemetry, the factors determining their courses have hardly been investigated. We have analysed the effects of oceanographic factors on the post-nesting movements of three satellite-tracked leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) moving in the southwest Indian Ocean. By superimposing the turtle tracks on contemporaneous images of sea-surface temperatures and sea height anomalies, we show that currentrelated features dominate the shape of the reconstructed routes. After an initial offshore movement, turtles moved along straight routes when in the core of the current, or executed loops within eddies. Large parts of the routes were strikingly similar to those of surface drifters tracked in the same region. These findings document that long-lasting oceanic movements of marine turtles may be shaped by oceanic currents. PMID:14667360

  18. Current transport of leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) in the ocean.

    PubMed

    Luschi, P; Sale, A; Mencacci, R; Hughes, G R; Lutjeharms, J R E; Papi, F

    2003-11-01

    While the long-distance movements of pelagic vertebrates are becoming known thanks to satellite telemetry, the factors determining their courses have hardly been investigated. We have analysed the effects of oceanographic factors on the post-nesting movements of three satellite-tracked leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) moving in the southwest Indian Ocean. By superimposing the turtle tracks on contemporaneous images of sea-surface temperatures and sea height anomalies, we show that currentrelated features dominate the shape of the reconstructed routes. After an initial offshore movement, turtles moved along straight routes when in the core of the current, or executed loops within eddies. Large parts of the routes were strikingly similar to those of surface drifters tracked in the same region. These findings document that long-lasting oceanic movements of marine turtles may be shaped by oceanic currents. PMID:14667360

  19. Tracking leatherback turtles from the world's largest rookery: assessing threats across the South Atlantic

    PubMed Central

    Witt, Matthew J.; Augowet Bonguno, Eric; Broderick, Annette C.; Coyne, Michael S.; Formia, Angela; Gibudi, Alain; Mounguengui Mounguengui, Gil Avery; Moussounda, Carine; NSafou, Monique; Nougessono, Solange; Parnell, Richard J.; Sounguet, Guy-Philippe; Verhage, Sebastian; Godley, Brendan J.

    2011-01-01

    Despite extensive work carried out on leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) in the North Atlantic and Indo-Pacific, very little is known of the at-sea distribution of this species in the South Atlantic, where the world's largest population nests in Gabon (central Africa). This paucity of data is of marked concern given the pace of industrialization in fisheries with demonstrable marine turtle bycatch in African/Latin American waters. We tracked the movements of 25 adult female leatherback turtles obtaining a range of fundamental and applied insights, including indications for methodological advancement. Individuals could be assigned to one of three dispersal strategies, moving to (i) habitats of the equatorial Atlantic, (ii) temperate habitats off South America or (iii) temperate habitats off southern Africa. While occupying regions with high surface chlorophyll concentrations, these strategies exposed turtles to some of the world's highest levels of longline fishing effort, in addition to areas with coastal gillnet fisheries. Satellite tracking highlighted that at least 11 nations should be involved in the conservation of this species in addition to those with distant fishing fleets. The majority of tracking days were, however, spent in the high seas, where effective implementation of conservation efforts is complex to achieve. PMID:21208949

  20. Behaviour of leatherback sea turtles, Dermochelys coriacea, during the migratory cycle

    PubMed Central

    James, Michael C; Myers, Ransom A; Ottensmeyer, C. Andrea

    2005-01-01

    Leatherback sea turtles, Dermochelys coriacea, undertake broad oceanic movements. While satellite telemetry has been used to investigate the post-nesting behaviour of female turtles tagged on tropical nesting beaches, long-term behavioural patterns of turtles of different sexes and sizes have not been described. Here we investigate behaviour for 25 subadult and adult male and female turtles satellite-tagged in temperate waters off Nova Scotia, Canada. Although sex and reproductive condition contributed to variation in migratory patterns, the migratory cycle of all turtles included movement between temperate and tropical waters. Marked changes in rates of travel, and diving and surfacing behaviour, accompanied southward movement away from northern foraging areas. As turtles approached higher latitudes the following spring and summer, they assumed behaviours consistent with regular foraging activity and eventually settled in coastal areas off Canada and the northeastern USA. Behavioural patterns corresponding to various phases of the migratory cycle were consistent across multiple animals and were repeated within individuals that completed return movements to northern waters. We consider the potential biological significance of these patterns, including how turtle behaviour relates to predator avoidance, thermoregulation and prey distribution. PMID:16048769

  1. Validation of ultrasound as a noninvasive tool to measure subcutaneous fat depth in leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harris, Heather S.; Benson, Scott R.; James, Michael C.; Martin, Kelly J.; Stacy, Brian A.; Daoust, Pierre-Yves; Rist, Paul M.; Work, Thierry M.; Balazs, George H.; Seminoff, Jeffrey A.

    2016-01-01

    Leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) undergo substantial cyclical changes in body condition between foraging and nesting. Ultrasonography has been used to measure subcutaneous fat as an indicator of body condition in many species but has not been applied in sea turtles. To validate this technique in leatherback turtles, ultrasound images were obtained from 36 live-captured and dead-stranded immature and adult turtles from foraging and nesting areas in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Ultrasound measurements were compared with direct measurements from surgical biopsy or necropsy. Tissue architecture was confirmed histologically in a subset of turtles. The dorsal shoulder region provided the best site for differentiation of tissues. Maximum fat depth values with the front flipper in a neutral (45–90°) position demonstrated good correlation with direct measurements. Ultrasound-derived fat measurements may be used in the future for quantitative assessment of body condition as an index of health in this critically endangered species.

  2. VALIDATION OF ULTRASOUND AS A NONINVASIVE TOOL TO MEASURE SUBCUTANEOUS FAT DEPTH IN LEATHERBACK SEA TURTLES (DERMOCHELYS CORIACEA).

    PubMed

    Harris, Heather S; Benson, Scott R; James, Michael C; Martin, Kelly J; Stacy, Brian A; Daoust, Pierre-Yves; Rist, Paul M; Work, Thierry M; Balazs, George H; Seminoff, Jeffrey A

    2016-03-01

    Leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) undergo substantial cyclical changes in body condition between foraging and nesting. Ultrasonography has been used to measure subcutaneous fat as an indicator of body condition in many species but has not been applied in sea turtles. To validate this technique in leatherback turtles, ultrasound images were obtained from 36 live-captured and dead-stranded immature and adult turtles from foraging and nesting areas in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Ultrasound measurements were compared with direct measurements from surgical biopsy or necropsy. Tissue architecture was confirmed histologically in a subset of turtles. The dorsal shoulder region provided the best site for differentiation of tissues. Maximum fat depth values with the front flipper in a neutral (45-90°) position demonstrated good correlation with direct measurements. Ultrasound-derived fat measurements may be used in the future for quantitative assessment of body condition as an index of health in this critically endangered species. PMID:27010287

  3. Seasonal trends in nesting leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) serum proteins further verify capital breeding hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Perrault, Justin R.; Wyneken, Jeanette; Page-Karjian, Annie; Merrill, Anita; Miller, Debra L.

    2014-01-01

    Serum protein concentrations provide insight into the nutritional and immune status of organisms. It has been suggested that some marine turtles are capital breeders that fast during the nesting season. In this study, we documented serum proteins in neophyte and remigrant nesting leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea). This allowed us to establish trends across the nesting season to determine whether these physiological parameters indicate if leatherbacks forage or fast while on nesting grounds. Using the biuret method and agarose gel electrophoresis, total serum protein (median = 5.0 g/dl) and protein fractions were quantified and include pre-albumin (median = 0.0 g/dl), albumin (median = 1.81 g/dl), α1-globulin (median = 0.90 g/dl), α2-globulin (median = 0.74 g/dl), total α-globulin (median = 1.64 g/dl), β-globulin (median = 0.56 g/dl), γ-globulin (median = 0.81 g/dl) and total globulin (median = 3.12 g/dl). The albumin:globulin ratio (median = 0.59) was also calculated. Confidence intervals (90%) were used to establish reference intervals. Total protein, albumin and total globulin concentrations declined in successive nesting events. Protein fractions declined at less significant rates or remained relatively constant during the nesting season. Here, we show that leatherbacks are most likely fasting during the nesting season. A minimal threshold of total serum protein concentrations of around 3.5–4.5 g/dl may physiologically signal the end of the season's nesting for individual leatherbacks. The results presented here lend further insight into the interaction between reproduction, fasting and energy reserves and will potentially improve the conservation and management of this imperiled species. PMID:27293623

  4. Climate driven egg and hatchling mortality threatens survival of eastern Pacific leatherback turtles.

    PubMed

    Santidrián Tomillo, Pilar; Saba, Vincent S; Blanco, Gabriela S; Stock, Charles A; Paladino, Frank V; Spotila, James R

    2012-01-01

    Egg-burying reptiles need relatively stable temperature and humidity in the substrate surrounding their eggs for successful development and hatchling emergence. Here we show that egg and hatchling mortality of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) in northwest Costa Rica were affected by climatic variability (precipitation and air temperature) driven by the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Drier and warmer conditions associated with El Niño increased egg and hatchling mortality. The fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projects a warming and drying in Central America and other regions of the World, under the SRES A2 development scenario. Using projections from an ensemble of global climate models contributed to the IPCC report, we project that egg and hatchling survival will rapidly decline in the region over the next 100 years by ∼50-60%, due to warming and drying in northwestern Costa Rica, threatening the survival of leatherback turtles. Warming and drying trends may also threaten the survival of sea turtles in other areas affected by similar climate changes. PMID:22649544

  5. Climate Driven Egg and Hatchling Mortality Threatens Survival of Eastern Pacific Leatherback Turtles

    PubMed Central

    Santidrián Tomillo, Pilar; Saba, Vincent S.; Blanco, Gabriela S.; Stock, Charles A.; Paladino, Frank V.; Spotila, James R.

    2012-01-01

    Egg-burying reptiles need relatively stable temperature and humidity in the substrate surrounding their eggs for successful development and hatchling emergence. Here we show that egg and hatchling mortality of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) in northwest Costa Rica were affected by climatic variability (precipitation and air temperature) driven by the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Drier and warmer conditions associated with El Niño increased egg and hatchling mortality. The fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projects a warming and drying in Central America and other regions of the World, under the SRES A2 development scenario. Using projections from an ensemble of global climate models contributed to the IPCC report, we project that egg and hatchling survival will rapidly decline in the region over the next 100 years by ∼50–60%, due to warming and drying in northwestern Costa Rica, threatening the survival of leatherback turtles. Warming and drying trends may also threaten the survival of sea turtles in other areas affected by similar climate changes. PMID:22649544

  6. Unique characteristics of the trachea of the juvenile leatherback turtle facilitate feeding, diving and endothermy

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Davenport, John; Jones, T. Todd; Work, Thierry M.; Balazs, George H.

    2014-01-01

    The adult leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea overlaps in body size (300–500 kg) with many marine mammals, yet develops from a 50 g hatchling. Adults can dive deeper than 1200 m and have core body temperatures of 25 °C; hatchlings are near-surface dwellers. Juvenile leatherbacks have rarely been studied; here we present anatomical information for the upper respiratory tract of 3 turtles (66.7–83.0 cm straight carapace length; 33.2–53.4 kg body mass) incidentally captured by long-line fisheries. Combined with existing information from adults and hatchlings, our data show that there is an ontogenic shift in tracheal structure, with cartilaginous rings becoming broader and eventually fusing anteriorly. This ontogenic shift during independent existence is unique among extant deep-diving air breathing vertebrates. Tract wall thickness is graded, becoming progressively thinner from larynx to bronchi. In addition, cross-sectional shape becomes increasingly dorsoventrally flattened (more elliptical) from anterior to posterior. These characteristics ensure that the tract will collapse from posterior to anterior during dives. This study contains the first report of a double (= internally bifurcated) posterior section of the trachea; it is suggested that this allows continuous food movement along the esophagus without tracheal collapse. The whole upper respiratory tract (from larynx to lungs) has a vascular lining (thicker anteriorly than posteriorly) that appears to be a simple analog of the complex turbinates of birds and mammals. Our study confirmed that the leatherback tracheal structure represents a distinctive way of dealing with the challenges of diving in deep, cold sea water.

  7. Cost-effectiveness of alternative conservation strategies with application to the Pacific leatherback turtle.

    PubMed

    Gjertsen, Heidi; Squires, Dale; Dutton, Peter H; Eguchi, Tomoharu

    2014-02-01

    Although holistic conservation addressing all sources of mortality for endangered species or stocks is the preferred conservation strategy, limited budgets require a criterion to prioritize conservation investments. We compared the cost-effectiveness of nesting site and at-sea conservation strategies for Pacific leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea). We sought to determine which conservation strategy or mix of strategies would produce the largest increase in population growth rate per dollar. Alternative strategies included protection of nesters and their eggs at nesting beaches in Indonesia, gear changes, effort restrictions, and caps on turtle takes in the Hawaiian (U.S.A.) longline swordfish fishery, and temporal and area closures in the California (U.S.A.) drift gill net fishery. We used a population model with a biological metric to measure the effects of conservation alternatives. We normalized all effects by cost to prioritize those strategies with the greatest biological effect relative to its economic cost. We used Monte Carlo simulation to address uncertainty in the main variables and to calculate probability distributions for cost-effectiveness measures. Nesting beach protection was the most cost-effective means of achieving increases in leatherback populations. This result creates the possibility of noncompensatory bycatch mitigation, where high-bycatch fisheries invest in protecting nesting beaches. An example of this practice is U.S. processors of longline tuna and California drift gill net fishers that tax themselves to finance low-cost nesting site protection. Under certain conditions, fisheries interventions, such as technologies that reduce leatherback bycatch without substantially decreasing target species catch, can be cost-effective. Reducing bycatch in coastal areas where bycatch is high, particularly adjacent to nesting beaches, may be cost-effective, particularly, if fisheries in the area are small and of little commercial value. PMID

  8. Maternal transfer of chlorinated contaminants in the leatherback turtles, Dermochelys coriacea, nesting in French Guiana.

    PubMed

    Guirlet, Elodie; Das, Krishna; Thomé, Jean-Pierre; Girondot, Marc

    2010-04-01

    We examined the maternal transfer of organochlorine contaminants (OCs), pesticides (DDTS and HCHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and the temporal variation of blood and eggs concentrations from 38 leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) nesting in French Guiana. PCBs were found to be the dominant OCs with respective mean concentrations of 55.14 ng g(-1) lipid-mass for egg and 1.26 ng mL(-1) wet-mass for blood. OC concentrations were lower than concentrations measured in other marine turtles which might be due to the lower trophic position (diet based on gelatinous zooplankton) and to the location of their foraging and nesting grounds. All OCs detected in leatherback blood were detected in eggs, suggesting a maternal transfer of OCs. This transfer was shown to depend on female blood concentration for SigmaDDTs and for the most prevalent PCB congeners, since significant relationships were found between paired blood-egg concentrations. During the nesting season, OC concentrations in eggs and the percentage of lipid in eggs were found to decline in successive clutches, highlighting a process of offloading from females to their eggs and a decreasing investment of lipid from females into their clutches. OCs in eggs tended to be higher in females spending 3 years in the foraging grounds between two nesting seasons than in those spending 2 years, suggesting an impact of time spacing two breeding seasons, called remigration interval, and of location of the foraging grounds. PMID:20362323

  9. Global analysis of the effect of local climate on the hatchling output of leatherback turtles

    PubMed Central

    Santidrián Tomillo, Pilar; Saba, Vincent S.; Lombard, Claudia D.; Valiulis, Jennifer M.; Robinson, Nathan J.; Paladino, Frank V.; Spotila, James R.; Fernández, Carlos; Rivas, Marga L.; Tucek, Jenny; Nel, Ronel; Oro, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    The most recent climate change projections show a global increase in temperatures along with precipitation changes throughout the 21st century. However, regional projections do not always match global projections and species with global distributions may exhibit varying regional susceptibility to climate change. Here we show the effect of local climatic conditions on the hatchling output of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) at four nesting sites encompassing the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans. We found a heterogeneous effect of climate. Hatchling output increased with long-term precipitation in areas with dry climatic conditions (Playa Grande, Pacific Ocean and Sandy Point, Caribbean Sea), but the effect varied in areas where precipitation was high (Pacuare, Caribbean Sea) and was not detected at the temperate site (Maputaland, Indian Ocean). High air temperature reduced hatchling output only at the area experiencing seasonal droughts (Playa Grande). Climatic projections showed a drastic increase in air temperature and a mild decrease in precipitation at all sites by 2100. The most unfavorable conditions were projected for Sandy Point where hatching success has already declined over time along with precipitation levels. The heterogeneous effect of climate may lead to local extinctions of leatherback turtles in some areas but survival in others by 2100. PMID:26572897

  10. Global analysis of the effect of local climate on the hatchling output of leatherback turtles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santidrián Tomillo, Pilar; Saba, Vincent S.; Lombard, Claudia D.; Valiulis, Jennifer M.; Robinson, Nathan J.; Paladino, Frank V.; Spotila, James R.; Fernández, Carlos; Rivas, Marga L.; Tucek, Jenny; Nel, Ronel; Oro, Daniel

    2015-11-01

    The most recent climate change projections show a global increase in temperatures along with precipitation changes throughout the 21st century. However, regional projections do not always match global projections and species with global distributions may exhibit varying regional susceptibility to climate change. Here we show the effect of local climatic conditions on the hatchling output of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) at four nesting sites encompassing the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans. We found a heterogeneous effect of climate. Hatchling output increased with long-term precipitation in areas with dry climatic conditions (Playa Grande, Pacific Ocean and Sandy Point, Caribbean Sea), but the effect varied in areas where precipitation was high (Pacuare, Caribbean Sea) and was not detected at the temperate site (Maputaland, Indian Ocean). High air temperature reduced hatchling output only at the area experiencing seasonal droughts (Playa Grande). Climatic projections showed a drastic increase in air temperature and a mild decrease in precipitation at all sites by 2100. The most unfavorable conditions were projected for Sandy Point where hatching success has already declined over time along with precipitation levels. The heterogeneous effect of climate may lead to local extinctions of leatherback turtles in some areas but survival in others by 2100.

  11. Global analysis of the effect of local climate on the hatchling output of leatherback turtles.

    PubMed

    Santidrián Tomillo, Pilar; Saba, Vincent S; Lombard, Claudia D; Valiulis, Jennifer M; Robinson, Nathan J; Paladino, Frank V; Spotila, James R; Fernández, Carlos; Rivas, Marga L; Tucek, Jenny; Nel, Ronel; Oro, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    The most recent climate change projections show a global increase in temperatures along with precipitation changes throughout the 21(st) century. However, regional projections do not always match global projections and species with global distributions may exhibit varying regional susceptibility to climate change. Here we show the effect of local climatic conditions on the hatchling output of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) at four nesting sites encompassing the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans. We found a heterogeneous effect of climate. Hatchling output increased with long-term precipitation in areas with dry climatic conditions (Playa Grande, Pacific Ocean and Sandy Point, Caribbean Sea), but the effect varied in areas where precipitation was high (Pacuare, Caribbean Sea) and was not detected at the temperate site (Maputaland, Indian Ocean). High air temperature reduced hatchling output only at the area experiencing seasonal droughts (Playa Grande). Climatic projections showed a drastic increase in air temperature and a mild decrease in precipitation at all sites by 2100. The most unfavorable conditions were projected for Sandy Point where hatching success has already declined over time along with precipitation levels. The heterogeneous effect of climate may lead to local extinctions of leatherback turtles in some areas but survival in others by 2100. PMID:26572897

  12. Pan-atlantic analysis of the overlap of a highly migratory species, the leatherback turtle, with pelagic longline fisheries.

    PubMed

    Fossette, S; Witt, M J; Miller, P; Nalovic, M A; Albareda, D; Almeida, A P; Broderick, A C; Chacón-Chaverri, D; Coyne, M S; Domingo, A; Eckert, S; Evans, D; Fallabrino, A; Ferraroli, S; Formia, A; Giffoni, B; Hays, G C; Hughes, G; Kelle, L; Leslie, A; López-Mendilaharsu, M; Luschi, P; Prosdocimi, L; Rodriguez-Heredia, S; Turny, A; Verhage, S; Godley, B J

    2014-04-01

    Large oceanic migrants play important roles in ecosystems, yet many species are of conservation concern as a result of anthropogenic threats, of which incidental capture by fisheries is frequently identified. The last large populations of the leatherback turtle, Dermochelys coriacea, occur in the Atlantic Ocean, but interactions with industrial fisheries could jeopardize recent positive population trends, making bycatch mitigation a priority. Here, we perform the first pan-Atlantic analysis of spatio-temporal distribution of the leatherback turtle and ascertain overlap with longline fishing effort. Data suggest that the Atlantic probably consists of two regional management units: northern and southern (the latter including turtles breeding in South Africa). Although turtles and fisheries show highly diverse distributions, we highlight nine areas of high susceptibility to potential bycatch (four in the northern Atlantic and five in the southern/equatorial Atlantic) that are worthy of further targeted investigation and mitigation. These are reinforced by reports of leatherback bycatch at eight of these sites. International collaborative efforts are needed, especially from nations hosting regions where susceptibility to bycatch is likely to be high within their exclusive economic zone (northern Atlantic: Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania, Senegal, Spain, USA and Western Sahara; southern Atlantic: Angola, Brazil, Namibia and UK) and from nations fishing in these high-susceptibility areas, including those located in international waters. PMID:24523271

  13. Pan-Atlantic analysis of the overlap of a highly migratory species, the leatherback turtle, with pelagic longline fisheries

    PubMed Central

    Fossette, S.; Witt, M. J.; Miller, P.; Nalovic, M. A.; Albareda, D.; Almeida, A. P.; Broderick, A. C.; Chacón-Chaverri, D.; Coyne, M. S.; Domingo, A.; Eckert, S.; Evans, D.; Fallabrino, A.; Ferraroli, S.; Formia, A.; Giffoni, B.; Hays, G. C.; Hughes, G.; Kelle, L.; Leslie, A.; López-Mendilaharsu, M.; Luschi, P.; Prosdocimi, L.; Rodriguez-Heredia, S.; Turny, A.; Verhage, S.; Godley, B. J.

    2014-01-01

    Large oceanic migrants play important roles in ecosystems, yet many species are of conservation concern as a result of anthropogenic threats, of which incidental capture by fisheries is frequently identified. The last large populations of the leatherback turtle, Dermochelys coriacea, occur in the Atlantic Ocean, but interactions with industrial fisheries could jeopardize recent positive population trends, making bycatch mitigation a priority. Here, we perform the first pan-Atlantic analysis of spatio-temporal distribution of the leatherback turtle and ascertain overlap with longline fishing effort. Data suggest that the Atlantic probably consists of two regional management units: northern and southern (the latter including turtles breeding in South Africa). Although turtles and fisheries show highly diverse distributions, we highlight nine areas of high susceptibility to potential bycatch (four in the northern Atlantic and five in the southern/equatorial Atlantic) that are worthy of further targeted investigation and mitigation. These are reinforced by reports of leatherback bycatch at eight of these sites. International collaborative efforts are needed, especially from nations hosting regions where susceptibility to bycatch is likely to be high within their exclusive economic zone (northern Atlantic: Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania, Senegal, Spain, USA and Western Sahara; southern Atlantic: Angola, Brazil, Namibia and UK) and from nations fishing in these high-susceptibility areas, including those located in international waters. PMID:24523271

  14. Sedation and anesthesia of hatchling leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) for auditory evoked potential measurement in air and in water.

    PubMed

    Harms, Craig A; Piniak, Wendy E D; Eckert, Scott A; Stringer, Elizabeth M

    2014-03-01

    Sedation or anesthesia of hatchling leatherback sea turtles was employed to acquire auditory evoked potential (AEP) measurements in air and in water to assess their hearing sensitivity in relation to potential consequences from anthropogenic noise. To reduce artifacts in AEP collection caused by muscle movement, hatchlings were sedated with midazolam 2 or 3 mg/kg i.v. for in-air (n = 7) or in-water (n = 11) AEP measurements; hatchlings (n = 5) were anesthetized with ketamine 6 mg/kg and dexmedetomidine 30 microg/kg i.v. reversed with atipamezole 300 microg/kg, half i.m. and half i.v. for in-air AEP measurements. Midazolam-sedated turtles were also physically restrained with a light elastic wrap. For in-water AEP measurements, sedated turtles were brought to the surface every 45-60 sec, or whenever they showed intention signs for breathing, and not submerged again until they took a breath. Postprocedure temperature-corrected venous blood pH, pCO2, pO2, and HCO3- did not differ among groups, although for the midazolam-sedated in-water group, pCO2 trended lower, and in the ketamine-dexmedetomidine anesthetized group there was one turtle considered clinically acidotic (temperature-corrected pH = 7.117). Venous blood lactate was greater for hatchlings recently emerged from the nest than for turtles sedated with midazolam in air, with the other two groups falling intermediate between, but not differing significantly from the high and low lactate groups. Disruptive movements were less frequent with anesthesia than with sedation in the in-air group. Both sedation with midazolam and anesthesia with ketamine-dexmedetomidine were successful for allowing AEP measurements in hatchling leatherback sea turtles. Sedation allowed the turtle to protect its airway voluntarily while limiting flipper movement. Midazolam or ketamine-dexmedetomidine (and reversal with atipamezole) would be useful for other procedures requiring minor or major restraint in leatherback sea turtle hatchlings

  15. Topsy-turvy: turning the counter-current heat exchange of leatherback turtles upside down.

    PubMed

    Davenport, John; Jones, T Todd; Work, Thierry M; Balazs, George H

    2015-10-01

    Counter-current heat exchangers associated with appendages of endotherms feature bundles of closely applied arteriovenous vessels. The accepted paradigm is that heat from warm arterial blood travelling into the appendage crosses into cool venous blood returning to the body. High core temperature is maintained, but the appendage functions at low temperature. Leatherback turtles have elevated core temperatures in cold seawater and arteriovenous plexuses at the roots of all four limbs. We demonstrate that plexuses of the hindlimbs are situated wholly within the hip musculature, and that, at the distal ends of the plexuses, most blood vessels supply or drain the hip muscles, with little distal vascular supply to, or drainage from the limb blades. Venous blood entering a plexus will therefore be drained from active locomotory muscles that are overlaid by thick blubber when the adults are foraging in cold temperate waters. Plexuses maintain high limb muscle temperature and avoid excessive loss of heat to the core, the reverse of the accepted paradigm. Plexuses protect the core from overheating generated by muscular thermogenesis during nesting. PMID:26445982

  16. Topsy-turvy: Turning the counter-current heat exchange of leatherback turtles upside down

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Davenport, John; Jones, T. Todd; Work, Thierry M.; Balazs, George H.

    2015-01-01

    Counter-current heat exchangers associated with appendages of endotherms feature bundles of closely applied arteriovenous vessels. The accepted paradigm is that heat from warm arterial blood travelling into the appendage crosses into cool venous blood returning to the body. High core temperature is maintained, but the appendage functions at low temperature. Leatherback turtles have elevated core temperatures in cold seawater and arteriovenous plexuses at the roots of all four limbs. We demonstrate that plexuses of the hindlimbs are situated wholly within the hip musculature, and that, at the distal ends of the plexuses, most blood vessels supply or drain the hip muscles, with little distal vascular supply to, or drainage from the limb blades. Venous blood entering a plexus will therefore be drained from active locomotory muscles that are overlaid by thick blubber when the adults are foraging in cold temperate waters. Plexuses maintain high limb muscle temperature and avoid excessive loss of heat to the core, the reverse of the accepted paradigm. Plexuses protect the core from overheating generated by muscular thermogenesis during nesting.

  17. Interannual differences for sea turtles bycatch in Spanish longliners from Western Mediterranean Sea.

    PubMed

    Báez, José C; Macías, David; García-Barcelona, Salvador; Real, Raimundo

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies showed that regional abundance of loggerhead and leatherback turtles could oscillate interannually according to oceanographic and climatic conditions. The Western Mediterranean is an important fishing area for the Spanish drifting longline fleet, which mainly targets swordfish, bluefin tuna, and albacore. Due to the spatial overlapping in fishing activity and turtle distribution, there is an increasing sea turtle conservation concern. The main goal of this study is to analyse the interannual bycatch of loggerhead and leatherback turtles by the Spanish Mediterranean longline fishery and to test the relationship between the total turtle by-catch of this fishery and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). During the 14 years covered in this study, the number of sea turtle bycatches was 3,940 loggerhead turtles and 8 leatherback turtles, 0.499 loggerhead turtles/1000 hooks and 0.001014 leatherback turtles/1000 hooks. In the case of the loggerhead turtle the positive phase of the NAO favours an increase of loggerhead turtles in the Western Mediterranean Sea. However, in the case of leatherback turtle the negative phase of the NAO favours the presence of leatherback turtle. This contraposition could be related to the different ecophysiological response of both species during their migration cycle. PMID:24764769

  18. Interannual Differences for Sea Turtles Bycatch in Spanish Longliners from Western Mediterranean Sea

    PubMed Central

    Báez, José C.; García-Barcelona, Salvador

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies showed that regional abundance of loggerhead and leatherback turtles could oscillate interannually according to oceanographic and climatic conditions. The Western Mediterranean is an important fishing area for the Spanish drifting longline fleet, which mainly targets swordfish, bluefin tuna, and albacore. Due to the spatial overlapping in fishing activity and turtle distribution, there is an increasing sea turtle conservation concern. The main goal of this study is to analyse the interannual bycatch of loggerhead and leatherback turtles by the Spanish Mediterranean longline fishery and to test the relationship between the total turtle by-catch of this fishery and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). During the 14 years covered in this study, the number of sea turtle bycatches was 3,940 loggerhead turtles and 8 leatherback turtles, 0.499 loggerhead turtles/1000 hooks and 0.001014 leatherback turtles/1000 hooks. In the case of the loggerhead turtle the positive phase of the NAO favours an increase of loggerhead turtles in the Western Mediterranean Sea. However, in the case of leatherback turtle the negative phase of the NAO favours the presence of leatherback turtle. This contraposition could be related to the different ecophysiological response of both species during their migration cycle. PMID:24764769

  19. 50 CFR 226.207 - Critical habitat for leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... in the case of estuaries and bays where COLREGS lines (defined at 33 CFR part 80) shall be used as... population growth, reproduction, and development of leatherbacks. (5) A map of critical habitat...

  20. 50 CFR 226.207 - Critical habitat for leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... in the case of estuaries and bays where COLREGS lines (defined at 33 CFR part 80) shall be used as... population growth, reproduction, and development of leatherbacks. (5) A map of critical habitat...

  1. 50 CFR 226.207 - Critical habitat for leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... in the case of estuaries and bays where COLREGS lines (defined at 33 CFR part 80) shall be used as... population growth, reproduction, and development of leatherbacks. (5) A map of critical habitat...

  2. Movement Patterns for a Critically Endangered Species, the Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), Linked to Foraging Success and Population Status

    PubMed Central

    Bailey, Helen; Fossette, Sabrina; Bograd, Steven J.; Shillinger, George L.; Swithenbank, Alan M.; Georges, Jean-Yves; Gaspar, Philippe; Strömberg, K. H. Patrik; Paladino, Frank V.; Spotila, James R.; Block, Barbara A.; Hays, Graeme C.

    2012-01-01

    Foraging success for pelagic vertebrates may be revealed by horizontal and vertical movement patterns. We show markedly different patterns for leatherback turtles in the North Atlantic versus Eastern Pacific, which feed on gelatinous zooplankton that are only occasionally found in high densities. In the Atlantic, travel speed was characterized by two modes, indicative of high foraging success at low speeds (<15 km d−1) and transit at high speeds (20–45 km d−1). Only a single mode was evident in the Pacific, which occurred at speeds of 21 km d−1 indicative of transit. The mean dive depth was more variable in relation to latitude but closer to the mean annual depth of the thermocline and nutricline for North Atlantic than Eastern Pacific turtles. The most parsimonious explanation for these findings is that Eastern Pacific turtles rarely achieve high foraging success. This is the first support for foraging behaviour differences between populations of this critically endangered species and suggests that longer periods searching for prey may be hindering population recovery in the Pacific while aiding population maintenance in the Atlantic. PMID:22615767

  3. Estimating Limit Reference Points for Western Pacific Leatherback Turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) in the U.S. West Coast EEZ.

    PubMed

    Curtis, K Alexandra; Moore, Jeffrey E; Benson, Scott R

    2015-01-01

    Biological limit reference points (LRPs) for fisheries catch represent upper bounds that avoid undesirable population states. LRPs can support consistent management evaluation among species and regions, and can advance ecosystem-based fisheries management. For transboundary species, LRPs prorated by local abundance can inform local management decisions when international coordination is lacking. We estimated LRPs for western Pacific leatherbacks in the U.S. West Coast Exclusive Economic Zone (WCEEZ) using three approaches with different types of information on local abundance. For the current application, the best-informed LRP used a local abundance estimate derived from nest counts, vital rate information, satellite tag data, and fishery observer data, and was calculated with a Potential Biological Removal estimator. Management strategy evaluation was used to set tuning parameters of the LRP estimators to satisfy risk tolerances for falling below population thresholds, and to evaluate sensitivity of population outcomes to bias in key inputs. We estimated local LRPs consistent with three hypothetical management objectives: allowing the population to rebuild to its maximum net productivity level (4.7 turtles per five years), limiting delay of population rebuilding (0.8 turtles per five years), or only preventing further decline (7.7 turtles per five years). These LRPs pertain to all human-caused removals and represent the WCEEZ contribution to meeting population management objectives within a broader international cooperative framework. We present multi-year estimates, because at low LRP values, annual assessments are prone to substantial error that can lead to volatile and costly management without providing further conservation benefit. The novel approach and the performance criteria used here are not a direct expression of the "jeopardy" standard of the U.S. Endangered Species Act, but they provide useful assessment information and could help guide international

  4. Estimating Limit Reference Points for Western Pacific Leatherback Turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) in the U.S. West Coast EEZ

    PubMed Central

    Curtis, K. Alexandra; Moore, Jeffrey E.; Benson, Scott R.

    2015-01-01

    Biological limit reference points (LRPs) for fisheries catch represent upper bounds that avoid undesirable population states. LRPs can support consistent management evaluation among species and regions, and can advance ecosystem-based fisheries management. For transboundary species, LRPs prorated by local abundance can inform local management decisions when international coordination is lacking. We estimated LRPs for western Pacific leatherbacks in the U.S. West Coast Exclusive Economic Zone (WCEEZ) using three approaches with different types of information on local abundance. For the current application, the best-informed LRP used a local abundance estimate derived from nest counts, vital rate information, satellite tag data, and fishery observer data, and was calculated with a Potential Biological Removal estimator. Management strategy evaluation was used to set tuning parameters of the LRP estimators to satisfy risk tolerances for falling below population thresholds, and to evaluate sensitivity of population outcomes to bias in key inputs. We estimated local LRPs consistent with three hypothetical management objectives: allowing the population to rebuild to its maximum net productivity level (4.7 turtles per five years), limiting delay of population rebuilding (0.8 turtles per five years), or only preventing further decline (7.7 turtles per five years). These LRPs pertain to all human-caused removals and represent the WCEEZ contribution to meeting population management objectives within a broader international cooperative framework. We present multi-year estimates, because at low LRP values, annual assessments are prone to substantial error that can lead to volatile and costly management without providing further conservation benefit. The novel approach and the performance criteria used here are not a direct expression of the “jeopardy” standard of the U.S. Endangered Species Act, but they provide useful assessment information and could help guide

  5. Breeding Sex Ratios in Adult Leatherback Turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) May Compensate for Female-Biased Hatchling Sex Ratios

    PubMed Central

    Stewart, Kelly R.; Dutton, Peter H.

    2014-01-01

    For vertebrates with temperature-dependent sex determination, primary (or hatchling) sex ratios are often skewed, an issue of particular relevance to concerns over effects of climate change on populations. However, the ratio of breeding males to females, or the operational sex ratio (OSR), is important to understand because it has consequences for population demographics and determines the capacity of a species to persist. The OSR also affects mating behaviors and mate choice, depending on the more abundant sex. For sea turtles, hatchling and juvenile sex ratios are generally female-biased, and with warming nesting beach temperatures, there is concern that populations may become feminized. Our purpose was to evaluate the breeding sex ratio for leatherback turtles at a nesting beach in St. Croix, USVI. In 2010, we sampled nesting females and later sampled their hatchlings as they emerged from nests. Total genomic DNA was extracted and all individuals were genotyped using 6 polymorphic microsatellite markers. We genotyped 662 hatchlings from 58 females, matching 55 females conclusively to their nests. Of the 55, 42 females mated with one male each, 9 mated with 2 males each and 4 mated with at least 3 males each, for a multiple paternity rate of 23.6%. Using GERUD1.0, we reconstructed parental genotypes, identifying 47 different males and 46 females for an estimated breeding sex ratio of 1.02 males for every female. Thus we demonstrate that there are as many actively breeding males as females in this population. Concerns about female-biased adult sex ratios may be premature, and mate choice or competition may play more of a role in sea turtle reproduction than previously thought. We recommend monitoring breeding sex ratios in the future to allow the integration of this demographic parameter in population models. PMID:24505403

  6. Persistent organic pollutant levels in eggs of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) point to a decrease in hatching success.

    PubMed

    De Andrés, Eva; Gómara, Belén; González-Paredes, Daniel; Ruiz-Martín, José; Marco, Adolfo

    2016-03-01

    Sea turtles are susceptible to environmental pollution, since many harmful effects have been reported for different chemicals over the last two decades. In this context, persistent organic pollutants (POPs), such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are of particular concern due to their endocrine-disrupting nature. The aims of this study were to provide additional baseline data on PCB and PBDE concentrations in eggs of Dermochelys coriacea; and to investigate whether any of the congeners could compromise reproductive success in this species. A total of 18 nests from different females were studied during the nesting season of 2008 at Reserva Pacuare Beach, in the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. Reproductive parameters (viability, fertility and hatching rates) were calculated for all nests and hatchling morphometrics were successfully measured in 8 of them. Two to three fresh eggs per nest were taken for contaminant study. Different congeners of POPs were purified and identified using gas chromatography (GC) coupled to an ion trap detector (GC-ITD MS/MS), as described below. Mean ± SD concentrations were calculated for POP congeners within each nest and clustering was also evaluated. Correlations were performed searching for potential relationships with reproductive parameters. POP levels were similar to those reported in French-Guiana populations and slightly lower than those associated to Florida populations. Sum of PBDEs showed a negative correlation to the hatching success, suggesting potential harmful effects of these contaminants on the reproduction of leatherbacks. PMID:26735737

  7. The influence of fluvial dynamics and North Atlantic swells on the beach habitat of leatherback turtles at Grande Riviere Trinidad.

    PubMed

    Darsan, Junior; Jehu, Adam; Asmath, Hamish; Singh, Asha; Wilson, Matthew

    2016-09-15

    Grande Riviere beach, located on the north coast of Trinidad, West Indies, is internationally recognised as a critical habitat/nesting ground for the endangered leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea). Episodic extreme flooding of the Grande Riviere River led to the shifting of the river mouth and resulted in backshore beach erosion, with the most recent recorded event occurring in 2012. Following this event, the construction of a sand dam to arrest further erosion which threatened coastal infrastructure, precipitated a host of new problems ranging from beach instability to public health threats. In January 2013, high energy swell waves naturally in-filled the erosion channel, and the beach recovery continued over the successive months, thereby rendering the intervention in the previous year questionable. This paper presents a geomorphological analysis of beach dynamics for Grande Riviere, within the context of this erosion event. Data on beach profiles, sediment and coastal processes were collected using standard geomorphological techniques. Beach topographic analysis and water quality tests on impounded water in the erosion channel were conducted. Results indicate that the event created an erosion channel of 4843.42 m(3) over a contiguous area of 2794.25 m(2). While swell waves were able to naturally infill the channel, they also eroded 17,762 m(3) of sand overall across the beach. Water quality tests revealed that the impounded water was classified as a pollutant, and created challenges for remediation. Hydrologic and coastal geomorphologic interplay is responsible for the existence and sustainability of this coastal system. It is also evident that the beach system is able to recover naturally following extreme events. Our results demonstrate that effective and integrated management of such critical habitats remains dependent upon continuous monitoring data which should be used to inform policy and decision making. PMID:27213864

  8. Effects of illegal harvest of eggs on the population decline of leatherback turtles in Las Baulas Marine National Park, Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Tomillo, Pilar Santidrián; Saba, Vincent S; Piedra, Rotney; Paladino, Frank V; Spotila, James R

    2008-10-01

    Within 19 years the nesting population of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) at Parque Nacional Marino Las Baulas declined from 1500 turtles nesting per year to about 100. We analyzed the effects of fishery bycatch and illegal harvesting (poaching) of eggs on this population. We modeled the population response to different levels of egg harvest (90, 75, 50, and 25%) and the effect of eradicating poaching at different times during the population decline. We compared effects of 90% poaching with those of 20% adult mortality because both of these processes were present in the population at Las Baulas. There was a stepwise decline in number of nesting turtles at all levels of egg harvest. Extirpation times for different levels of poaching ranged from 45 to 282 years. The nesting population declined more slowly and survived longer with 20% adult mortality (146 years) than it did with 90% poaching (45 years). Time that elapsed until poaching stopped determined the average population size at which the population stabilized, ranging from 90 to 420 nesting turtles. Our model predicted that saving clutches lost naturally would restore the population when adult mortality rates were low and would contribute more to population recovery when there were short remigration intervals between nesting seasons and a large proportion of natural loss of clutches. Because the model indicated that poaching was the most important cause of the leatherback decline at Las Baulas, protecting nests on the beach and protecting the beach from development are critical for survival of this population. Nevertheless, the model predicted that current high mortality rates of adults will prevent population recovery. Therefore, protection of the beach habitat and nests must be continued and fishery bycatch must be reduced to save this population. PMID:18637915

  9. Does prey size matter? Novel observations of feeding in the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) allow a test of predator-prey size relationships.

    PubMed

    Fossette, Sabrina; Gleiss, Adrian C; Casey, James P; Lewis, Andrew R; Hays, Graeme C

    2012-06-23

    Optimal foraging models predict that large predators should concentrate on large prey in order to maximize their net gain of energy intake. Here, we show that the largest species of sea turtle, Dermochelys coriacea, does not strictly adhere to this general pattern. Field observations combined with a theoretical model suggest that a 300 kg leatherback turtle would meet its energetic requirements by feeding for 3-4 h a day on 4 g jellyfish, but only if prey were aggregated in high-density patches. Therefore, prey abundance rather than prey size may, in some cases, be the overriding parameter for foraging leatherbacks. This is a classic example where the presence of small prey in the diet of a large marine predator may reflect profitable foraging decisions if the relatively low energy intake per small individual prey is offset by high encounter rates and minimal capture and handling costs. This study provides, to our knowledge, the first quantitative estimates of intake rate for this species. PMID:22090203

  10. Does prey size matter? Novel observations of feeding in the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) allow a test of predator–prey size relationships

    PubMed Central

    Fossette, Sabrina; Gleiss, Adrian C.; Casey, James P.; Lewis, Andrew R.; Hays, Graeme C.

    2012-01-01

    Optimal foraging models predict that large predators should concentrate on large prey in order to maximize their net gain of energy intake. Here, we show that the largest species of sea turtle, Dermochelys coriacea, does not strictly adhere to this general pattern. Field observations combined with a theoretical model suggest that a 300 kg leatherback turtle would meet its energetic requirements by feeding for 3–4 h a day on 4 g jellyfish, but only if prey were aggregated in high-density patches. Therefore, prey abundance rather than prey size may, in some cases, be the overriding parameter for foraging leatherbacks. This is a classic example where the presence of small prey in the diet of a large marine predator may reflect profitable foraging decisions if the relatively low energy intake per small individual prey is offset by high encounter rates and minimal capture and handling costs. This study provides, to our knowledge, the first quantitative estimates of intake rate for this species. PMID:22090203

  11. Atlantic Leatherback Migratory Paths and Temporary Residence Areas

    PubMed Central

    López-Mendilaharsu, Milagros; Miller, Philip; Domingo, Andrés; Evans, Daniel; Kelle, Laurent; Plot, Virginie; Prosdocimi, Laura; Verhage, Sebastian; Gaspar, Philippe; Georges, Jean-Yves

    2010-01-01

    Background Sea turtles are long-distance migrants with considerable behavioural plasticity in terms of migratory patterns, habitat use and foraging sites within and among populations. However, for the most widely migrating turtle, the leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea, studies combining data from individuals of different populations are uncommon. Such studies are however critical to better understand intra- and inter-population variability and take it into account in the implementation of conservation strategies of this critically endangered species. Here, we investigated the movements and diving behaviour of 16 Atlantic leatherback turtles from three different nesting sites and one foraging site during their post-breeding migration to assess the potential determinants of intra- and inter-population variability in migratory patterns. Methodology/Principal Findings Using satellite-derived behavioural and oceanographic data, we show that turtles used Temporary Residence Areas (TRAs) distributed all around the Atlantic Ocean: 9 in the neritic domain and 13 in the oceanic domain. These TRAs did not share a common oceanographic determinant but on the contrary were associated with mesoscale surface oceanographic features of different types (i.e., altimetric features and/or surface chlorophyll a concentration). Conversely, turtles exhibited relatively similar horizontal and vertical behaviours when in TRAs (i.e., slow swimming velocity/sinuous path/shallow dives) suggesting foraging activity in these productive regions. Migratory paths and TRAs distribution showed interesting similarities with the trajectories of passive satellite-tracked drifters, suggesting that the general dispersion pattern of adults from the nesting sites may reflect the extent of passive dispersion initially experienced by hatchlings. Conclusions/Significance Intra- and inter-population behavioural variability may therefore be linked with initial hatchling drift scenarios and be highly

  12. Serial assessment of the physiological status of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) during direct capture events in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean: comparison of post-capture and pre-release data

    PubMed Central

    Innis, Charles J.; Merigo, Constance; Cavin, Julie M.; Hunt, Kathleen; Dodge, Kara L.; Lutcavage, Molly

    2014-01-01

    The physiological status of seven leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) was assessed at two time points during ecological research capture events in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean. Data were collected as soon as possible after securing each turtle onboard the capture vessel and again immediately prior to release. Measured parameters included sea surface temperature, body temperature, morphometric data, sex, heart rate, respiratory rate and various haematological and blood biochemical variables. Results indicated generally stable physiological status in comparison to previously published studies of this species. However, blood pH and blood potassium concentrations increased significantly between the two time points (P = 0.0018 and P = 0.0452, respectively). Turtles were affected by a mild initial acidosis (mean [SD] temperature-corrected pH = 7.29 [0.07]), and blood pH increased prior to release (mean [SD] = 7.39 [0.07]). Initial blood potassium concentrations were considered normal (mean [SD] = 4.2 [0.9] mmol/l), but turtles experienced a mild to moderate increase in blood potassium concentrations during the event (mean [SD] pre-release potassium = 5.9 [1.7] mmol/l, maximum = 8.5 mmol/l). While these data support the general safety of direct capture for study of this species, the observed changes in blood potassium concentrations are of potential concern due to possible adverse effects of hyperkalaemia on cardiac function. The results of this study highlight the importance of physiological monitoring during scientific capture events. The results are also likely to be relevant to unintentional leatherback capture events (e.g. fisheries interactions), when interactions may be more prolonged or extreme. PMID:27293669

  13. Migrations of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) between nesting and foraging grounds across the Coral Sea.

    PubMed

    Read, Tyffen C; Wantiez, Laurent; Werry, Jonathan M; Farman, Richard; Petro, George; Limpus, Colin J

    2014-01-01

    Marine megafauna tend to migrate vast distances, often crossing national borders and pose a significant challenge to managers. This challenge is particularly acute in the Pacific, which contains numerous small island nations and thousands of kilometers of continental margins. The green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas, is one such megafauna that is endangered in Pacific waters due to the overexploitation of eggs and adults for human consumption. Data from long-term tagging programs in Queensland (Australia) and New Caledonia were analysed to investigate the migrations by C. mydas across the Coral Sea between their nesting site and their feeding grounds. A review of data collected over the last 50 years by different projects identified multiple migrations of C. mydas to and from New Caledonia (n = 97) and indicate that turtles foraging in New Caledonia nest in the Great Barrier Reef (Australia) and vice versa. Several explanations exist for turtles exhibiting this energetically costly movement pattern from breeding to distant foraging grounds (1200-2680 km away) despite viable foraging habitat being available in the local vicinity. These include hatchling drift, oceanic movements and food abundance predictability. Most of the tag recoveries in New Caledonia belonged to females from the south Great Barrier Reef genetic stock. Some females (n = 2) even showed fidelity to foraging sites located 1200 km away from the nesting site located in New Caledonia. This study also reveals previously unknown migrations pathways of turtles within the Coral Sea. PMID:24940598

  14. Migrations of Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas) between Nesting and Foraging Grounds across the Coral Sea

    PubMed Central

    Read, Tyffen C.; Wantiez, Laurent; Werry, Jonathan M.; Farman, Richard; Petro, George; Limpus, Colin J.

    2014-01-01

    Marine megafauna tend to migrate vast distances, often crossing national borders and pose a significant challenge to managers. This challenge is particularly acute in the Pacific, which contains numerous small island nations and thousands of kilometers of continental margins. The green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas, is one such megafauna that is endangered in Pacific waters due to the overexploitation of eggs and adults for human consumption. Data from long-term tagging programs in Queensland (Australia) and New Caledonia were analysed to investigate the migrations by C. mydas across the Coral Sea between their nesting site and their feeding grounds. A review of data collected over the last 50 years by different projects identified multiple migrations of C. mydas to and from New Caledonia (n = 97) and indicate that turtles foraging in New Caledonia nest in the Great Barrier Reef (Australia) and vice versa. Several explanations exist for turtles exhibiting this energetically costly movement pattern from breeding to distant foraging grounds (1200–2680 km away) despite viable foraging habitat being available in the local vicinity. These include hatchling drift, oceanic movements and food abundance predictability. Most of the tag recoveries in New Caledonia belonged to females from the south Great Barrier Reef genetic stock. Some females (n = 2) even showed fidelity to foraging sites located 1200 km away from the nesting site located in New Caledonia. This study also reveals previously unknown migrations pathways of turtles within the Coral Sea. PMID:24940598

  15. Riding on the fast lane: how sea turtles behave in post-nesting migration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Y.-H.; Cheng, I.-J.; Centurioni, L.

    2014-07-01

    Sea turtles are known as powerful swimmers. How do they behave when riding in strong currents during their migrations? In this study, three, satellite-tagged, post-nesting green turtles travelled from Lanyu Island, east of Taiwan, partly within the Kuroshio to their foraging sites approximately 1000 km away in the Ryukyu Archipelago. Their swimming behaviors were analyzed by comparing their migration velocities estimated from Argos tag data with ocean currents derived from a data simulation model and from AVISO advection estimates. Results suggest that the turtles take advantage of Kuroshio during the initial portion of their migration routes. They must then make a great effort to swim eastward, at speeds over 1 m s-1, toward their foraging sites to avoid being carried off course by the strong current. The cues that might cause the change in swimming direction were evaluated with a Principle Component Analysis. The factors considered are ambient current velocity, wind, eddy activity (vorticity), magnetic field (latitude) and water temperature. The analysis shows that the ambient current and water temperature are negatively correlated with the eastward swimming velocity. This suggests that the changes in ocean current and a drop of water temperature, likely due to eddies impinging on the Kuroshio, may trigger the eastward swimming. Despite the differences among migratory routes of three Argos-tagged turtles after leaving the Kuroshio, they all reached foraging sites in the same general area. That suggests there may be more complex cues that guide the turtles to their foraging sites during their post-nesting migrations.

  16. Trans-Pacific migrations of the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) demonstrated with mitochondrial DNA markers.

    PubMed

    Bowen, B W; Abreu-Grobois, F A; Balazs, G H; Kamezaki, N; Limpus, C J; Ferl, R J

    1995-04-25

    Juvenile loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) have recently been documented in the vicinity of Baja California and thousands of these animals have been captured in oceanic fisheries of the North Pacific. The presence of loggerhead turtles in the central and eastern North Pacific is a prominent enigma in marine turtle distribution because the nearest documented nesting concentrations for this species are in Australia and Japan, over 10,000 km from Baja California. To determine the origin of the Baja California feeding aggregate and North Pacific fishery mortalities, samples from nesting areas and pelagic feeding aggregates were compared with genetic markers derived from mtDNA control region sequences. Overall, 57 of 60 pelagic samples (95%) match haplotypes seen only in Japanese nesting areas, implicating Japan as the primary source of turtles in the North Pacific Current and around Baja California. Australian nesting colonies may contribute the remaining 5% of these pelagic feeding aggregates. Juvenile loggerhead turtles apparently traverse the entire Pacific Ocean, approximately one-third of the planet, in the course of developmental migrations, but mortality in high-seas fisheries raises concern over the future of this migratory population. PMID:7731974

  17. Trans-Pacific migrations of the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) demonstrated with mitochondrial DNA markers.

    PubMed Central

    Bowen, B W; Abreu-Grobois, F A; Balazs, G H; Kamezaki, N; Limpus, C J; Ferl, R J

    1995-01-01

    Juvenile loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) have recently been documented in the vicinity of Baja California and thousands of these animals have been captured in oceanic fisheries of the North Pacific. The presence of loggerhead turtles in the central and eastern North Pacific is a prominent enigma in marine turtle distribution because the nearest documented nesting concentrations for this species are in Australia and Japan, over 10,000 km from Baja California. To determine the origin of the Baja California feeding aggregate and North Pacific fishery mortalities, samples from nesting areas and pelagic feeding aggregates were compared with genetic markers derived from mtDNA control region sequences. Overall, 57 of 60 pelagic samples (95%) match haplotypes seen only in Japanese nesting areas, implicating Japan as the primary source of turtles in the North Pacific Current and around Baja California. Australian nesting colonies may contribute the remaining 5% of these pelagic feeding aggregates. Juvenile loggerhead turtles apparently traverse the entire Pacific Ocean, approximately one-third of the planet, in the course of developmental migrations, but mortality in high-seas fisheries raises concern over the future of this migratory population. PMID:7731974

  18. Evidence for transoceanic migrations by loggerhead sea turtles in the southern Pacific Ocean.

    PubMed

    Boyle, M C; Fitzsimmons, N N; Limpus, C J; Kelez, S; Velez-Zuazo, X; Waycott, M

    2009-06-01

    Post-hatchling loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) in the northern Pacific and northern Atlantic Oceans undertake transoceanic developmental migrations. Similar migratory behaviour is hypothesized in the South Pacific Ocean as post-hatchling loggerhead turtles are observed in Peruvian fisheries, yet no loggerhead rookeries occur along the coast of South America. This hypothesis was supported by analyses of the size-class distribution of 123 post-hatchling turtles in the South Pacific and genetic analysis of mtDNA haplotypes of 103 nesting females in the southwest Pacific, 19 post-hatchlings stranded on the southeastern Australian beaches and 22 post-hatchlings caught by Peruvian longline fisheries. Only two haplotypes (CCP1 93% and CCP5 7%) were observed across all samples, and there were no significant differences in haplotype frequencies between the southwest Pacific rookeries and the post-hatchlings. By contrast, the predominant CCP1 haplotype is rarely observed in North Pacific rookeries and haplotype frequencies were strongly differentiated between the two regions (F(st)=0.82; p=<0.00001). These results suggest that post-hatchling loggerhead turtles emerging from the southwest Pacific rookeries are undertaking transoceanic migrations to the southeastern Pacific Ocean, thus emphasizing the need for a broader focus on juvenile mortality throughout the South Pacific to develop effective conservation strategies. PMID:19324768

  19. Home range, habitat use, and migrations of hawksbill turtles tracked from Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hart, Kristen M.; Sartain-Iverson, Autumn R.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Pratt, Harold L., Jr.; Morley, Danielle; Feeley, Michael W.

    2012-01-01

    To determine habitat-use patterns of sub-adult hawksbills Eretmochelys imbricata, we conducted satellite- and acoustic-tracking of 3 turtles captured in August 2008 within Dry Tortugas National Park (DRTO), south Florida, USA, in the Gulf of Mexico; turtles ranged in size from 51.9 to 69.8 cm straight carapace length. After 263, 699, and 655 d of residence in the park, turtles migrated out of the DRTO. Within the park, core-use areas (i.e. 50% kernel density estimates) were 9.2 to 21.5 km2; all 3 turtle core-use areas overlapped in an area 6.1 km2 within a zone of the park with multiple human uses (e.g. fishing, anchoring). Two turtles migrated to Cuba and ceased transmitting after 320 and 687 tracking days; the third turtle migrated toward Key West, Florida, and ceased transmitting after 884 tracking days. The present study highlights previously unknown regional connections for hawksbills, possible turtle-harvest incidents, and fine-scale habitat use of sub-adult hawksbills within a United States National Park.

  20. 76 FR 37050 - Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for Sea Turtle Conservation and Recovery...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-06-24

    ...- approved testing protocols established to date include the ``small turtle test'' (55 FR 41092, October 9, 1990) and the ``wild turtle test'' (52 FR 24244, June 29, 1987). Additionally, NMFS has established a... turtles (66 FR 24287, May 14, 2001). Because testing with live leatherbacks is impossible, NMFS...

  1. Simulating transoceanic migrations of young loggerhead sea turtles: merging magnetic navigation behavior with an ocean circulation model.

    PubMed

    Putman, Nathan F; Verley, Philippe; Shay, Thomas J; Lohmann, Kenneth J

    2012-06-01

    Young loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from eastern Florida, USA, undertake a transoceanic migration in which they gradually circle the Sargasso Sea before returning to the North American coast. Loggerheads possess a 'magnetic map' in which regional magnetic fields elicit changes in swimming direction along the migratory pathway. In some geographic areas, however, ocean currents move more rapidly than young turtles can swim. Thus, the degree to which turtles can control their migratory movements has remained unclear. In this study, the movements of young turtles were simulated within a high-resolution ocean circulation model using several different behavioral scenarios, including one in which turtles drifted passively and others in which turtles swam briefly in accordance with experimentally derived data on magnetic navigation. Results revealed that small amounts of oriented swimming in response to regional magnetic fields profoundly affected migratory routes and endpoints. Turtles that engaged in directed swimming for as little as 1-3 h per day were 43-187% more likely than passive drifters to reach the Azores, a productive foraging area frequented by Florida loggerheads. They were also more likely to remain within warm-water currents favorable for growth and survival, avoid areas on the perimeter of the migratory route where predation risk and thermal conditions pose threats, and successfully return to the open-sea migratory route if carried into coastal areas. These findings imply that even weakly swimming marine animals may be able to exert strong effects on their migratory trajectories and open-sea distributions through simple navigation responses and minimal swimming. PMID:22573765

  2. Migration Routes and Staging Areas of Trans-Saharan Turtle Doves Appraised from Light-Level Geolocators

    PubMed Central

    Eraud, Cyril; Rivière, Marcel; Lormée, Hervé; Fox, James W.; Ducamp, Jean-Jacques; Boutin, Jean-Marie

    2013-01-01

    The identification of migration routes, wintering grounds and stopover sites are crucial issues for the understanding of the Palearctic-African bird migration system as well as for the development of relevant conservation strategies for trans-Saharan migrants. Using miniaturized light-level geolocators we report a comprehensive and detailed year round track of a granivorous trans-Saharan migrant, the European Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur). From five recovered loggers, our data provide new insights on migratory journeys and winter destinations of Turtle Doves originating from a breeding population in Western France. Data confirm that Turtle Doves wintered in West Africa. The main wintering area encompassed Western Mali, the Inner Delta Niger and the Malian/Mauritanian border. Some individuals also extended their wintering ranges over North Guinea, North-West of Burkina Faso and the Ivory-Coast. Our results reveal that all individuals did not spend the winter period at a single location; some of them experienced a clear eastward shift of several hundred kilometres. We also found evidence for a loop migration pattern, with a post-breeding migration flyway lying west of the spring route. Finally, we found that on their way back to breeding grounds Turtle Doves needed to refuel after crossing the Sahara desert. Contrary to previous suggestions, our data reveal that birds used stopover sites for several weeks, presumably in Morocco and North Algeria. This later finding is a crucial issue for future conservation strategies because environmental conditions on these staging areas might play a pivotal role in population dynamics of this declining species. PMID:23544064

  3. Dispersal and Diving Adjustments of the Green Turtle Chelonia mydas in Response to Dynamic Environmental Conditions during Post-Nesting Migration

    PubMed Central

    Chambault, Philippine; Pinaud, David; Vantrepotte, Vincent; Kelle, Laurent; Entraygues, Mathieu; Guinet, Christophe; Berzins, Rachel; Bilo, Karin; Gaspar, Philippe; de Thoisy, Benoît; Le Maho, Yvon; Chevallier, Damien

    2015-01-01

    In response to seasonality and spatial segregation of resources, sea turtles undertake long journeys between their nesting sites and foraging grounds. While satellite tracking has made it possible to outline their migration routes, we still have little knowledge of how they select their foraging grounds and adapt their migration to dynamic environmental conditions. Here, we analyzed the trajectories and diving behavior of 19 adult green turtles (Chelonia mydas) during their post-nesting migration from French Guiana and Suriname to their foraging grounds off the coast of Brazil. First Passage Time analysis was used to identify foraging areas located off Ceará state of Brazil, where the associated habitat corresponds to favorable conditions for seagrass growth, i.e. clear and shallow waters. The dispersal and diving patterns of the turtles revealed several behavioral adaptations to the strong hydrodynamic processes induced by both the North Brazil current and the Amazon River plume. All green turtles migrated south-eastward after the nesting season, confirming that they coped with the strong counter North Brazil current by using a tight corridor close to the shore. The time spent within the Amazon plume also altered the location of their feeding habitats as the longer individuals stayed within the plume, the sooner they initiated foraging. The green turtles performed deeper and shorter dives while crossing the mouth of the Amazon, a strategy which would help turtles avoid the most turbulent upper surface layers of the plume. These adjustments reveal the remarkable plasticity of this green turtle population when reducing energy costs induced by migration. PMID:26398528

  4. Dispersal and Diving Adjustments of the Green Turtle Chelonia mydas in Response to Dynamic Environmental Conditions during Post-Nesting Migration.

    PubMed

    Chambault, Philippine; Pinaud, David; Vantrepotte, Vincent; Kelle, Laurent; Entraygues, Mathieu; Guinet, Christophe; Berzins, Rachel; Bilo, Karin; Gaspar, Philippe; de Thoisy, Benoît; Le Maho, Yvon; Chevallier, Damien

    2015-01-01

    In response to seasonality and spatial segregation of resources, sea turtles undertake long journeys between their nesting sites and foraging grounds. While satellite tracking has made it possible to outline their migration routes, we still have little knowledge of how they select their foraging grounds and adapt their migration to dynamic environmental conditions. Here, we analyzed the trajectories and diving behavior of 19 adult green turtles (Chelonia mydas) during their post-nesting migration from French Guiana and Suriname to their foraging grounds off the coast of Brazil. First Passage Time analysis was used to identify foraging areas located off Ceará state of Brazil, where the associated habitat corresponds to favorable conditions for seagrass growth, i.e. clear and shallow waters. The dispersal and diving patterns of the turtles revealed several behavioral adaptations to the strong hydrodynamic processes induced by both the North Brazil current and the Amazon River plume. All green turtles migrated south-eastward after the nesting season, confirming that they coped with the strong counter North Brazil current by using a tight corridor close to the shore. The time spent within the Amazon plume also altered the location of their feeding habitats as the longer individuals stayed within the plume, the sooner they initiated foraging. The green turtles performed deeper and shorter dives while crossing the mouth of the Amazon, a strategy which would help turtles avoid the most turbulent upper surface layers of the plume. These adjustments reveal the remarkable plasticity of this green turtle population when reducing energy costs induced by migration. PMID:26398528

  5. Distribution and ecology of marine turtles in waters off the southeastern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fritts, T.H.; Hoffman, W.; McGehee, M.A.

    1983-01-01

    Aerial surveys of marine waters up to 222 km from shore in the Gulf of Mexico and nearby Atlantic Ocean suggest that marine turtles are largely distributed in waters less than 100 m in depth. The loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) was observed nearly 50 times as often in waters off eastern and western Florida as in the western Gulf of Mexico. Loggerheads were present year round but the frequency of sightings in the winter months was lower than at other seasons. Green turtles (Chelonia rnydas) were infrequently observed but were most conspicuous in waters off eastern Florida. Kemp's ridleys (Lepidochelys kempi) were most frequently sighted off southwestern Florida and rarely observed in the western Gulf of Mexico. Leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) were more conspicuous on the continental shelf than in adjacent deeper waters. A concentration of leatherback and loggerhead turtles occurred west of the Gulf Stream Current in August 1980, near Brevard County, Florida.

  6. Global analysis of anthropogenic debris ingestion by sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Schuyler, Qamar; Hardesty, Britta Denise; Wilcox, Chris; Townsend, Kathy

    2014-02-01

    Ingestion of marine debris can have lethal and sublethal effects on sea turtles and other wildlife. Although researchers have reported on ingestion of anthropogenic debris by marine turtles and implied incidences of debris ingestion have increased over time, there has not been a global synthesis of the phenomenon since 1985. Thus, we analyzed 37 studies published from 1985 to 2012 that report on data collected from before 1900 through 2011. Specifically, we investigated whether ingestion prevalence has changed over time, what types of debris are most commonly ingested, the geographic distribution of debris ingestion by marine turtles relative to global debris distribution, and which species and life-history stages are most likely to ingest debris. The probability of green (Chelonia mydas) and leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) ingesting debris increased significantly over time, and plastic was the most commonly ingested debris. Turtles in nearly all regions studied ingest debris, but the probability of ingestion was not related to modeled debris densities. Furthermore, smaller, oceanic-stage turtles were more likely to ingest debris than coastal foragers, whereas carnivorous species were less likely to ingest debris than herbivores or gelatinovores. Our results indicate oceanic leatherback turtles and green turtles are at the greatest risk of both lethal and sublethal effects from ingested marine debris. To reduce this risk, anthropogenic debris must be managed at a global level. PMID:23914794

  7. 77 FR 34334 - Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries; Revised Limits on Sea Turtle Interactions in the Hawaii...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-06-11

    ... conservation and management measures for the shallow-set fishery in 2004 (69 FR 17329, April 2, 2004), as... turtles to the 2004 limits established under the regulations published at 69 FR 17329 (April 2, 2004... of 16 leatherbacks and 17 loggerheads (76 FR 13297, March 11, 2011). If the fishery reaches...

  8. Mixed-stock analysis reveals the migrations of juvenile hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) in the Caribbean Sea.

    PubMed

    Bowen, B W; Grant, W S; Hillis-Starr, Z; Shaver, D J; Bjorndal, K A; Bolten, A B; Bass, A L

    2007-01-01

    Hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) migrate between nesting beaches and feeding habitats that are often associated with tropical reefs, but it is uncertain which nesting colonies supply which feeding habitats. To address this gap in hawksbill biology, we compile previously published and new mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplotype data for 10 nesting colonies (N = 347) in the western Atlantic and compare these profiles to four feeding populations and four previously published feeding samples (N = 626). Nesting colonies differ significantly in mtDNA haplotype frequencies (Phi(ST) = 0.588, P < 0.001), corroborating earlier conclusions of nesting site fidelity and setting the stage for mixed-stock analysis. Feeding aggregations show lower but significant structure (Phi(ST) = 0.089, P < 0.001), indicating that foraging populations are not homogenous across the Caribbean Sea. Bayesian mixed-stock estimates of the origins of juveniles in foraging areas show a highly significant, but shallow, correlation with nesting population size (r = 0.378, P = 0.004), supporting the premise that larger rookeries contribute more juveniles to feeding areas. A significant correlation between the estimated contribution and geographical distance from nesting areas (r = -0.394, P = 0.003) demonstrates the influence of proximity on recruitment to feeding areas. The influence of oceanic currents is illustrated by pelagic stage juveniles stranded in Texas, which are assigned primarily (93%) to the upstream rookery in Yucatan. One juvenile had a haplotype previously identified only in the eastern Atlantic, invoking rare trans-oceanic migrations. The mixed-stock analysis demonstrates that harvests in feeding habitats will impact nesting colonies throughout the region, with the greatest detriment to nearby nesting populations. PMID:17181720

  9. Spatial and temporal statistical analysis of bycatch data: Patterns of sea turtle bycatch in the North Atlantic

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gardner, B.; Sullivan, P.J.; Morreale, S.J.; Epperly, S.P.

    2008-01-01

    Loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) sea turtle distributions and movements in offshore waters of the western North Atlantic are not well understood despite continued efforts to monitor, survey, and observe them. Loggerhead and leatherback sea turtles are listed as endangered by the World Conservation Union, and thus anthropogenic mortality of these species, including fishing, is of elevated interest. This study quantifies spatial and temporal patterns of sea turtle bycatch distributions to identify potential processes influencing their locations. A Ripley's K function analysis was employed on the NOAA Fisheries Atlantic Pelagic Longline Observer Program data to determine spatial, temporal, and spatio-temporal patterns of sea turtle bycatch distributions within the pattern of the pelagic fishery distribution. Results indicate that loggerhead and leatherback sea turtle catch distributions change seasonally, with patterns of spatial clustering appearing from July through October. The results from the space-time analysis indicate that sea turtle catch distributions are related on a relatively fine scale (30-200 km and 1-5 days). The use of spatial and temporal point pattern analysis, particularly K function analysis, is a novel way to examine bycatch data and can be used to inform fishing practices such that fishing could still occur while minimizing sea turtle bycatch. ?? 2008 NRC.

  10. Are Coastal Protected Areas Always Effective in Achieving Population Recovery for Nesting Sea Turtles?

    PubMed Central

    Nel, Ronel; Punt, André E.; Hughes, George R.

    2013-01-01

    Sea turtles are highly migratory and usually dispersed, but aggregate off beaches during the nesting season, rendering them vulnerable to coastal threats. Consequently, coastal Marine Protection Areas (MPAs) have been used to facilitate the recovery of turtle populations, but the effectiveness of these programs is uncertain as most have been operating for less than a single turtle generation (or<20 yr). South Africa, however, hosts one of the longest running conservation programs, protecting nesting loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) turtles since 1963 in a series of coastal MPAs. This provides a unique opportunity to evaluate the long-term effect of spatial protection on the abundance of two highly migratory turtle species with different life history characteristics. Population responses were assessed by modeling the number of nests over time in an index area (13 km) and an expanded monitoring area (53 km) with varying survey effort. Loggerhead abundance increased dramatically from∼250 to>1700 nests pa (index area) especially over the last decade, while leatherback abundance increased initially∼10 to 70 nests pa (index area), but then stabilized. Although leatherbacks have higher reproductive output per female and comparable remigration periods and hatching success to loggerheads, the leatherback population failed to expand. Our results suggest that coastal MPAs can work but do not guarantee the recovery of sea turtle populations as pressures change over time. Causes considered for the lack of population growth include factors in the MPA (expansion into unmonitored areas or incubation environment) of outside of the MPA (including carrying capacity and fishing mortality). Conservation areas for migratory species thus require careful design to account for species-specific needs, and need to be monitored to keep track of changing pressures. PMID:23671683

  11. Hierarchical modeling of bycatch rates of sea turtles in the western North Atlantic

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gardner, B.; Sullivan, P.J.; Epperly, S.; Morreale, S.J.

    2008-01-01

    Previous studies indicate that the locations of the endangered loggerhead Caretta caretta and critically endangered leatherback Dermochelys coriacea sea turtles are influenced by water temperatures, and that incidental catch rates in the pelagic longline fishery vary by region. We present a Bayesian hierarchical model to examine the effects of environmental variables, including water temperature, on the number of sea turtles captured in the US pelagic longline fishery in the western North Atlantic. The modeling structure is highly flexible, utilizes a Bayesian model selection technique, and is fully implemented in the software program WinBUGS. The number of sea turtles captured is modeled as a zero-inflated Poisson distribution and the model incorporates fixed effects to examine region-specific differences in the parameter estimates. Results indicate that water temperature, region, bottom depth, and target species are all significant predictors of the number of loggerhead sea turtles captured. For leatherback sea turtles, the model with only target species had the most posterior model weight, though a re-parameterization of the model indicates that temperature influences the zero-inflation parameter. The relationship between the number of sea turtles captured and the variables of interest all varied by region. This suggests that management decisions aimed at reducing sea turtle bycatch may be more effective if they are spatially explicit. ?? Inter-Research 2008.

  12. Leatherbacks swimming in silico: modeling and verifying their momentum and heat balance using computational fluid dynamics.

    PubMed

    Dudley, Peter N; Bonazza, Riccardo; Jones, T Todd; Wyneken, Jeanette; Porter, Warren P

    2014-01-01

    As global temperatures increase throughout the coming decades, species ranges will shift. New combinations of abiotic conditions will make predicting these range shifts difficult. Biophysical mechanistic niche modeling places bounds on an animal's niche through analyzing the animal's physical interactions with the environment. Biophysical mechanistic niche modeling is flexible enough to accommodate these new combinations of abiotic conditions. However, this approach is difficult to implement for aquatic species because of complex interactions among thrust, metabolic rate and heat transfer. We use contemporary computational fluid dynamic techniques to overcome these difficulties. We model the complex 3D motion of a swimming neonate and juvenile leatherback sea turtle to find power and heat transfer rates during the stroke. We combine the results from these simulations and a numerical model to accurately predict the core temperature of a swimming leatherback. These results are the first steps in developing a highly accurate mechanistic niche model, which can assists paleontologist in understanding biogeographic shifts as well as aid contemporary species managers about potential range shifts over the coming decades. PMID:25354303

  13. Leatherbacks Swimming In Silico: Modeling and Verifying Their Momentum and Heat Balance Using Computational Fluid Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Dudley, Peter N.; Bonazza, Riccardo; Jones, T. Todd; Wyneken, Jeanette; Porter, Warren P.

    2014-01-01

    As global temperatures increase throughout the coming decades, species ranges will shift. New combinations of abiotic conditions will make predicting these range shifts difficult. Biophysical mechanistic niche modeling places bounds on an animal’s niche through analyzing the animal’s physical interactions with the environment. Biophysical mechanistic niche modeling is flexible enough to accommodate these new combinations of abiotic conditions. However, this approach is difficult to implement for aquatic species because of complex interactions among thrust, metabolic rate and heat transfer. We use contemporary computational fluid dynamic techniques to overcome these difficulties. We model the complex 3D motion of a swimming neonate and juvenile leatherback sea turtle to find power and heat transfer rates during the stroke. We combine the results from these simulations and a numerical model to accurately predict the core temperature of a swimming leatherback. These results are the first steps in developing a highly accurate mechanistic niche model, which can assists paleontologist in understanding biogeographic shifts as well as aid contemporary species managers about potential range shifts over the coming decades. PMID:25354303

  14. Role of chemical and visual cues in food recognition by leatherback posthatchlings (Dermochelys coriacea L).

    PubMed

    Constantino, Maricela A; Salmon, Michael

    2003-01-01

    We raised leatherback posthatchlings in the laboratory for up to 7 weeks to study the role of visual and chemical cues in food recognition and food-seeking behavior. Turtles were reared on a formulated (artificial gelatinous) diet and had no contact with test materials until experiments began. Subjects were presented with visual cues (a plastic jellyfish; white plastic shapes [circle, square, diamond] similar in surface area to the plastic model), chemical cues (homogenates of lion's mane jellyfish, Cyanea capillata; moon jellyfish, Aurelia aurita; and a ctenophore, Ocyropsis sp., introduced through a water filter outflow), and visual and chemical cues presented simultaneously. Visual stimuli evoked an increase in swimming activity, biting, diving, and orientation toward the object. Chemical cues elicited an increase in biting, and orientation into water currents (rheotaxis). When chemical and visual stimuli were combined, turtles ignored currents and oriented toward the visual stimuli. We conclude that both cues are used to search for, and locate, food but that visual cues may be of primary importance. We hypothesize that under natural conditions turtles locate food visually, then, as a consequence of feeding, associate chemical with visual cues. Chemical cues then may function alone as a feeding attractant. PMID:16351903

  15. Contextualising the Last Survivors: Population Structure of Marine Turtles in the Dominican Republic.

    PubMed

    Carreras, Carlos; Godley, Brendan J; León, Yolanda M; Hawkes, Lucy A; Revuelta, Ohiana; Raga, Juan A; Tomás, Jesús

    2013-01-01

    Nesting by three species of marine turtles persists in the Dominican Republic, despite historic threats and long-term population decline. We conducted a genetic survey of marine turtles in the Dominican Republic in order to link them with other rookeries around the Caribbean. We sequenced a 740bp fragment of the control region of the mitochondrial DNA of 92 samples from three marine turtle species [hawksbill (n = 48), green (n = 2) and leatherback (n = 42)], and incorporated published data from other nesting populations and foraging grounds. The leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) in the Dominican Republic appeared to be isolated from Awala-Yalimapo, Cayenne, Trinidad and St. Croix but connected with other Caribbean populations. Two distinct nesting populations of hawksbill turtles (Eremochelys imbricata) were detected in the Dominican Republic and exhibited interesting patterns of connectivity with other nesting sites and juvenile and adult male foraging aggregations. The green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) has almost been extirpated from the Dominican Republic and limited inference could be made from our samples. Finally, results were compared with Lagrangian drifting buoys and published Lagrangian virtual particles that travelled through the Dominican Republic and Caribbean waters. Conservation implications of sink-source effects or genetic isolation derived from these complex inter-connections are discussed for each species and population. PMID:23840394

  16. Contextualising the Last Survivors: Population Structure of Marine Turtles in the Dominican Republic

    PubMed Central

    Carreras, Carlos; Godley, Brendan J.; León, Yolanda M.; Hawkes, Lucy A.; Revuelta, Ohiana; Raga, Juan A.; Tomás, Jesús

    2013-01-01

    Nesting by three species of marine turtles persists in the Dominican Republic, despite historic threats and long-term population decline. We conducted a genetic survey of marine turtles in the Dominican Republic in order to link them with other rookeries around the Caribbean. We sequenced a 740bp fragment of the control region of the mitochondrial DNA of 92 samples from three marine turtle species [hawksbill (n = 48), green (n = 2) and leatherback (n = 42)], and incorporated published data from other nesting populations and foraging grounds. The leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) in the Dominican Republic appeared to be isolated from Awala-Yalimapo, Cayenne, Trinidad and St. Croix but connected with other Caribbean populations. Two distinct nesting populations of hawksbill turtles (Eremochelys imbricata) were detected in the Dominican Republic and exhibited interesting patterns of connectivity with other nesting sites and juvenile and adult male foraging aggregations. The green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) has almost been extirpated from the Dominican Republic and limited inference could be made from our samples. Finally, results were compared with Lagrangian drifting buoys and published Lagrangian virtual particles that travelled through the Dominican Republic and Caribbean waters. Conservation implications of sink-source effects or genetic isolation derived from these complex inter-connections are discussed for each species and population. PMID:23840394

  17. The Migration Matrix: Marine Vertebrate Movements in Magnetic Coordinate Space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horton, T. W.; Holdaway, R. N.; Clapham, P. J.; Zerbini, A. N.; Andriolo, A.; Hays, G. C.; Egevang, C.; Domeier, M. L.; Lucas, N.

    2011-12-01

    Determining how vertebrates navigate during their long-distance migrations remains one of the most enduring and fundamental challenges of behavioral ecology. It is widely accepted that spatial orientation relative to a reference datum is a fundamental requirement of long-distance return migration between seasonal habitats, and a variety of viable positional and directional orientation cues, including the sun, stars, and magnetic field, have been documented experimentally. However, a fundamental question remains unanswered: Are empirically observed migratory movements compatible with modern theoretical frameworks of spatial orientation? To address this question, we analysed leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea), humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), and great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) track maps, frequency distribution diagrams and time-series plots of animal locations in spherical magnetic coordinate space. Our analyses indicates that, although individual migration tracks are spatially and temporally distinct, vertebrate movements are non-randomly distributed in all three spherical magnetic coordinates (i.e. intensity, inclination, and declination). Stop-over locations, migratory destinations, and re-orientation points occur at similar magnetic coordinate locations, relative to tagging areas, in all four species, suggesting that a common system of magnetic orientation likely informs the navigational behaviors of these phylogenetically diverse taxa. Although our analyses demonstrate that the experiment-derived 'magnetic map' goal orientation theoretical framework of animal navigation is compatible with remotely-sensed migration track data, they also indicate that magnetic information is complemented by spatially and temporally contingent celestial stimuli during navigation.

  18. Leatherback nests increasing significantly in Florida, USA; trends assessed over 30 years using multilevel modeling.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Kelly; Sims, Michelle; Meylan, Anne; Witherington, Blair; Brost, Beth; Crowder, Larry B

    2011-01-01

    Understanding population status for endangered species is critical to developing and evaluating recovery plans mandated by the Endangered Species Act. For sea turtles, changes in abundance are difficult to detect because most life stages occur in the water. Currently, nest counts are the most reliable way of assessing trends. We determined the rate of growth for leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) nest numbers in Florida (USA) using a multilevel Poisson regression. We modeled nest counts from 68 beaches over 30 years and, using beach-level covariates (including latitude), we allowed for partial pooling of information between neighboring beaches. This modeling approach is ideal for nest count data because it recognizes the hierarchical structure of the data while incorporating variables related to survey effort. Nesting has increased at all 68 beaches in Florida, with trends ranging from 3.1% to 16.3% per year. Overall, across the state, the number of nests has been increasing by 10.2% per year since 1979. Despite being a small population (probably < 1000 individuals), this nesting population may help achieve objectives in the federal recovery plan. This exponential growth rate mirrors trends observed for other Atlantic populations and may be driven partially by improved protection of nesting beaches. However, nesting is increasing even where beach protection has not been enhanced. Climate variability and associated marine food web dynamics, which could enhance productivity and reduce predators, may be driving this trend. PMID:21516903

  19. Turtle Girls

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nelson, Charles; Ponder, Jennifer

    2010-01-01

    The day the Turtle Girls received Montel's adoption papers, piercing screams ricocheted across the school grounds instantaneously and simultaneously--in that moment, each student felt the joy of civic stewardship. Read on to find out how a visit to The Turtle Hospital inspired a group of elementary students to create a club devoted to supporting…

  20. Comparison of functional aspects of the coagulation cascade in human and sea turtle plasmas.

    PubMed

    Soslau, Gerald; Wallace, Bryan; Vicente, Catherine; Goldenberg, Seth J; Tupis, Todd; Spotila, James; George, Robert; Paladino, Frank; Whitaker, Brent; Violetta, Gary; Piedra, Rotney

    2004-08-01

    Functional hemostatic pathways are critical for the survival of all vertebrates and have been evolving for more than 400 million years. The overwhelming majority of studies of hemostasis in vertebrates have focused on mammals with very sparse attention paid to reptiles. There have been virtually no studies of the coagulation pathway in sea turtles whose ancestors date back to the Jurassic period. Sea turtles are often exposed to rapidly altered environmental conditions during diving periods. This may reduce their blood pH during prolonged hypoxic dives. This report demonstrates that five species of turtles possess only one branch of the mammalian coagulation pathway, the extrinsic pathway. Mixing studies of turtle plasmas with human factor-deficient plasmas indicate that the intrinsic pathway factors VIII and IX are present in turtle plasma. These two factors may play a significant role in supporting the extrinsic pathway by feedback loops. The intrinsic factors, XI and XII are not detected which would account for the inability of reagents to induce coagulation via the intrinsic pathway in vitro. The analysis of two turtle factors, factor II (prothrombin) and factor X, demonstrates that they are antigenically/functionally similar to the corresponding human factors. The turtle coagulation pathway responds differentially to both pH and temperature relative to each turtle species and relative to human samples. The coagulation time (prothrombin time) increases as the temperature decreases between 37 and 15 degrees C. The increased time follows a linear relationship, with similar slopes for loggerhead, Kemps ridley and hawksbill turtles as well as for human samples. Leatherback turtle samples show a dramatic nonlinear increased time below 23 degrees C, and green turtle sample responses were similar but less dramatic. All samples also showed increased prothrombin times as the pH decreased from 7.8 to 6.4, except for three turtle species. The prothrombin times decreased

  1. Sea turtle distribution along the boundary of the Gulf Stream current off eastern Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hoffman, W.; Fritts, T.H.

    1982-01-01

    Aerial surveys, out to 222 km off the east coast of central Florida during August 1980, revealed that marine turtles were distributed in a narrow zone west of the Gulf Stream. Of 255 loggerhead turtles, Caretta caretta, only three were observed east of the western boundary of the Gulf Stream. Radiometric thermometry revealed that the waters occupied by most Caretta were markedly cooler than the nearby waters of the Gulf Stream. Of 18 leatherback turtles, Dermochelys coriacea, all were seen west of the Gulf Stream in waters less than 70 m in depth. Marine turtles off eastern Florida are confined seasonally to nearshore waters west of the Gulf Stream. The records of Dermochelys in nearshore waters are in contrast with a deep water oceanic ecology often hypothesized for this species.

  2. Distorting Gene Pools by Conservation: Assessing the Case of Doomed Turtle Eggs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mrosovsky, N.

    2006-10-01

    Sea turtles have a high reproductive output and high mortality at early stages of the life cycle. In particular, many nests are laid below or close to high tide lines, and subsequently large numbers of eggs may be inundated and destroyed. A common conservation procedure is to relocate such doomed eggs to higher ground. This article examines this practice in the light of recent data revealing that some individual turtles tend to nest relatively near the water and others relatively higher up the beach. Discussion is focused on the question of why apparently poor placement of nests has not been selected against. Comparison between the ecology of leatherback and hawksbill turtle nesting beaches suggests that predictability of environmental conditions on the nesting beaches has an important influence on patterns of nest-site selection. Options are outlined for the management of nesting beaches where a high proportion of turtle eggs is subject to destruction by flooding.

  3. Sea Turtle Navigation and the Detection of Geomagnetic Field Features

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lohmann, Kenneth J.; Lohmann, Catherine M. F.

    The lives of sea turtles consist of a continuous series of migrations. As hatchlings, the turtles swim from their natal beaches into the open sea, often taking refuge in circular current systems (gyres) that serve as moving, open-ocean nursery grounds. The juveniles of many populations subsequently take up residence in coastal feeding areas that are located hundreds or thousands of kilometres from the beaches on which the turtles hatched; some juveniles also migrate between summer and winter habitats. As adults, turtles periodically leave their feeding grounds and migrate to breeding and nesting regions, after which many return to their own specific feeding sites. The itinerant lifestyle characteristic of most sea turtle species is thus inextricably linked to an ability to orient and navigate accurately across large expanses of seemingly featureless ocean.In some sea turtle populations, migratory performance reaches extremes. The total distances certain green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and loggerheads (Caretta caretta) traverse over the span of their lifetimes exceed tens of thousands of kilometres, several times the diameter of the turtle's home ocean basin. Adult migrations between feeding and nesting habitats can require continuous swimming for periods of several weeks. In addition, the paths of migrating turtles often lead almost straight across the open ocean and directly to the destination, leaving little doubt that turtles can navigate to distant target sites with remarkable efficiency.

  4. Impact of jaguar Panthera onca (Carnivora: Felidae) predation on marine turtle populations in Tortuguero, Caribbean coast of Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Arroyo-Arce, Stephanny; Salom-Pérez, Roberto

    2015-09-01

    Little is known about the effects of jaguars on the population of marine turtles nesting in Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica. This study assessed jaguar predation impact on three species of marine turtles (Chelonia mydas, Dermochelys coriacea and Eretmochelys imbricata) that nest in Tortuguero beach. Jaguar predation data was obtained by using two methodologies, literature review (historical records prior the year 2005) and weekly surveys along the 29 km stretch of beach during the period 2005-2013. Our results indicated that jaguar predation has increased from one marine turtle in 1981 to 198 in 2013. Jaguars consumed annually an average of 120 (SD = 45) and 2 (SD = 3) green turtles and leatherbacks in Tortuguero beach, respectively. Based on our results we concluded that jaguars do not represent a threat to the population of green turtles that nest in Tortuguero beach, and it is not the main cause for population decline for leatherbacks and hawksbills. Future research should focus on continuing to monitor this predator-prey relationship as well as the factors that influence it so the proper management decisions can be taken. PMID:26666135

  5. Environmental effects of dredging: Alternative dredging equipment and operational methods to minimize sea turtle mortalities. Technical notes

    SciTech Connect

    Dickerson, D.D.; Nelson, D.A.

    1990-12-01

    Five species of sea turtles occur along the United States coastlines and are listed as threatened or endangered. The loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) is listed as threatened, while the Kemp`s ridley (Lepidochelys kenipi), the hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), and the leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) are all less abundant and listed as endangered. Florida breeding populations of the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) are listed as endangered, but green turtles in other US waters are considered threatened. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has determined, based on the best available information, that because of their life cycle and behavioral patterns only the loggerhead, the green, and the Kemp`s ridley are put at risk by hopper dredging activities (Studt 1987).

  6. Stable Isotope Tracking of Endangered Sea Turtles: Validation with Satellite Telemetry and δ15N Analysis of Amino Acids

    PubMed Central

    Seminoff, Jeffrey A.; Benson, Scott R.; Arthur, Karen E.; Eguchi, Tomoharu; Dutton, Peter H.; Tapilatu, Ricardo F.; Popp, Brian N.

    2012-01-01

    Effective conservation strategies for highly migratory species must incorporate information about long-distance movements and locations of high-use foraging areas. However, the inherent challenges of directly monitoring these factors call for creative research approaches and innovative application of existing tools. Highly migratory marine species, such as marine turtles, regularly travel hundreds or thousands of kilometers between breeding and feeding areas, but identification of migratory routes and habitat use patterns remains elusive. Here we use satellite telemetry in combination with compound-specific isotope analysis of amino acids to confirm that insights from bulk tissue stable isotope analysis can reveal divergent migratory strategies and within-population segregation of foraging groups of critically endangered leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) across the Pacific Ocean. Among the 78 turtles studied, we found a distinct dichotomy in δ15N values of bulk skin, with distinct “low δ15N” and “high δ15N” groups. δ15N analysis of amino acids confirmed that this disparity resulted from isotopic differences at the base of the food chain and not from differences in trophic position between the two groups. Satellite tracking of 13 individuals indicated that their bulk skin δ15N value was linked to the particular foraging region of each turtle. These findings confirm that prevailing marine isoscapes of foraging areas can be reflected in the isotopic compositions of marine turtle body tissues sampled at nesting beaches. We use a Bayesian mixture model to show that between 82 and 100% of the 78 skin-sampled turtles could be assigned with confidence to either the eastern Pacific or western Pacific, with 33 to 66% of all turtles foraging in the eastern Pacific. Our forensic approach validates the use of stable isotopes to depict leatherback turtle movements over broad spatial ranges and is timely for establishing wise conservation efforts in

  7. Conservation hotspots for the turtles on the high seas of the Atlantic Ocean.

    PubMed

    Huang, Hsiang-Wen

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the distribution of bycaught sea turtles could inform conservation strategies and priorities. This research analyses the distribution of turtles caught as longline fisheries bycatch on the high seas of the Atlantic Ocean. This research collected 18,142 bycatch observations and 47.1 million hooks from large-scale Taiwanese longline vessels in the Atlantic Ocean from June 2002 to December 2013. The coverage rates were ranged from 0.48% to 17.54% by year. Seven hundred and sixty-seven turtles were caught, and the major species were leatherback (59.8%), olive ridley (27.1%) and loggerhead turtles (8.7%). Most olive ridley (81.7%) and loggerhead (82.1%) turtles were hooked, while the leatherbacks were both hooked (44.0%) and entangled (31.8%). Depending on the species, 21.4% to 57.7% were dead when brought onboard. Most of the turtles were caught in tropical areas, especially in the Gulf of Guinea (15°N-10°S, 30°W-10°E), but loggerheads were caught in the south Atlantic Ocean (25°S-35°S, 40°W-10°E and 30°S-40°S, 55°W-45°W). The bycatch rate was the highest at 0.030 per 1000 hooks for leatherbacks in the tropical area. The bycatch rates of olive ridley ranged from 0 to 0.010 per thousand hooks. The loggerhead bycatch rates were higher in the northern and southern Atlantic Ocean and ranged from 0.0128 to 0.0239 per thousand hooks. Due to the characteristics of the Taiwanese deep-set longline fleet, bycatch rates were lower than those of coastal longline fisheries, but mortality rates were higher because of the long hours of operation. Gear and bait modification should be considered to reduce sea turtle bycatch and increase survival rates while reducing the use of shallow hooks would also be helpful. PMID:26267796

  8. Conservation Hotspots for the Turtles on the High Seas of the Atlantic Ocean

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Hsiang-Wen

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the distribution of bycaught sea turtles could inform conservation strategies and priorities. This research analyses the distribution of turtles caught as longline fisheries bycatch on the high seas of the Atlantic Ocean. This research collected 18,142 bycatch observations and 47.1 million hooks from large-scale Taiwanese longline vessels in the Atlantic Ocean from June 2002 to December 2013. The coverage rates were ranged from 0.48% to 17.54% by year. Seven hundred and sixty-seven turtles were caught, and the major species were leatherback (59.8%), olive ridley (27.1%) and loggerhead turtles (8.7%). Most olive ridley (81.7%) and loggerhead (82.1%) turtles were hooked, while the leatherbacks were both hooked (44.0%) and entangled (31.8%). Depending on the species, 21.4% to 57.7% were dead when brought onboard. Most of the turtles were caught in tropical areas, especially in the Gulf of Guinea (15°N-10°S, 30°W-10°E), but loggerheads were caught in the south Atlantic Ocean (25°S-35°S, 40°W-10°E and 30°S-40°S, 55°W-45°W). The bycatch rate was the highest at 0.030 per 1000 hooks for leatherbacks in the tropical area. The bycatch rates of olive ridley ranged from 0 to 0.010 per thousand hooks. The loggerhead bycatch rates were higher in the northern and southern Atlantic Ocean and ranged from 0.0128 to 0.0239 per thousand hooks. Due to the characteristics of the Taiwanese deep-set longline fleet, bycatch rates were lower than those of coastal longline fisheries, but mortality rates were higher because of the long hours of operation. Gear and bait modification should be considered to reduce sea turtle bycatch and increase survival rates while reducing the use of shallow hooks would also be helpful. PMID:26267796

  9. Marine turtles used to assist Austronesian sailors reaching new islands.

    PubMed

    Wilmé, Lucienne; Waeber, Patrick O; Ganzhorn, Joerg U

    2016-02-01

    Austronesians colonized the islands of Rapa Nui, Hawaii, the Marquesas and Madagascar. All of these islands have been found to harbor Austronesian artifacts and also, all of them are known nesting sites for marine turtles. Turtles are well known for their transoceanic migrations, sometimes totalling thousands of miles, between feeding and nesting grounds. All marine turtles require land for nesting. Ancient Austronesians are known to have had outstanding navigation skills, which they used to adjust course directions. But these skills will have been insufficient to locate tiny, remote islands in the vast Indo-Pacific oceans. We postulate that the Austronesians must have had an understanding of the marine turtles' migration patterns and used this knowledge to locate remote and unknown islands. The depth and speed at which marine turtles migrate makes following them by outrigger canoes feasible. Humans have long capitalized on knowledge of animal behavior. PMID:26857090

  10. Management and protection protocols for nesting sea turtles on Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cohen, J.B.

    2005-01-01

    Executive Summary 1. The southeast U.S. population of the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) has increased since the species was listed as federally threatened in 1978. Since standardized monitoring began in North Carolina in 1995, the number of nests at Cape Hatteras National Seashore (CAHA) fluctuated from year to year, and was lowest in 1996 and 1997 (39 nests) and highest in 2003 (101 nests). Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) have nested in small numbers at CAHA, sporadically over time. 2. Hatching success of sea turtle nests typically approaches 80%. At CAHA hatching success from 1999-2003 was low when hurricanes hit during the nesting season (30%-38%), and ranged from 52%-70% otherwise. Hatching success at CAHA is usually correlated with hatching success in the surrounding subpopulation (north Florida to North Carolina). 3. Inclement weather, predation, and human recreation can negatively impact nesting rate and hatching success. 4. Currently there is little protection from recreation at CAHA for nesting females and nests that have not been found by monitors. We propose three management options to provide such protection, and to increase protection for known nests and hatchlings. We propose an adaptive management framework for assessing the effectiveness of these management options in improving sea turtle nesting rate and nest and hatchling survival. 5. We recommend continued efforts to trap and remove mammalian predators from all sea turtle habitat. We further recommend intensive monitoring and surveillance of protected areas to determine the extent and timing of threats to nests and broods, including nest overwash, predation, and disturbance or vandalism by humans. 6. Continue to relocate nests and assist stranded turtles according to North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission guidelines. 7. Artificial light sources pose a serious threat to sea turtles in some parts of CAHA, which must be remedied immediately

  11. Global Analysis of Anthropogenic Debris Ingestion by Sea Turtles

    PubMed Central

    Schuyler, Qamar; Hardesty, Britta Denise; Wilcox, Chris; Townsend, Kathy

    2014-01-01

    Ingestion of marine debris can have lethal and sublethal effects on sea turtles and other wildlife. Although researchers have reported on ingestion of anthropogenic debris by marine turtles and implied incidences of debris ingestion have increased over time, there has not been a global synthesis of the phenomenon since 1985. Thus, we analyzed 37 studies published from 1985 to 2012 that report on data collected from before 1900 through 2011. Specifically, we investigated whether ingestion prevalence has changed over time, what types of debris are most commonly ingested, the geographic distribution of debris ingestion by marine turtles relative to global debris distribution, and which species and life-history stages are most likely to ingest debris. The probability of green (Chelonia mydas) and leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) ingesting debris increased significantly over time, and plastic was the most commonly ingested debris. Turtles in nearly all regions studied ingest debris, but the probability of ingestion was not related to modeled debris densities. Furthermore, smaller, oceanic-stage turtles were more likely to ingest debris than coastal foragers, whereas carnivorous species were less likely to ingest debris than herbivores or gelatinovores. Our results indicate oceanic leatherback turtles and green turtles are at the greatest risk of both lethal and sublethal effects from ingested marine debris. To reduce this risk, anthropogenic debris must be managed at a global level. Análisis Global de la Ingesta de Residuos Antropogénicos por Tortugas Marinas La ingesta de residuos marinos puede tener efectos letales y subletales sobre las tortugas marinas y otros animales. Aunque hay investigadores que han reportado la ingesta de residuos antropogénicos por tortugas marinas y la incidencia de la ingesta de residuos ha incrementado con el tiempo, no ha habido una síntesis global del fenómeno desde 1985. Por esto analizamos 37 estudios publicados, desde

  12. Do Roads Reduce Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta) Populations?

    PubMed Central

    Dorland, Alexandra; Rytwinski, Trina; Fahrig, Lenore

    2014-01-01

    Road mortality is thought to be a leading cause of turtle population decline. However, empirical evidence of the direct negative effects of road mortality on turtle population abundance is lacking. The purpose of this study was to provide a strong test of the prediction that roads reduce turtle population abundance. While controlling for potentially confounding variables, we compared relative abundance of painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) in 20 ponds in Eastern Ontario, 10 as close as possible to high traffic roads (Road sites) and 10 as far as possible from any major roads (No Road sites). There was no significant effect of roads on painted turtle relative abundance. Furthermore, our data do not support other predictions of the road mortality hypothesis; we observed neither a higher relative frequency of males to females at Road sites than at No Road sites, nor a lower average body size of turtles at Road than at No Road sites. We speculate that, although roads can cause substantial adult mortality in turtles, other factors, such as release from predation on adults and/or nests close to roads counter the negative effect of road mortality in some populations. We suggest that road mitigation for painted turtles can be limited to locations where turtles are forced to migrate across high traffic roads due, for example, to destruction of local nesting habitat or seasonal drying of ponds. This conclusion should not be extrapolated to other species of turtles, where road mortality could have a larger population-level effect than on painted turtles. PMID:24858065

  13. The Classroom Animal: Box Turtles.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kramer, David C.

    1986-01-01

    Provides basic information on the anatomy, physiology, behaviors, and distribution patterns of the box turtle. Offers suggestions for the turtle's care and maintenance in a classroom environment. (ML)

  14. Magnetic Navigation in Sea Turtles: Insights from Secular Variation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Putman, N. F.; Lohmann, K.

    2011-12-01

    Sea turtles are iconic migrants that posses a sensitive magnetic-sense that guides their long-distance movements in a variety of contexts. In the first few hours after hatching turtles use the magnetic field to maintain an offshore compass heading to reach deeper water, out of the reach of nearshore predators. Young turtles engage in directed swimming in response to regional magnetic fields that exist along their transoceanic migratory path. Older turtles also use magnetic information to relocate foraging sites and islands used for nesting after displacement. Numerous hypotheses have been put forth to explain how magnetic information functions in these movements, however, there is little consensus among animal navigation researchers. A particular vexing issue is how magnetic navigation can function under the constraints of the constant, gradual shifting of the earth's magnetic field (secular variation). Here, I present a framework based on models of recent geomagnetic secular variation to explore several navigational mechanisms proposed for sea turtles. I show that while examination of secular variation likely falsifies some hypothetical navigational strategies, it provides key insights into the selective pressures that could maintain other navigational mechanisms. Moreover, examination of secular variation's influence on the navigational precision in reproductive migrations of sea turtles offers compelling explanations for the population structure along sea turtle nesting beaches as well as spatiotemporal variation in nesting turtle abundance.

  15. THE BOG TURTLE: Georgia's Rarest Turtle.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Lawrence

    1991-01-01

    This article discusses the description and range, the status, the habitat, the natural history, and the proper management of the diminutive, rare, and endangered species known as the box turtle. (JJK)

  16. Body temperature stability achieved by the large body mass of sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Sato, Katsufumi

    2014-10-15

    To investigate the thermal characteristics of large reptiles living in water, temperature data were continuously recorded from 16 free-ranging loggerhead turtles, Caretta caretta, during internesting periods using data loggers. Core body temperatures were 0.7-1.7°C higher than ambient water temperatures and were kept relatively constant. Unsteady numerical simulations using a spherical thermodynamic model provided mechanistic explanations for these phenomena, and the body temperature responses to fluctuating water temperature can be simply explained by a large body mass with a constant thermal diffusivity and a heat production rate rather than physiological thermoregulation. By contrast, body temperatures increased 2.6-5.1°C in 107-152 min during their emergences to nest on land. The estimated heat production rates on land were 7.4-10.5 times the calculated values in the sea. The theoretical prediction that temperature difference between body and water temperatures would increase according to the body size was confirmed by empirical data recorded from several species of sea turtles. Comparing previously reported data, the internesting intervals of leatherback, green and loggerhead turtles were shorter when the body temperatures were higher. Sea turtles seem to benefit from a passive thermoregulatory strategy, which depends primarily on the physical attributes of their large body masses. PMID:25147244

  17. [Migration].

    PubMed

    Maccotta, W; Perotti, A; Thebaut, F; Cristofanelli, L; Pittau, F; Sergi, N; Pittau, L; Morelli, A; Morsella, M; Grinover, A P

    1990-01-01

    This is a collection of 11 individual articles on aspects of current migration problems affecting developed countries. The geographical focus is on immigration in Europe, with particular reference to Italy, although one paper is concerned with Quebec. The topical focus is on the social problems associated with immigration. The articles are in Italian, with one exception, which is in French. PMID:12343393

  18. Underwater Hearing in Turtles.

    PubMed

    Willis, Katie L

    2016-01-01

    The hearing of turtles is poorly understood compared with the other reptiles. Although the mechanism of transduction of sound into a neural signal via hair cells has been described in detail, the rest of the auditory system is largely a black box. What is known is that turtles have higher hearing thresholds than other reptiles, with best frequencies around 500 Hz. They also have lower underwater hearing thresholds than those in air, owing to resonance of the middle ear cavity. Further studies demonstrated that all families of turtles and tortoises share a common middle ear cavity morphology, with scaling best suited to underwater hearing. This supports an aquatic origin of the group. Because turtles hear best under water, it is important to examine their vulnerability to anthropogenic noise. However, the lack of basic data makes such experiments difficult because only a few species of turtles have published audiograms. There are also almost no behavioral data available (understandable due to training difficulties). Finally, few studies show what kinds of sounds are behaviorally relevant. One notable paper revealed that the Australian snake-necked turtle (Chelodina oblonga) has a vocal repertoire in air, at the interface, and under water. Findings like these suggest that there is more to the turtle aquatic auditory scene than previously thought. PMID:26611091

  19. Fishery gear interactions from stranded bottlenose dolphins, Florida manatees and sea turtles in Florida, U.S.A.

    PubMed

    Adimey, Nicole M; Hudak, Christine A; Powell, Jessica R; Bassos-Hull, Kim; Foley, Allen; Farmer, Nicholas A; White, Linda; Minch, Karrie

    2014-04-15

    Documenting the extent of fishery gear interactions is critical to wildlife conservation efforts, especially for reducing entanglements and ingestion. This study summarizes fishery gear interactions involving common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus truncatus), Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) and sea turtles: loggerhead (Caretta caretta), green turtle (Chelonia mydas), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), and olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) stranding in Florida waters during 1997-2009. Fishery gear interactions for all species combined were 75.3% hook and line, 18.2% trap pot gear, 4.8% fishing nets, and 1.7% in multiple gears. Total reported fishery gear cases increased over time for dolphins (p<0.05), manatees (p<0.01), loggerheads (p<0.05) and green sea turtles (p<0.05). The proportion of net interaction strandings relative to total strandings for loggerhead sea turtles increased (p<0.05). Additionally, life stage and sex patterns were examined, fishery gear interaction hotspots were identified and generalized linear regression modeling was conducted. PMID:24613263

  20. Young Children and Turtle Graphics Programming: Understanding Turtle Commands.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cuneo, Diane O.

    The LOGO programing language developed for children includes a set of primitive graphics commands that control the displacement and rotation of a display screen cursor called a turtle. The purpose of this study was to examine 4- to 7-year-olds' understanding of single turtle commands as transformations that connect turtle states and to…

  1. The Classroom Animal: Snapping Turtles.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kramer, David C.

    1987-01-01

    Describes the distinctive features of the common snapping turtle. Discusses facts and misconceptions held about the turtle. Provides guidelines for proper care and treatment of a young snapper in a classroom environment. (ML)

  2. Hypoxic turtles keep their cool.

    PubMed

    Madsen, Jesper G; Wang, Tobias; Madsen, Peter T

    2015-01-01

    Several species of freshwater turtles spend the winter submerged in ice-covered lakes in a state of severe metabolic depression. It has been proposed that the hibernating turtles are comatose and entirely unresponsive, which raises the question of how they detect the arrival of spring and whether they respond to sensory information during hibernation. Using evoked potential studies in cold hypoxic turtles exposed to light and vibration, we show that hibernating turtles maintain neural responsiveness to light stimuli during prolonged hypoxia, while responsiveness to vibration is lost. This reveals a state of differential neural shutdown, in different sensory systems in the cold hypoxic turtle brain. In behavioral studies we show that turtles held for 14 days in hibernation increase locomotor activity in response to light or elevated temperatures, but not to vibration or increased oxygen. We conclude that hibernating freshwater turtles are not comatose, but remain vigilant during overwintering in cold hypoxia. PMID:27227001

  3. Hypoxic turtles keep their cool

    PubMed Central

    Madsen, Jesper G; Wang, Tobias; Madsen, Peter T

    2015-01-01

    Several species of freshwater turtles spend the winter submerged in ice-covered lakes in a state of severe metabolic depression. It has been proposed that the hibernating turtles are comatose and entirely unresponsive, which raises the question of how they detect the arrival of spring and whether they respond to sensory information during hibernation. Using evoked potential studies in cold hypoxic turtles exposed to light and vibration, we show that hibernating turtles maintain neural responsiveness to light stimuli during prolonged hypoxia, while responsiveness to vibration is lost. This reveals a state of differential neural shutdown, in different sensory systems in the cold hypoxic turtle brain. In behavioral studies we show that turtles held for 14 days in hibernation increase locomotor activity in response to light or elevated temperatures, but not to vibration or increased oxygen. We conclude that hibernating freshwater turtles are not comatose, but remain vigilant during overwintering in cold hypoxia.

  4. Chapter 2. Vulnerability of marine turtles to climate change.

    PubMed

    Poloczanska, Elvira S; Limpus, Colin J; Hays, Graeme C

    2009-01-01

    threaten nesting beaches and reproductive success, and pollution and eutrophication is threatening important coastal foraging habitats for turtles worldwide. Exploitation and bycatch in other fisheries has seriously reduced marine turtle populations. The synergistic effects of other human-induced stressors may seriously reduce the capacity of some turtle populations to adapt to the current rates of climate change. Conservation recommendations to increase the capacity of marine turtle populations to adapt to climate change include increasing population resilience, for example by the use of turtle exclusion devices in fisheries, protection of nesting beaches from the viewpoints of both conservation and coastal management, and increased international conservation efforts to protect turtles in regions where there is high unregulated or illegal fisheries (including turtle harvesting). Increasing research efforts on the critical knowledge gaps of processes influencing population numbers, such as identifying ocean foraging hotspots or the processes that underlie the initiation of nesting migrations and selection of breeding areas, will inform adaptive management in a changing climate. PMID:19895975

  5. The Role of Geomagnetic Cues in Green Turtle Open Sea Navigation

    PubMed Central

    Benhamou, Simon; Sudre, Joël; Bourjea, Jérome; Ciccione, Stéphane; De Santis, Angelo; Luschi, Paolo

    2011-01-01

    Background Laboratory and field experiments have provided evidence that sea turtles use geomagnetic cues to navigate in the open sea. For instance, green turtles (Chelonia mydas) displaced 100 km away from their nesting site were impaired in returning home when carrying a strong magnet glued on the head. However, the actual role of geomagnetic cues remains unclear, since magnetically treated green turtles can perform large scale (>2000 km) post-nesting migrations no differently from controls. Methodology/Principal Findings In the present homing experiment, 24 green turtles were displaced 200 km away from their nesting site on an oceanic island, and tracked, for the first time in this type of experiment, with Global Positioning System (GPS), which is able to provide much more frequent and accurate locations than previously used tracking methods. Eight turtles were magnetically treated for 24–48 h on the nesting beach prior to displacement, and another eight turtles had a magnet glued on the head at the release site. The last eight turtles were used as controls. Detailed analyses of water masses-related (i.e., current-corrected) homing paths showed that magnetically treated turtles were able to navigate toward their nesting site as efficiently as controls, but those carrying magnets were significantly impaired once they arrived within 50 km of home. Conclusions/Significance While green turtles do not seem to need geomagnetic cues to navigate far from the goal, these cues become necessary when turtles get closer to home. As the very last part of the homing trip (within a few kilometers of home) likely depends on non-magnetic cues, our results suggest that magnetic cues play a key role in sea turtle navigation at an intermediate scale by bridging the gap between large and small scale navigational processes, which both appear to depend on non-magnetic cues. PMID:22046329

  6. Turtle Graphics of Morphic Sequences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zantema, Hans

    2016-02-01

    The simplest infinite sequences that are not ultimately periodic are pure morphic sequences: fixed points of particular morphisms mapping single symbols to strings of symbols. A basic way to visualize a sequence is by a turtle curve: for every alphabet symbol fix an angle, and then consecutively for all sequence elements draw a unit segment and turn the drawing direction by the corresponding angle. This paper investigates turtle curves of pure morphic sequences. In particular, criteria are given for turtle curves being finite (consisting of finitely many segments), and for being fractal or self-similar: it contains an up-scaled copy of itself. Also space-filling turtle curves are considered, and a turtle curve that is dense in the plane. As a particular result we give an exact relationship between the Koch curve and a turtle curve for the Thue-Morse sequence, where until now for such a result only approximations were known.

  7. A phylogenomic analysis of turtles.

    PubMed

    Crawford, Nicholas G; Parham, James F; Sellas, Anna B; Faircloth, Brant C; Glenn, Travis C; Papenfuss, Theodore J; Henderson, James B; Hansen, Madison H; Simison, W Brian

    2015-02-01

    Molecular analyses of turtle relationships have overturned prevailing morphological hypotheses and prompted the development of a new taxonomy. Here we provide the first genome-scale analysis of turtle phylogeny. We sequenced 2381 ultraconserved element (UCE) loci representing a total of 1,718,154bp of aligned sequence. Our sampling includes 32 turtle taxa representing all 14 recognized turtle families and an additional six outgroups. Maximum likelihood, Bayesian, and species tree methods produce a single resolved phylogeny. This robust phylogeny shows that proposed phylogenetic names correspond to well-supported clades, and this topology is more consistent with the temporal appearance of clades and paleobiogeography. Future studies of turtle phylogeny using fossil turtles should use this topology as a scaffold for their morphological phylogenetic analyses. PMID:25450099

  8. Natal homing in juvenile loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta).

    PubMed

    Bowen, Brian W; Bass, Anna L; Chow, Shaio-Mei; Bostrom, Meredith; Bjorndal, Karen A; Bolten, Alan B; Okuyama, Toshinori; Bolker, Benjamin M; Epperly, Sheryan; Lacasella, Erin; Shaver, Donna; Dodd, Mark; Hopkins-Murphy, Sally R; Musick, John A; Swingle, Mark; Rankin-Baransky, Karen; Teas, Wendy; Witzell, Wayne N; Dutton, Peter H

    2004-12-01

    Juvenile loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) from West Atlantic nesting beaches occupy oceanic (pelagic) habitats in the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean, whereas larger juvenile turtles occupy shallow (neritic) habitats along the continental coastline of North America. Hence the switch from oceanic to neritic stage can involve a trans-oceanic migration. Several researchers have suggested that at the end of the oceanic phase, juveniles are homing to feeding habitats in the vicinity of their natal rookery. To test the hypothesis of juvenile homing behaviour, we surveyed 10 juvenile feeding zones across the eastern USA with mitochondrial DNA control region sequences (N = 1437) and compared these samples to potential source (nesting) populations in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea (N = 465). The results indicated a shallow, but significant, population structure of neritic juveniles (PhiST = 0.0088, P = 0.016), and haplotype frequency differences were significantly correlated between coastal feeding populations and adjacent nesting populations (Mantel test R2 = 0.52, P = 0.001). Mixed stock analyses (using a Bayesian algorithm) indicated that juveniles occurred at elevated frequency in the vicinity of their natal rookery. Hence, all lines of evidence supported the hypothesis of juvenile homing in loggerhead turtles. While not as precise as the homing of breeding adults, this behaviour nonetheless places juvenile turtles in the vicinity of their natal nesting colonies. Some of the coastal hazards that affect declining nesting populations may also affect the next generation of turtles feeding in nearby habitats. PMID:15548292

  9. "Sea Turtles" and "Ground Beetles" [Land Turtles] Should Shake Hands

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kan, Da

    2004-01-01

    This article talks about those who come back to China after studies abroad, characterized as "sea turtles" and those scholars who have remained in China to arduously pursue their studies, characterized as "ground beetles". " Sea turtles" are those foreign MBAs and Ph.D.s who are objects of praise, admiration and are naturally more eye-catching…

  10. The diapsid origin of turtles.

    PubMed

    Schoch, Rainer R; Sues, Hans-Dieter

    2016-06-01

    The origin of turtles has been a persistent unresolved problem involving unsettled questions in embryology, morphology, and paleontology. New fossil taxa from the early Late Triassic of China (Odontochelys) and the Late Middle Triassic of Germany (Pappochelys) now add to the understanding of (i) the evolutionary origin of the turtle shell, (ii) the ancestral structural pattern of the turtle skull, and (iii) the phylogenetic position of Testudines. As has long been postulated on the basis of molecular data, turtles evolved from diapsid reptiles and are more closely related to extant diapsids than to parareptiles, which had been suggested as stem group by some paleontologists. The turtle cranium with its secondarily closed temporal region represents a derived rather than a primitive condition and the plastron partially evolved through the fusion of gastralia. PMID:26934902

  11. An unsuccessful attempt to elicit orientation responses to linearly polarized light in hatchling loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta)

    PubMed Central

    Mäthger, Lydia M.; Lohmann, Kenneth J.; Limpus, Colin J.; Fritsches, Kerstin A.

    2011-01-01

    Sea turtles undertake long migrations in the open ocean, during which they rely at least partly on magnetic cues for navigation. In principle, sensitivity to polarized light might be an additional sensory capability that aids navigation. Furthermore, polarization sensitivity has been linked to ultraviolet (UV) light perception which is present in sea turtles. Here, we tested the ability of hatchling loggerheads (Caretta caretta) to maintain a swimming direction in the presence of broad-spectrum polarized light. At the start of each trial, hatchling turtles, with their magnetic sense temporarily impaired by magnets, successfully established a steady course towards a light-emitting diode (LED) light source while the polarized light field was present. When the LED was removed, however, hatchlings failed to maintain a steady swimming direction, even though the polarized light field remained. Our results have failed to provide evidence for polarized light perception in young sea turtles and suggest that alternative cues guide the initial migration offshore. PMID:21282179

  12. Myiasis in two box turtles.

    PubMed

    Gould, W J; Georgi, M E

    1991-10-15

    Two eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina) were treated for myiasis caused by Sarcophaga cistudinis. The tortoises were examined because of swellings of the proximal cervical regions. Both fully recovered following surgical removal of multiple larvae. PMID:1748614

  13. Direct evidence of swimming demonstrates active dispersal in the sea turtle "lost years".

    PubMed

    Putman, Nathan F; Mansfield, Katherine L

    2015-05-01

    Although oceanic dispersal in larval and juvenile marine animals is widely studied, the relative contributions of swimming behavior and ocean currents to movements and distribution are poorly understood [1-4]. The sea turtle "lost years" [5] (often referred to as the surface-pelagic [6] or oceanic [7] stage) are a classic example. Upon hatching, young turtles migrate offshore and are rarely observed until they return to coastal waters as larger juveniles [5]. Sightings of small turtles downcurrent of nesting beaches and in association with drifting organisms (e.g., Sargassum algae) led to this stage being described as a "passive migration" during which turtles' movements are dictated by ocean currents [5-10]. However, laboratory and modeling studies suggest that dispersal trajectories might also be shaped by oriented swimming [11-15]. Here, we use an experimental approach designed to directly test the passive-migration hypothesis by deploying pairs of surface drifters alongside small green (Chelonia mydas) and Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) wild-caught turtles, tracking their movements via satellite telemetry. We conclusively demonstrate that these turtles do not behave as passive drifters. In nearly all cases, drifter trajectories were uncharacteristic of turtle trajectories. Species-specific and location-dependent oriented swimming behavior, inferred by subtracting track velocity from modeled ocean velocity, contributed substantially to individual movement and distribution. These findings highlight the importance of in situ observations for depicting the dispersal of weakly swimming animals. Such observations, paired with information on the mechanisms of orientation, will likely allow for more accurate predictions of the ecological and evolutionary processes shaped by animal movement. PMID:25866396

  14. Young Children Learn Geometric Concepts Using Logo with a Screen Turtle and a Floor Turtle.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weaver, Constance L.

    This research was designed to investigate several primary questions in comparing the Logo floor turtle to the Logo screen turtle: (1) Do young children gain different geometric concepts from experiences with the floor turtle than they do with the screen turtle? (2) Do young children learn to use the four basic Logo commands more efficiently with…

  15. Pet Turtles Continue to Spread Salmonella

    MedlinePlus

    ... https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_159393.html Pet Turtles Continue to Spread Salmonella 15 outbreaks in U.S. ... WEDNESDAY, June 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Kissing a turtle may be more than just yucky -- sometimes it ...

  16. Fidelity and over-wintering of sea turtles

    PubMed Central

    Broderick, Annette C; Coyne, Michael S; Fuller, Wayne J; Glen, Fiona; Godley, Brendan J

    2007-01-01

    While fidelity to breeding sites is well demonstrated in marine turtles, emerging knowledge of migratory routes and key foraging sites is of limited conservation value unless levels of fidelity can be established. We tracked green (Chelonia mydas, n=10) and loggerhead (Caretta caretta, n=10) turtles during their post-nesting migration from the island of Cyprus to their foraging grounds. After intervals of 2–5 years, five of these females were recaptured at the nesting beach and tracked for a second migration. All five used highly similar migratory routes to return to the same foraging and over-wintering areas. None of the females visited other foraging habitats over the study period (units lasted on average 305 days; maximum, 1356 days), moving only to deeper waters during the winter months where they demonstrated extremely long resting dives of up to 10.2 h (the longest breath-holding dive recorded for a marine vertebrate). High levels of fidelity and the relatively discrete nature of the home ranges demonstrate that protection of key migratory pathways, foraging and over-wintering sites can serve as an important tool for the future conservation of marine turtles. PMID:17456456

  17. TORTIS (Toddler's Own Recursive Turtle Interpreter System).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perlman, Radia

    TORTIS (Toddler's Own Recursive Turtle Interpreter System) is a device which can be used to study or nurture the cognitive development of preschool children. The device consists of a "turtle" which the child can control by use of buttons on a control panel. The "turtle" can be made to move in prescribed directions, to take a given number of paces,…

  18. Engaging Students in Science: Turtle Nestwatch

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lewis, Elaine; Baudains, Catherine; Mansfield, Caroline

    2009-01-01

    Involving students in authentic science work is one way to enhance their interest in science. This paper reports a project in which Year 4-7 students actively participated in a study that involved the provision of a suitable nesting site for local turtles. The students collected data on turtle nests at the site and evidence of turtle hatchlings at…

  19. Orientation of hatchling loggerhead sea turtles to regional magnetic fields along a transoceanic migratory pathway.

    PubMed

    Fuxjager, Matthew J; Eastwood, Brian S; Lohmann, Kenneth J

    2011-08-01

    Young loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from the east coast of Florida, USA, undertake a transoceanic migration around the North Atlantic Gyre, the circular current system that flows around the Sargasso Sea. Previous experiments indicated that loggerhead hatchlings, when exposed to magnetic fields replicating those that exist at five widely separated locations along the migratory pathway, responded by swimming in directions that would, in each case, help turtles remain in the gyre and advance along the migratory route. In this study, hatchlings were exposed to several additional magnetic fields that exist along or outside of the gyre's northern boundary. Hatchlings responded to fields that exist within the gyre currents by swimming in directions consistent with their migratory route at each location, whereas turtles exposed to a field that exists north of the gyre had an orientation that was statistically indistinguishable from random. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that loggerhead turtles entering the sea for the first time possess a navigational system in which a series of regional magnetic fields sequentially trigger orientation responses that help steer turtles along the migratory route. By contrast, hatchlings may fail to respond to fields that exist in locations beyond the turtles' normal geographic range. PMID:21753042

  20. Multinational tagging efforts illustrate regional scale of distribution and threats for east pacific green turtles (Chelonia mydas agassizii).

    PubMed

    Hart, Catherine E; Blanco, Gabriela S; Coyne, Michael S; Delgado-Trejo, Carlos; Godley, Brendan J; Jones, T Todd; Resendiz, Antonio; Seminoff, Jeffrey A; Witt, Matthew J; Nichols, Wallace J

    2015-01-01

    To further describe movement patterns and distribution of East Pacific green turtles (Chelonia mydas agassizii) and to determine threat levels for this species within the Eastern Pacific. In order to do this we combined published data from existing flipper tagging and early satellite tracking studies with data from an additional 12 satellite tracked green turtles (1996-2006). Three of these were tracked from their foraging grounds in the Gulf of California along the east coast of the Baja California peninsula to their breeding grounds in Michoacán (1337-2928 km). In addition, three post-nesting females were satellite tracked from Colola beach, Michoacán to their foraging grounds in southern Mexico and Central America (941.3-3020 km). A further six turtles were tracked in the Gulf of California within their foraging grounds giving insights into the scale of ranging behaviour. Turtles undertaking long-distance migrations showed a tendency to follow the coastline. Turtles tracked within foraging grounds showed that foraging individuals typically ranged up to 691.6 km (maximum) from release site location. Additionally, we carried out threat analysis (using the cumulative global human impact in the Eastern Pacific) clustering pre-existing satellite tracking studies from Galapagos, Costa Rica, and data obtained from this study; this indicated that turtles foraging and nesting in Central American waters are subject to the highest anthropogenic impact. Considering that turtles from all three rookeries were found to migrate towards Central America, it is highly important to implement conservation plans in Central American coastal areas to ensure the survival of the remaining green turtles in the Eastern Pacific. Finally, by combining satellite tracking data from this and previous studies, and data of tag returns we created the best available distributional patterns for this particular sea turtle species, which emphasized that conservation measures in key areas may have

  1. Multinational Tagging Efforts Illustrate Regional Scale of Distribution and Threats for East Pacific Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas agassizii)

    PubMed Central

    Hart, Catherine E.; Blanco, Gabriela S.; Coyne, Michael S.; Delgado-Trejo, Carlos; Godley, Brendan J.; Jones, T. Todd; Resendiz, Antonio; Seminoff, Jeffrey A.; Witt, Matthew J.; Nichols, Wallace J.

    2015-01-01

    To further describe movement patterns and distribution of East Pacific green turtles (Chelonia mydas agassizii) and to determine threat levels for this species within the Eastern Pacific. In order to do this we combined published data from existing flipper tagging and early satellite tracking studies with data from an additional 12 satellite tracked green turtles (1996-2006). Three of these were tracked from their foraging grounds in the Gulf of California along the east coast of the Baja California peninsula to their breeding grounds in Michoacán (1337-2928 km). In addition, three post-nesting females were satellite tracked from Colola beach, Michoacán to their foraging grounds in southern Mexico and Central America (941.3-3020 km). A further six turtles were tracked in the Gulf of California within their foraging grounds giving insights into the scale of ranging behaviour. Turtles undertaking long-distance migrations showed a tendency to follow the coastline. Turtles tracked within foraging grounds showed that foraging individuals typically ranged up to 691.6 km (maximum) from release site location. Additionally, we carried out threat analysis (using the cumulative global human impact in the Eastern Pacific) clustering pre-existing satellite tracking studies from Galapagos, Costa Rica, and data obtained from this study; this indicated that turtles foraging and nesting in Central American waters are subject to the highest anthropogenic impact. Considering that turtles from all three rookeries were found to migrate towards Central America, it is highly important to implement conservation plans in Central American coastal areas to ensure the survival of the remaining green turtles in the Eastern Pacific. Finally, by combining satellite tracking data from this and previous studies, and data of tag returns we created the best available distributional patterns for this particular sea turtle species, which emphasized that conservation measures in key areas may have

  2. Three millennia of human and sea turtle interactions in Remote Oceania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allen, M. S.

    2007-12-01

    Sea turtles are one of the largest vertebrates in the shallow water ecosystems of Remote Oceania, occurring in both sea grass pastures and on coral reefs. Their functional roles, however, over ecological and evolutionary times scales are not well known, in part because their numbers have been so drastically reduced. Ethnographic and archaeological data is analysed to assess long-term patterns of human sea turtle interactions (mainly green and hawksbill) prior to western contact and the magnitude of turtle losses in this region. From the ethnographic data two large-scale patterns emerge, societies where turtle capture and consumption was controlled by chiefs and priests versus those where control over turtle was more flexible and consumption more egalitarian. Broadly the distinction is between societies on high (volcanic and raised coral) islands versus atolls, but the critical variables are the ratio of land to shallow marine environments, combined with the availability of refugia. Archaeological evidence further highlights differences in the rate and magnitude of turtle losses across these two island types, with high islands suffering both large and rapid declines while those on atolls are less marked. These long-term historical patterns help explain the ethnographic endpoints, with areas that experienced greater losses apparently developing more restrictive social controls over time. Finally, if current turtle migration patterns held in the past, with annual movements between western foraging grounds and eastern nesting beaches, then intensive harvesting from 2,800 Before Present in West Polynesia probably affected turtle abundance and coral reef ecology in East Polynesia well before the actual arrival of human settlers, the latter a process that most likely began 1,400 years later.

  3. Projected response of an endangered marine turtle population to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saba, Vincent S.; Stock, Charles A.; Spotila, James R.; Paladino, Frank V.; Tomillo, Pilar Santidrián

    2012-11-01

    Assessing the potential impacts of climate change on individual species and populations is essential for the stewardship of ecosystems and biodiversity. Critically endangered leatherback turtles in the eastern Pacific Ocean are excellent candidates for such an assessment because their sensitivity to contemporary climate variability has been substantially studied. If incidental fisheries mortality is eliminated, this population still faces the challenge of recovery in a rapidly changing climate. Here we combined an Earth system model, climate model projections assessed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and a population dynamics model to estimate a 7% per decade decline in the Costa Rica nesting population over the twenty-first century. Whereas changes in ocean conditions had a small effect on the population, the ~2.5°C warming of the nesting beach was the primary driver of the decline through reduced hatching success and hatchling emergence rate. Hatchling sex ratio did not substantially change. Adjusting nesting phenology or changing nesting sites may not entirely prevent the decline, but could offset the decline rate. However, if future observations show a long-term decline in hatching success and emergence rate, anthropogenic climate mitigation of nests (for example, shading, irrigation) may be able to preserve the nesting population.

  4. Good news for sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Hays, Graeme C

    2004-07-01

    Following the overexploitation of sea turtle populations, conservation measures are now in place in many areas. However, the overall impact of these measures is often unknown because there are few long time-series showing trends in population sizes. In a recent paper, George Balazs and Milani Chaloupka chart the number of green turtles Chelonia mydas nesting in Hawaii over the past 30 years and reveal a remarkably quick increase in the size of this population following the instigation of conservation measures during the 1970s. Importantly, this work shows how even a small population of sea turtles can recover rapidly, suggesting that Allee effects do not impede conservation efforts in operation worldwide. PMID:16701283

  5. The origin of turtles: a paleontological perspective.

    PubMed

    Joyce, Walter G

    2015-05-01

    The origin of turtles and their unusual body plan has fascinated scientists for the last two centuries. Over the course of the last decades, a broad sample of molecular analyses have favored a sister group relationship of turtles with archosaurs, but recent studies reveal that this signal may be the result of systematic biases affecting molecular approaches, in particular sampling, non-randomly distributed rate heterogeneity among taxa, and the use of concatenated data sets. Morphological studies, by contrast, disfavor archosaurian relationships for turtles, but the proposed alternative topologies are poorly supported as well. The recently revived paleontological hypothesis that the Middle Permian Eunotosaurus africanus is an intermediate stem turtle is now robustly supported by numerous characters that were previously thought to be unique to turtles and that are now shown to have originated over the course of tens of millions of years unrelated to the origin of the turtle shell. Although E. africanus does not solve the placement of turtles within Amniota, it successfully extends the stem lineage of turtles to the Permian and helps resolve some questions associated with the origin of turtles, in particular the non-composite origin of the shell, the slow origin of the shell, and the terrestrial setting for the origin of turtles. PMID:25712176

  6. Basking Behavior of Painted Turtles.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zipko, Stephen J.

    1982-01-01

    Examines the basking postures of captive eastern painted turtles exposed to two different sources of illumination (white floor lamps and infrared heat lamps) and three types of substrates (sphagnum, rock, wood) and discusses possible ecological and evolutionary significance of these behaviors. (Author/JN)

  7. The ontogeny of morphological defenses in Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) and loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Salmon, Michael; Higgins, Benjamin; Stewart, Joshua; Wyneken, Jeanette

    2015-08-01

    Marine turtles are large reptiles that compensate for high juvenile mortality by producing hundreds of hatchlings during a long reproductive lifespan. Most hatchlings are taken by predators during their migration to, and while resident in, the open ocean. Their survival depends upon crypticity, minimizing movement to avoid detection, and foraging efficiently to grow to a size too difficult for predators to either handle or swallow. While these behavioral antipredator tactics are known, changes in morphology accompanying growth may also improve survival prospects. These have been only superficially described in the literature. Here, we compare the similarities and differences in presumed morphological defenses of growing loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) posthatchlings, related species that differ in growth rate, timing of habitat shift (the return from oceanic to neritic locations), and size at maturity. In both species, vertebral spination and carapace widening increase disproportionally as small turtles grow, but later in ontogeny, the spines regress, sooner in ridley than in loggerhead turtles. Carapace widening occurs in both species but loggerheads are always longer than they are wide whereas in Kemp's ridley turtles, the carapace becomes as wide as long. Our analysis indicates that these changes are unrelated to when each species shifts habitat but are related to turtle size. We hypothesize that the spines function in small turtles as an early defense against gape-limited predators, but changes in body shape function throughout ontogeny-initially to make small turtles too wide to swallow and later by presenting an almost flat and hardened surface that large predators (such as a sharks) are unable to grasp. The extremely wide carapace of the Kemp's ridley may compensate for its smaller adult size (and presumed greater vulnerability) than the loggerhead. PMID:26126953

  8. The endoskeletal origin of the turtle carapace

    PubMed Central

    Hirasawa, Tatsuya; Nagashima, Hiroshi; Kuratani, Shigeru

    2013-01-01

    The turtle body plan, with its solid shell, deviates radically from those of other tetrapods. The dorsal part of the turtle shell, or the carapace, consists mainly of costal and neural bony plates, which are continuous with the underlying thoracic ribs and vertebrae, respectively. Because of their superficial position, the evolutionary origins of these costo-neural elements have long remained elusive. Here we show, through comparative morphological and embryological analyses, that the major part of the carapace is derived purely from endoskeletal ribs. We examine turtle embryos and find that the costal and neural plates develop not within the dermis, but within deeper connective tissue where the rib and intercostal muscle anlagen develop. We also examine the fossils of an outgroup of turtles to confirm that the structure equivalent to the turtle carapace developed independently of the true osteoderm. Our results highlight the hitherto unravelled evolutionary course of the turtle shell. PMID:23836118

  9. Geomagnetic imprinting: A unifying hypothesis of long-distance natal homing in salmon and sea turtles

    PubMed Central

    Lohmann, Kenneth J.; Putman, Nathan F.; Lohmann, Catherine M. F.

    2008-01-01

    Several marine animals, including salmon and sea turtles, disperse across vast expanses of ocean before returning as adults to their natal areas to reproduce. How animals accomplish such feats of natal homing has remained an enduring mystery. Salmon are known to use chemical cues to identify their home rivers at the end of spawning migrations. Such cues, however, do not extend far enough into the ocean to guide migratory movements that begin in open-sea locations hundreds or thousands of kilometers away. Similarly, how sea turtles reach their nesting areas from distant sites is unknown. However, both salmon and sea turtles detect the magnetic field of the Earth and use it as a directional cue. In addition, sea turtles derive positional information from two magnetic elements (inclination angle and intensity) that vary predictably across the globe and endow different geographic areas with unique magnetic signatures. Here we propose that salmon and sea turtles imprint on the magnetic field of their natal areas and later use this information to direct natal homing. This novel hypothesis provides the first plausible explanation for how marine animals can navigate to natal areas from distant oceanic locations. The hypothesis appears to be compatible with present and recent rates of field change (secular variation); one implication, however, is that unusually rapid changes in the Earth's field, as occasionally occur during geomagnetic polarity reversals, may affect ecological processes by disrupting natal homing, resulting in widespread colonization events and changes in population structure. PMID:19060188

  10. Phylogeography, Genetic Diversity, and Management Units of Hawksbill Turtles in the Indo-Pacific.

    PubMed

    Vargas, Sarah M; Jensen, Michael P; Ho, Simon Y W; Mobaraki, Asghar; Broderick, Damien; Mortimer, Jeanne A; Whiting, Scott D; Miller, Jeff; Prince, Robert I T; Bell, Ian P; Hoenner, Xavier; Limpus, Colin J; Santos, Fabrício R; FitzSimmons, Nancy N

    2016-05-01

    Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) populations have experienced global decline because of a history of intense commercial exploitation for shell and stuffed taxidermied whole animals, and harvest for eggs and meat. Improved understanding of genetic diversity and phylogeography is needed to aid conservation. In this study, we analyzed the most geographically comprehensive sample of hawksbill turtles from the Indo-Pacific Ocean, sequencing 766 bp of the mitochondrial control region from 13 locations (plus Aldabra, n = 4) spanning over 13500 km. Our analysis of 492 samples revealed 52 haplotypes distributed in 5 divergent clades. Diversification times differed between the Indo-Pacific and Atlantic lineages and appear to be related to the sea-level changes that occurred during the Last Glacial Maximum. We found signals of demographic expansion only for turtles from the Persian Gulf region, which can be tied to a more recent colonization event. Our analyses revealed evidence of transoceanic migration, including connections between feeding grounds from the Atlantic Ocean and Indo-Pacific rookeries. Hawksbill turtles appear to have a complex pattern of phylogeography, showing a weak isolation by distance and evidence of multiple colonization events. Our novel dataset will allow mixed-stock analyses of hawksbill turtle feeding grounds in the Indo-Pacific by providing baseline data needed for conservation efforts in the region. Eight management units are proposed in our study for the Indo-Pacific region that can be incorporated in conservation plans of this critically endangered species. PMID:26615184

  11. Sea Turtles and Strategies for Language Skills.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tippins, Deborah; And Others

    1993-01-01

    Describes teaching strategies, including science activities, for challenging students' misconceptions about turtles and helping limited-English-proficiency students enhance their language proficiency. (PR)

  12. A Mycoplasma species of Emydidae turtles in the northeastern USA.

    PubMed

    Ossiboff, Robert J; Raphael, Bonnie L; Ammazzalorso, Alyssa D; Seimon, Tracie A; Niederriter, Holly; Zarate, Brian; Newton, Alisa L; McAloose, Denise

    2015-04-01

    Mycoplasma infections can cause significant morbidity and mortality in captive and wild chelonians. As part of a health assessment of endangered bog turtles (Glyptemys muhlenbergii) in the northeastern US, choanal and cloacal swabs from these and other sympatric species, including spotted turtles (Clemmys guttata), eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina), wood turtles (Glyptemys insculpta), and common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) from 10 sampling sites in the states (US) of Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, were tested by PCR for Mycoplasma. Of 108 turtles tested, 63 (58.3%) were PCR positive for Mycoplasma including 58 of 83 bog turtles (70%), three of three (100%) eastern box turtles, and two of 11 (18%) spotted turtles; all snapping turtles (n = 7) and wood turtles (n = 4) were negative. Sequence analysis of portions of the 16S-23S intergenic spacer region and the 16S ribosomal RNA gene revealed a single, unclassified species of Mycoplasma that has been previously reported in eastern box turtles, ornate box turtles (Terrapene ornata ornata), western pond turtles (Emys marmorata), and red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans). We document a high incidence of Mycoplasma, in the absence of clinical disease, in wild emydid turtles. These findings, along with wide distribution of the identified Mycoplasma sp. across a broad geographic region, suggest this bacterium is likely a commensal inhabitant of bog turtles, and possibly other species of emydid turtles, in the northeastern US. PMID:25574806

  13. More on Sea Turtles and Seaweed

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Xin, Tian

    2005-01-01

    "Sea turtle" and "seaweed"--otherwise known as "returnee from abroad" and "unemployed from abroad," respectively-- are a pair of popular new terms that are innately connected. In this article, the author discusses the common plight faced by "sea turtles" and "seaweeds" who returned from abroad to work in China. The author describes the experiences…

  14. Why do turtles live so long

    SciTech Connect

    Gibbons, J.W.

    1987-04-01

    Turtles appear to live longer than most other species of vertebrates, according to both maximal lifespans from zoo records and survivorship patterns in natural populations. Turtle longevity may reflect low metabolic activity, an absence of physiological and anatomical senility, a large investment in the adult's protective shell, and a life history with a long maturation period.

  15. BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS: MARINE MAMMALS AND SEA TURTLES

    EPA Science Inventory

    In the description of the Arthur Kill biological features presented in Chapter 1, marine mammals and sea turtles are not discussed since they are not regular residents of this area. owever, marine turtles, seals, and cetaccans are occasionally sighted in the Arthur Kill, and they...

  16. Turtle Nest Monitoring with Wireless Sensor Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szlavecz, K.; Terzis, A.; Musaloiu, R.; Liang, C.; Cogan, J.; Klofas, J.; Xia, L.; Swarth, C.; Matthews, S.

    2007-12-01

    We have recently developed a wireless sensor system for environmental monitoring. The system is based upon the sensor platform by Telos, soil moisture sensors from Decagon and our own temperature sensors. The system was deployed at the Jug Bay Wetland Sanctuary, around several nests of Eastern Box Turtles (Terrapene carolina). Conditions in the soil where turtles excavate their nests can have a profound effect on egg survival, hatchling survival and on the sex of hatchling turtles. Turtles prefer nesting in sunny areas where solar radiation provides the heat source that warms the developing embryos. Our system has provided a continuous monitoring of all these parameters over a period of several months in the summer of 2007. The data show several interesting phenomena about temperature gradients in the vicinity of the turtle nests. The deployment also served as a validation of our second generation sensor platform, which performed remarkably well.

  17. North American box turtles: A natural history

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dodd, C. Kenneth, Jr.

    2002-01-01

    Once a familiar backyard visitor in many parts of the United States and Mexico, the box turtle is losing the battle against extinction. In North American Box Turtles, C. Kenneth Dodd, Jr., has written the first book-length natural history of the twelve species and subspecies of this endangered animal. This volume includes comprehensive information on the species’ evolution, behavior, courtship and reproduction, habitat use, diet, population structure, systematics, and disease. Special features include color photos of all species, subspecies, and their habitats; a simple identification guide to both living and fossil species; and a summary of information on fossil Terrapene and Native uses of box turtles. End-of-chapter sections highlight future research directions, including the need for long-term monitoring and observation of box turtles within their natural habitat and conservation applications. A glossary and a bibliography of literature on box turtles accompany the text.

  18. Modeling loggerhead turtle movement in the Mediterranean: importance of body size and oceanography.

    PubMed

    Eckert, Scott A; Moore, Jeffrey E; Dunn, Daniel C; van Buiten, Ricardo Sagarminaga; Eckert, Karen L; Halpin, Patrick N

    2008-03-01

    Adapting state-space models (SSMs) to telemetry data has been helpful for dealing with location error and for modeling animal movements. We used a combination of two hierarchical Bayesian SSMs to estimate movement pathways from Argos satellite-tag data for 15 juvenile loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) in the western Mediterranean Sea, and to probabilistically assign locations to one of two behavioral movement types and relate those behaviors to environmental features. A Monte Carlo procedure helped propagate location uncertainty from the first SSM into the estimation of behavioral states and environment--behavior relationships in the second SSM. Turtles using oceanic habitats of the Balearic Sea (n = 9 turtles) within the western Mediterranean were more likely to exhibit "intensive search" behavior as might occur during foraging, but only larger turtles responded to variations in sea-surface height. This suggests that they were better able than smaller turtles to cue on environmental features that concentrate prey resources or were more dependent on high-quality feeding areas. These findings stress the importance of individual heterogeneity in the analysis of movement behavior and, taken in concert with descriptive studies of Pacific loggerheads, suggest that directed movements toward patchy ephemeral resources may be a general property of larger juvenile loggerheads in different populations. We discovered size-based variation in loggerhead distribution and documented use of the western Mediterranean Sea by turtles larger than previously thought to occur there. With one exception, only individuals > 57 cm curved carapace length used the most westerly basin in the Mediterranean (western Alborán Sea). These observations shed new light on loggerhead migration phenology. PMID:18488597

  19. Perception of dimethyl sulfide (DMS) by loggerhead sea turtles: a possible mechanism for locating high-productivity oceanic regions for foraging.

    PubMed

    Endres, Courtney S; Lohmann, Kenneth J

    2012-10-15

    During their long-distance migrations, sea turtles of several species feed on jellyfish and other invertebrates that are particularly abundant in ocean regions characterized by high productivity. An ability to distinguish productive oceanic regions from other areas, and to concentrate foraging activities in locations where prey density is highest, might therefore be adaptive. The volatile compound dimethyl sulfide (DMS) accumulates in the air above productive ocean areas such as upwelling and frontal zones. In principle, DMS might therefore serve as an indicator of high prey density for turtles. To determine whether turtles perceive DMS, juvenile loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) were placed into a water-filled arena in which DMS and other odorants could be introduced to the air above the water surface. Turtles exposed to air that had passed over a cup containing 10 nmol l(-1) DMS spent more time at the surface with their noses out of the water than control turtles, which were exposed to air that had passed over a cup containing distilled water. Odors that do not occur in the sea (cinnamon, jasmine and lemon) did not elicit increased surface time, implying that the response to DMS is unlikely to reflect a generalized response to any novel odor. The results demonstrate for the first time that sea turtles can detect DMS, an ability that might enable the identification of favorable foraging areas. PMID:23014568

  20. Transmission of Haemogregarina balli from painted turtles to snapping turtles through the leech Placobdella ornata.

    PubMed

    Siddall, M E; Desser, S S

    2001-10-01

    Six leeches (Placobdella ornata) were allowed to feed on a painted turtle (Chrysemys picta marginata) infected with Haemogregarina balli and subjected to a period of diapause before being allowed to feed on 2 laboratory-reared snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina). Weekly examination of thin blood films revealed infections of the turtles at 130 days postfeeding. These observations provide support for broad host specificity of hemogregarine parasites of chelonians. PMID:11695407

  1. Evolutionary origin of the turtle skull.

    PubMed

    Bever, G S; Lyson, Tyler R; Field, Daniel J; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S

    2015-09-10

    Transitional fossils informing the origin of turtles are among the most sought-after discoveries in palaeontology. Despite strong genomic evidence indicating that turtles evolved from within the diapsid radiation (which includes all other living reptiles), evidence of the inferred transformation between an ancestral turtle with an open, diapsid skull to the closed, anapsid condition of modern turtles remains elusive. Here we use high-resolution computed tomography and a novel character/taxon matrix to study the skull of Eunotosaurus africanus, a 260-million-year-old fossil reptile from the Karoo Basin of South Africa, whose distinctive postcranial skeleton shares many unique features with the shelled body plan of turtles. Scepticism regarding the status of Eunotosaurus as the earliest stem turtle arises from the possibility that these shell-related features are the products of evolutionary convergence. Our phylogenetic analyses indicate strong cranial support for Eunotosaurus as a critical transitional form in turtle evolution, thus fortifying a 40-million-year extension to the turtle stem and moving the ecological context of its origin back onto land. Furthermore, we find unexpected evidence that Eunotosaurus is a diapsid reptile in the process of becoming secondarily anapsid. This is important because categorizing the skull based on the number of openings in the complex of dermal bone covering the adductor chamber has long held sway in amniote systematics, and still represents a common organizational scheme for teaching the evolutionary history of the group. These discoveries allow us to articulate a detailed and testable hypothesis of fenestral closure along the turtle stem. Our results suggest that Eunotosaurus represents a crucially important link in a chain that will eventually lead to consilience in reptile systematics, paving the way for synthetic studies of amniote evolution and development. PMID:26331544

  2. Non-migratory breeding by isolated green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) in the Indian Ocean: biological and conservation implications.

    PubMed

    Whiting, Scott D; Murray, Wendy; Macrae, Ismail; Thorn, Robert; Chongkin, Mohammad; Koch, Andrea U

    2008-04-01

    Green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) are renowned for their long-distance migrations but have less fame for short-distance migrations or non-migratory behavior. We present satellite telemetric evidence from Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Indian Ocean for the first predominantly non-migratory green sea turtle (C. mydas) population. The mean migration distance from the nesting beach to the foraging grounds was 35.5 km with a maximum mean transit time of 3.4 days. The behavior of this population has major implications for our general understanding of green turtle behavior and their life cycle and for conservation. Firstly, these results indicate a level of juvenile or adult non-breeding homing behavior from the open ocean to foraging grounds adjacent to their natal nesting beach. Secondly, a non-migratory breeding phase reduces the consumption of reproductive energy utilized, potentially resulting in higher fecundity for this population. Thirdly, the close proximity of the nesting and foraging habitats allows for uniformity in management and conservation strategies rarely possible for wide-ranging green turtle populations. PMID:18046497

  3. Non-migratory breeding by isolated green sea turtles ( Chelonia mydas) in the Indian Ocean: biological and conservation implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whiting, Scott D.; Murray, Wendy; Macrae, Ismail; Thorn, Robert; Chongkin, Mohammad; Koch, Andrea U.

    2008-04-01

    Green sea turtles ( Chelonia mydas) are renowned for their long-distance migrations but have less fame for short-distance migrations or non-migratory behavior. We present satellite telemetric evidence from Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Indian Ocean for the first predominantly non-migratory green sea turtle ( C. mydas) population. The mean migration distance from the nesting beach to the foraging grounds was 35.5 km with a maximum mean transit time of 3.4 days. The behavior of this population has major implications for our general understanding of green turtle behavior and their life cycle and for conservation. Firstly, these results indicate a level of juvenile or adult non-breeding homing behavior from the open ocean to foraging grounds adjacent to their natal nesting beach. Secondly, a non-migratory breeding phase reduces the consumption of reproductive energy utilized, potentially resulting in higher fecundity for this population. Thirdly, the close proximity of the nesting and foraging habitats allows for uniformity in management and conservation strategies rarely possible for wide-ranging green turtle populations.

  4. Magnetic navigation behavior and the oceanic ecology of young loggerhead sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Putman, Nathan F; Verley, Philippe; Endres, Courtney S; Lohmann, Kenneth J

    2015-04-01

    During long-distance migrations, animals navigate using a variety of sensory cues, mechanisms and strategies. Although guidance mechanisms are usually studied under controlled laboratory conditions, such methods seldom allow for navigation behavior to be examined in an environmental context. Similarly, although realistic environmental models are often used to investigate the ecological implications of animal movement, explicit consideration of navigation mechanisms in such models is rare. Here, we used an interdisciplinary approach in which we first conducted lab-based experiments to determine how hatchling loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) respond to magnetic fields that exist at five widely separated locations along their migratory route, and then studied the consequences of the observed behavior by simulating it within an ocean circulation model. Magnetic fields associated with two geographic regions that pose risks to young turtles (due to cold wintertime temperatures or potential displacement from the migratory route) elicited oriented swimming, whereas fields from three locations where surface currents and temperature pose no such risk did not. Additionally, at locations with fields that elicited oriented swimming, simulations indicate that the observed behavior greatly increases the likelihood of turtles advancing along the migratory pathway. Our findings suggest that the magnetic navigation behavior of sea turtles is intimately tied to their oceanic ecology and is shaped by a complex interplay between ocean circulation and geomagnetic dynamics. PMID:25833134

  5. Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) genetic diversity at Paranaguá Estuarine Complex feeding grounds in Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Jordão, Juliana Costa; Bondioli, Ana Cristina Vigliar; Guebert, Flavia Maria; de Thoisy, Benoit; Toledo, Lurdes Foresti de Almeida

    2015-01-01

    Sea turtles are marine reptiles that undertake long migrations through their life, with limited information regarding juvenile stages. Feeding grounds (FGs), where they spend most of their lives, are composed by individuals from different natal origins, known as mixed stock populations. The aim of this study was to assess genetic composition, natal origins and demographic history of juvenile green turtles (Chelonia mydas) at the Paranaguá Estuarine Complex (PEC), Brazil, considered a Natural World Heritage site. Tissue samples of stranded animals were collected (n = 60), and 700 bp mitochondrial DNA sequences were generated and compared to shorter sequences from previously published studies. Global exact tests of differentiation revealed significant differences among PEC and the other FGs, except those at the South Atlantic Ocean. Green turtles at PEC present genetic signatures similar to those of nesting females from Ascension Island, Guinea Bissau and Aves Island/Surinam. Population expansion was evidenced to have occurred 20–25 kYA, reinforcing the hypothesis of recovery from Southern Atlantic refugia after the last Glacial Maximum. These results contribute to a better understanding of the dynamics of green turtle populations at a protected area by providing knowledge on the dispersion patterns and reinforcing the importance of the interconnectivity between nesting and foraging populations. PMID:26500439

  6. Fifty-year trends in a box turtle population in Maryland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hall, R.J.; Henry, P.F.P.; Bunck, C.M.

    1999-01-01

    A survey conducted in 1995 investigated long term declines reported in a population of box turtles Terrapene Carolina monitored each decade since 1945 in bottomland hardwood forest at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Maryland. Methods duplicated past surveys in most respects, but were supplemented by radiotelemetry and a survey of dominant vegetation. Seventy different turtles were found on the 11.8 ha study area, a decline of >75% since peak populations were recorded in 1955. Searchers were less efficient in 1995 than in 1945-1975 for a variety of possible reasons. Among turtles recorded, approximately equal numbers persisted from each of the past five decades, with some individuals surviving >70 years. A sex ratio strongly favoring males was first recorded in 1975 and continued in 1995, but juveniles and subadults were found in greater proportion in 1995 than in any other survey. Six of nine radio-marked turtles left the bottomland study area and migrated to the adjoining bluffs to hibernate, suggesting more extensive movements and perhaps less stable home ranges than formerly thought. Age structure of trees indicated a gradual change to more shade-tolerant species. Examination of rates of change from survey data suggested that major losses probably resulted from changes in hydrology that exacerbated flooding in 1972, with recovery only beginning in 1995 and perhaps limited both by repeated flood events and successional changes in the forest. Slow recovery from losses may indicate that populations of the species would respond poorly to exploitation.

  7. Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) genetic diversity at Paranaguá Estuarine Complex feeding grounds in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Jordão, Juliana Costa; Bondioli, Ana Cristina Vigliar; Guebert, Flavia Maria; de Thoisy, Benoit; Toledo, Lurdes Foresti de Almeida

    2015-01-01

    Sea turtles are marine reptiles that undertake long migrations through their life, with limited information regarding juvenile stages. Feeding grounds (FGs), where they spend most of their lives, are composed by individuals from different natal origins, known as mixed stock populations. The aim of this study was to assess genetic composition, natal origins and demographic history of juvenile green turtles (Chelonia mydas) at the Paranaguá Estuarine Complex (PEC), Brazil, considered a Natural World Heritage site. Tissue samples of stranded animals were collected (n = 60), and 700 bp mitochondrial DNA sequences were generated and compared to shorter sequences from previously published studies. Global exact tests of differentiation revealed significant differences among PEC and the other FGs, except those at the South Atlantic Ocean. Green turtles at PEC present genetic signatures similar to those of nesting females from Ascension Island, Guinea Bissau and Aves Island/Surinam. Population expansion was evidenced to have occurred 20-25 kYA, reinforcing the hypothesis of recovery from Southern Atlantic refugia after the last Glacial Maximum. These results contribute to a better understanding of the dynamics of green turtle populations at a protected area by providing knowledge on the dispersion patterns and reinforcing the importance of the interconnectivity between nesting and foraging populations. PMID:26500439

  8. Life history and environmental requirements of loggerhead turtles

    SciTech Connect

    Nelson, D.A.

    1988-08-01

    In the United States scattered nestings of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) may occur in most of its range from Texas to Florida and Florida to New Jersey; however, nesting concentrations occur on coastal islands of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia and on the coasts of Florida. The greatest portion of a loggerhead's life is spent in ocean and estuarine waters where it breeds in shallow waters adjacent to nesting beaches, feeds on a variety of fish and shellfish, and migrates generally north in the spring and summer and south in the fall and winter. The other part of its life is spent on coastal beaches where the female digs a nest, lays her eggs (average 120 eggs), the eggs hatch (in 46 to 65 days), and the hatchlings emerge from the nest as a group and orient seaward to become part of the aquatic system again. Nesting activity begins in the spring, peaks in midsummer, and declines until completion in late summer. A loggerhead female generally nests every other or every third year. Beach sand temperatures may affect nest site selection by females, the incubation time and hatching success of eggs, and the sex and emergence timing of hatchlings. Most management of sea turtles has been directed toward increasing hatching and hatchling success through predator control, egg relocation, and raising captive hatchlings. 183 refs.; 10 figs.; 3 tabs.

  9. Geographic variation in marine turtle fibropapillomatosis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Greenblatt, R.J.; Work, T.M.; Dutton, P.; Sutton, C.A.; Spraker, T.R.; Casey, R.N.; Diez, C.E.; Parker, Dana C.; St. Ledger, J.; Balazs, G.H.; Casey, J.W.

    2005-01-01

    We document three examples of fibropapillomatosis by histology, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), and sequence analysis from three different geographic areas. Tumors compatible in morphology with fibropapillomatosis were seen in green turtles from Puerto Rico and San Diego (California) and in a hybrid loggerhead/ hawksbill turtle from Florida Bay (Florida). Tumors were confirmed as fibropapillomas on histology, although severity of disease varied between cases. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analyses revealed infection with the fibropapilloma-associated turtle herpesvirus (FPTHV) in all cases, albeit at highly variable copy numbers per cell. Alignment of a portion of the polymerase gene from each fibropapilloma-associated turtle herpesvirus isolate demonstrated geographic variation in sequence. These cases illustrate geographic variation in both the pathology and the virology of fibropapillomatosis.

  10. An Updated AP2 Beamline TURTLE Model

    SciTech Connect

    Gormley, M.; O'Day, S.

    1991-08-23

    This note describes a TURTLE model of the AP2 beamline. This model was created by D. Johnson and improved by J. Hangst. The authors of this note have made additional improvements which reflect recent element and magnet setting changes. The magnet characteristics measurements and survey data compiled to update the model will be presented. A printout of the actual TURTLE deck may be found in appendix A.

  11. Bibliography of marine turtles in Hawaii

    SciTech Connect

    Payne, S.F.

    1981-07-01

    Information on the organisms at proposed Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) sites is required to assess the potential impacts of OTEC power plant operations. This bibliography is the product of a literature survey on marine turtles at two proposed OTEC sites in Hawaii. The OTEC sites are located off Keahole Point, Hawaii and Kahe Point, Oahu. The references included in this bibliography provide information on the distribution, ecology and biology of marine turtles in Hawaii.

  12. Stable isotopes in barnacles as a tool to understand green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) regional movement patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Detjen, M.; Sterling, E.; Gómez, A.

    2015-03-01

    Sea turtles are migratory animals that travel long distances between their feeding and breeding grounds. Traditional methods for researching sea turtle migratory behavior have important disadvantages, and the development of alternatives would enhance our ability to monitor and manage these globally endangered species. Here we report on the isotope signatures in green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) barnacles (Platylepas sp.) and discuss their potential relevance as tools with which to study green sea turtle migration and habitat use patterns. We analyzed oxygen (δ18O) and carbon (δ13C) isotope ratios in barnacle calcite layers from specimens collected from green turtles captured at the Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge (PANWR) in the Central Pacific. Carbon isotopes were not informative in this study. However, the oxygen isotope results suggest likely regional movement patterns when mapped onto a predictive oxygen isotope map of the Pacific. Barnacle proxies could therefore complement other methods in understanding regional movement patterns, informing more effective conservation policy that takes into account connectivity between populations.

  13. Stable isotopes in barnacles as a tool to understand green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) regional movement patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Detjen, M.; Sterling, E.; Gómez, A.

    2015-12-01

    Sea turtles are migratory animals that travel long distances between their feeding and breeding grounds. Traditional methods for researching sea turtle migratory behavior have important disadvantages, and the development of alternatives would enhance our ability to monitor and manage these globally endangered species. Here we report on the isotope signatures in green sea-turtle (Chelonia mydas) barnacles (Platylepas sp.) and discuss their potential relevance as tools with which to study green sea turtle migration and habitat use patterns. We analyzed oxygen (δ18O) and carbon (δ13C) isotope ratios in barnacle calcite layers from specimens collected from green turtles captured at the Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge (PANWR) in the central Pacific. Carbon isotopes were not informative in this study. However, the oxygen isotope results suggest likely regional movement patterns when mapped onto a predictive oxygen isotope map of the Pacific. Barnacle proxies could therefore complement other methods in understanding regional movement patterns, informing more effective conservation policy that takes into account connectivity between populations.

  14. Fossorial Origin of the Turtle Shell.

    PubMed

    Lyson, Tyler R; Rubidge, Bruce S; Scheyer, Torsten M; de Queiroz, Kevin; Schachner, Emma R; Smith, Roger M H; Botha-Brink, Jennifer; Bever, G S

    2016-07-25

    The turtle shell is a complex structure that currently serves a largely protective function in this iconically slow-moving group [1]. Developmental [2, 3] and fossil [4-7] data indicate that one of the first steps toward the shelled body plan was broadening of the ribs (approximately 50 my before the completed shell [5]). Broadened ribs alone provide little protection [8] and confer significant locomotory [9, 10] and respiratory [9, 11] costs. They increase thoracic rigidity [8], which decreases speed of locomotion due to shortened stride length [10], and they inhibit effective costal ventilation [9, 11]. New fossil material of the oldest hypothesized stem turtle, Eunotosaurus africanus [12] (260 mya) [13, 14] from the Karoo Basin of South Africa, indicates the initiation of rib broadening was an adaptive response to fossoriality. Similar to extant fossorial taxa [8], the broad ribs of Eunotosaurus provide an intrinsically stable base on which to operate a powerful forelimb digging mechanism. Numerous fossorial correlates [15-17] are expressed throughout Eunotosaurus' skeleton. Most of these features are widely distributed along the turtle stem and into the crown clade, indicating the common ancestor of Eunotosaurus and modern turtles possessed a body plan significantly influenced by digging. The adaptations related to fossoriality likely facilitated movement of stem turtles into aquatic environments early in the groups' evolutionary history, and this ecology may have played an important role in stem turtles surviving the Permian/Triassic extinction event. PMID:27426515

  15. Magnetite in Black Sea Turtles (Chelonia agassizi)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fuentes, A.; Urrutia-Fucugauchi, J.; Garduño, V.; Sanchez, J.; Rizzi, A.

    2004-12-01

    Previous studies have reported experimental evidence for magnetoreception in marine turtles. In order to increase our knowledge about magnetoreception and biogenic mineralization, we have isolated magnetite particles from the brain of specimens of black sea turtles Chelonia agassizi. Our samples come from natural deceased organisms collected the reserve area of Colola Maruata in southern Mexico. The occurrence of magnetite particles in brain tissue of black sea turtles offers the opportunity for further studies to investigate possible function of ferrimagnetic material, its mineralogical composition, grain size, texture and its location and structural arrangement within the host tissue. After sample preparation and microscopic examination, we localized and identified the ultrafine unidimensional particles of magnetite by scanning electron microscope (SEM). Particles present grain sizes between 10.0 to 40.0Mm. Our study provides, for the first time, evidence for biogenic formation of this material in the black sea turtles. The ultrafine particles are apparently superparamagnetic. Preliminary results from rock magnetic measurements are also reported and correlated to the SEM observations. The black turtle story on the Michoacan coast is an example of formerly abundant resource which was utilized as a subsistence level by Nahuatl indigenous group for centuries, but which is collapsing because of intensive illegal commercial exploitation. The most important nesting and breeding grounds for the black sea turtle on any mainland shore are the eastern Pacific coastal areas of Maruata and Colola, in Michoacan. These beaches are characterized by important amounts of magnetic mineral (magnetites and titanomagnetites) mixed in their sediments.

  16. Turtle Escapes the Plane: Some Advanced Turtle Geometry. Artificial Intelligence Memo Number 348.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    diSessa, Andy

    The LOGO Turtles, originally developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Artificial Intelligence Laboratory for teaching concepts in elementary geometry to primary-age children, can also be used in teaching higher-level mathematics. In the exercises described here, the turtle was programed to traverse curved surfaces. Both geometric and…

  17. The Box Turtle: Room with a View on Species Decline.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Belzer, Bill; Steisslinger, Mary Beth

    1999-01-01

    Surveys salient aspects of eastern box-turtle natural history. Explores the societal and ecological factors that have contributed to the decline of the box-turtle population. Contains 18 references. (WRM)

  18. Calcium transport in turtle bladder

    SciTech Connect

    Sabatini, S.; Kurtzman, N.A. )

    1987-12-01

    Unidirectional {sup 45}Ca fluxes were measured in the turtle bladder under open-circuit and short-circuit conditions. In the open-circuited state net calcium flux (J{sup net}{sub Ca}) was secretory (serosa to mucosa). Ouabain reversed J{sup net}{sub Ca} to an absorptive flux. Amiloride reduced both fluxes such that J{sup net}{sub Ca} was not significantly different from zero. Removal of mucosal sodium caused net calcium absorption; removal of serosal sodium caused calcium secretion. When bladders were short circuited, J{sup net}{sub Ca} decreased to approximately one-third of control value but remained secretory. When ouabain was added under short-circuit conditions, J{sup net}{sub Ca} was similar in magnitude and direction to ouabain under open-circuited conditions (i.e., absorptive). Tissue {sup 45}Ca content was {approx equal}30-fold lower when the isotope was placed in the mucosal bath, suggesting that the apical membrane is the resistance barrier to calcium transport. The results obtained in this study are best explained by postulating a Ca{sup 2+}-ATPase on the serosa of the turtle bladder epithelium and a sodium-calcium antiporter on the mucosa. In this model, the energy for calcium movement would be supplied, in large part, by the Na{sup +}-K{sup +}-ATPase. By increasing cell sodium, ouabain would decrease the activity of the mucosal sodium-calcium exchanger (or reverse it), uncovering active calcium transport across the serosa.

  19. Against Oversimplifying the Issues on Relocating Turtle Eggs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mrosovsky, Nicholas

    2008-04-01

    Translocating sea turtle eggs at risk from high tides to safer places is one of the most widely undertaken conservation measures on behalf of these species. Recent research work has shown that individual female turtles differ in their nest-site preferences. If more of the nests saved by translocation come from turtles with tendencies to lay near the water, might this perhaps interfere with natural selection? This possibility adds to the controversy already surrounding relocation of turtle nests.

  20. Reptilian prey of the sonora mud turtle (Kinosternon sonoriense) with comments on saurophagy and ophiophagy in North American Turtles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lovich, J.; Drost, C.; Monatesti, A.J.; Casper, D.; Wood, D.A.; Girard, M.

    2010-01-01

    We detected evidence of predation by the Sonora mud turtle (Kinosternon sonoriense) on the Arizona alligator lizard (Elgaria kingii nobilis) and the ground snake (Sonora semiannulata) at Montezuma Well, Yavapai County, Arizona. Lizards have not been reported in the diet of K. sonoriense, and saurophagy is rare in turtles of the United States, having been reported previously in only two other species:, the false map turtle (Graptemys pseudogeographica) and the eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina). While the diet of K. sonoriense includes snakes, ours is the first record of S. semiannulata as food of this turtle. Ophiophagy also is rare in turtles of the United States with records for only five other species of turtles. Given the opportunistic diets of many North American turtles, including K. sonoriense, the scarcity of published records of saurophagy and ophiophagy likely represents a shortage of observations, not rarity of occurrence.

  1. 50 CFR Appendix F to Part 622 - Specifications for Sea Turtle Mitigation Gear and Sea Turtle Handling and Release Requirements

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... disentangling and dehooking entangled sea turtles. One long-handled device to pull an “inverted V” is required... used to disentangle sea turtles from fishing gear and disengage any hooks, or to clip the line...

  2. 50 CFR 648.109 - Sea turtle conservation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... Summer Flounder Fisheries § 648.109 Sea turtle conservation. Sea turtle regulations are found at 50 CFR... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Sea turtle conservation. 648.109 Section 648.109 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND...

  3. 50 CFR 648.109 - Sea turtle conservation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... Summer Flounder Fisheries § 648.109 Sea turtle conservation. Sea turtle regulations are found at 50 CFR... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 12 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Sea turtle conservation. 648.109 Section 648.109 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND...

  4. 50 CFR 648.109 - Sea turtle conservation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... Summer Flounder Fisheries § 648.109 Sea turtle conservation. Sea turtle regulations are found at 50 CFR... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 12 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Sea turtle conservation. 648.109 Section 648.109 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND...

  5. 21 CFR 1240.62 - Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements....62 Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements. (a) Definition. As used in this section the term “turtles” includes all animals commonly known as turtles, tortoises, terrapins, and all other animals...

  6. 50 CFR 648.109 - Sea turtle conservation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... Summer Flounder Fisheries § 648.109 Sea turtle conservation. Sea turtle regulations are found at 50 CFR... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 12 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Sea turtle conservation. 648.109 Section 648.109 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND...

  7. 50 CFR 648.106 - Sea Turtle conservation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... Summer Flounder Fisheries § 648.106 Sea Turtle conservation. Sea turtle regulations are found at 50 CFR... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 8 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Sea Turtle conservation. 648.106 Section 648.106 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND...

  8. Sea Turtles: An Auditorium Program, Grades 6-9.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD. Dept. of Education.

    The National Aquarium in Baltimore's sea turtle auditorium program introduces students in grades 6-9 to the seven (or eight, depending on which expert is consulted) species of sea turtles alive today. The program, which includes slides, films, artifacts, and discussion, focuses on sea turtle biology and conservation. This booklet covers most of…

  9. Decline of the Sea Turtles: Causes and Prevention.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Academy of Sciences - National Research Council, Washington, DC. Commission on Life Sciences.

    A report submitted by the Committee on Sea Turtle Conservation, addresses threats to the world's sea turtle populations to fulfill a mandate of the Endangered Species Act Amendments of 1988. It presents information on the populations, biology, ecology, and behavior of five endangered or threatened turtle species: the Kemp's ridley, loggerhead,…

  10. Science 101: How Do Animals Navigate during Migration?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robertson, William C.

    2007-01-01

    Migrating animals do amazing things. Homing pigeons can find their way "home" across hundreds of miles; salmon return to their spawning location thousands of miles away; turtles travel over eight thousand miles to lay their eggs in the spot where they originally hatched. Scientists have studied how animals navigate around the globe and have…

  11. Nesting Ecology of Hawksbill Sea Turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) on Utila, Honduras

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Damazo, Lindsey Renee Eggers

    The hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) has a circumtropical distribution and plays an important role in maintaining the health of coral reefs. Unfortunately, hawksbill populations have been decimated, and estimated numbers in the Caribbean are less than 10% of populations a century ago. The hawksbill is considered Critically Endangered, and researchers are coordinating worldwide efforts to protect this species. One country where we lack knowledge regarding hawksbills is Honduras. This study aimed to increase our understanding of hawksbill nesting ecology in Caribbean Honduras. Characteristics of hawksbill nesting activity and a nesting beach on the island of Utila were elucidated using satellite telemetry, beach profiling, vegetation surveys, beach monitoring, and nest temperature profiles. We affixed satellite transmitters to two nesting hawksbills, and found the turtles migrated to different countries. One turtle traveled 403 km to a bay in Mexico, and the other traveled 181 km to a Marine Protected Area off Belize. This study presents the first description of hawksbill migration routes from Honduras, facilitating protection efforts for turtles that traverse international waters. To investigate nesting beach and turtle characteristics, we conducted beach monitoring during the 2012 nesting season. Nesting turtle carapace sizes were similar to worldwide values, but hatchlings were heavier. To measure nest temperatures, we placed thermocouple data loggers in four nests and four pseudo-nests. Data suggested metabolic heating may be maintaining nest temperatures above the pivotal temperature. However, large temperature fluctuations corresponding to rainfall from Hurricane Ernesto (as determined using a time series cross-correlation analysis) make it difficult to predict sex ratios, and underscore the impact stochastic events can have on nest temperatures. We created topographic and substrate profiles of the beach, and found it was 475 m long, yet hawksbills

  12. Clinical pathology reference intervals for an in-water population of juvenile loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in Core Sound, North Carolina, USA.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Terra R; McNeill, Joanne Braun; Avens, Larisa; Hall, April Goodman; Goshe, Lisa R; Hohn, Aleta A; Godfrey, Matthew H; Mihnovets, A Nicole; Cluse, Wendy M; Harms, Craig A

    2015-01-01

    The loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) is found throughout the waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. It is a protected species throughout much of its range due to threats such as habitat loss, fisheries interactions, hatchling predation, and marine debris. Loggerheads that occur in the southeastern U.S. are listed as "threatened" on the U.S. Endangered Species List, and receive state and federal protection. As part of an on-going population assessment conducted by the National Marine Fisheries Service, samples were collected from juvenile loggerhead sea turtles in Core Sound, North Carolina, between 2004 and 2007 to gain insight on the baseline health of the threatened Northwest Atlantic Ocean population. The aims of the current study were to establish hematologic and biochemical reference intervals for this population, and to assess variation of the hematologic and plasma biochemical analytes by season, water temperature, and sex and size of the turtles. Reference intervals for the clinical pathology parameters were estimated following Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute guidelines. Season, water temperature, sex, and size of the turtles were found to be significant factors of variation for parameter values. Seasonal variation could be attributed to physiological effects of decreasing photoperiod, cooler water temperature, and migration during the fall months. Packed cell volume, total protein, and albumin increased with increasing size of the turtles. The size-related differences in analytes documented in the present study are consistent with other reports of variation in clinical pathology parameters by size and age in sea turtles. As a component of a health assessment of juvenile loggerhead sea turtles in North Carolina, this study will serve as a baseline aiding in evaluation of trends for this population and as a diagnostic tool for assessing the health and prognosis for loggerhead sea turtles undergoing rehabilitation. PMID:25738772

  13. Clinical Pathology Reference Intervals for an In-Water Population of Juvenile Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta) in Core Sound, North Carolina, USA

    PubMed Central

    Kelly, Terra R.; McNeill, Joanne Braun; Avens, Larisa; Hall, April Goodman; Goshe, Lisa R.; Hohn, Aleta A.; Godfrey, Matthew H.; Mihnovets, A. Nicole; Cluse, Wendy M.; Harms, Craig A.

    2015-01-01

    The loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) is found throughout the waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. It is a protected species throughout much of its range due to threats such as habitat loss, fisheries interactions, hatchling predation, and marine debris. Loggerheads that occur in the southeastern U.S. are listed as “threatened” on the U.S. Endangered Species List, and receive state and federal protection. As part of an on-going population assessment conducted by the National Marine Fisheries Service, samples were collected from juvenile loggerhead sea turtles in Core Sound, North Carolina, between 2004 and 2007 to gain insight on the baseline health of the threatened Northwest Atlantic Ocean population. The aims of the current study were to establish hematologic and biochemical reference intervals for this population, and to assess variation of the hematologic and plasma biochemical analytes by season, water temperature, and sex and size of the turtles. Reference intervals for the clinical pathology parameters were estimated following Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute guidelines. Season, water temperature, sex, and size of the turtles were found to be significant factors of variation for parameter values. Seasonal variation could be attributed to physiological effects of decreasing photoperiod, cooler water temperature, and migration during the fall months. Packed cell volume, total protein, and albumin increased with increasing size of the turtles. The size-related differences in analytes documented in the present study are consistent with other reports of variation in clinical pathology parameters by size and age in sea turtles. As a component of a health assessment of juvenile loggerhead sea turtles in North Carolina, this study will serve as a baseline aiding in evaluation of trends for this population and as a diagnostic tool for assessing the health and prognosis for loggerhead sea turtles undergoing rehabilitation. PMID

  14. 50 CFR 665.813 - Western Pacific longline fishing restrictions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ...) Limits on sea turtle interactions. (1) Maximum annual limits are established on the number of physical interactions that occur each calendar year between leatherback and loggerhead sea turtles and vessels... leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) is 16, and the annual limit for loggerhead sea turtles...

  15. Geometry and self-righting of turtles

    PubMed Central

    Domokos, Gábor; Várkonyi, Péter L

    2007-01-01

    Terrestrial animals with rigid shells face imminent danger when turned upside down. A rich variety of righting strategies of beetle and turtle species have been described, but the exact role of the shell's geometry in righting is so far unknown. These strategies are often based on active mechanisms, e.g. most beetles self-right via motion of their legs or wings; flat, aquatic turtles use their muscular neck to flip back. On the other hand, highly domed, terrestrial turtles with short limbs and necks have virtually no active control: here shape itself may serve as a fundamental tool. Based on field data gathered on a broad spectrum of aquatic and terrestrial turtle species we develop a geometric model of the shell. Inspired by recent mathematical results, we demonstrate that a simple mechanical classification of the model is closely linked to the animals' righting strategy. Specifically, we show that the exact geometry of highly domed terrestrial species is close to optimal for self-righting, and the shell's shape is the predominant factor of their ability to flip back. Our study illustrates how evolution solved a far-from-trivial geometrical problem and equipped some turtles with monostatic shells: beautiful forms, which rarely appear in nature otherwise. PMID:17939984

  16. Epibiotic Diatoms Are Universally Present on All Sea Turtle Species.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Nathan J; Majewska, Roksana; Lazo-Wasem, Eric A; Nel, Ronel; Paladino, Frank V; Rojas, Lourdes; Zardus, John D; Pinou, Theodora

    2016-01-01

    The macro-epibiotic communities of sea turtles have been subject to growing interest in recent years, yet their micro-epibiotic counterparts are almost entirely unknown. Here, we provide the first evidence that diatoms are epibionts for all seven extant species of sea turtle. Using Scanning Electron Microscopy, we inspected superficial carapace or skin samples from a single representative of each turtle species. We distinguished 18 diatom taxa from these seven individuals, with each sea turtle species hosting at least two diatom taxa. We recommend that future research is undertaken to confirm whether diatom communities vary between sea turtle species and whether these diatom taxa are facultative or obligate commensals. PMID:27257972

  17. Epibiotic Diatoms Are Universally Present on All Sea Turtle Species

    PubMed Central

    Majewska, Roksana; Lazo-Wasem, Eric A.; Nel, Ronel; Paladino, Frank V.; Rojas, Lourdes; Zardus, John D.; Pinou, Theodora

    2016-01-01

    The macro-epibiotic communities of sea turtles have been subject to growing interest in recent years, yet their micro-epibiotic counterparts are almost entirely unknown. Here, we provide the first evidence that diatoms are epibionts for all seven extant species of sea turtle. Using Scanning Electron Microscopy, we inspected superficial carapace or skin samples from a single representative of each turtle species. We distinguished 18 diatom taxa from these seven individuals, with each sea turtle species hosting at least two diatom taxa. We recommend that future research is undertaken to confirm whether diatom communities vary between sea turtle species and whether these diatom taxa are facultative or obligate commensals. PMID:27257972

  18. The draft genomes of soft-shell turtle and green sea turtle yield insights into the development and evolution of the turtle-specific body plan.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhuo; Pascual-Anaya, Juan; Zadissa, Amonida; Li, Wenqi; Niimura, Yoshihito; Huang, Zhiyong; Li, Chunyi; White, Simon; Xiong, Zhiqiang; Fang, Dongming; Wang, Bo; Ming, Yao; Chen, Yan; Zheng, Yuan; Kuraku, Shigehiro; Pignatelli, Miguel; Herrero, Javier; Beal, Kathryn; Nozawa, Masafumi; Li, Qiye; Wang, Juan; Zhang, Hongyan; Yu, Lili; Shigenobu, Shuji; Wang, Junyi; Liu, Jiannan; Flicek, Paul; Searle, Steve; Wang, Jun; Kuratani, Shigeru; Yin, Ye; Aken, Bronwen; Zhang, Guojie; Irie, Naoki

    2013-06-01

    The unique anatomical features of turtles have raised unanswered questions about the origin of their unique body plan. We generated and analyzed draft genomes of the soft-shell turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis) and the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas); our results indicated the close relationship of the turtles to the bird-crocodilian lineage, from which they split ∼267.9-248.3 million years ago (Upper Permian to Triassic). We also found extensive expansion of olfactory receptor genes in these turtles. Embryonic gene expression analysis identified an hourglass-like divergence of turtle and chicken embryogenesis, with maximal conservation around the vertebrate phylotypic period, rather than at later stages that show the amniote-common pattern. Wnt5a expression was found in the growth zone of the dorsal shell, supporting the possible co-option of limb-associated Wnt signaling in the acquisition of this turtle-specific novelty. Our results suggest that turtle evolution was accompanied by an unexpectedly conservative vertebrate phylotypic period, followed by turtle-specific repatterning of development to yield the novel structure of the shell. PMID:23624526

  19. 76 FR 29718 - Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries; American Samoa Longline Gear Modifications To Reduce Turtle...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-05-23

    ... Fisheries; American Samoa Longline Gear Modifications To Reduce Turtle Interactions AGENCY: National Marine... Pacific green sea turtles, which will enable American Samoa longline fishing vessels to continue... turtle populations. DATES: Comments on Amendment 5, including an environmental assessment, must...

  20. A sinemydid turtle from the Jehol Biota provides insights into the basal divergence of crown turtles

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Chang-Fu; Rabi, Márton

    2015-01-01

    Morphological phylogenies stand in a major conflict with molecular hypotheses regarding the phylogeny of Cryptodira, the most diverse and widely distributed clade of extant turtles. However, molecular hypotheses are often considered a better estimate of phylogeny given that it is more consistent with the stratigraphic and geographic distribution of extinct taxa. That morphology fails to reproduce the molecular topology partly originates from problematic character polarization due to yet another contradiction around the composition of the cryptodiran stem lineage. Extinct sinemydids are one of these problematic clades: they have been either placed among stem-cryptodires, stem-chelonioid sea turtles, or even stem-turtles. A new sinemydid from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota (Yixian Formation, Barremian-Early Aptian) of China, Xiaochelys ningchengensis gen. et sp. nov., allows for a reassessment of the phylogenetic position of Sinemydidae. Our analysis indicates that sinemydids mostly share symplesiomorphies with sea turtles and their purported placement outside the crown-group of turtles is an artefact of previous datasets. The best current phylogenetic estimate is therefore that sinemydids are part of the stem lineage of Cryptodira together with an array of other Jurassic to Cretaceous taxa. Our study further emphasises the importance of using molecular scaffolds in global turtle analyses. PMID:26553740

  1. A sinemydid turtle from the Jehol Biota provides insights into the basal divergence of crown turtles.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Chang-Fu; Rabi, Márton

    2015-01-01

    Morphological phylogenies stand in a major conflict with molecular hypotheses regarding the phylogeny of Cryptodira, the most diverse and widely distributed clade of extant turtles. However, molecular hypotheses are often considered a better estimate of phylogeny given that it is more consistent with the stratigraphic and geographic distribution of extinct taxa. That morphology fails to reproduce the molecular topology partly originates from problematic character polarization due to yet another contradiction around the composition of the cryptodiran stem lineage. Extinct sinemydids are one of these problematic clades: they have been either placed among stem-cryptodires, stem-chelonioid sea turtles, or even stem-turtles. A new sinemydid from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota (Yixian Formation, Barremian-Early Aptian) of China, Xiaochelys ningchengensis gen. et sp. nov., allows for a reassessment of the phylogenetic position of Sinemydidae. Our analysis indicates that sinemydids mostly share symplesiomorphies with sea turtles and their purported placement outside the crown-group of turtles is an artefact of previous datasets. The best current phylogenetic estimate is therefore that sinemydids are part of the stem lineage of Cryptodira together with an array of other Jurassic to Cretaceous taxa. Our study further emphasises the importance of using molecular scaffolds in global turtle analyses. PMID:26553740

  2. Shell bone histology indicates terrestrial palaeoecology of basal turtles

    PubMed Central

    Scheyer, Torsten M; Sander, P.Martin

    2007-01-01

    The palaeoecology of basal turtles from the Late Triassic was classically viewed as being semi-aquatic, similar to the lifestyle of modern snapping turtles. Lately, this view was questioned based on limb bone proportions, and a terrestrial palaeoecology was suggested for the turtle stem. Here, we present independent shell bone microstructural evidence for a terrestrial habitat of the oldest and basal most well-known turtles, i.e. the Upper Triassic Proterochersis robusta and Proganochelys quenstedti. Comparison of their shell bone histology with that of extant turtles preferring either aquatic habitats or terrestrial habitats clearly reveals congruence with terrestrial turtle taxa. Similarities in the shell bones of these turtles are a diploe structure with well-developed external and internal cortices, weak vascularization of the compact bone layers and a dense nature of the interior cancellous bone with overall short trabeculae. On the other hand, ‘aquatic’ turtles tend to reduce cortical bone layers, while increasing overall vascularization of the bone tissue. In contrast to the study of limb bone proportions, the present study is independent from the uncommon preservation of appendicular skeletal elements in fossil turtles, enabling the palaeoecological study of a much broader range of incompletely known turtle taxa in the fossil record. PMID:17519193

  3. Body burdens of heavy metals in Lake Michigan wetland turtles.

    PubMed

    Smith, Dayna L; Cooper, Matthew J; Kosiara, Jessica M; Lamberti, Gary A

    2016-02-01

    Tissue heavy metal concentrations in painted (Chrysemys picta) and snapping (Chelydra serpentina) turtles from Lake Michigan coastal wetlands were analyzed to determine (1) whether turtles accumulated heavy metals, (2) if tissue metal concentrations were related to environmental metal concentrations, and (3) the potential for non-lethal sampling techniques to be used for monitoring heavy metal body burdens in freshwater turtles. Muscle, liver, shell, and claw samples were collected from painted and snapping turtles and analyzed for cadmium, chromium, copper, iron, lead, magnesium, manganese, and zinc. Turtle tissues had measurable quantities of all eight metals analyzed. Statistically significant correlations between tissue metal concentrations and sediment metal concentrations were found for a subset of metals. Metals were generally found in higher concentrations in the larger snapping turtles than in painted turtles. In addition, non-lethal samples of shell and claw were found to be possible alternatives to lethal liver and muscle samples for some metals. Human consumption of snapping turtles presents potential health risks if turtles are harvested from contaminated areas. Overall, our results suggest that turtles could be a valuable component of contaminant monitoring programs for wetland ecosystems. PMID:26832725

  4. Ghrelin and leptin modulate the feeding behaviour of the hawksbill turtle Eretmochelys imbricata during nesting season

    PubMed Central

    Goldberg, Daphne Wrobel; Leitão, Santiago Alonso Tobar; Godfrey, Matthew H.; Lopez, Gustave Gilles; Santos, Armando José Barsante; Neves, Fabiana Alves; de Souza, Érica Patrícia Garcia; Moura, Anibal Sanchez; Bastos, Jayme da Cunha; Bastos, Vera Lúcia Freire da Cunha

    2013-01-01

    Female sea turtles have rarely been observed foraging during the nesting season. This suggests that prior to their migration to nesting beaches the females must store sufficient energy and nutrients at their foraging grounds and must be physiologically capable of undergoing months without feeding. Leptin (an appetite-suppressing protein) and ghrelin (a hunger-stimulating peptide) affect body weight by influencing energy intake in all vertebrates. We investigated the levels of these hormones and other physiological and nutritional parameters in nesting hawksbill sea turtles in Rio Grande do Norte State, Brazil, by collecting consecutive blood samples from 41 turtles during the 2010–2011 and 2011–2012 reproductive seasons. We found that levels of serum leptin decreased over the nesting season, which potentially relaxed suppression of food intake and stimulated females to begin foraging either during or after the post-nesting migration. Concurrently, we recorded an increasing trend in ghrelin, which may have stimulated food intake towards the end of the nesting season. Both findings are consistent with the prediction that post-nesting females will begin to forage, either during or immediately after their post-nesting migration. We observed no seasonal trend for other physiological parameters (values of packed cell volume and serum levels of alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, γ-glutamyl transferase, low-density lipoprotein, and high-density lipoprotein). The observed downward trends in general serum biochemistry levels were probably due to the physiological challenge of vitellogenesis and nesting in addition to limited energy resources and probable fasting. PMID:27293600

  5. Pestomuhkati Atkuhkakonol. Mikcic (Passamaquoddy Legends. Turtle).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wabnaki Bilingual Educational Program, Indian Township, ME.

    This illustrated reader contains a Passamaquoddy version of a traditional Wabnaki legend about the origin of the turtle. It is one of a series of readers containing Passamaquoddy legends and is intended for use in a bilingual education setting. Each page presents the text in the Passamaquoddy language and in a literal English translation. A…

  6. Long range radio tracking of sea turtles and polar bear: Instrumentation and preliminary results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baldwin, H. A.

    1972-01-01

    Instrumentation developed for studies of path behavior of the green sea turtle and migration movement of polar bear is described. Preliminary results bearing on navigation ability in these species are presented. Both species operate in difficult environments, and the problems faced in the design of electronic instrumentation for these studies are not completely specified at this time. However, the critical factors yet to be understood are primarily related to the behavior of instrumented animals. The data obtained with these experimental techniques are included, first to illustrate the technique and, second to provide initial preliminary results bearing on animal navigation.

  7. Age and residency duration of loggerhead turtles at a North Pacific bycatch hotspot using skeletochronology

    PubMed Central

    Tomaszewicz, Calandra N. Turner; Seminoff, Jeffrey A.; Avens, Larisa; Goshe, Lisa R.; Peckham, S. Hoyt; Rguez-Baron, Juan M.; Bickerman, Kalyn; Kurle, Carolyn M.

    2015-01-01

    For migratory marine animals, like sea turtles, effective conservation can be challenging because key demographic information such as duration of life stages and exposure to spatially explicit threats in different habitats are often unknown. In the eastern Pacific near the Baja California Peninsula (BCP), Mexico, tens of thousands of endangered North Pacific loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) concentrate at a foraging area known to have high rates of fishery bycatch. Because stage survivorship of loggerheads in the BCP will vary significantly depending on the number of years spent in this region, we applied skeletochronology to empirically estimate residency duration in this loggerhead hotspot. The observed age distribution obtained from skeletochronology analysis of 146 dead-stranded loggerheads ranged from three to 24 years old, suggesting a BCP residency of >20 years. Given the maximum estimated age and a one-year migration to western Pacific nesting beaches, we infer age-at-maturation for BCP loggerheads at ~25 years old. We also examine survivorship at varying BCP residency durations by applying our findings to current annual mortality estimates. Predicted survivorship of loggerheads spending over 20 years in this BCP foraging habitat is less than 10%, and given that ~43,000 loggerhead turtles forage here, a significant number of turtles are at extreme risk in this region. This is the first empirical evidence supporting estimated age-at-maturation for BCP North Pacific loggerheads, and the first estimates of BCP stage survivorship. Our findings emphasize the urgent need for continued and effective international conservation efforts to minimize bycatch of this endangered species. PMID:25848136

  8. Global conservation priorities for marine turtles.

    PubMed

    Wallace, Bryan P; DiMatteo, Andrew D; Bolten, Alan B; Chaloupka, Milani Y; Hutchinson, Brian J; Abreu-Grobois, F Alberto; Mortimer, Jeanne A; Seminoff, Jeffrey A; Amorocho, Diego; Bjorndal, Karen A; Bourjea, Jérôme; Bowen, Brian W; Briseño Dueñas, Raquel; Casale, Paolo; Choudhury, B C; Costa, Alice; Dutton, Peter H; Fallabrino, Alejandro; Finkbeiner, Elena M; Girard, Alexandre; Girondot, Marc; Hamann, Mark; Hurley, Brendan J; López-Mendilaharsu, Milagros; Marcovaldi, Maria Angela; Musick, John A; Nel, Ronel; Pilcher, Nicolas J; Troëng, Sebastian; Witherington, Blair; Mast, Roderic B

    2011-01-01

    Where conservation resources are limited and conservation targets are diverse, robust yet flexible priority-setting frameworks are vital. Priority-setting is especially important for geographically widespread species with distinct populations subject to multiple threats that operate on different spatial and temporal scales. Marine turtles are widely distributed and exhibit intra-specific variations in population sizes and trends, as well as reproduction and morphology. However, current global extinction risk assessment frameworks do not assess conservation status of spatially and biologically distinct marine turtle Regional Management Units (RMUs), and thus do not capture variations in population trends, impacts of threats, or necessary conservation actions across individual populations. To address this issue, we developed a new assessment framework that allowed us to evaluate, compare and organize marine turtle RMUs according to status and threats criteria. Because conservation priorities can vary widely (i.e. from avoiding imminent extinction to maintaining long-term monitoring efforts) we developed a "conservation priorities portfolio" system using categories of paired risk and threats scores for all RMUs (n = 58). We performed these assessments and rankings globally, by species, by ocean basin, and by recognized geopolitical bodies to identify patterns in risk, threats, and data gaps at different scales. This process resulted in characterization of risk and threats to all marine turtle RMUs, including identification of the world's 11 most endangered marine turtle RMUs based on highest risk and threats scores. This system also highlighted important gaps in available information that is crucial for accurate conservation assessments. Overall, this priority-setting framework can provide guidance for research and conservation priorities at multiple relevant scales, and should serve as a model for conservation status assessments and priority-setting for

  9. Global Conservation Priorities for Marine Turtles

    PubMed Central

    Wallace, Bryan P.; DiMatteo, Andrew D.; Bolten, Alan B.; Chaloupka, Milani Y.; Hutchinson, Brian J.; Abreu-Grobois, F. Alberto; Mortimer, Jeanne A.; Seminoff, Jeffrey A.; Amorocho, Diego; Bjorndal, Karen A.; Bourjea, Jérôme; Bowen, Brian W.; Briseño Dueñas, Raquel; Casale, Paolo; Choudhury, B. C.; Costa, Alice; Dutton, Peter H.; Fallabrino, Alejandro; Finkbeiner, Elena M.; Girard, Alexandre; Girondot, Marc; Hamann, Mark; Hurley, Brendan J.; López-Mendilaharsu, Milagros; Marcovaldi, Maria Angela; Musick, John A.; Nel, Ronel; Pilcher, Nicolas J.; Troëng, Sebastian; Witherington, Blair; Mast, Roderic B.

    2011-01-01

    Where conservation resources are limited and conservation targets are diverse, robust yet flexible priority-setting frameworks are vital. Priority-setting is especially important for geographically widespread species with distinct populations subject to multiple threats that operate on different spatial and temporal scales. Marine turtles are widely distributed and exhibit intra-specific variations in population sizes and trends, as well as reproduction and morphology. However, current global extinction risk assessment frameworks do not assess conservation status of spatially and biologically distinct marine turtle Regional Management Units (RMUs), and thus do not capture variations in population trends, impacts of threats, or necessary conservation actions across individual populations. To address this issue, we developed a new assessment framework that allowed us to evaluate, compare and organize marine turtle RMUs according to status and threats criteria. Because conservation priorities can vary widely (i.e. from avoiding imminent extinction to maintaining long-term monitoring efforts) we developed a “conservation priorities portfolio” system using categories of paired risk and threats scores for all RMUs (n = 58). We performed these assessments and rankings globally, by species, by ocean basin, and by recognized geopolitical bodies to identify patterns in risk, threats, and data gaps at different scales. This process resulted in characterization of risk and threats to all marine turtle RMUs, including identification of the world's 11 most endangered marine turtle RMUs based on highest risk and threats scores. This system also highlighted important gaps in available information that is crucial for accurate conservation assessments. Overall, this priority-setting framework can provide guidance for research and conservation priorities at multiple relevant scales, and should serve as a model for conservation status assessments and priority-setting for

  10. Turtle-Associated Salmonellosis, United States, 2006-2014.

    PubMed

    Bosch, Stacey; Tauxe, Robert V; Behravesh, Casey Barton

    2016-07-01

    During 2006-2014, a total of 15 multistate outbreaks of turtle-associated salmonellosis in humans were reported in the United States. Exposure to small pet turtles has long been recognized as a source of human salmonellosis. The risk to public health has persisted and may be increasing. Turtles are a popular reptilian pet among children, and numerous risky behaviors for the zoonotic transmission of Salmonella bacteria to children have been reported in recent outbreaks. Despite a long-standing federal ban against the sale and distribution of turtles <4 in (<10.16 cm) long, these small reptiles can be readily acquired through multiple venues and continue to be the main source of turtle-associated salmonellosis in children. Enhanced efforts are needed to minimize the disease risk associated with small turtle exposure. Prevention will require novel partnerships and a comprehensive One Health approach involving human, animal, and environmental health. PMID:27315584

  11. Turtle-Associated Salmonellosis, United States, 2006–2014

    PubMed Central

    Tauxe, Robert V.; Behravesh, Casey Barton

    2016-01-01

    During 2006–2014, a total of 15 multistate outbreaks of turtle-associated salmonellosis in humans were reported in the United States. Exposure to small pet turtles has long been recognized as a source of human salmonellosis. The risk to public health has persisted and may be increasing. Turtles are a popular reptilian pet among children, and numerous risky behaviors for the zoonotic transmission of Salmonella bacteria to children have been reported in recent outbreaks. Despite a long-standing federal ban against the sale and distribution of turtles <4 in (<10.16 cm) long, these small reptiles can be readily acquired through multiple venues and continue to be the main source of turtle-associated salmonellosis in children. Enhanced efforts are needed to minimize the disease risk associated with small turtle exposure. Prevention will require novel partnerships and a comprehensive One Health approach involving human, animal, and environmental health. PMID:27315584

  12. An ancestral turtle from the Late Triassic of southwestern China.

    PubMed

    Li, Chun; Wu, Xiao-Chun; Rieppel, Olivier; Wang, Li-Ting; Zhao, Li-Jun

    2008-11-27

    The origin of the turtle body plan remains one of the great mysteries of reptile evolution. The anatomy of turtles is highly derived, which renders it difficult to establish the relationships of turtles with other groups of reptiles. The oldest known turtle, Proganochelys from the Late Triassic period of Germany, has a fully formed shell and offers no clue as to its origin. Here we describe a new 220-million-year-old turtle from China, somewhat older than Proganochelys, that documents an intermediate step in the evolution of the shell and associated structures. A ventral plastron is fully developed, but the dorsal carapace consists of neural plates only. The dorsal ribs are expanded, and osteoderms are absent. The new species shows that the plastron evolved before the carapace and that the first step of carapace formation is the ossification of the neural plates coupled with a broadening of the ribs. This corresponds to early embryonic stages of carapace formation in extant turtles, and shows that the turtle shell is not derived from a fusion of osteoderms. Phylogenetic analysis places the new species basal to all known turtles, fossil and extant. The marine deposits that yielded the fossils indicate that this primitive turtle inhabited marginal areas of the sea or river deltas. PMID:19037315

  13. Tumors in sea turtles: the insidious menace of fibropapillomatosis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Work, Thierry M.; Balazs, George H.

    2013-01-01

    Early in July 2013, a colleague in New Caledonia reported the stranding of a green sea turtle on the far northwest of the island. The animal had washed up dead on a rocky beach with multiple large tumors on its neck and hind flippers. To all appearances, the turtle had fibropapillomatosis (FP), a tumor disease affecting marine turtles globally. This was the first known case of FP on the island—an alarming find, and another example of the creeping expansion of this disease in green turtles around the world.

  14. A Middle Triassic stem-turtle and the evolution of the turtle body plan.

    PubMed

    Schoch, Rainer R; Sues, Hans-Dieter

    2015-07-30

    The origin and early evolution of turtles have long been major contentious issues in vertebrate zoology. This is due to conflicting character evidence from molecules and morphology and a lack of transitional fossils from the critical time interval. The ∼220-million-year-old stem-turtle Odontochelys from China has a partly formed shell and many turtle-like features in its postcranial skeleton. Unlike the 214-million-year-old Proganochelys from Germany and Thailand, it retains marginal teeth and lacks a carapace. Odontochelys is separated by a large temporal gap from the ∼260-million-year-old Eunotosaurus from South Africa, which has been hypothesized as the earliest stem-turtle. Here we report a new reptile, Pappochelys, that is structurally and chronologically intermediate between Eunotosaurus and Odontochelys and dates from the Middle Triassic period (∼240 million years ago). The three taxa share anteroposteriorly broad trunk ribs that are T-shaped in cross-section and bear sculpturing, elongate dorsal vertebrae, and modified limb girdles. Pappochelys closely resembles Odontochelys in various features of the limb girdles. Unlike Odontochelys, it has a cuirass of robust paired gastralia in place of a plastron. Pappochelys provides new evidence that the plastron partly formed through serial fusion of gastralia. Its skull has small upper and ventrally open lower temporal fenestrae, supporting the hypothesis of diapsid affinities of turtles. PMID:26106865

  15. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Slider Turtle

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Morreale, Stephen J.; Gibbons, J. Whitfield

    1986-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the slider turtle (Pseudemys scripta). The model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application and is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) and 1.0 (optimum habitat). HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  16. 75 FR 52937 - Turtle Bayou Gas Storage Company, LLC; Notice of Application

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-08-30

    ... Energy Regulatory Commission Turtle Bayou Gas Storage Company, LLC; Notice of Application August 20, 2010. Take notice that on August 6, 2010, Turtle Bayou Gas Storage Company, LLC (Turtle Bayou), One Office... caverns and related facilities to be located in Chambers and Liberty Counties, Texas. Turtle Bayou...

  17. 76 FR 47133 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Finding and 12-Month Determination on a...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-08-04

    ... concerned. Previous Federal Actions In 1970, the leatherback sea turtle was listed as endangered (35 FR 8491... turtle on March 23, 1978 (43 FR 12050), in the U.S. Virgin Islands to include: ``A strip of land 0.2... designated critical habitat for the leatherback sea turtle on March 23, 1979 (44 FR 17710), in the...

  18. 75 FR 7434 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Proposed Rule to Revise the Critical Habitat Designation for...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-02-19

    ... Endangered Leatherback Sea Turtle (75 FR 319). That Federal Register notice began NMFS' 60-day comment period... Turtle; Extension of Public Comment Period AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National... designation for the endangered leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) by designating additional...

  19. Individual variation in feeding habitat use by adult female green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas): are they obligately neritic herbivores?

    PubMed

    Hatase, Hideo; Sato, Katsufumi; Yamaguchi, Manami; Takahashi, Kotaro; Tsukamoto, Katsumi

    2006-08-01

    Satellite telemetry and stable isotope analysis were used to confirm that oceanic areas (where water depths are >200 m) are alternative feeding habitats for adult female green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), which have been thought to be obligate herbivores in neritic areas (where depths are <200 m). Four females were tagged with satellite transmitters and tracked during post-nesting periods from Ogasawara Islands, Japan. Three females migrated to neritic habitats, while transmissions from another female ceased in an oceanic habitat. The overall mean nighttime dive depths during oceanic swimming periods in two females were <20 m, implying that the main function of their nighttime dives were resting with neutral buoyancy, whereas the means in two other females were >20 m, implying that they not only rested, but also foraged on macroplankton that exhibit diel vertical migration. Comparisons of stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios between 89 females and the prey items in a three-source mixing model estimated that 69% of the females nesting on Ogasawara Islands mainly used neritic habitats and 31% mainly used oceanic habitats. Out of four females tracked by satellite, two females were inferred from isotope ratios to be neritic herbivores and the two others oceanic planktivores. Although post-nesting movements for four females were not completely consistent with the inferences from isotope ratios, possibly due to short tracking periods (28-42 days), their diving behaviors were consistent with the inferences. There were no relationships between body size and the two isotope ratios, indicating a lack of size-related differences in feeding habitat use by adult female green turtles, which was in contrast with loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta). These results and previous findings suggest that ontogenetic habitat shifts by sea turtles are facultative, and consequently, their life histories are polymorphic. PMID:16683139

  20. Endohelminths of European pond turtle Emys orbicularis in Southwest Iran.

    PubMed

    Shayegh, Hossein; Rajabloo, Mohammad; Gholamhosseini, Amin; Mootabi Alavi, Amir; Salarian, Parisa; Zolfaghari, Ali

    2016-03-01

    Very little is known about parasitic diseases of European pond turtles (Emys orbicularis) in Iran. The objective of this study is to examine parasitic fauna of European pond turtles collected from Fars province, southwest Iran. Carcasses of turtles (n = 52) which died during dredging procedure are collected from earthen fishery basins in Zarghan region. They have been died earlier during dredging procedure in different farms. Three species of helminths in total were found in gastrointestinal tract, including two nematodes (Serpinema microcephalus and Falcaustra araxiana) and one digenean trematod (Telorchis assula). Large intestines of all examined turtles were infected by F. araxiana (100 %, Mean intensity = 18) and this nematode were also found in gastric nodules. Nine turtles (17.3 %, 3 male, 6 female, Mean intensity = 3) were infected with Serpinema microcephalus. T. assula were found in 25 turtles (48.07 %, 5 male, 20 female, mean intensity = 5). Helminths were not found in any examined organs and no ectoparasite found eighter. F. araxiana is the most prevalent nematode in European pond turtles. Detection of Serpinema.microcephalus is in agreement with the fact which this parasite is common parasite of turtles in all over the world. T. assula might be transmitted between variety of reptiles so presence of the trematod should be considered as a risk factor for other reptiles. PMID:27065624

  1. Assessing Trophic Position and Mercury Accumulation in Sanpping Turtles

    EPA Science Inventory

    This study determined the trophic position and the total mercury concentrations of snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) captured from 26 freshwater sites in Rhode Island. Turtles were captured in baited wire cages, and a non-lethal sampling technique was used in which tips of ...

  2. Learning from Experience: A Report from Mexico's Turtle Trip 2000.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jankowska, Marta Maja

    2000-01-01

    Fifteen high school students and adults from Idaho traveled to Mexico to assist the One World Workforce with monitoring the nests of olive ridley sea turtles. Only 1 percent of these endangered turtles mature to adulthood. The volunteers protected the eggs from poachers and helped the hatchlings get safely to the water. (TD)

  3. 42 CFR 71.52 - Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... (21 CFR 1240.62) regarding general prohibition. (g) Other permits. Permits to import certain species of turtles may be required under other Federal regulations (50 CFR parts 17 and 23) protecting such... 42 Public Health 1 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins. 71.52 Section...

  4. 42 CFR 71.52 - Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... (21 CFR 1240.62) regarding general prohibition. (g) Other permits. Permits to import certain species of turtles may be required under other Federal regulations (50 CFR parts 17 and 23) protecting such... 42 Public Health 1 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins. 71.52 Section...

  5. 42 CFR 71.52 - Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... (21 CFR 1240.62) regarding general prohibition. (g) Other permits. Permits to import certain species of turtles may be required under other Federal regulations (50 CFR parts 17 and 23) protecting such... 42 Public Health 1 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins. 71.52 Section...

  6. 42 CFR 71.52 - Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... (21 CFR 1240.62) regarding general prohibition. (g) Other permits. Permits to import certain species of turtles may be required under other Federal regulations (50 CFR parts 17 and 23) protecting such... 42 Public Health 1 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins. 71.52 Section...

  7. 42 CFR 71.52 - Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... (21 CFR 1240.62) regarding general prohibition. (g) Other permits. Permits to import certain species of turtles may be required under other Federal regulations (50 CFR parts 17 and 23) protecting such... 42 Public Health 1 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins. 71.52 Section...

  8. 50 CFR 665.812 - Sea turtle take mitigation measures.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... disentangling and dehooking entangled sea turtles. One long-handled device to pull an “inverted V” is required... causing further injury to the sea turtle, the vessel owner or operator must disentangle and remove the... paragraphs (b)(3) and (b)(4) of this section; and (iii) Disentangle and remove the gear, or cut the line...

  9. 50 CFR 665.812 - Sea turtle take mitigation measures.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... disentangling and dehooking entangled sea turtles. One long-handled device to pull an “inverted V” is required... causing further injury to the sea turtle, the vessel owner or operator must disentangle and remove the... paragraphs (b)(3) and (b)(4) of this section; and (iii) Disentangle and remove the gear, or cut the line...

  10. 50 CFR 665.812 - Sea turtle take mitigation measures.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... disentangling and dehooking entangled sea turtles. One long-handled device to pull an “inverted V” is required... causing further injury to the sea turtle, the vessel owner or operator must disentangle and remove the... paragraphs (b)(3) and (b)(4) of this section; and (iii) Disentangle and remove the gear, or cut the line...

  11. 50 CFR 665.812 - Sea turtle take mitigation measures.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... disentangling and dehooking entangled sea turtles. One long-handled device to pull an “inverted V” is required... causing further injury to the sea turtle, the vessel owner or operator must disentangle and remove the... paragraphs (b)(3) and (b)(4) of this section; and (iii) Disentangle and remove the gear, or cut the line...

  12. 50 CFR 665.812 - Sea turtle take mitigation measures.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... disentangling and dehooking entangled sea turtles. One long-handled device to pull an “inverted V” is required... causing further injury to the sea turtle, the vessel owner or operator must disentangle and remove the... paragraphs (b)(3) and (b)(4) of this section; and (iii) Disentangle and remove the gear, or cut the line...

  13. LOGGERHEAD SEA TURTLE LATE NESTING ECOLOGY IN VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA

    EPA Science Inventory

    T'he.loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta came is the only recurrent nesting species of sea turtle in southeastern Virginia (Lutcavage & Musick, 1985; Dodd, 1988). Inasmuch as the loggerhead is a federally threatened species, the opportunity to gather data on its nesting ecology is imp...

  14. 78 FR 44878 - Turtles Intrastate and Interstate Requirements

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-07-25

    ... regulations in 21 CFR 1240.62 on May 23, 1975 (40 FR 22543), that ban the sale and distribution of viable... procedures may be found in a guidance document published in the Federal Register of November 21, 1997 (62 FR... public distribution, of viable turtle eggs and live turtles with a carapace length of less than 4...

  15. 78 FR 44915 - Turtles Intrastate and Interstate Requirements

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-07-25

    ... published regulations in Sec. 1240.62 (21 CFR 1240.62) on May 23, 1975 (40 FR 22543), that ban the sale and... procedures may be found in a guidance document published in the Federal Register of November 21, 1997 (62 FR... commercial or public distribution, of viable turtle eggs and live turtles with a carapace length of less...

  16. Geometric morphometrics of the shoulder girdle in extant turtles (Chelonii)

    PubMed Central

    Depecker, Marion; Berge, Christine; Penin, Xavier; Renous, Sabine

    2006-01-01

    The aim of this study was to identify shape patterns of the shoulder girdle in relation to different functional and environmental behaviours in turtles. The Procrustes method was used to compare the shoulder girdles (scapula and coracoid) of 88 adult extant turtles. The results indicate that four shape patterns can be distinguished. The shoulder girdles of (1) terrestrial (Testudinidae), (2) highly aquatic freshwater (Trionychidae, Carettochelyidae) and (3) marine turtles (Cheloniidae, Dermochelyidae) correspond to three specialized morphological patterns, whereas the shoulder girdle of (4) semi-aquatic freshwater turtles (Bataguridae, Chelidae, Chelydridae, Emydidae, Kinosternidae, Pelomedusidae, Platysternidae, Podocnemididae) is more generalized. In terrestrial turtles, the long scapular prong and the short coracoid are associated with a domed shell and a mode of locomotion in which walking is predominant. By contrast, highly aquatic freshwater turtles share traits with marine turtles. In both, the short scapular prong and the long coracoid are associated with a flat shell, and swimming locomotion. The enlarged attachment sites of the biceps, coracobrachialis magnus, and supracoracoideus also give these strong swimmers a mechanical advantage during adduction and retraction of the arm. Increasing size leads to allometrical shape changes that emphasize mechanical efficiency both in terrestrial and in aquatic turtles. PMID:16420377

  17. 50 CFR 226.209 - Critical habitat for hawksbill turtle.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Critical habitat for hawksbill turtle. 226... ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITAT § 226.209 Critical habitat for hawksbill turtle. (a) Mona and Monito Islands, Puerto Rico—Waters surrounding...

  18. 50 CFR 226.209 - Critical habitat for hawksbill turtle.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Critical habitat for hawksbill turtle. 226... ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITAT § 226.209 Critical habitat for hawksbill turtle. (a) Mona and Monito Islands, Puerto Rico—Waters surrounding...

  19. 21 CFR 1240.62 - Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... for any other type of commercial or public distribution. (c) Destruction of turtles or turtle eggs... which are held for sale or offered for any other type of commercial or public distribution shall be... length of less than 4 inches which are held for sale or offered for any other type of commercial...

  20. 21 CFR 1240.62 - Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... for any other type of commercial or public distribution. (c) Destruction of turtles or turtle eggs... which are held for sale or offered for any other type of commercial or public distribution shall be... length of less than 4 inches which are held for sale or offered for any other type of commercial...

  1. 21 CFR 1240.62 - Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... for any other type of commercial or public distribution. (c) Destruction of turtles or turtle eggs... which are held for sale or offered for any other type of commercial or public distribution shall be... length of less than 4 inches which are held for sale or offered for any other type of commercial...

  2. The Green Sea Turtle of the Cayman Islands

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Considine, James L.; Winberry, John J.

    1978-01-01

    The green sea turtle is an economically valuable animal because of the many articles produced from it, including food stuffs. This article describes the history of turtle hunting and the attempts that have been made to domesticate and raise this reptile in captivity. (MA)

  3. 50 CFR 226.209 - Critical habitat for hawksbill turtle.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Critical habitat for hawksbill turtle... ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITAT § 226.209 Critical habitat for hawksbill turtle. (a) Mona and Monito Islands, Puerto Rico—Waters surrounding...

  4. 50 CFR 226.209 - Critical habitat for hawksbill turtle.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Critical habitat for hawksbill turtle... ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITAT § 226.209 Critical habitat for hawksbill turtle. (a) Mona and Monito Islands, Puerto Rico—Waters surrounding...

  5. 50 CFR 226.208 - Critical habitat for green turtle.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Critical habitat for green turtle. 226... ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITAT § 226.208 Critical habitat for green turtle. (a) Culebra Island, Puerto Rico—Waters surrounding the island of...

  6. 50 CFR 226.209 - Critical habitat for hawksbill turtle.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Critical habitat for hawksbill turtle... ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITAT § 226.209 Critical habitat for hawksbill turtle. (a) Mona and Monito Islands, Puerto Rico—Waters surrounding...

  7. 50 CFR 226.208 - Critical habitat for green turtle.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Critical habitat for green turtle. 226... ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITAT § 226.208 Critical habitat for green turtle. (a) Culebra Island, Puerto Rico—Waters surrounding the island of...

  8. 50 CFR 226.208 - Critical habitat for green turtle.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Critical habitat for green turtle. 226... ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITAT § 226.208 Critical habitat for green turtle. (a) Culebra Island, Puerto Rico—Waters surrounding the island of...

  9. Relative vulnerability of female turtles to road mortality

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Steen, D.A.; Aresco, M.J.; Beilke, S.G.; Compton, B.W.; Condon, E.P.; Dodd, C.K., Jr.; Forrester, H.; Gibbons, J.W.; Greene, J.L.; Johnson, G.; Langen, T.A.; Oldham, M.J.; Oxier, D.N.; Saumure, R.A.; Schueler, F.W.; Sleeman, J.M.; Smith, L.L.; Tucker, J.K.; Gibbs, J.P.

    2006-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that freshwater turtle populations are becoming increasingly male-biased. A hypothesized cause is a greater vulnerability of female turtles to road mortality. We evaluated this hypothesis by comparing sex ratios from published and unpublished population surveys of turtles conducted on- versus off-roads. Among 38 166 turtles from 157 studies reporting sex ratios, we found a consistently larger female fraction in samples from on-roads (61%) than off-roads (41%). We conclude that female turtles are indeed more likely to cross roadways than are males, which may explain recently reported skewed sex ratios near roadways and signify eventual population declines as females are differentially eliminated. ?? 2006 The Zoological Society of London.

  10. Compressive behavior of a turtle's shell: experiment, modeling, and simulation.

    PubMed

    Damiens, R; Rhee, H; Hwang, Y; Park, S J; Hammi, Y; Lim, H; Horstemeyer, M F

    2012-02-01

    The turtle's shell acts as a protective armor for the animal. By analyzing a turtle shell via finite element analysis, one can obtain the strength and stiffness attributes to help design man-made armor. As such, finite element analysis was performed on a Terrapene carolina box turtle shell. Experimental data from compression tests were generated to provide insight into the scute through-thickness behavior of the turtle shell. Three regimes can be classified in terms of constitutive modeling: linear elastic, perfectly inelastic, and densification regions, where hardening occurs. For each regime, we developed a model that comprises elasticity and densification theory for porous materials and obtained all the material parameters by correlating the model with experimental data. The different constitutive responses arise as the deformation proceeded through three distinctive layers of the turtle shell carapace. Overall, the phenomenological stress-strain behavior is similar to that of metallic foams. PMID:22301179

  11. Salmonella colonization in commercial pet turtles (Pseudemys scripta elegans).

    PubMed Central

    Shane, S. M.; Gilbert, R.; Harrington, K. S.

    1990-01-01

    An epidemiological survey was conducted on two commercial turtle farms in southern Louisiana to determine the reason for an apparent increase in the prevalence of Salmonella spp. in turtle hatchlings at the time of pre-export certification examination. Pond water was consistently found to be contaminated (6/36 samples) with either Salmonella newport, S. arizonae, or S. poona. Environmental specimens obtained from eggs and turtle hatcheries (204 specimens) failed to yield Salmonella spp. A sample comprising 197 hatchlings, derived from a batch previously demonstrated to be contaminated, showed a salmonella prevalence of 12%, with S. arizonae and S. poona the only serotypes isolated. Four serotypes of Salmonella sp. isolated by a certifying laboratory in 1988, and 20 salmonella isolates obtained from hatchling turtles, were all resistant to gentamicin. The emergence of gentamicin resistance in Salmonella spp. isolated from turtles will reduce the effectiveness of preventive measures in use in Louisiana since 1984. PMID:2209735

  12. Three Novel Herpesviruses of Endangered Clemmys and Glyptemys Turtles

    PubMed Central

    Ossiboff, Robert J.; Raphael, Bonnie L.; Ammazzalorso, Alyssa D.; Seimon, Tracie A.; Newton, Alisa L.; Chang, Tylis Y.; Zarate, Brian; Whitlock, Alison L.; McAloose, Denise

    2015-01-01

    The rich diversity of the world’s reptiles is at risk due to significant population declines of broad taxonomic and geographic scope. Significant factors attributed to these declines include habitat loss, pollution, unsustainable collection and infectious disease. To investigate the presence and significance of a potential pathogen on populations of critically endangered bog turtles (Glyptemys muhlenbergii) as well sympatric endangered wood (G. insculpta) and endangered spotted (Clemmys guttata) turtles in the northeastern United States, choanal and cloacal swabs collected from 230 turtles from 19 sites in 5 states were screened for herpesvirus by polymerase chain reaction. We found a high incidence of herpesvirus infection in bog turtles (51.5%; 105/204) and smaller numbers of positive wood (5) and spotted (1) turtles. Sequence and phylogenetic analysis revealed three previously uncharacterized alphaherpesviruses. Glyptemys herpesvirus 1 was the predominant herpesvirus detected and was found exclusively in bog turtles in all states sampled. Glyptemys herpesvirus 2 was found only in wood turtles. Emydid herpesvirus 2 was found in a small number of bog turtles and a single spotted turtle from one state. Based on these findings, Glyptemys herpesvirus 1 appears to be a common infection in the study population, whereas Glyptemys herpesvirus 2 and Emydid herpesvirus 2 were not as frequently detected. Emydid herpesvirus 2 was the only virus detected in more than one species. Herpesviruses are most often associated with subclinical or mild infections in their natural hosts, and no sampled turtles showed overt signs of disease at sampling. However, infection of host-adapted viruses in closely related species can result in significant disease. The pathogenic potential of these viruses, particularly Emydid herpesvirus 2, in sympatric chelonians warrants additional study in order to better understand the relationship of these viruses with their endangered hosts. PMID

  13. Route optimisation and solving Zermelo's navigation problem during long distance migration in cross flows.

    PubMed

    Hays, Graeme C; Christensen, Asbjørn; Fossette, Sabrina; Schofield, Gail; Talbot, Julian; Mariani, Patrizio

    2014-02-01

    The optimum path to follow when subjected to cross flows was first considered over 80 years ago by the German mathematician Ernst Zermelo, in the context of a boat being displaced by ocean currents, and has become known as the 'Zermelo navigation problem'. However, the ability of migrating animals to solve this problem has received limited consideration, even though wind and ocean currents cause the lateral displacement of flyers and swimmers, respectively, particularly during long-distance journeys of 1000s of kilometres. Here, we examine this problem by combining long-distance, open-ocean marine turtle movements (obtained via long-term GPS tracking of sea turtles moving 1000s of km), with a high resolution basin-wide physical ocean model to estimate ocean currents. We provide a robust mathematical framework to demonstrate that, while turtles eventually arrive at their target site, they do not follow the optimum (Zermelo's) route. Even though adult marine turtles regularly complete incredible long-distance migrations, these vertebrates primarily rely on course corrections when entering neritic waters during the final stages of migration. Our work introduces a new perspective in the analysis of wildlife tracking datasets, with different animal groups potentially exhibiting different levels of complexity in goal attainment during migration. PMID:24304813

  14. Metabolic circadian rhythms in embryonic turtles.

    PubMed

    Loudon, Fiona Kay; Spencer, Ricky-John; Strassmeyer, Alana; Harland, Karen

    2013-07-01

    Oviparous species are model organisms for investigating embryonic development of endogenous physiological circadian rhythms without the influence of maternal biorhythms. Recent studies have demonstrated that heart rates and metabolic rates of embryonic turtles are not constant or always maximal and can be altered in response to the presence of embryos at a more advanced stage of development within the nest. A first step in understanding the physiological mechanisms underpinning these responses in embryonic ectothermic organisms is to develop metabolic profiles (e.g., heart rate) at different temperatures throughout incubation. Heart beat and rhythmic patterns or changes in development may represent important signals or cues within a nest and may be vital to coordinate synchronous hatching well in advance of the final stages of incubation. We developed baseline embryonic heart-rate profiles of embryos of the short-necked Murray River turtle (Emydura macquarii) to determine the stage of embryogenesis that metabolic circadian rhythms become established, if at all. Eggs were incubated at constant temperatures (26°C and 30°C) and heart rates were monitored at 6-h intervals over 24 h every 7-11 days until hatching. Circadian heart rate rhythms were detected at the mid-gestation period and were maintained until hatching. Heart rates throughout the day varied by up to 20% over 24 h and were not related to time of day. This study demonstrated that endogenous metabolic circadian rhythms in developing embryos in turtle eggs establish earlier in embryogenesis than those documented in other vertebrate taxa during embryogenesis. Early establishment of circadian rhythms in heart rates may be critical for communication among embryos and synchrony in hatching and emergence from the nest. PMID:23652198

  15. Neuroanatomy of the Marine Jurassic Turtle Plesiochelys etalloni (Testudinata, Plesiochelyidae)

    PubMed Central

    Carabajal, Ariana Paulina; Sterli, Juliana; Müller, Johannes; Hilger, André

    2013-01-01

    Turtles are one of the least explored clades regarding endocranial anatomy with few available descriptions of the brain and inner ear of extant representatives. In addition, the paleoneurology of extinct turtles is poorly known and based on only a few natural cranial endocasts. The main goal of this study is to provide for the first time a detailed description of the neuroanatomy of an extinct turtle, the Late Jurassic Plesiochelysetalloni, including internal carotid circulation, cranial endocast and inner ear, based on the first digital 3D reconstruction using micro CT scans. The general shape of the cranial endocast of P. etalloni is tubular, with poorly marked cephalic and pontine flexures. Anteriorly, the olfactory bulbs are clearly differentiated suggesting larger bulbs than in any other described extinct or extant turtle, and indicating a higher capacity of olfaction in this taxon. The morphology of the inner ear of P. etalloni is comparable to that of extant turtles and resembles those of slow-moving terrestrial vertebrates, with markedly low, short and robust semicircular canals, and a reduced lagena. In P. etalloni the arterial pattern is similar to that found in extant cryptodires, where all the internal carotid branches are protected by bone. As the knowledge of paleoneurology in turtles is scarce and the application of modern techniques such as 3D reconstructions based on CT scans is almost unexplored in this clade, we hope this paper will trigger similar investigations of this type in other turtle taxa. PMID:23844257

  16. Aging the oldest turtles: the placodont affinities of Priscochelys hegnabrunnensis.

    PubMed

    Scheyer, Torsten M

    2008-09-01

    Priscochelys hegnabrunnensis, a fragmentary piece of armour shell from the Muschelkalk of Germany (Upper Triassic) with few diagnostic morphological features, was recently proposed to represent the oldest known stem turtle. As such, the specimen is of high importance because it shifts the date of the first appearance of turtles back about 20 Ma, which equals about 10% of the total stratigraphic range of the group. In this paper, I present new morphologic, histologic and neutron tomographic (NT) data that relate to the microstructure of the bone of the specimen itself. In opposition to the previous morphologic descriptions, P. hegnabrunnensis was found to share several distinctive features (i.e. bone sutures congruent with scute sulci, absence of a diploe structure with interior cancellous bone, thin vascular canals radiating outwards from distinct centres in each field and rugose ventral bone surface texture consisting of mineralised fibre bundles) with cyamodontoid placodonts (Diapsida: Sauropterygia) and fewer with stem turtles (i.e. depth of sulci). Two aspects that were previously thought to be relevant for the assignment to the turtle stem (conical scutes and presence of foramina) are argued to be of dubious value. P. hegnabrunnensis is proposed to represent a fragmentary piece of cyamodontoid armour consisting of fused conical plates herein. The specimen is not a part of the turtle stem and thus does not represent the oldest turtle. Accordingly, P. hegnabrunnensis does not shorten the ghost lineage to the potential sister group of turtles. PMID:18465065

  17. Aging the oldest turtles: the placodont affinities of Priscochelys hegnabrunnensis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scheyer, Torsten M.

    2008-09-01

    Priscochelys hegnabrunnensis, a fragmentary piece of armour shell from the Muschelkalk of Germany (Upper Triassic) with few diagnostic morphological features, was recently proposed to represent the oldest known stem turtle. As such, the specimen is of high importance because it shifts the date of the first appearance of turtles back about 20 Ma, which equals about 10% of the total stratigraphic range of the group. In this paper, I present new morphologic, histologic and neutron tomographic (NT) data that relate to the microstructure of the bone of the specimen itself. In opposition to the previous morphologic descriptions, P. hegnabrunnensis was found to share several distinctive features (i.e. bone sutures congruent with scute sulci, absence of a diploe structure with interior cancellous bone, thin vascular canals radiating outwards from distinct centres in each field and rugose ventral bone surface texture consisting of mineralised fibre bundles) with cyamodontoid placodonts (Diapsida: Sauropterygia) and fewer with stem turtles (i.e. depth of sulci). Two aspects that were previously thought to be relevant for the assignment to the turtle stem (conical scutes and presence of foramina) are argued to be of dubious value. P. hegnabrunnensis is proposed to represent a fragmentary piece of cyamodontoid armour consisting of fused conical plates herein. The specimen is not a part of the turtle stem and thus does not represent the oldest turtle. Accordingly, P. hegnabrunnensis does not shorten the ghost lineage to the potential sister group of turtles.

  18. Replication and persistence of VHSV IVb in freshwater turtles.

    PubMed

    Goodwin, Andrew E; Merry, Gwenn E

    2011-05-01

    With the emergence of viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV) strain IVb in the Great Lakes of North America, hatchery managers have become concerned that this important pathogen could be transmitted by animals other than fish. Turtles are likely candidates because they are poikilotherms that feed on dead fish, but there are very few reports of rhabdovirus infections in reptiles and no reports of the fish rhabdoviruses in animals other than teleosts. We injected common snapping turtles Chelydra serpentine and red-eared sliders Trachemys scripta elegans intraperitoneally with 10(4) median tissue culture infectious dose (TCID50) of VHSV-IVb and 21 d later were able to detect the virus by quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase PCR (qrt-RTPCR) in pools of kidney, liver, and spleen. In a second experiment, snapping turtles, red-eared sliders, yellow-bellied sliders T. scripta scripta, and northern map turtles Grapetemys geographica at 14 degrees C were allowed to feed on tissues from bluegill dying of VHSV IVb disease. Turtle kidney, spleen, and brain pools were not positive by qrt-RTPCR on Day 3 post feeding, but were positive on Days 10 and 20. Map turtles on Day 20 post-feeding were positive by both qrt-RTPCR and by cell culture. Our work shows that turtles that consume infected fish are a possible vector for VHSV IVb, and that the fish rhabdoviruses may have a broader host range than previously suspected. PMID:21790064

  19. The Role of Turtles as Coral Reef Macroherbivores

    PubMed Central

    Goatley, Christopher H. R.; Hoey, Andrew S.; Bellwood, David R.

    2012-01-01

    Herbivory is widely accepted as a vital function on coral reefs. To date, the majority of studies examining herbivory in coral reef environments have focused on the roles of fishes and/or urchins, with relatively few studies considering the potential role of macroherbivores in reef processes. Here, we introduce evidence that highlights the potential role of marine turtles as herbivores on coral reefs. While conducting experimental habitat manipulations to assess the roles of herbivorous reef fishes we observed green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) showing responses that were remarkably similar to those of herbivorous fishes. Reducing the sediment load of the epilithic algal matrix on a coral reef resulted in a forty-fold increase in grazing by green turtles. Hawksbill turtles were also observed to browse transplanted thalli of the macroalga Sargassum swartzii in a coral reef environment. These responses not only show strong parallels to herbivorous reef fishes, but also highlight that marine turtles actively, and intentionally, remove algae from coral reefs. When considering the size and potential historical abundance of marine turtles we suggest that these potentially valuable herbivores may have been lost from many coral reefs before their true importance was understood. PMID:22768189

  20. Neuroanatomy of the marine Jurassic turtle Plesiochelys etalloni (Testudinata, Plesiochelyidae).

    PubMed

    Carabajal, Ariana Paulina; Sterli, Juliana; Müller, Johannes; Hilger, André

    2013-01-01

    Turtles are one of the least explored clades regarding endocranial anatomy with few available descriptions of the brain and inner ear of extant representatives. In addition, the paleoneurology of extinct turtles is poorly known and based on only a few natural cranial endocasts. The main goal of this study is to provide for the first time a detailed description of the neuroanatomy of an extinct turtle, the Late Jurassic Plesiochelysetalloni, including internal carotid circulation, cranial endocast and inner ear, based on the first digital 3D reconstruction using micro CT scans. The general shape of the cranial endocast of P. etalloni is tubular, with poorly marked cephalic and pontine flexures. Anteriorly, the olfactory bulbs are clearly differentiated suggesting larger bulbs than in any other described extinct or extant turtle, and indicating a higher capacity of olfaction in this taxon. The morphology of the inner ear of P. etalloni is comparable to that of extant turtles and resembles those of slow-moving terrestrial vertebrates, with markedly low, short and robust semicircular canals, and a reduced lagena. In P. etalloni the arterial pattern is similar to that found in extant cryptodires, where all the internal carotid branches are protected by bone. As the knowledge of paleoneurology in turtles is scarce and the application of modern techniques such as 3D reconstructions based on CT scans is almost unexplored in this clade, we hope this paper will trigger similar investigations of this type in other turtle taxa. PMID:23844257

  1. Migratory corridors of adult female Kemp’s ridley turtles in the Gulf of Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shaver, Donna J.; Hart, Kristen M.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Rubio, Cynthia; Sartain-Iverson, Autumn R.; Pena, Jaime; Gamez, Daniel Gomez; Gonzales Diaz Miron, Raul de Jesus; Burchfield, Patrick M.; Martinez, Hector J.; Ortiz, Jaime

    2016-01-01

    For many marine species, locations of migratory pathways are not well defined. We used satellite telemetry and switching state-space modeling (SSM) to define the migratory corridor used by Kemp's ridley turtles (Lepidochelys kempii) in the Gulf of Mexico. The turtles were tagged after nesting at Padre Island National Seashore, Texas, USA from 1997 to 2014 (PAIS; n = 80); Rancho Nuevo, Tamaulipas, Mexico from 2010 to 2011 (RN; n = 14); Tecolutla, Veracruz, Mexico from 2012 to 2013 (VC; n = 13); and Gulf Shores, Alabama, USA during 2012 (GS; n = 1). The migratory corridor lies in nearshore Gulf of Mexico waters in the USA and Mexico with mean water depth of 26 m and a mean distance of 20 km from the nearest mainland coast. Migration from the nesting beach is a short phenomenon that occurs from late-May through August, with a peak in June. There was spatial similarity of post-nesting migratory pathways for different turtles over a 16 year period. Thus, our results indicate that these nearshore Gulf waters represent a critical migratory habitat for this species. However, there is a gap in our understanding of the migratory pathways used by this and other species to return from foraging grounds to nesting beaches. Therefore, our results highlight the need for tracking reproductive individuals from foraging grounds to nesting beaches. Continued tracking of adult females from PAIS, RN, and VC nesting beaches will allow further study of environmental and bathymetric components of migratory habitat and threats occurring within our defined corridor. Furthermore, the existence of this migratory corridor in nearshore waters of both the USA and Mexico demonstrates that international cooperation is necessary to protect essential migratory habitat for this imperiled species.

  2. Collecting a sample of loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings before a natural emergence does not reduce nest productivity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Salmon, Michael; Carthy, Raymond R.; Lohmann, Catherine M. F.; Lohmann, Kenneth J.; Wyneken, Jeanette

    2012-01-01

     In numerous studies involving hatchling sea turtles, researchers have collected small numbers of hatchlings from nests a few hours before the turtles would otherwise have emerged naturally. This procedure makes it possible to do experiments in which the behavioral or physiological responses of numerous hatchlings must be tested in a limited period of time, and also allows hatchlings to be released back into the sea in time to migrate offshore before dawn. In principle, however, the procedure might inadvertently reduce nest productivity (the number of hatchlings that successfully leave the nest), if digging into a nest prior to emergence somehow reduces the ability of the remaining turtles to emerge. We compared nest productivity in 67 experimental loggerhead nests, from which we removed 10 hatchlings before a natural emergence, to 95 control nests left undisturbed before a natural emergence. The 2 groups showed no statistical differences in productivity. We conclude that taking a few hatchlings from a loggerhead nest shortly before a natural emergence has no negative impact on hatchling production if sampling is done with care at locations where there are few nest predators, and at sites where an emergence can be predicted because nest deposition dates are known.

  3. Differences in habitat use by blanding's turtles, Emydoidea blandingii, and painted turtles, Chysemys picta, in the Nebraska sandhills

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bury, R. Bruce; Germano, David J.

    2003-01-01

    We sampled a variety of wetlands in the Nebraska sandhills at Valentine National Wildlife Refuge. Significantly more individuals of painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) occurred in lakes and open waters than in marshes or small ponds, and the opposite was true for Blanding's turtles (Emydoidea blandingii). Besides this marked difference in habitat use, 46% of the captured E. blandingii in pond/marsh habitat were juveniles, but only 31.6% in lakes and open water. Current information suggests that marshes and small ponds are important habitat for juvenile turtles, especially Emydoidea blandingii.

  4. Use of long-distance migration patterns of an endangered species to inform conservation planning for the world's largest marine protected area.

    PubMed

    Hays, Graeme C; Mortimer, Jeanne A; Ierodiaconou, Daniel; Esteban, Nicole

    2014-12-01

    Large marine protected areas (MPAs), each hundreds of thousands of square kilometers, have been set up by governments around the world over the last decade as part of efforts to reduce ocean biodiversity declines, yet their efficacy is hotly debated. The Chagos Archipelago MPA (640,000 km(2) ) (Indian Ocean) lies at the heart of this debate. We conducted the first satellite tracking of a migratory species, the green turtle (Chelonia mydas), within the MPA and assessed the species' use of protected versus unprotected areas. We developed an approach to estimate length of residence within the MPA that may have utility across migratory taxa including tuna and sharks. We recorded the longest ever published migration for an adult cheloniid turtle (3979 km). Seven of 8 tracked individuals migrated to distant foraging grounds, often ≥1000 km outside the MPA. One turtle traveled to foraging grounds within the MPA. Thus, networks of small MPAs, developed synergistically with larger MPAs, may increase the amount of time migrating species spend within protected areas. The MPA will protect turtles during the breeding season and will protect some turtles on their foraging grounds within the MPA and others during the first part of their long-distance postbreeding oceanic migrations. International cooperation will be needed to develop the network of small MPAs needed to supplement the Chagos Archipelago MPA. PMID:25039538

  5. Hawksbill × loggerhead sea turtle hybrids at Bahia, Brazil: where do their offspring go?

    PubMed Central

    Reisser, Julia; Marins, Luis F.; Marcovaldi, Maria A.; Soares, Luciano S.; Monteiro, Danielle S.; Wijeratne, Sarath; Pattiaratchi, Charitha; Secchi, Eduardo R.

    2014-01-01

    Hybridization between hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) and loggerhead (Caretta caretta) breeding groups is unusually common in Bahia state, Brazil. Such hybridization is possible because hawksbill and loggerhead nesting activities overlap temporally and spatially along the coast of this state. Nevertheless, the destinations of their offspring are not yet known. This study is the first to identify immature hawksbill × loggerhead hybrids (n = 4) from this rookery by analyzing the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of 157 immature turtles morphologically identified as hawksbills. We also compare for the first time modeled dispersal patterns of hawksbill, loggerhead, and hybrid offspring considering hatching season and oceanic phase duration of turtles. Particle movements varied according to season, with a higher proportion of particles dispersing southwards throughout loggerhead and hybrid hatching seasons, and northwards during hawksbill season. Hybrids from Bahia were not present in important hawksbill feeding grounds of Brazil, being detected only at areas more common for loggerheads. The genetic and oceanographic findings of this work indicate that these immature hybrids, which are morphologically similar to hawksbills, could be adopting behavioral traits typical of loggerheads, such as feeding in temperate waters of the western South Atlantic. Understanding the distribution, ecology, and migrations of these hybrids is essential for the development of adequate conservation and management plans. PMID:24688839

  6. Symbiotic Cellulose Degradation in Green Turtles, Chelonia mydas L

    PubMed Central

    Fenchel, T. M.; McRoy, C. P.; Ogden, J. C.; Parker, P.; Rainey, W. E.

    1979-01-01

    A postgastric, fermentative breakdown of structural plant tissue was demonstrated for green turtles. About 90% cellulose was hydrolyzed. Bacterial and protozoan numbers compared with those of the rumen. PMID:16345350

  7. 50 CFR 648.106 - Sea Turtle conservation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 60629, Sept. 29, 2011. Sea turtle regulations are found at 50 CFR parts 222 and 223. Effective Date Note... fillet number by two. If summer flounder are filleted into single (butterfly) fillets, each fillet...

  8. Gulf Coast Sea Turtle Hatchlings Released at KSC

    NASA Video Gallery

    The first group of hatchlings from endangered sea turtle eggs brought from beaches along the northern U.S. Gulf Coast was released into the Atlantic Ocean off NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida...

  9. 51. Port elevation, in port. Note reduced turtle deck due ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    51. Port elevation, in port. Note reduced turtle deck due to quarters expansion. - U.S. Coast Guard Cutter WHITE SUMAC, U.S. Coast Guard 8th District Base, 4640 Urquhart Street, New Orleans, Orleans Parish, LA

  10. 45. Starboard elevation under way. Note large turtle deck and ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    45. Starboard elevation under way. Note large turtle deck and crane configuration. - U.S. Coast Guard Cutter WHITE SUMAC, U.S. Coast Guard 8th District Base, 4640 Urquhart Street, New Orleans, Orleans Parish, LA

  11. Looking southeast down the Turtle Creek Valley at the Edgar ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    Looking southeast down the Turtle Creek Valley at the Edgar Thomson works from a bluff at North Braddock (Martin Stupich) - U.S. Steel Edgar Thomson Works, Along Monongahela River, Braddock, Allegheny County, PA

  12. Stormy oceans are associated with declines in sea turtle hatching.

    PubMed

    Van Houtan, Kyle S; Bass, Oron L

    2007-08-01

    Many sea turtle populations are below 10% of their pre-Columbian numbers [1-4]. Though historic and systematic over-exploitation is the principal cause of these declines, sea turtles face similar threats today. Adults and juveniles are actively hunted and commercial fisheries catch them incidentally. Nesting suffers from beach development, egg poaching and the poaching of nesting females. Accompanying these familiar hazards is the largely unknown consequences of recent climate change. Here we report monitoring surveys from the Dry Tortugas National Park (DTNP, 24.64N 82.86W), Florida, and show that hurricanes and other storm events are an additional and increasing threat to loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) and green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) nesting. Both species are listed by the US Endangered Species Act and the IUCN considers them 'endangered'. PMID:17686427

  13. Human Trichinosis after Consumption of Soft-Shelled Turtles, Taiwan

    PubMed Central

    Lo, Yi-Chun; Hung, Chien-Ching; Lai, Ching-Shih; Wu, Zhiliang; Nagano, Isao; Maeda, Takuya; Takahashi, Yuzo; Chiu, Chan-Hsien

    2009-01-01

    In 2008, an outbreak of human trichinosis associated with ingestion of raw soft-shelled turtles was identified and investigated in Taiwan. The data suggested that patients were likely infected with Trichinella papuae. PMID:19961701

  14. A primitive protostegid from Australia and early sea turtle evolution

    PubMed Central

    Kear, Benjamin P; Lee, Michael S.Y

    2005-01-01

    Sea turtles (Chelonioidea) are a prominent group of modern marine reptiles whose early history is poorly understood. Analysis of exceptionally well preserved fossils of Bouliachelys suteri gen. et sp. nov., a large-bodied basal protostegid (primitive chelonioid) from the Early Cretaceous (Albian) of Australia, indicates that early sea turtles were both larger and more diverse than previously thought. The analysis implies at least five distinct sea turtle lineages existed around 100 million years ago. Currently, the postcranially primitive Ctenochelys and Toxochelys are interpreted as crown-group sea turtles closely related to living cheloniids (e.g. Chelonia); in contrast, the new phylogeny suggests that they are transitional (intermediate stem-taxa) between continental testudines and derived, pelagic chelonioids. PMID:17148342

  15. Common snapping turtle preys on an adult western grebe

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Igl, L.D.; Peterson, S.L.

    2010-01-01

    The identification of predators of aquatic birds can be difficult. The Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentine) is considered a major predator of waterfowl and other aquatic birds, but the evidence for this reputation is based largely on circumstantial or indirect evidence rather than direct observations. Herein, the first documented observations of a snapping turtle attacking and killing an adult Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis) are described.

  16. Complete mitochondrial genome suggests diapsid affinities of turtles

    PubMed Central

    Zardoya, Rafael; Meyer, Axel

    1998-01-01

    Despite more than a century of debate, the evolutionary position of turtles (Testudines) relative to other amniotes (reptiles, birds, and mammals) remains uncertain. One of the major impediments to resolving this important evolutionary problem is the highly distinctive and enigmatic morphology of turtles that led to their traditional placement apart from diapsid reptiles as sole descendants of presumably primitive anapsid reptiles. To address this question, the complete (16,787-bp) mitochondrial genome sequence of the African side-necked turtle (Pelomedusa subrufa) was determined. This molecule contains several unusual features: a (TA)n microsatellite in the control region, the absence of an origin of replication for the light strand in the WANCY region of five tRNA genes, an unusually long noncoding region separating the ND5 and ND6 genes, an overlap between ATPase 6 and COIII genes, and the existence of extra nucleotides in ND3 and ND4L putative ORFs. Phylogenetic analyses of the complete mitochondrial genome sequences supported the placement of turtles as the sister group of an alligator and chicken (Archosauria) clade. This result clearly rejects the Haematothermia hypothesis (a sister-group relationship between mammals and birds), as well as rejecting the placement of turtles as the most basal living amniotes. Moreover, evidence from both complete mitochondrial rRNA genes supports a sister-group relationship of turtles to Archosauria to the exclusion of Lepidosauria (tuatara, snakes, and lizards). These results challenge the classic view of turtles as the only survivors of primary anapsid reptiles and imply that turtles might have secondarily lost their skull fenestration. PMID:9826682

  17. Serum antileptospiral agglutinins in freshwater turtles from Southern Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Silva, Éverton F; Seyffert, Núbia; Cerqueira, Gustavo M.; Leihs, Karl P.; Athanazio, Daniel A.; Valente, Ana L. S.; Dellagostin, Odir A.; Brod, Claudiomar S.

    2009-01-01

    In this study, we observed the presence of antileptospiral agglutinins in freshwater turtles of two urban lakes of Pelotas, Southern Brazil. Forty animals (29 Trachemys dorbigny and 11 Phrynops hilarii) were captured and studied. Attempts to isolate leptospires from blood and urine samples were unsuccessful. Serum samples (titer > 100) reactive to pathogenic strains were observed in 11 animals. These data encourage surveys of pet turtles to evaluate the risk of transmission of pathogenic leptospires to humans. PMID:24031348

  18. Demographic evidence of illegal harvesting of an endangered asian turtle.

    PubMed

    Sung, Yik-Hei; Karraker, Nancy E; Hau, Billy C H

    2013-12-01

    Harvesting pressure on Asian freshwater turtles is severe, and dramatic population declines of these turtles are being driven by unsustainable collection for food markets, pet trade, and traditional Chinese medicine. Populations of big-headed turtle (Platysternon megacephalum) have declined substantially across its distribution, particularly in China, because of overcollection. To understand the effects of chronic harvesting pressure on big-headed turtle populations, we examined the effects of illegal harvesting on the demography of populations in Hong Kong, where some populations still exist. We used mark-recapture methods to compare demographic characteristics between sites with harvesting histories and one site in a fully protected area. Sites with a history of illegal turtle harvesting were characterized by the absence of large adults and skewed ratios of juveniles to adults, which may have negative implications for the long-term viability of populations. These sites also had lower densities of adults and smaller adult body sizes than the protected site. Given that populations throughout most of the species' range are heavily harvested and individuals are increasingly difficult to find in mainland China, the illegal collection of turtles from populations in Hong Kong may increase over time. Long-term monitoring of populations is essential to track effects of illegal collection, and increased patrolling is needed to help control illegal harvesting of populations, particularly in national parks. Because few, if any, other completely protected populations remain in the region, our data on an unharvested population of big-headed turtles serve as an important reference for assessing the negative consequences of harvesting on populations of stream turtles. Evidencia Demográfica de la Captura Ilegal de una Tortuga Asiática en Peligro. PMID:23869813

  19. Cell migration.

    PubMed

    Trepat, Xavier; Chen, Zaozao; Jacobson, Ken

    2012-10-01

    Cell migration is fundamental to establishing and maintaining the proper organization of multicellular organisms. Morphogenesis can be viewed as a consequence, in part, of cell locomotion, from large-scale migrations of epithelial sheets during gastrulation, to the movement of individual cells during development of the nervous system. In an adult organism, cell migration is essential for proper immune response, wound repair, and tissue homeostasis, while aberrant cell migration is found in various pathologies. Indeed, as our knowledge of migration increases, we can look forward to, for example, abating the spread of highly malignant cancer cells, retarding the invasion of white cells in the inflammatory process, or enhancing the healing of wounds. This article is organized in two main sections. The first section is devoted to the single-cell migrating in isolation such as occurs when leukocytes migrate during the immune response or when fibroblasts squeeze through connective tissue. The second section is devoted to cells collectively migrating as part of multicellular clusters or sheets. This second type of migration is prevalent in development, wound healing, and in some forms of cancer metastasis. PMID:23720251

  20. Cell Migration

    PubMed Central

    Trepat, Xavier; Chen, Zaozao; Jacobson, Ken

    2015-01-01

    Cell migration is fundamental to establishing and maintaining the proper organization of multicellular organisms. Morphogenesis can be viewed as a consequence, in part, of cell locomotion, from large-scale migrations of epithelial sheets during gastrulation, to the movement of individual cells during development of the nervous system. In an adult organism, cell migration is essential for proper immune response, wound repair, and tissue homeostasis, while aberrant cell migration is found in various pathologies. Indeed, as our knowledge of migration increases, we can look forward to, for example, abating the spread of highly malignant cancer cells, retarding the invasion of white cells in the inflammatory process, or enhancing the healing of wounds. This article is organized in two main sections. The first section is devoted to the single-cell migrating in isolation such as occurs when leukocytes migrate during the immune response or when fibroblasts squeeze through connective tissue. The second section is devoted to cells collectively migrating as part of multicellular clusters or sheets. This second type of migration is prevalent in development, wound healing, and in some forms of cancer metastasis. PMID:23720251

  1. 77 FR 60637 - Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries; Revised Limits on Sea Turtle Interactions in the Hawaii...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-10-04

    ... fishery (69 FR 17329, April 2, 2004), including annual interaction limits for leatherback and loggerhead... On June 11, 2012, NMFS published a proposed rule and request for public comment (77 FR 34334). The... loggerheads, either of which, if reached, would result in the immediate closure of the fishery (72 FR...

  2. 50 CFR Appendix F to Part 622 - Specifications for Sea Turtle Mitigation Gear and Sea Turtle Handling and Release Requirements

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... disentangling and dehooking entangled sea turtles. One long-handled device to pull an “inverted V” is required... gear specified in paragraphs A.1. through 4. of this Appendix F must be used to disentangle sea...

  3. The Western Pond Turtle; Habitat and History, 1993-1994 Final Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Holland, Dan C.

    1994-08-01

    The western pond turtle is known from many areas of Oregon. The majority of sightings and other records occur in the major drainages of the Klamath, Rogue, Umpqua, Willamette and Columbia River systems. A brief overview is presented of the evolution of the Willamette-Puget Sound hydrographic basin. A synopsis is also presented of the natural history of the western pond turtle, as well as, the status of this turtle in the Willamette drainage basin. The reproductive ecology and molecular genetics of the western pond turtle are discussed. Aquatic movements and overwintering of the western pond turtle are evaluated. The effect of introduced turtle species on the status of the western pond turtle was investigated in a central California Pond. Experiments were performed to determine if this turtle could be translocated as a mitigation strategy.

  4. Forelimb muscle function in pig-nosed turtles, Carettochelys insculpta: testing neuromotor conservation between rowing and flapping in swimming turtles

    PubMed Central

    Rivera, Angela R. V.; Blob, Richard W.

    2013-01-01

    Changes in muscle activation patterns can lead to new locomotor modes; however, neuromotor conservation—the evolution of new forms of locomotion through changes in structure without concurrent changes to underlying motor patterns—has been documented across diverse styles of locomotion. Animals that swim using appendages do so via rowing (anteroposterior oscilations) or flapping (dorsoventral oscilations). Yet few studies have compared motor patterns between these swimming modes. In swimming turtles, propulsion is generated exclusively by limbs. Kinematically, turtles swim using multiple styles of rowing (freshwater species), flapping (sea turtles) and a unique hybrid style with superficial similarity to flapping by sea turtles and characterized by increased dorsoventral motions of synchronously oscillated forelimbs that have been modified into flippers (Carettochelys insculpta). We compared forelimb motor patterns in four species of turtle (two rowers, Apalone ferox and Trachemys scripta; one flapper, Caretta caretta; and Carettochelys) and found that, despite kinematic differences, motor patterns were generally similar among species with a few notable exceptions: specifically, presence of variable bursts for pectoralis and triceps in Trachemys (though timing of the non-variable pectoralis burst was similar), and the timing of deltoideus activity in Carettochelys and Caretta compared with other taxa. The similarities in motor patterns we find for several muscles provide partial support for neuromotor conservation among turtles using diverse locomotor styles, but the differences implicate deltoideus as a prime contributor to flapping limb motions. PMID:23966596

  5. Forelimb muscle function in pig-nosed turtles, Carettochelys insculpta: testing neuromotor conservation between rowing and flapping in swimming turtles.

    PubMed

    Rivera, Angela R V; Blob, Richard W

    2013-10-23

    Changes in muscle activation patterns can lead to new locomotor modes; however, neuromotor conservation-the evolution of new forms of locomotion through changes in structure without concurrent changes to underlying motor patterns-has been documented across diverse styles of locomotion. Animals that swim using appendages do so via rowing (anteroposterior oscilations) or flapping (dorsoventral oscilations). Yet few studies have compared motor patterns between these swimming modes. In swimming turtles, propulsion is generated exclusively by limbs. Kinematically, turtles swim using multiple styles of rowing (freshwater species), flapping (sea turtles) and a unique hybrid style with superficial similarity to flapping by sea turtles and characterized by increased dorsoventral motions of synchronously oscillated forelimbs that have been modified into flippers (Carettochelys insculpta). We compared forelimb motor patterns in four species of turtle (two rowers, Apalone ferox and Trachemys scripta; one flapper, Caretta caretta; and Carettochelys) and found that, despite kinematic differences, motor patterns were generally similar among species with a few notable exceptions: specifically, presence of variable bursts for pectoralis and triceps in Trachemys (though timing of the non-variable pectoralis burst was similar), and the timing of deltoideus activity in Carettochelys and Caretta compared with other taxa. The similarities in motor patterns we find for several muscles provide partial support for neuromotor conservation among turtles using diverse locomotor styles, but the differences implicate deltoideus as a prime contributor to flapping limb motions. PMID:23966596

  6. Hox code in embryos of Chinese soft-shelled turtle Pelodiscus sinensis correlates with the evolutionary innovation in the turtle.

    PubMed

    Ohya, Yoshie Kawashima; Kuraku, Shigehiro; Kuratani, Shigeru

    2005-03-15

    Turtles have the most unusual body plan of the amniotes, with a dorsal shell consisting of modified ribs. Because this morphological change in the ribs can be described as an axial-level specific alteration, the evolution of the turtle carapace should depend on changes in the Hox code. To identify turtle-specific changes in developmental patterns, we cloned several Hox genes from the Chinese soft-shelled turtle, Pelodiscus sinensis, examined their expression patterns during embryogenesis, and compared them with those of chicken and mouse embryos. We detected possibly turtle-specific derived traits in Hoxc-6 expression, which is restricted to the paraxial part of the embryo; in the expression of Hoxa-5 and Hoxb-5, the transcripts of which were detected only at the cervical level; and in Hoxc-8 and Hoxa-7 expression, which is shifted anteriorly relative to that of the other two amniote groups. From the known functions of the Hox orthologs in model animals, these P. sinensis-specific changes apparently correlate with specializations in the turtle-specific body plan. PMID:15643629

  7. Graptemys pulchra Baur 1893: Alabama Map Turtle

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Godwin, James C.; McCoy, C.J.

    2014-01-01

    The Alabama Map Turtle, Graptemys pulchra (Family Emydidae), is a moderately large riverine species endemic to the Mobile Bay drainage system of Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi. Sexual size dimorphism is pronounced, with adult females (carapace length [CL] to 273 mm) attaining more than twice the size of adult males (CL to 117 mm). The species is an inhabitant of relatively large, swift creeks and rivers, often with wide sandbars. Stream sections open to the sun and with abundant basking sites in the form of logs and brush are preferred. Six to seven clutches of 4–7 eggs are laid each year on river sandbars. Although the species is locally abundant, populations are threatened by habitat destruction, declines in their prey base, commercial collection, and vandalism. It is listed as a Species of Special Concern in Alabama.

  8. Unexpectedly Low Rangewide Population Genetic Structure of the Imperiled Eastern Box Turtle Terrapene c. carolina

    PubMed Central

    Kimble, Steven J. A.; Rhodes Jr., O. E.; Williams, Rod N.

    2014-01-01

    Rangewide studies of genetic parameters can elucidate patterns and processes that operate only over large geographic scales. Herein, we present a rangewide population genetic assessment of the eastern box turtle Terrapene c. carolina, a species that is in steep decline across its range. To inform conservation planning for this species, we address the hypothesis that disruptions to demographic and movement parameters associated with the decline of the eastern box turtle has resulted in distinctive genetic signatures in the form of low genetic diversity, high population structuring, and decreased gene flow. We used microsatellite genotype data from (n = 799) individuals from across the species range to perform two Bayesian population assignment approaches, two methods for comparing historical and contemporary migration among populations, an evaluation of isolation by distance, and a method for detecting barriers to gene flow. Both Bayesian methods of population assignment indicated that there are two populations rangewide, both of which have maintained high levels of genetic diversity (HO = 0.756). Evidence of isolation by distance was detected in this species at a spatial scale of 300 – 500 km, and the Appalachian Mountains were identified as the primary barrier to gene flow across the species range. We also found evidence for historical but not contemporary migration between populations. Our prediction of many, highly structured populations across the range was not supported. This may point to cryptic contemporary gene flow, which might in turn be explained by the presence of rare transients in populations. However these data may be influenced by historical signatures of genetic connectivity because individuals of this species can be long-lived. PMID:24647580

  9. Unexpectedly low rangewide population genetic structure of the imperiled eastern box turtle Terrapene c. carolina.

    PubMed

    Kimble, Steven J A; Rhodes, O E; Williams, Rod N

    2014-01-01

    Rangewide studies of genetic parameters can elucidate patterns and processes that operate only over large geographic scales. Herein, we present a rangewide population genetic assessment of the eastern box turtle Terrapene c. carolina, a species that is in steep decline across its range. To inform conservation planning for this species, we address the hypothesis that disruptions to demographic and movement parameters associated with the decline of the eastern box turtle has resulted in distinctive genetic signatures in the form of low genetic diversity, high population structuring, and decreased gene flow. We used microsatellite genotype data from (n = 799) individuals from across the species range to perform two Bayesian population assignment approaches, two methods for comparing historical and contemporary migration among populations, an evaluation of isolation by distance, and a method for detecting barriers to gene flow. Both Bayesian methods of population assignment indicated that there are two populations rangewide, both of which have maintained high levels of genetic diversity (HO = 0.756). Evidence of isolation by distance was detected in this species at a spatial scale of 300-500 km, and the Appalachian Mountains were identified as the primary barrier to gene flow across the species range. We also found evidence for historical but not contemporary migration between populations. Our prediction of many, highly structured populations across the range was not supported. This may point to cryptic contemporary gene flow, which might in turn be explained by the presence of rare transients in populations. However these data may be influenced by historical signatures of genetic connectivity because individuals of this species can be long-lived. PMID:24647580

  10. 76 FR 4635 - Endangered Species; File No. 15552

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-01-26

    ...), loggerhead (Caretta caretta), Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea..., loggerhead, hawksbill, leatherback, Kemp's ridley, olive ridley, and unidentified hardshell sea turtles by... 120 olive ridley/ unknown hardshell sea turtles would be handled, identified, photographed,...

  11. 50 CFR 224.104 - Special requirements for fishing activities to protect endangered sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... activities to protect endangered sea turtles. 224.104 Section 224.104 Wildlife and Fisheries NATIONAL MARINE... endangered sea turtles. (a) Shrimp fishermen in the southeastern United States and the Gulf of Mexico who comply with rules for threatened sea turtles specified in § 223.206 of this chapter will not be...

  12. 75 FR 47825 - Emergency Exemption; Issuance of Emergency Permit to Rehabilitate Sea Turtles Affected by the...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-08-09

    ... Fish and Wildlife Service Emergency Exemption; Issuance of Emergency Permit to Rehabilitate Sea Turtles... sea turtle species. We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have authorized Texas State Aquarium, under an Endangered Species Act (ESA) permit, to aid sea turtles affected by the oil spill....

  13. 75 FR 70900 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Reporting of Sea Turtle Entanglement in Fishing...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-11-19

    ... of Sea Turtle Entanglement in Fishing Gear or Marine Debris AGENCY: National Oceanic and Atmospheric... of a currently approved collection. This collection of information involves sea turtles becoming... prevent the recovery of endangered and threatened sea turtle populations. The National Marine...

  14. 50 CFR 648.126 - Protection of threatened and endangered sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... sea turtles. This section supplements existing regulations issued to regulate incidental take of sea turtles under authority of the Endangered Species Act under 50 CFR parts 222 and 223. In addition to the... sea turtles. 648.126 Section 648.126 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND...

  15. 50 CFR 224.104 - Special requirements for fishing activities to protect endangered sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... activities to protect endangered sea turtles. 224.104 Section 224.104 Wildlife and Fisheries NATIONAL MARINE... endangered sea turtles. (a) Shrimp fishermen in the southeastern United States and the Gulf of Mexico who comply with rules for threatened sea turtles specified in § 223.206 of this chapter will not be...

  16. 50 CFR 648.129 - Protection of threatened and endangered sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... sea turtles. This section supplements existing regulations issued to regulate incidental take of sea turtles under authority of the Endangered Species Act under 50 CFR parts 222 and 223. In addition to the... sea turtles. 648.129 Section 648.129 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND...

  17. 50 CFR 224.104 - Special requirements for fishing activities to protect endangered sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... activities to protect endangered sea turtles. 224.104 Section 224.104 Wildlife and Fisheries NATIONAL MARINE... endangered sea turtles. (a) Shrimp fishermen in the southeastern United States and the Gulf of Mexico who comply with rules for threatened sea turtles specified in § 223.206 of this chapter will not be...

  18. 50 CFR 648.129 - Protection of threatened and endangered sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... sea turtles. This section supplements existing regulations issued to regulate incidental take of sea turtles under authority of the Endangered Species Act under 50 CFR parts 222 and 223. In addition to the... sea turtles. 648.129 Section 648.129 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND...

  19. 50 CFR 648.129 - Protection of threatened and endangered sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... sea turtles. This section supplements existing regulations issued to regulate incidental take of sea turtles under authority of the Endangered Species Act under 50 CFR parts 222 and 223. In addition to the... sea turtles. 648.129 Section 648.129 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND...

  20. 50 CFR 224.104 - Special requirements for fishing activities to protect endangered sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... activities to protect endangered sea turtles. 224.104 Section 224.104 Wildlife and Fisheries NATIONAL MARINE... endangered sea turtles. (a) Shrimp fishermen in the southeastern United States and the Gulf of Mexico who comply with rules for threatened sea turtles specified in § 223.206 of this chapter will not be...

  1. 77 FR 14347 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Reporting of Sea Turtle Incidental Take in...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-03-09

    ... of Sea Turtle Incidental Take in Virginia Chesapeake Bay Pound Net Operations AGENCY: National... endangered and threatened sea turtles, found both live and dead, in their pound net operations. When a live or dead sea turtle is discovered during a pound net trip, the Virginia pound net fisherman...

  2. 50 CFR 224.104 - Special requirements for fishing activities to protect endangered sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... activities to protect endangered sea turtles. 224.104 Section 224.104 Wildlife and Fisheries NATIONAL MARINE... endangered sea turtles. (a) Shrimp fishermen in the southeastern United States and the Gulf of Mexico who comply with rules for threatened sea turtles specified in § 223.206 of this chapter will not be...

  3. 50 CFR 648.129 - Protection of threatened and endangered sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... sea turtles. This section supplements existing regulations issued to regulate incidental take of sea turtles under authority of the Endangered Species Act under 50 CFR parts 222 and 223. In addition to the... sea turtles. 648.129 Section 648.129 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND...

  4. 76 FR 32929 - Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries; American Samoa Longline Gear Modifications To Reduce Turtle...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-06-07

    ... Fisheries; American Samoa Longline Gear Modifications To Reduce Turtle Interactions AGENCY: National Marine... interactions between longline fishing and Pacific green sea turtles. DATES: Comments on the proposed rule must..., mitigation, handling, and release techniques for sea turtles, seabirds, and marine mammals. Fishermen...

  5. Association of sea turtles with petroleum platforms in the north-central Gulf of Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Lohoefener, R.; Hoggard, W.; Mullin, K.; Roden, C.; Rogers, C.

    1990-06-01

    There are over 4,500 petroleum platforms in the north-central Gulf of Mexico. Explosives are commonly used to remove platforms and have the potential to kill nearby sea turtles. From June 1988-June 1990, the authors used aerial surveys to study turtle density and the spatial relationship between turtles and platforms offshore of Louisiana. They sighted 316 turtles most of which (92%) were loggerheads. Seventy-eight percent were sighted just east of the Mississippi River offshore of the Chandeleur Islands. East of the river, turtle densities ranged from 0.92 (winter) to 4.83 turtles/100 sq km (spring). West of the river, annual densities ranged from 0.11-0.50 turtles/100 sq km. East of the river, three statistical tests indicated that turtles were generally closer to platforms than expected by chance alone. West of the river, turtles were randomly located with respect to platform locations. Before explosives are used, current mitigation measures require that no turtle can be sighted within 1,000 m of the platform. East of the river, the probability of a turtle being within 1,000 m of any platform selected at random was about 60%; west of the river, 2-7%. West of the river to about 92 W, the mitigation measures should protect turtles but offshore of the Chandeleur Islands, special precautions should be taken.

  6. 75 FR 53925 - Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp and Summer Flounder Trawling Requirements

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-09-02

    ... established to date include the ``small turtle test'' (55 FR 41092, October 9, 1990) and the ``wild turtle... thickness and 1\\1/2\\ inch (3.8 cm) in depth, was evaluated using the small turtle test protocol (55 FR 41092... of a length of 3-inch (7.6-cm) diameter PVC pipe positioned perpendicular to the flow of water...

  7. Loggerhead turtle movements reconstructed from 18O and 13C profiles from commensal barnacle shells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Killingley, John S.; Lutcavage, Molly

    1983-03-01

    Commensal barnacles, Chelonibia testudinaria, from logger-head turtles have 18O and 13C variations in their calcitic shells that record the environments in which the turtles live. Isotopic profiles from the barnacle shells can thus be interpreted to reconstruct movements of the host turtle between open ocean and brackish-water regimes.

  8. Petrogenesis of the reversely-zoned Turtle pluton, southeastern California

    SciTech Connect

    Allen, C.M.

    1989-01-01

    Few plutons with a reversed geometry of a felsic rim and mafic core have been described in the geologic literature. The Turtle pluton of S.E. California is an intrusion composed of a granitic rim and granodioritic core and common microgranitoid enclaves. Field observations, mineral textures and chemistries, major and trace element geochemistry, and isotopic variability support a petrogenetic model of in situ, concomitant, magma mixing and fractional crystallization of rhyolitic magma progressively mixed with an increasing volume of andesitic magma, all without chemical contribution from entrained basaltic enclaves. Hornblende geobarometry indicates the Turtle pluton crystallized at about 3.5 kb. A crystallization sequence of biotite before hornblende (and lack of pyroxenes) suggests the initial granitic magma contained less than 4 wt% H{sub 2}O at temperatures less than 780C. U-Pb, Pb-Pb, Rb-Sr and oxygen isotope studies indicate the terrane intruded by the Turtle pluton is 1.8 Ga, that the Turtle pluton crystallized at 130 Ma, that the Target Granite and garnet aplites are about 100 Ma, and that these intrusions were derived from different sources. Models based on isotopic data suggest the rhyolitic end member magma of the Turtle pluton was derived from mafic igneous rocks, and was not derived from sampled Proterozoic country rocks. Similarity of common Sr and Pb isotopic ratios of these rocks to other Mesozoic intrusions in the Colorado River Region suggest the Turtle pluton and Target Granite have affinities like rocks to the east, including the Whipple Mountains and plutons of western Arizona. P-T-t history of the southern Turtle Mountains implies uplift well into the upper crust by Late Cretaceous time so that the heating and deformation events of the Late Cretaceous and Tertiary observed in flanking ranges did not affect the study area.

  9. Sedimentology, geochemistry and rock magnetic properties of beach sands in Galapagos Islands - implications for nesting marine turtles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perez-Cruz, L.; Urrutia-Fucugauchi, J.; Vazquez-Gutierrez, F.; Carranza-Edwards, A.

    2007-12-01

    Marine turtles are well known for their navigation ability in the open ocean and fidelity to nesting beaches. Green turtle adult females migrate from foraging areas to island nesting beaches, traveling hundreds or thousands of kilometers each way. The marine turtle breeding in the Galapagos Islands is the Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas agassisi); fairly common throughout the islands but with nesting sites located at Las Bachas (Santa Cruz), Barahona and Quinta Playa (Isabela), Salinas (Baltra), Gardner Bay (Española) and Bartolomé Islet. In order to characterize and to identify the geochemical signature of nesting marine turtle beaches in Galapagos Islands, sedimentological, geochemical and rock magnetic parameters are used. A total of one hundred and twenty sand samples were collected in four beaches to relate compositional characteristics between equivalent areas, these are: Las Bachas, Salinas, Barahona and Quinta Playa. Grain size is evaluated using laser particle analysis (Model Coulter LS 230). Bulk ICP-MS geochemical analysis is performed, following trace elements are analyzed: Al, V, Cr, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd, Ba, Pb, Fe, Mn, K, Na, Mg, Sr, Ca and Hg; and low-field magnetic susceptibility is measured in all samples at low and high frequencies. Granulometric analysis showed that Barahona and Quinta Playa are characterized for fine grained sands. In contrast, Salinas and Las Bachas exhibit medium to coarse sands. Trace metals concentrations and magnetic susceptibility show different distribution patterns in the beach sands. Calcium is the most abundant element in the samples. In particular, Co, K, and Na show similar concentrations in the four beaches. Las Bachas beach shows highest concentrations of Pb and Hg (maximum values 101.1 and 118.5 mg/kg, respectively), we suggest that the enrichment corresponds to an anthropogenic signal. Salinas beach samples show high concentrations of Fe, V, Cr, Zn, Mn and the highest values of magnetic susceptibility (maximum

  10. The feeding habit of sea turtles influences their reaction to artificial marine debris.

    PubMed

    Fukuoka, Takuya; Yamane, Misaki; Kinoshita, Chihiro; Narazaki, Tomoko; Marshall, Greg J; Abernathy, Kyler J; Miyazaki, Nobuyuki; Sato, Katsufumi

    2016-01-01

    Ingestion of artificial debris is considered as a significant stress for wildlife including sea turtles. To investigate how turtles react to artificial debris under natural conditions, we deployed animal-borne video cameras on loggerhead and green turtles in addition to feces and gut contents analyses from 2007 to 2015. Frequency of occurrences of artificial debris in feces and gut contents collected from loggerhead turtles were 35.7% (10/28) and 84.6% (11/13), respectively. Artificial debris appeared in all green turtles in feces (25/25) and gut contents (10/10), and green turtles ingested more debris (feces; 15.8 ± 33.4 g, gut; 39.8 ± 51.2 g) than loggerhead turtles (feces; 1.6 ± 3.7 g, gut; 9.7 ± 15.0 g). In the video records (60 and 52.5 hours from 10 loggerhead and 6 green turtles, respectively), turtles encountered 46 artificial debris and ingested 23 of them. The encounter-ingestion ratio of artificial debris in green turtles (61.8%) was significantly higher than that in loggerhead turtles (16.7%). Loggerhead turtles frequently fed on gelatinous prey (78/84), however, green turtles mainly fed marine algae (156/210), and partly consumed gelatinous prey (10/210). Turtles seemed to confuse solo drifting debris with their diet, and omnivorous green turtles were more attracted by artificial debris. PMID:27305858

  11. The feeding habit of sea turtles influences their reaction to artificial marine debris

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fukuoka, Takuya; Yamane, Misaki; Kinoshita, Chihiro; Narazaki, Tomoko; Marshall, Greg J.; Abernathy, Kyler J.; Miyazaki, Nobuyuki; Sato, Katsufumi

    2016-06-01

    Ingestion of artificial debris is considered as a significant stress for wildlife including sea turtles. To investigate how turtles react to artificial debris under natural conditions, we deployed animal-borne video cameras on loggerhead and green turtles in addition to feces and gut contents analyses from 2007 to 2015. Frequency of occurrences of artificial debris in feces and gut contents collected from loggerhead turtles were 35.7% (10/28) and 84.6% (11/13), respectively. Artificial debris appeared in all green turtles in feces (25/25) and gut contents (10/10), and green turtles ingested more debris (feces; 15.8 ± 33.4 g, gut; 39.8 ± 51.2 g) than loggerhead turtles (feces; 1.6 ± 3.7 g, gut; 9.7 ± 15.0 g). In the video records (60 and 52.5 hours from 10 loggerhead and 6 green turtles, respectively), turtles encountered 46 artificial debris and ingested 23 of them. The encounter-ingestion ratio of artificial debris in green turtles (61.8%) was significantly higher than that in loggerhead turtles (16.7%). Loggerhead turtles frequently fed on gelatinous prey (78/84), however, green turtles mainly fed marine algae (156/210), and partly consumed gelatinous prey (10/210). Turtles seemed to confuse solo drifting debris with their diet, and omnivorous green turtles were more attracted by artificial debris.

  12. The feeding habit of sea turtles influences their reaction to artificial marine debris

    PubMed Central

    Fukuoka, Takuya; Yamane, Misaki; Kinoshita, Chihiro; Narazaki, Tomoko; Marshall, Greg J.; Abernathy, Kyler J.; Miyazaki, Nobuyuki; Sato, Katsufumi

    2016-01-01

    Ingestion of artificial debris is considered as a significant stress for wildlife including sea turtles. To investigate how turtles react to artificial debris under natural conditions, we deployed animal-borne video cameras on loggerhead and green turtles in addition to feces and gut contents analyses from 2007 to 2015. Frequency of occurrences of artificial debris in feces and gut contents collected from loggerhead turtles were 35.7% (10/28) and 84.6% (11/13), respectively. Artificial debris appeared in all green turtles in feces (25/25) and gut contents (10/10), and green turtles ingested more debris (feces; 15.8 ± 33.4 g, gut; 39.8 ± 51.2 g) than loggerhead turtles (feces; 1.6 ± 3.7 g, gut; 9.7 ± 15.0 g). In the video records (60 and 52.5 hours from 10 loggerhead and 6 green turtles, respectively), turtles encountered 46 artificial debris and ingested 23 of them. The encounter-ingestion ratio of artificial debris in green turtles (61.8%) was significantly higher than that in loggerhead turtles (16.7%). Loggerhead turtles frequently fed on gelatinous prey (78/84), however, green turtles mainly fed marine algae (156/210), and partly consumed gelatinous prey (10/210). Turtles seemed to confuse solo drifting debris with their diet, and omnivorous green turtles were more attracted by artificial debris. PMID:27305858

  13. Tissue enzyme activities in the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta).

    PubMed

    Anderson, Eric T; Socha, Victoria L; Gardner, Jennifer; Byrd, Lynne; Manire, Charles A

    2013-03-01

    The loggerhead sea turtle, Caretta caretta, one of the seven species of threatened or endangered sea turtles worldwide, is one of the most commonly encountered marine turtles off the eastern coast of the United States and Gulf of Mexico. Although biochemical reference ranges have been evaluated for several species of sea turtles, tissue specificity of the commonly used plasma enzymes is lacking. This study evaluated the tissue specificity of eight enzymes, including amylase, lipase, creatine kinase (CK), gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and alanine aminotransferase (ALT), in 30 tissues from five stranded loggerhead sea turtles with no evidence of infectious disease. Amylase and lipase showed the greatest tissue specificity, with activity found only in pancreatic samples. Creatine kinase had high levels present in skeletal and cardiac muscle, and moderate levels in central nervous system and gastrointestinal samples. Gamma-glutamyl transferase was found in kidney samples, but only in very low levels. Creatine kinase, ALP, AST, and LDH were found in all tissues evaluated and ALT was found in most, indicating low tissue specificity for these enzymes in the loggerhead. PMID:23505704

  14. Global Distribution of Two Fungal Pathogens Threatening Endangered Sea Turtles

    PubMed Central

    Sarmiento-Ramírez, Jullie M.; Abella-Pérez, Elena; Phillott, Andrea D.; Sim, Jolene; van West, Pieter; Martín, María P.; Marco, Adolfo; Diéguez-Uribeondo, Javier

    2014-01-01

    Nascent fungal infections are currently considered as one of the main threats for biodiversity and ecosystem health, and have driven several animal species into critical risk of extinction. Sea turtles are one of the most endangered groups of animals and only seven species have survived to date. Here, we described two pathogenic species, i.e., Fusarium falciforme and Fusarium keratoplasticum, that are globally distributed in major turtle nesting areas for six sea turtle species and that are implicated in low hatch success. These two fungi possess key biological features that are similar to emerging pathogens leading to host extinction, e.g., high virulence, and a broad host range style of life. Their optimal growth temperature overlap with the optimal incubation temperature for eggs, and they are able to kill up to 90% of the embryos. Environmental forcing, e.g., tidal inundation and clay/silt content of nests, were correlated to disease development. Thus, these Fusarium species constitute a major threat to sea turtle nests, especially to those experiencing environmental stressors. These findings have serious implications for the survival of endangered sea turtle populations and the success of conservation programs worldwide. PMID:24465748

  15. Physiological ramifications for loggerhead turtles captured in pelagic longlines.

    PubMed

    Williard, Amanda; Parga, Mariluz; Sagarminaga, Ricardo; Swimmer, Yonat

    2015-10-01

    Bycatch of endangered loggerhead turtles in longline fisheries results in high rates of post-release mortality that may negatively impact populations. The factors contributing to post-release mortality have not been well studied, but traumatic injuries and physiological disturbances experienced as a result of capture are thought to play a role. The goal of our study was to gauge the physiological status of loggerhead turtles immediately upon removal from longline gear in order to refine our understanding of the impacts of capture and the potential for post-release mortality. We analysed blood samples collected from longline- and hand-captured loggerhead turtles, and discovered that capture in longline gear results in blood loss, induction of the systemic stress response, and a moderate increase in lactate. The method by which turtles are landed and released, particularly if released with the hook or line still attached, may exacerbate stress and lead to chronic injuries, sublethal effects or delayed mortality. Our study is the first, to the best of our knowledge, to document the physiological impacts of capture in longline gear, and our findings underscore the importance of best practices gear removal to promote post-release survival in longline-captured turtles. PMID:26490415

  16. Visual wavelength discrimination by the loggerhead turtle, Caretta caretta.

    PubMed

    Young, Morgan; Salmon, Michael; Forward, Richard

    2012-02-01

    Marine turtles are visual animals, yet we know remarkably little about how they use this sensory capacity. In this study, our purpose was to determine whether loggerhead turtles could discriminate between objects on the basis of color. We used light-adapted hatchlings to determine the minimum intensity of blue (450 nm), green (500 nm), and yellow (580 nm) visual stimuli that evoked a positive phototaxis (the phototaxis "threshold" [pt]). Juvenile turtles were later trained to associate each color (presented at 1 log unit above that color's pt) with food, then to discriminate between two colors (the original rewarded stimulus plus one of the other colors, not rewarded) when both were presented at 1 log unit above their pt. In the crucial test, turtles were trained to choose between the rewarded and unrewarded color when the colors varied in intensity. All turtles learned that task, demonstrating color discrimination. An association between blue and food was acquired in fewer trials than between yellow and food, perhaps because some prey of juvenile loggerheads in oceanic surface waters (jellyfishes, polyps, and pelagic gastropods) are blue or violet in color. PMID:22426631

  17. No slip locomotion of hatchling sea turtles on granular media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazouchova, Nicole; Li, Chen; Gravish, Nick; Savu, Andrei; Goldman, Daniel

    2009-11-01

    Sea turtle locomotion occurs predominantly in aquatic environments. However after hatching from a nest on a beach, the juvenile turtles (hatchlings), must run across several hundred meters of granular media to reach the water. To discover how these organisms use aquatically adapted limbs for effective locomotion on sand, we use high speed infrared video to record hatchling Loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) kinematics in a field site on Jekyll Island, GA, USA. A portable fluidized bed trackway allows variation of the properties of the granular bed including volume fraction and angle up to the angle of repose. Despite being adapted for life in water, on all treatments the turtles use strategies similar to terrestrial organisms when moving on sand. Speeds up to 3 BL/sec are generated not by paddling in sand, but by limb movement that minimizes slip of the flippers, thus maintaining force below the yield stress of the medium. We predict turtle speed using a model which incorporates the yield stress of the granular medium as a function of surface angle.

  18. The effects of large beach debris on nesting sea turtles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fujisaki, Ikuko; Lamont, Margaret M.

    2016-01-01

    A field experiment was conducted to understand the effects of large beach debris on sea turtle nesting behavior as well as the effectiveness of large debris removal for habitat restoration. Large natural and anthropogenic debris were removed from one of three sections of a sea turtle nesting beach and distributions of nests and false crawls (non-nesting crawls) in pre- (2011–2012) and post- (2013–2014) removal years in the three sections were compared. The number of nests increased 200% and the number of false crawls increased 55% in the experimental section, whereas a corresponding increase in number of nests and false crawls was not observed in the other two sections where debris removal was not conducted. The proportion of nest and false crawl abundance in all three beach sections was significantly different between pre- and post-removal years. The nesting success, the percent of successful nests in total nesting attempts (number of nests + false crawls), also increased from 24% to 38%; however the magnitude of the increase was comparably small because both the number of nests and false crawls increased, and thus the proportion of the nesting success in the experimental beach in pre- and post-removal years was not significantly different. The substantial increase in sea turtle nesting activities after the removal of large debris indicates that large debris may have an adverse impact on sea turtle nesting behavior. Removal of large debris could be an effective restoration strategy to improve sea turtle nesting.

  19. Metal accumulation and evaluation of effects in a freshwater turtle.

    PubMed

    Yu, Shuangying; Halbrook, Richard S; Sparling, Donald W; Colombo, Robert

    2011-11-01

    A variety of contaminants have been detected in aquatic and terrestrial environments around the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PGDP), Kentucky. The presence of these contaminants at the PGDP may pose a risk to biota, yet little is known about the bioaccumulation of contaminants and associated effects in wildlife, especially in aquatic turtles. The current study was initiated to evaluate: (1) the accumulation of heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, and Hg) in aquatic ecosystems associated with the PGDP using red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans) as biomonitors; (2) maternal transfer of heavy metals; and (3) potential hematological and immunological effects resulting from metal accumulation. A total of 26 turtles were collected from 7 ponds located south, adjacent, and north of the PGDP. Liver Cu concentrations were significantly different among ponds and Cu concentrations in eggs were positively correlated with female Cu concentrations in kidney. The concentrations of heavy metals measured in turtle tissues and eggs were low and, based on previous studies of reptiles and established avian threshold levels of heavy metals, did not appear to have adverse effects on aquatic turtles inhabiting ponds near the PGDP. However, total white blood cell counts, heterophil to lymphocyte ratio, and phytohemagglutinin stimulation index were correlated with metal concentrations. Because other factors may affect the hematological and immunological indices, further investigation is needed to determine if these effects are associated with metal exposure, other contaminants, or disease. PMID:21688058

  20. Eutrophication and the dietary promotion of sea turtle tumors

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Celia M.; Dailer, Meghan L.; Kawachi, Migiwa

    2014-01-01

    The tumor-forming disease fibropapillomatosis (FP) has afflicted sea turtle populations for decades with no clear cause. A lineage of α-herpesviruses associated with these tumors has existed for millennia, suggesting environmental factors are responsible for its recent epidemiology. In previous work, we described how herpesviruses could cause FP tumors through a metabolic influx of arginine. We demonstrated the disease prevails in chronically eutrophied coastal waters, and that turtles foraging in these sites might consume arginine-enriched macroalgae. Here, we test the idea using High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) to describe the amino acid profiles of green turtle (Chelonia mydas) tumors and five common forage species of macroalgae from a range of eutrophic states. Tumors were notably elevated in glycine, proline, alanine, arginine, and serine and depleted in lysine when compared to baseline samples. All macroalgae from eutrophic locations had elevated arginine, and all species preferentially stored environmental nitrogen as arginine even at oligotrophic sites. From these results, we estimate adult turtles foraging at eutrophied sites increase their arginine intake 17–26 g daily, up to 14 times the background level. Arginine nitrogen increased with total macroalgae nitrogen and watershed nitrogen, and the invasive rhodophyte Hypnea musciformis significantly outperformed all other species in this respect. Our results confirm that eutrophication substantially increases the arginine content of macroalgae, which may metabolically promote latent herpesviruses and cause FP tumors in green turtles. PMID:25289187

  1. Medical migration.

    PubMed

    Loefler, I J

    2001-10-01

    The issue of professional migration, however emotional it may have become, ought not to be regarded in moralizing terms. The history of western medicine is the history of migrating physicians. A doctor who moves from a locality to another to take up a new assignment there cannot be said to have "abandoned his patients". This emotional bond has become the victim of specialization and of depersonalization of medical services and not of medical migration, brain drain or otherwise. The primary reason for medical migration is not financial; the desire to migrate usually begins with the desire to learn. Professionals crave in the first line for professional satisfaction. The migration of medical manpower cannot be stopped with administrative measures and will not be stopped by exhortations and appeals, moralization and condemnations. Brain drain is a global phenomenon and has always been so. A country which loses its professionals, its doctors, should examine the social relationships within the profession and should investigate whether the opportunities for deriving professional satisfaction from everyday work exist or whether these have been thwarted by the hierarchy, conservatism, cronyism and the general lack of comprehension of what good medical care is about. PMID:11593497

  2. The influence of oceanographic features on the foraging behavior of the olive ridley sea turtle Lepidochelys olivacea along the Guiana coast

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chambault, Philippine; de Thoisy, Benoît; Heerah, Karine; Conchon, Anna; Barrioz, Sébastien; Dos Reis, Virginie; Berzins, Rachel; Kelle, Laurent; Picard, Baptiste; Roquet, Fabien; Le Maho, Yvon; Chevallier, Damien

    2016-03-01

    The circulation in the Western Equatorial Atlantic is characterized by a highly dynamic mesoscale activity that shapes the Guiana continental shelf. Olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) nesting in French Guiana cross this turbulent environment during their post-nesting migration. We studied how oceanographic and biological conditions drove the foraging behavior of 18 adult females, using satellite telemetry, remote sensing data (sea surface temperature, sea surface height, current velocity and euphotic depth), simulations of micronekton biomass (pelagic organisms) and in situ records (water temperature and salinity). The occurrence of foraging events throughout migration was located using Residence Time analysis, while an innovative proxy of the hunting time within a dive was used to identify and quantify foraging events during dives. Olive ridleys migrated northwestwards using the Guiana current and remained on the continental shelf at the edge of eddies formed by the North Brazil retroflection, an area characterized by low turbulence and high micronekton biomass. They performed mainly pelagic dives, hunting for an average 77% of their time. Hunting time within a dive increased with shallower euphotic depth and with lower water temperatures, and mean hunting depth increased with deeper thermocline. This is the first study to quantify foraging activity within dives in olive ridleys, and reveals the crucial role played by the thermocline on the foraging behavior of this carnivorous species. This study also provides novel and detailed data describing how turtles actively use oceanographic structures during post-nesting migration.

  3. [Internal migration].

    PubMed

    Borisovna, L

    1991-06-01

    Very few studies have been conducted that truly permit explanation of internal migration and it repercussions on social and economic structure. It is clear however that a profound knowledge of the determinants and consequences of internal migration will be required as a basis for economic policy decisions that advance the goal of improving the level of living of the population. the basic supposition of most studies of the relationship of population and development is that socioeconomic development conditions demographic dynamics. The process of development in Mexico, which can be characterized by great heterogeneity, consequently produces great regional disparities. At the national level various studies have estimated the volume of internal migration in Mexico, but they have usually been limited to interstate migration because the main source of data, the census, is classified by states. But given the great heterogeneity within states in all the elements related to internal migration, it is clear that studies of internal migration within states are also needed. Such studies are almost nonexistent because of their technical difficulty. National level studies show that interstate migration increased significantly between 1940-80. The proportion of Mexicans living outside their states of birth increased by 558% in those years, compared to the 342% increase in the total Mexican population. Although Puebla has a high rate of increase, migration has kept it below Mexico's national growth rate. Migration between Puebla and other states and within Puebla has led to an increasing unevenness of spatial distribution. Between 1970-80, 57 of Puebla's municipios had growth rates above the state average of 2.8%/year, 6 had growth rates equal to the average, and 129 had growth rates that were below the average but not negative. 25 states with negative growth rates that were considered strongly expulsive. In 1980, 51.7% of the population was concentrated in the 57 municipios

  4. Passive fishing techniques: a cause of turtle mortality in the Mississippi River

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barko, V.A.; Briggler, J.T.; Ostendorf, D.E.

    2004-01-01

    We investigated variation of incidentally captured turtle mortality in response to environmental factors and passive fishing techniques. We used Long Term Resource Monitoring Program (LTRMP) data collected from 1996 to 2001 in the unimpounded upper Mississippi River (UMR) adjacent to Missouri and Illinois, USA. We used a principle components analysis (PCA) and a stepwise discriminant function analysis to identify factors correlated with mortality of captured turtles. Furthermore, we were interested in what percentage of turtles died from passive fishing techniques and what techniques caused the most turtle mortality. The main factors influencing captured turtle mortality were water temperature and depth at net deployment. Fyke nets captured the most turtles and caused the most turtle mortality. Almost 90% of mortalities occurred in offshore aquatic areas (i.e., side channel or tributary). Our results provide information on causes of turtle mortality (as bycatch) in a riverine system and implications for river turtle conservation by suggesting management strategies to reduce turtle bycatch and decrease mortality of captured turtles.

  5. Seasonal Variation in Sea Turtle Density and Abundance in the Southeast Florida Current and Surrounding Waters.

    PubMed

    Bovery, Caitlin M; Wyneken, Jeanette

    2015-01-01

    Assessment and management of sea turtle populations is often limited by a lack of available data pertaining to at-sea distributions at appropriate spatial and temporal resolutions. Assessing the spatial and temporal distributions of marine turtles in an open system poses both observational and analytical challenges due to the turtles' highly migratory nature. Surface counts of marine turtles in waters along the southern part of Florida's east coast were made in and adjacent to the southeast portion of the Florida Current using standard aerial surveys during 2011 and 2012 to assess their seasonal presence. This area is of particular concern for sea turtles as interest increases in offshore energy developments, specifically harnessing the power of the Florida Current. While it is understood that marine turtles use these waters, here we evaluate seasonal variation in sea turtle abundance and density over two years. Density of sea turtles observed within the study area ranged from 0.003 turtles km-2 in the winter of 2011 to 0.064 turtles km-2 in the spring of 2012. This assessment of marine turtles in the waters off southeast Florida quantifies their in-water abundance across seasons in this area to establish baselines and inform future management strategies of these protected species. PMID:26717520

  6. Three closely related herpesviruses are associated with fibropapillomatosis in marine turtles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Quackenbush, S.L.; Work, T.M.; Balazs, G.H.; Casey, R.N.; Rovnak, J.; Chaves, A.; duToit, L.; Baines, J.D.; Parrish, C.R.; Bowser, P.R.; Casey, J.W.

    1998-01-01

    Green turtle fibropapillomatosis is a neoplastic disease of increasingly significant threat to the survivability of this species. Degenerate PCR primers that target highly conserved regions of genes encoding herpesvirus DNA polymerases were used to amplify a DNA sequence from fibropapillomas and fibromas from Hawaiian and Florida green turtles. All of the tumors tested (n= 23) were found to harbor viral DNA, whereas no viral DNA was detected in skin biopsies from tumor-negative turtles. The tissue distribution of the green turtle herpesvirus appears to be generally limited to tumors where viral DNA was found to accumulate at approximately two to five copies per cell and is occasionally detected, only by PCR, in some tissues normally associated with tumor development. In addition, herpesviral DNA was detected in fibropapillomas from two loggerhead and four olive ridley turtles. Nucleotide sequencing of a 483-bp fragment of the turtle herpesvirus DNA polymerase gene determined that the Florida green turtle and loggerhead turtle sequences are identical and differ from the Hawaiian green turtle sequence by five nucleotide changes, which results in two amino acid substitutions. The olive ridley sequence differs from the Florida and Hawaiian green turtle sequences by 15 and 16 nucleotide changes, respectively, resulting in four amino acid substitutions, three of which are unique to the olive ridley sequence. Our data suggest that these closely related turtle herpesviruses are intimately involved in the genesis of fibropapillomatosis.

  7. Recent multistate outbreaks of human salmonella infections acquired from turtles: a continuing public health challenge.

    PubMed

    Harris, Julie R; Neil, Karen P; Behravesh, Casey Barton; Sotir, Mark J; Angulo, Frederick J

    2010-02-15

    The federal ban in the United States on the sale of turtles with shell lengths <4 inches that was established in 1975 has reduced the number of turtle-associated human Salmonella infections during subsequent years, especially among children. Although numerous sporadic turtle-associated Salmonella infections in humans have been reported since the ban went into effect, outbreaks were not reported until recently. Since 2006, 3 multistate outbreaks of turtle-associated Salmonella infections have been documented in the United States. This review examines the history of turtle-associated human Salmonella infections in the United States and discusses reasons why an increase in turtle-associated salmonellosis may be occurring and how challenges in enforcement of the ban affect disease control. Additional steps should be considered by the public health community, state governments, and enforcement agencies to prevent turtle-associated Salmonella infections in humans. PMID:20085463

  8. Toxicokinetics of selenium in the slider turtle, Trachemys scripta.

    PubMed

    Dyc, Christelle; Far, Johann; Gandar, Frédéric; Poulipoulis, Anastassios; Greco, Anais; Eppe, Gauthier; Das, Krishna

    2016-05-01

    Selenium (Se) is an essential element that can be harmful for wildlife. However, its toxicity in poikilothermic amniotes, including turtles, remains poorly investigated. The present study aims at identifying selenium toxicokinetics and toxicity in juvenile slider turtles (age: 7 months), Trachemys scripta, dietary exposed to selenium, as selenomethionine SeMet, for eight weeks. Non-destructive tissues (i.e. carapace, scutes, skin and blood) were further tested for their suitability to predict selenium levels in target tissues (i.e. kidney, liver and muscle) for conservation perspective. 130 juvenile yellow-bellied slider turtles were assigned in three groups of 42 individuals each (i.e. control, SeMet1 and SeMet2). These groups were subjected to a feeding trial including an eight-week supplementation period SP 8 and a following 4-week elimination period EP 4 . During the SP8, turtles fed on diet containing 1.1 ± 0.04, 22.1 ± 1.0 and 45.0 ± 2.0 µg g(-1) of selenium (control, SeMet1 and SeMet2, respectively). During the EP4, turtles fed on non-supplemented diet. At different time during the trial, six individuals per group were sacrificed and tissues collected (i.e. carapace, scutes, skin, blood, liver, kidney, muscle) for analyses. During the SP8 (Fig. 1), both SeMet1 and SeMet2 turtles efficiently accumulated selenium from a SeMet dietary source. The more selenium was concentrated in the food, the more it was in the turtle body but the less it was removed from their tissues. Moreover, SeMet was found to be the more abundant selenium species in turtles' tissues. Body condition (i.e. growth in mass and size, feeding behaviour and activity) and survival of the SeMet1 and SeMet2 turtles seemed to be unaffected by the selenium exposure. There were clear evidences that reptilian species are differently affected by and sensitive to selenium exposure but the lack of any adverse effects was quite unexpected. Fig. 1 Design of the feeding trial. T, Time of

  9. Debris ingestion by juvenile marine turtles: an underestimated problem.

    PubMed

    Santos, Robson Guimarães; Andrades, Ryan; Boldrini, Marcillo Altoé; Martins, Agnaldo Silva

    2015-04-15

    Marine turtles are an iconic group of endangered animals threatened by debris ingestion. However, key aspects related to debris ingestion are still poorly known, including its effects on mortality and the original use of the ingested debris. Therefore, we analysed the impact of debris ingestion in 265 green turtles (Chelonia mydas) over a large geographical area and different habitats along the Brazilian coast. We determined the death rate due to debris ingestion and quantified the amount of debris that is sufficient to cause the death of juvenile green turtles. Additionally, we investigated the original use of the ingested debris. We found that a surprisingly small amount of debris was sufficient to block the digestive tract and cause death. We suggested that debris ingestion has a high death potential that may be masked by other causes of death. An expressive part of the ingested debris come from disposable and short-lived products. PMID:25749316

  10. The draft genomes of soft–shell turtle and green sea turtle yield insights into the development and evolution of the turtle–specific body plan

    PubMed Central

    Niimura, Yoshihito; Huang, Zhiyong; Li, Chunyi; White, Simon; Xiong, Zhiqiang; Fang, Dongming; Wang, Bo; Ming, Yao; Chen, Yan; Zheng, Yuan; Kuraku, Shigehiro; Pignatelli, Miguel; Herrero, Javier; Beal, Kathryn; Nozawa, Masafumi; Li, Qiye; Wang, Juan; Zhang, Hongyan; Yu, Lili; Shigenobu, Shuji; Wang, Junyi; Liu, Jiannan; Flicek, Paul; Searle, Steve; Wang, Jun; Kuratani, Shigeru; Yin, Ye; Aken, Bronwen; Zhang, Guojie; Irie, Naoki

    2014-01-01

    The unique anatomical features of turtles have raised unanswered questions about the origin of their unique body plan. We generated and analyzed draft genomes of the soft-shell turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis) and the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas); our results indicated the close relationship of the turtles to the bird-crocodilian lineage, from which they split ~267.9–248.3 million years ago (Upper Permian to Triassic). We also found extensive expansion of olfactory receptor genes in these turtles. Embryonic gene expression analysis identified an hourglass-like divergence of turtle and chicken embryogenesis, with maximal conservation around the vertebrate phylotypic period, rather than at later stages that show the amniote-common pattern. Wnt5a expression was found in the growth zone of the dorsal shell, supporting the possible co-option of limb-associated Wnt signaling in the acquisition of this turtle-specific novelty. Our results suggest that turtle evolution was accompanied by an unexpectedly conservative vertebrate phylotypic period, followed by turtle-specific repatterning of development to yield the novel structure of the shell. PMID:23624526

  11. Accidental Bait: Do Deceased Fish Increase Freshwater Turtle Bycatch in Commercial Fyke Nets?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larocque, Sarah M.; Watson, Paige; Blouin-Demers, Gabriel; Cooke, Steven J.

    2012-07-01

    Bycatch of turtles in passive inland fyke net fisheries has been poorly studied, yet bycatch is an important conservation issue given the decline in many freshwater turtle populations. Delayed maturity and low natural adult mortality make turtles particularly susceptible to population declines when faced with additional anthropogenic adult mortality such as bycatch. When turtles are captured in fyke nets, the prolonged submergence can lead to stress and subsequent drowning. Fish die within infrequently checked passive fishing nets and dead fish are a potential food source for many freshwater turtles. Dead fish could thus act as attractants and increase turtle captures in fishing nets. We investigated the attraction of turtles to decomposing fish within fyke nets in eastern Ontario. We set fyke nets with either 1 kg of one-day or five-day decomposed fish, or no decomposed fish in the cod-end of the net. Decomposing fish did not alter the capture rate of turtles or fish, nor did it alter the species composition of the catch. Thus, reducing fish mortality in nets using shorter soak times is unlikely to alter turtle bycatch rates since turtles were not attracted by the dead fish. Interestingly, turtle bycatch rates increased as water temperatures did. Water temperature also influences turtle mortality by affecting the duration turtles can remain submerged. We thus suggest that submerged nets to either not be set or have reduced soak times in warm water conditions (e.g., >20 °C) as turtles tend to be captured more frequently and cannot withstand prolonged submergence.

  12. Biomass of freshwater turtles: a geographic comparison

    SciTech Connect

    Congdon, J.D.; Greene, J.L.; Gibbons, J.W.

    1986-01-01

    Standing crop biomass of freshwater turtles and minimum annual biomass of egg production were calculated for marsh and farm pond habitats in South Caroling and in Michigan. The species in South Carolina included Chelydra serpentina, Deirochelys reticularia, Kinosternon subrubrum, Pseudemys floridana, P. scripta and Sternotherus odoratus. The species in Michigan were Chelydra serpentina, Chrysemys picta and Emydoidea blandingi. Biomass was also determined for a single species population of P. scripta on a barrier island near Charleston, South Carolina. Population density and biomass of Pseudemys scripta in Green Pond on Capers Island were higher than densities and biomass of the entire six-species community studied on the mainland. In both the farm pond and marsh habitat in South Carolina P. scripta was the numerically dominant species and had the highest biomass. In Michigan, Chrysemys picta was the numerically dominant species; however, the biomass of Chelydra serpentina was higher. The three-species community in Michigan in two marshes (58 kg ha/sup -1/ and 46 kg ha/sup -1/) and farm ponds (23 kg ha/sup -1/) had lower biomasses than did the six-species community in a South Carolina marsh (73 kg/sup -1/). Minimum annual egg production by all species in South Carolina averaged 1.93 kg ha/sup -1/ and in Michigan averaged 2.89 kg ha/sup -1/ of marsh.

  13. Traumatic Amputation of Finger From an Alligator Snapping Turtle Bite.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Robert D; Nielsen, Cynthia L

    2016-06-01

    Legend states that the alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) should be handled with extreme caution as it has jaw strength powerful enough to bite a wooden broomstick in half. Tales of bite injuries from what is the largest freshwater turtle in North America exist anecdotally, yet there are few descriptions of medical encounters for such. The risk of infection from reptilian bites to the hand in an aquatic environment warrants thorough antibiotic treatment in conjunction with hand surgery consultation. We present the first case report of a near total amputation of an index finger in an adolescent boy who had been bitten by a wild "gator snapper." PMID:27116923

  14. Encroachment of Human Activity on Sea Turtle Nesting Sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ziskin, D.; Aubrecht, C.; Elvidge, C.; Tuttle, B.; Baugh, K.; Ghosh, T.

    2008-12-01

    The encroachment of anthropogenic lighting on sea turtle nesting sites poses a serious threat to the survival of these animals [Nicholas, 2001]. This danger is quantified by combining two established data sets. The first is the Nighttime Lights data produced by the NOAA National Geophysical Data Center [Elvidge et al., 1997]. The second is the Marine Turtle Database produced by the World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC). The technique used to quantify the threat of encroachment is an adaptation of the method described in Aubrecht et al. [2008], which analyzes the stress on coral reef systems by proximity to nighttime lights near the shore. Nighttime lights near beaches have both a direct impact on turtle reproductive success since they disorient hatchlings when they mistake land-based lights for the sky-lit surf [Lorne and Salmon, 2007] and the lights are also a proxy for other anthropogenic threats. The identification of turtle nesting sites with high rates of encroachment will hopefully steer conservation efforts to mitigate their effects [Witherington, 1999]. Aubrecht, C, CD Elvidge, T Longcore, C Rich, J Safran, A Strong, M Eakin, KE Baugh, BT Tuttle, AT Howard, EH Erwin, 2008, A global inventory of coral reef stressors based on satellite observed nighttime lights, Geocarto International, London, England: Taylor and Francis. In press. Elvidge, CD, KE Baugh, EA Kihn, HW Kroehl, ER Davis, 1997, Mapping City Lights with Nighttime Data from the DMSP Operational Linescan System, Photogrammatic Engineering and Remote Sensing, 63:6, pp. 727-734. Lorne, JK, M Salmon, 2007, Effects of exposure to artificial lighting on orientation of hatchling sea turtles on the beach and in the ocean, Endangered Species Research, Vol. 3: 23-30. Nicholas, M, 2001, Light Pollution and Marine Turtle Hatchlings: The Straw that Breaks the Camel's Back?, George Wright Forum, 18:4, p77-82. Witherington, BE, 1999, Reducing Threats To Nesting Habitat, Research and Management Techniques for

  15. Migration Theories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crida, Aurélien

    2015-08-01

    The great variety of the architectures of the extra-solar planetary systems has revealed the fundamental role played by planetary migration: the interactions between the planets and the gaseous disk in which they form leads to a modification of their orbits. Here, I will review the basic processes and the most recent results in this area.Planets up to ~50 Earth masses are prone to so-called type I migration.I will describe the processes at play, namely the Lindblad and corotation torques, and explain how the total torque depends on the planet mass and the local disk structure. Application to realistic disks shows one or two sweet spot(s) for outward migration of planets roughly between 5 and 30 Earth masses around the snowline ; this is confirmed by dedicated 3D numerical simulations. This has strong consequences on the formation of hot Super-Earths or mini-Neptunes.For smaller mass planets, it has been recently proposed that the heating of the neighboring gas by the luminous planet can lead to a positive torque, hence promoting outward migration. On the other hand, if the planet is not a heat source, a cold finger appears, whose resulting torque is negative. Applications of these two recent results should be discussed.Giant planets open gaps in the proto-planetary disk, and then are supposedly subject to type II migration, following the viscous accretion of the disk. This standard picture has been questioned recently, as gas appears to drift through the gap. Although the gap opening process is well understood in 2D for a planet on a fixed orbit, recent results on 3D simulations or migrating planets make the picture more accurate.Our ever better understanding of planet-disk interactions is of crucial importance as the statistics on extra solar systems keep growing and the results of these interactions are now imaged.

  16. Monarch Migration.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williamson, Brad; Taylor, Orley

    1996-01-01

    Describes the Monarch Watch program that tracks the migration of the monarch butterfly. Presents activities that introduce students to research and international collaboration between students and researchers. Familiarizes students with monarchs, stimulates their interest, and helps them generate questions that can lead to good research projects.…

  17. Seasonal variation in sea turtle density and abundance in the southeast Florida current and surrounding waters

    SciTech Connect

    Bovery, Caitlin M.; Wyneken, Jeanette

    2015-12-30

    Assessment and management of sea turtle populations is often limited by a lack of available data pertaining to at-sea distributions at appropriate spatial and temporal resolutions. Assessing the spatial and temporal distributions of marine turtles in an open system poses both observational and analytical challenges due to the turtles’ highly migratory nature. Surface counts of marine turtles in waters along the southern part of Florida’s east coast were made in and adjacent to the southeast portion of the Florida Current using standard aerial surveys during 2011 and 2012 to assess their seasonal presence. This area is of particular concern for sea turtles as interest increases in offshore energy developments, specifically harnessing the power of the Florida Current. While it is understood that marine turtles use these waters, here we evaluate seasonal variation in sea turtle abundance and density over two years. Density of sea turtles observed within the study area ranged from 0.003 turtles km-2 in the winter of 2011 to 0.064 turtles km-2 in the spring of 2012. As a result, this assessment of marine turtles in the waters off southeast Florida quantifies their in-water abundance across seasons in this area to establish baselines and inform future management strategies of these protected species.

  18. Chelonitoxism outbreak caused from consuming turtle, Eastern Samar, Philippines, August 2013

    PubMed Central

    Ching, Paola Katrina; de los Reyes, Vikki Carr; Sucaldito, Ma Nemia; Tayag, Enrique

    2015-01-01

    Background On 21 August 2013, the Event-based Surveillance and Response system of the Department of Health, Philippines captured a foodborne illness event among residents of a coastal village in Eastern Samar, Philippines. The suspected cause was the consumption of a sea turtle found near the village. A team from the Department of Health was sent to conduct an outbreak investigation. Methods A case was defined as any person in Arteche, Eastern Samar, who developed dry mouth and burning sensation in the throat from 15 August to 27 August, 2013. Severity of the disease was classified as mild, moderate or severe. We conducted records review, environmental investigation, interviews of key informants and a retrospective cohort study. Results Sixty-eight cases were identified; four died (case fatality rate = 6%). All cases had a history of turtle meat consumption. Dose-dependent relationship was noted between amount of turtle meat consumed and the risk of illness. In the cohort study, consumption of turtle meat and turtle meat soup were associated with illness. Conclusion This study identified turtle meat as the source of this foodborne outbreak and emphasized the dangers of consuming turtle meat. Other reported cases of turtle meat poisoning in the Philippines suggest that turtle consumption is an ongoing practice in the country. By publishing information about sea turtle poisoning outbreaks in the Philippines, we hope to raise awareness of the potential severe health effects from ingesting these endangered sea creatures. PMID:26306210

  19. Seasonal variation in sea turtle density and abundance in the southeast Florida current and surrounding waters

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Bovery, Caitlin M.; Wyneken, Jeanette

    2015-12-30

    Assessment and management of sea turtle populations is often limited by a lack of available data pertaining to at-sea distributions at appropriate spatial and temporal resolutions. Assessing the spatial and temporal distributions of marine turtles in an open system poses both observational and analytical challenges due to the turtles’ highly migratory nature. Surface counts of marine turtles in waters along the southern part of Florida’s east coast were made in and adjacent to the southeast portion of the Florida Current using standard aerial surveys during 2011 and 2012 to assess their seasonal presence. This area is of particular concern formore » sea turtles as interest increases in offshore energy developments, specifically harnessing the power of the Florida Current. While it is understood that marine turtles use these waters, here we evaluate seasonal variation in sea turtle abundance and density over two years. Density of sea turtles observed within the study area ranged from 0.003 turtles km-2 in the winter of 2011 to 0.064 turtles km-2 in the spring of 2012. As a result, this assessment of marine turtles in the waters off southeast Florida quantifies their in-water abundance across seasons in this area to establish baselines and inform future management strategies of these protected species.« less

  20. Epizootiology of spirorchid infection in green turtles (Chelonia mydas) in Hawaii

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Work, T.M.; Balazs, G.H.; Schumacher, Jody L.; Marie, A.

    2005-01-01

    We describe the epizootiology of spirorchiid trematode infections in Hawaiian green turtles (Chelonia mydas) by quantifying tissue egg burdens in turtles submitted for necropsy and by assessing antibody response to crude adult worm and egg antigens among a variety of age groups. Hapalotrema sp. and Laeredius sp. predominated in turtles infected with spirorchiids. Tissue egg burdens decreased with increasing size and increased with deteriorating body condition of turtles. No relationship was found between tissue egg burdens and sex or fibropapillomatosis status. Tissue egg burdens increased in turtles from southeast to northwest in the main Hawaiian Islands (Hawaii to Kauai). Hatchling and captive-reared turtles had significantly lower levels of antibodies against crude worm and egg antigens. Based on tissue egg burdens and antibody status, we hypothesize that immature turtles become infected with spirorchiids shortly after recruiting into coastal foraging pastures from the pelagic environment, that infection levels decrease with age, and that spirorchiids detrimentally affect the body condition of sea turtles independent of tumor burden. The low intensity of infection in turtles with the endemic trematode Carettacola hawaiiensis suggests either that turtles are less susceptible to infection with this parasite or that the parasite is outcompeted by species of Hapalotrema and Laeredius. Given that the 2 latter species are found in the Pacific and other oceans, they are not likely endemic and were probably introduced into Hawaii through an undetermined route.

  1. Comparative study of the shell development of hard- and soft-shelled turtles

    PubMed Central

    Nagashima, Hiroshi; Shibata, Masahiro; Taniguchi, Mari; Ueno, Shintaro; Kamezaki, Naoki; Sato, Noboru

    2014-01-01

    The turtle shell provides a fascinating model for the investigation of the evolutionary modifications of developmental mechanisms. Different conclusions have been put forth for its development, and it is suggested that one of the causes of the disagreement could be the differences in the species of the turtles used – the differences between hard-shelled turtles and soft-shelled turtles. To elucidate the cause of the difference, we compared the turtle shell development in the two groups of turtle. In the dorsal shell development, these two turtle groups shared the gene expression profile that is required for formation, and shared similar spatial organization of the anatomical elements during development. Thus, both turtles formed the dorsal shell through a folding of the lateral body wall, and the Wnt signaling pathway appears to have been involved in the development. The ventral portion of the shell, on the other hand, contains massive dermal bones. Although expression of HNK-1 epitope has suggested that the trunk neural crest contributed to the dermal bones in the hard-shelled turtles, it was not expressed in the initial anlage of the skeletons in either of the types of turtle. Hence, no evidence was found that would support a neural crest origin. PMID:24754673

  2. Epizootiology of spirorchiid infection in green turtles (Chelonia mydas) in Hawaii.

    PubMed

    Work, Thierry M; Balazs, George H; Schumacher, Jody L; Amarisa, Marie

    2005-08-01

    We describe the epizootiology of spirorchiid trematode infections in Hawaiian green turtles (Chelonia mydas) by quantifying tissue egg burdens in turtles submitted for necropsy and by assessing antibody response to crude adult worm and egg antigens among a variety of age groups. Hapalotrema sp. and Laeredius sp. predominated in turtles infected with spirorchiids. Tissue egg burdens decreased with increasing size and increased with deteriorating body condition of turtles. No relationship was found between tissue egg burdens and sex or fibropapillomatosis status. Tissue egg burdens increased in turtles from southeast to northwest in the main Hawaiian Islands (Hawaii to Kauai). Hatchling and captive-reared turtles had significantly lower levels of antibodies against crude worm and egg antigens. Based on tissue egg burdens and antibody status, we hypothesize that immature turtles become infected with spirorchiids shortly after recruiting into coastal foraging pastures from the pelagic environment, that infection levels decrease with age, and that spirorchiids detrimentally affect the body condition of sea turtles independent of tumor burden. The low intensity of infection in turtles with the endemic trematode Carettacola hawaiiensis suggests either that turtles are less susceptible to infection with this parasite or that the parasite is outcompeted by species of Hapalotrema and Laeredius. Given that the 2 latter species are found in the Pacific and other oceans, they are not likely endemic and were probably introduced into Hawaii through an undetermined route. PMID:17089757

  3. Seasonal Variation in Sea Turtle Density and Abundance in the Southeast Florida Current and Surrounding Waters

    PubMed Central

    Bovery, Caitlin M.; Wyneken, Jeanette

    2015-01-01

    Assessment and management of sea turtle populations is often limited by a lack of available data pertaining to at-sea distributions at appropriate spatial and temporal resolutions. Assessing the spatial and temporal distributions of marine turtles in an open system poses both observational and analytical challenges due to the turtles’ highly migratory nature. Surface counts of marine turtles in waters along the southern part of Florida’s east coast were made in and adjacent to the southeast portion of the Florida Current using standard aerial surveys during 2011 and 2012 to assess their seasonal presence. This area is of particular concern for sea turtles as interest increases in offshore energy developments, specifically harnessing the power of the Florida Current. While it is understood that marine turtles use these waters, here we evaluate seasonal variation in sea turtle abundance and density over two years. Density of sea turtles observed within the study area ranged from 0.003 turtles km-2 in the winter of 2011 to 0.064 turtles km-2 in the spring of 2012. This assessment of marine turtles in the waters off southeast Florida quantifies their in-water abundance across seasons in this area to establish baselines and inform future management strategies of these protected species. PMID:26717520

  4. Measuring Energy Expenditure in Sub-Adult and Hatchling Sea Turtles via Accelerometry

    PubMed Central

    Halsey, Lewis G.; Jones, T. Todd; Jones, David R.; Liebsch, Nikolai; Booth, David T.

    2011-01-01

    Measuring the metabolic of sea turtles is fundamental to understanding their ecology yet the presently available methods are limited. Accelerometry is a relatively new technique for estimating metabolic rate that has shown promise with a number of species but its utility with air-breathing divers is not yet established. The present study undertakes laboratory experiments to investigate whether rate of oxygen uptake (o2) at the surface in active sub-adult green turtles Chelonia mydas and hatchling loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta correlates with overall dynamic body acceleration (ODBA), a derivative of acceleration used as a proxy for metabolic rate. Six green turtles (25–44 kg) and two loggerhead turtles (20 g) were instrumented with tri-axial acceleration logging devices and placed singly into a respirometry chamber. The green turtles were able to submerge freely within a 1.5 m deep tank and the loggerhead turtles were tethered in water 16 cm deep so that they swam at the surface. A significant prediction equation for mean o2 over an hour in a green turtle from measures of ODBA and mean flipper length (R2 = 0.56) returned a mean estimate error across turtles of 8.0%. The range of temperatures used in the green turtle experiments (22–30°C) had only a small effect on o2. A o2-ODBA equation for the loggerhead hatchling data was also significant (R2 = 0.67). Together these data indicate the potential of the accelerometry technique for estimating energy expenditure in sea turtles, which may have important applications in sea turtle diving ecology, and also in conservation such as assessing turtle survival times when trapped underwater in fishing nets. PMID:21829613

  5. Measuring energy expenditure in sub-adult and hatchling sea turtles via accelerometry.

    PubMed

    Halsey, Lewis G; Jones, T Todd; Jones, David R; Liebsch, Nikolai; Booth, David T

    2011-01-01

    Measuring the metabolic of sea turtles is fundamental to understanding their ecology yet the presently available methods are limited. Accelerometry is a relatively new technique for estimating metabolic rate that has shown promise with a number of species but its utility with air-breathing divers is not yet established. The present study undertakes laboratory experiments to investigate whether rate of oxygen uptake (VO2) at the surface in active sub-adult green turtles Chelonia mydas and hatchling loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta correlates with overall dynamic body acceleration (ODBA), a derivative of acceleration used as a proxy for metabolic rate. Six green turtles (25-44 kg) and two loggerhead turtles (20 g) were instrumented with tri-axial acceleration logging devices and placed singly into a respirometry chamber. The green turtles were able to submerge freely within a 1.5 m deep tank and the loggerhead turtles were tethered in water 16 cm deep so that they swam at the surface. A significant prediction equation for mean VO2 over an hour in a green turtle from measures of ODBA and mean flipper length (R(2) = 0.56) returned a mean estimate error across turtles of 8.0%. The range of temperatures used in the green turtle experiments (22-30 °C) had only a small effect on Vo₂. A VO2-ODBA equation for the loggerhead hatchling data was also significant (R(2) = 0.67). Together these data indicate the potential of the accelerometry technique for estimating energy expenditure in sea turtles, which may have important applications in sea turtle diving ecology, and also in conservation such as assessing turtle survival times when trapped underwater in fishing nets. PMID:21829613

  6. Atomic Force Microscopy of Asymmetric Membranes from Turtle Erythrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Yongmei; Cai, Mingjun; Xu, Haijiao; Ding, Bohua; Hao, Xian; Jiang, Junguang; Sun, Yingchun; Wang, Hongda

    2014-01-01

    The cell membrane provides critical cellular functions that rely on its elaborate structure and organization. The structure of turtle membranes is an important part of an ongoing study of erythrocyte membranes. Using a combination of atomic force microscopy and single-molecule force spectroscopy, we characterized the turtle erythrocyte membrane structure with molecular resolution in a quasi-native state. High-resolution images both leaflets of turtle erythrocyte membranes revealed a smooth outer membrane leaflet and a protein covered inner membrane leaflet. This asymmetry was verified by single-molecule force spectroscopy, which detects numerous exposed amino groups of membrane proteins in the inner membrane leaflet but much fewer in the outer leaflet. The asymmetric membrane structure of turtle erythrocytes is consistent with the semi-mosaic model of human, chicken and fish erythrocyte membrane structure, making the semi-mosaic model more widely applicable. From the perspective of biological evolution, this result may support the universality of the semi-mosaic model. PMID:25134535

  7. TurtleGraph: A Computer Supported Cooperative Learning Environment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jehng, Jihn-Chang J.; And Others

    This paper discusses a computerized learning environment called TurtleGraph that is designed and developed to support collaborative problem solving. Within the learning environment, learners are requested to write computer programs to generate geometric figures. The instructional focus of the system is to enhance the learner's List Processor…

  8. 77 FR 27411 - Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp Trawling Requirements

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-05-10

    ... presenting various approaches to regulating trawl fisheries in the Atlantic Ocean (74 FR 21627). The scoping... skimmer trawls, pusher-head trawls, and wing nets (butterfly trawls) rigged for fishing to use turtle... (butterfly trawls). For example, on May 8, 2009, NMFS published a notice of intent (NOI) to prepare...

  9. Coping with Ninja Turtle Play in My Kindergarten Classroom.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gronlund, Gaye

    1992-01-01

    Describes one teacher's efforts to understand children's aggressive play by reading literature that suggests children use play to construct meaning, viewing the Ninja Turtle cartoon show, and interviewing children about their superhero play. Male and female roles in play, aggression and violence, and television commercialism are discussed. (LB)

  10. ORGANOCHLORINE CONTAMINANTS IN SEA TURTLES FROM THE EASTERN PACIFIC

    EPA Science Inventory

    We measured organochlorine residues in three species of sea turtles from the Baja California peninsula, Mexico. Seventeen of 21 organochlorine pesticides analyzed were detected, with heptachlor epoxide and y-hexachlorocyclohexane the most prevalent in 14 (40%) and 11 (31%) of th...

  11. Turtle Mountain Faculty Helps Build Model Assessment Tool.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yellow Bird, Dorreen

    1999-01-01

    Describes the assessment plan developed by Turtle Mountain Community College to better respond to the needs of its growing student body. Includes a description of the survey instrument administered to graduating students, which was used to assess the institution's effectiveness. (VWC)

  12. 78 FR 63872 - Turtles Intrastate and Interstate Requirements

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-10-25

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 1240 Turtles Intrastate and Interstate Requirements Correction In rule document 2013-17751 appearing on pages 44878-44881 in the issue of July...

  13. Neurological disease in wild loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, Elliott R; Homer, Bruce L; Stacy, Brian A; Greiner, Ellis C; Szabo, Nancy J; Chrisman, Cheryl L; Origgi, Francesco; Coberley, Sadie; Foley, Allen M; Landsberg, Jan H; Flewelling, Leanne; Ewing, Ruth Y; Moretti, Richie; Schaf, Susan; Rose, Corinne; Mader, Douglas R; Harman, Glenn R; Manire, Charles A; Mettee, Nancy S; Mizisin, Andrew P; Shelton, G Diane

    2006-06-12

    Beginning in October 2000, subadult loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta showing clinical signs of a neurological disorder were found in waters off south Florida, USA. Histopathology indicated generalized and neurologic spirorchiidiasis. In loggerhead sea turtles (LST) with neurospirorchiidiasis, adult trematodes were found in the meninges of the brain and spinal cord of 7 and 3 affected turtles respectively, and multiple encephalic intravascular or perivascular eggs were associated with granulomatous or mixed leukocytic inflammation, vasculitis, edema, axonal degeneration and occasional necrosis. Adult spirorchiids were dissected from meningeal vessels of 2 of 11 LST brains and 1 of 10 spinal cords and were identified as Neospirorchis sp. Affected LST were evaluated for brevetoxins, ciguatoxins, saxitoxins, domoic acid and palytoxin. While tissues from 7 of 20 LST tested positive for brevetoxins, the levels were not considered to be in a range causing acute toxicosis. No known natural (algal blooms) or anthropogenic (pollutant spills) stressors co-occurred with the turtle mortality. While heavy metal toxicosis and organophosphate toxicosis were also investigated as possible causes, there was no evidence for their involvement. We speculate that the clinical signs and pathologic changes seen in the affected LST resulted from combined heavy spirorchiid parasitism and possible chronic exposure to a novel toxin present in the diet of LST. PMID:16875401

  14. Movement mysteries unveiled: spatial ecology of juvenile green sea turtles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shaver, Donna J.; Hart, Kristen M.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Rubio, Cynthia; Sartain-Iverson, Autumn R.

    2013-01-01

    Locations of important foraging areas are not well defined for many marine species. Unraveling these mysteries is vital to develop conservation strategies for these species, many of which are threatened or endangered. Satellite-tracking is a tool that can reveal movement patterns at both broad and fine spatial scales, in all marine environments. This chapter presents records of the longest duration track of an individual juvenile green turtle (434 days) and highest number of tracking days in any juvenile green turtle study (5483 tracking days) published to date. In this chapter, we use spatial modeling techniques to describe movements and identify foraging areas for juvenile green turtles (Chelonia mydas) captured in a developmental habitat in south Texas, USA. Some green turtles established residency in the vicinity of their capture and release site, but most used a specific habitat feature (i.e., a jettied pass) to travel between the Gulf of Mexico and a nearby bay. Still others moved southward within the Gulf of Mexico into Mexican coastal waters, likely in response to decreasing water temperatures. These movements to waters off the coast of Mexico highlight the importance of international cooperation in restoration efforts undertaken on behalf of this imperiled species.

  15. Turtle Carapace Anomalies: The Roles of Genetic Diversity and Environment

    PubMed Central

    Velo-Antón, Guillermo; Becker, C. Guilherme; Cordero-Rivera, Adolfo

    2011-01-01

    Background Phenotypic anomalies are common in wild populations and multiple genetic, biotic and abiotic factors might contribute to their formation. Turtles are excellent models for the study of developmental instability because anomalies are easily detected in the form of malformations, additions, or reductions in the number of scutes or scales. Methodology/Principal Findings In this study, we integrated field observations, manipulative experiments, and climatic and genetic approaches to investigate the origin of carapace scute anomalies across Iberian populations of the European pond turtle, Emys orbicularis. The proportion of anomalous individuals varied from 3% to 69% in local populations, with increasing frequency of anomalies in northern regions. We found no significant effect of climatic and soil moisture, or climatic temperature on the occurrence of anomalies. However, lower genetic diversity and inbreeding were good predictors of the prevalence of scute anomalies among populations. Both decreasing genetic diversity and increasing proportion of anomalous individuals in northern parts of the Iberian distribution may be linked to recolonization events from the Southern Pleistocene refugium. Conclusions/Significance Overall, our results suggest that developmental instability in turtle carapace formation might be caused, at least in part, by genetic factors, although the influence of environmental factors affecting the developmental stability of turtle carapace cannot be ruled out. Further studies of the effects of environmental factors, pollutants and heritability of anomalies would be useful to better understand the complex origin of anomalies in natural populations. PMID:21533278

  16. 50 CFR 226.208 - Critical habitat for green turtle.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Critical habitat for green turtle. 226.208 Section 226.208 Wildlife and Fisheries NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITAT § 226.208 Critical habitat...

  17. 50 CFR 226.208 - Critical habitat for green turtle.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Critical habitat for green turtle. 226.208 Section 226.208 Wildlife and Fisheries NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE MARINE MAMMALS DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITAT § 226.208 Critical habitat...

  18. 21 CFR 1240.62 - Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements. 1240.62 Section 1240.62 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) REGULATIONS UNDER CERTAIN OTHER ACTS ADMINISTERED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION CONTROL OF COMMUNICABLE DISEASES...

  19. 50 CFR 660.720 - Interim protection for sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 13 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Interim protection for sea turtles. 660.720 Section 660.720 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE (CONTINUED) FISHERIES OFF WEST COAST STATES Highly Migratory Fisheries § 660.720 Interim...

  20. First gut contents in a Cretaceous sea turtle

    PubMed Central

    Kear, Benjamin P

    2005-01-01

    Modern sea turtles utilize a variety of feeding strategies ranging from herbivory to omnivory. In contrast, the diets of fossil sea turtles are poorly known. This study reports the first direct evidence: inoceramid bivalve shell pieces (encased in phosphatic material) preserved within the body cavities of several small protostegid turtles (cf. Notochelone) from the Lower Cretaceous of Australia. The shell fragments are densely packed and approximately 5–20 mm across. Identical shell accumulations have been found within coprolite masses from the same deposits; these are of a correct size to have originated from Notochelone, and indicate that benthic molluscs were regular food items. The thin, flexible inoceramid shells (composed of organic material integrated into a prismatic calcite framework) appear to have been bitten into segments and ingested, presumably in conjunction with visceral/mantle tissues and encrusting organisms. Although protostegids have been elsewhere interpreted as potential molluscivores, their primitive limb morphology is thought to have limited them to surface feeding. However, the evidence here that at least some forms were able to utilize benthic invertebrate prey indicates that, like modern sea turtles, protostegids probably exhibited a much broader range of feeding habits. PMID:17148341

  1. Evidence for auditory localization ability in the turtle.

    PubMed

    Lenhardt, M L

    1981-10-01

    Evidence is presented that the semiaquatic turtle Chrysemys scripta and the terrestrial turtle Terrapene carolina major can detect the direction of a tone within their sensitive area of hearing. It is further suggested that not only can these species respond behaviorally to sound without extensive manipulation but can use limited hearing in a problem-solving situation of maze learning. Adult emydid turtles (5 C. scripta, 3 T. carolina) learned a Y-maze with a 500-c/s signal to an invisible open goal box to avoid bright light. All animals performed above chance levels, but it required over 240 trials on the average to reach 60%-correct performance. Computations suggest that binaural cues used by mammals would not be adequately encoded by the primitive auditory systems of the species studied. It is further suggested that these turtles use bone conduction by coupling their ears to the substrate to hear vibrations in the immediate area. This would appear to be a carryover from the ancient reptile stem stock. The poor middle-ear impedance system relegates air-borne sound processing to be a somewhat insensitive limited low-pass system, depending heavily on monaural cues derived from head scanning. vocal output in these species appears to be spectrally imbalanced with their auditory sensitivity. The role of species-specific vocal signalling is unclear from the present data. PMID:7186502

  2. Detecting spring after a long winter: coma or slow vigilance in cold, hypoxic turtles?

    PubMed Central

    Madsen, Jesper G.; Wang, Tobias; Beedholm, Kristian; Madsen, Peter T.

    2013-01-01

    Many freshwater turtle species can spend the winter submerged in ice-covered lakes by lowering their metabolism, and it has been proposed that such severe metabolic depression render these turtles comatose. This raises the question of how they can detect the arrival of spring and respond in a sensible way to sensory information during hibernation. Using evoked potentials from cold or hypoxic turtles exposed to vibration and light, we show that hibernating turtles maintain neural responsiveness to light stimuli during prolonged hypoxia. Furthermore, turtles held under hibernation conditions for 14 days increase their activity when exposed to light or elevated temperatures, but not to vibration or increased oxygen. It is concluded that hibernating turtles are not comatose, but remain vigilant during overwintering in cold hypoxia, allowing them to respond to the coming of spring and to adjust their behaviour to specific sensory inputs. PMID:24108677

  3. Populations and home range relationships of the box turtle, Terrapene c. carolina (Linnaeus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stickel, L.F.

    1950-01-01

    SUMMARY: A population study of the box turtle (Terrapene c. carolina Linnaeus) was made during the years 1944 to 1947 at the Patuxent Research Refuge, Maryland. A thirty acre area in well drained bottomland forest on the flood plain of the Patuxent River was selected for intensive study. Similarly forested land extended in all directions from the study plot. Markers were established at eighty-three foot intervals over the study plot for reference in recording locality data. Individuals were marked by filing notches in the marginal scutes according to a code system. There were 2109 collections of study area turtles. Records of collecting sites and turtle behavior showed that in the bottomlands habitat cover is utilized extensively during the day as well as at night. Turtles not actively moving about are almost always found in or around brush piles, heaps of debris, and tangles of vines and briars. Gully banks and woods openings are used for sunning. Turtles are occasionally found in the mud or water of the gullies. The commonest type of night retreat is a cavity constructed by the turtle in leaves, debris, or earth. These cavities, termed 'forms,' may be used only once, but are sometimes used repeatedly, often at intervals of several days or more. Different turtles sometimes use the same form on successive nights. Weather conditions most favorable to turtle activity are high humidity, warm sunny days, and frequent rains. The most unfavorable influences are low temperatures and drought. On most summer days there are some active turtles but individual turtles are not active every day. Periods of activity are alternated with periods of quiet even in favorable weather. This behavior is most pronounced in early spring and late fall when inactive days are often more numerous than active ones. Adult turtles occupy specific home ranges which they maintain from year to year. The turtles living in the study plot retained their ranges even through a flood that completely

  4. Impacts of plastic ingestion on post-hatchling loggerhead turtles off South Africa.

    PubMed

    Ryan, Peter G; Cole, Georgina; Spiby, Kevin; Nel, Ronel; Osborne, Alexis; Perold, Vonica

    2016-06-15

    Twenty-four of 40 (60%) loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta post-hatchlings (carapace<9cm) that died within 2months of stranding on southern Cape beaches in April 2015 contained ingested anthropogenic debris. Plastic comprised of 99% of debris: 77% hard plastic fragments, 10% flexible packaging and 8% fibres; industrial pellets comprised only 3%, compared to ~70% in 1968-1973, when 12% of stranded post-hatchlings contained plastics. Turtles selected for white (38%) and blue (19%) items, but translucent items (23%) were under-represented compared to beach mesodebris. Ingested loads did not decrease up to 52days in captivity, indicating long retention times. Plastic killed 11 turtles by blocking their digestive tracts or bladders, and contributed to the deaths of five other turtles. Our results indicate that the amount and diversity of plastic ingested by post-hatchling loggerhead turtles off South Africa have increased over the last four decades, and now kill some turtles. PMID:27087353

  5. Prevalence of Ingested Fish Hooks in Freshwater Turtles from Five Rivers in the Southeastern United States

    PubMed Central

    Steen, David A.; Hopkins, Brittney C.; Van Dyke, James U.; Hopkins, William A.

    2014-01-01

    Freshwater turtles may ingest baited fish hooks because many are opportunistic scavengers. Although the ingestion of fish hooks is known to be a source of mortality in multiple vertebrate groups, the prevalence of hook ingestion by freshwater turtles has not been well studied. We trapped turtles from five rivers in the southeastern United States and used radiographs to examine over 600 individuals of four species. Depending on the species, sex, and age class, 0–33% of turtles contained ingested fish hooks. For some species, larger turtles were more likely to contain a fish hook than smaller individuals. Freshwater turtle demography suggests that even small increases in adult mortality may lead to population declines. If our study areas are representative of other aquatic systems that receive fishing pressure, this work likely identifies a potential conflict between a widespread, common recreational activity (i.e., fishing) and an imperiled taxonomic group. PMID:24621919

  6. EFFECTS OF "SWIM WITH THE TURTLES" TOURIST ATTRACTIONS ON GREEN SEA TURTLE (CHELONIA MYDAS) HEALTH IN BARBADOS, WEST INDIES.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Kimberly; Norton, Terry; Mohammed, Hamish; Browne, Darren; Clements, Kathleen; Thomas, Kirsten; Yaw, Taylor; Horrocks, Julia

    2016-04-01

    Along the West Coast of Barbados a unique relationship has developed between endangered green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) and humans. Fishermen began inadvertently provisioning these foraging turtles with fish offal discarded from their boats. Although initially an indirect supplementation, this activity became a popular attraction for visitors. Subsequently, demand for this activity increased, and direct supplementation or provisioning with food began. Food items offered included raw whole fish (typically a mixture of false herring [Harengula clupeola] and pilchard [Harengula humeralis]), filleted fish, and lesser amounts of processed food such as hot dogs, chicken, bread, or various other leftovers. Alterations in behavior and growth rates as a result of the provisioning have been documented in this population. The purpose of this study was to determine how tourism-based human interactions are affecting the overall health of this foraging population and to determine what potential health risks these interactions may create for sea turtles. Juvenile green sea turtles (n=29) were captured from four sites off the coast of Barbados, West Indies, and categorized into a group that received supplemental feeding as part of a tour (n=11) or an unsupplemented group (n=18) that consisted of individuals that were captured at sites that did not provide supplemental feeding. Following capture, a general health assessment of each animal was conducted. This included weight and morphometric measurements, a systematic physical examination, determination of body condition score and body condition index, epibiota assessment and quantification, and clinical pathology including hematologic and biochemical testing and nutritional assessments. The supplemented group was found to have changes to body condition, vitamin, mineral, hematologic, and biochemical values. Based on these results, recommendations were made to decrease negative behaviors and health impacts for turtles as a result

  7. Reticulate melanism in western painted turtles (Chrysemys picta bellii): Exploring linkages with habitat and heating rates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gronke, W.K.; Chipps, S.R.; Bandas, S.J.; Higgins, K.F.

    2006-01-01

    In western painted turtles (Chrysemys picta bellii), males often exhibit one of two morphs: (1) a reticulated form, characterized by an intricate network of dark markings on the carapace or (2) a non-reticulated form. Although several hypotheses have been proposed to explain the adaptive significance of reticulate melanism (RM) on western painted turtles, no attempts have been made to document whether RM is linked to habitat conditions or if the presence of melanism affects heating rates. To evaluate these questions, we compared the frequency of adult male turtles with RM across three different habitats: riverine (rivers), lacustrine (lakes) and palustrine (wetland) habitats. Using manipulative experiments, we also tested the hypothesis that body heating rates are higher in turtles with RM. Reticulate melanism occurred on 99 (31%) of 320 male turtles captured in South Dakota from 2002 to 2003. Turtles with reticulate melanism were significantly larger than non-reticulated turtles; RM was not observed on male turtles with carapace lengths 15 cm carapace length) with RM was similar among river (0.54), lake (0.50) and wetland (0.64) habitats, implying that RM is not a habitat-linked trait. Heating rates for turtles with RM were similar to those measured for non-reticulated individuals. Body size, however, influenced heating rates; larger-bodied turtles with lower surface area-to-volume ratio heated more slowly than smaller turtles. Whether RM is a by-product of hormonal regulation or serves an adaptive purpose remains unclear. However, other hypotheses, especially those involving communication (e.g., courtship behavior) and/or gamete protection remain untested for western painted turtles and warrant further investigation.

  8. Cutaneous hyalohyphomycosis caused by Fusarium solani in a loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta L.).

    PubMed Central

    Cabañes, F J; Alonso, J M; Castellá, G; Alegre, F; Domingo, M; Pont, S

    1997-01-01

    Fusarium solani was reported as the agent of a cutaneous infection in an injured sea turtle collected in the Mediterranean Sea. The turtle was treated with both a topical 10% solution of iodine in alcohol and ketoconazole. The source of the causal agent was traced to the sand in the tank in which the turtle was maintained. The strain was only sensitive in vitro to amphotericin B and was resistant to 5-fluorocytosine, fluconazole, itraconazole, and ketoconazole. PMID:9399554

  9. Case descriptions of fibropapillomatosis in rehabilitating loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta in the southeastern USA.

    PubMed

    Page-Karjian, Annie; Norton, Terry M; Harms, Craig; Mader, Doug; Herbst, Larry H; Stedman, Nancy; Gottdenker, Nicole L

    2015-08-20

    Fibropapillomatosis (FP) is a debilitating neoplastic disease that affects all species of hard-shelled sea turtles, including loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta. FP can represent an important clinical concern in rehabilitating turtles, since managing these infectious lesions often requires special husbandry provisions including quarantine, and FP may affect clinical progression, extend rehabilitation duration, and complicate prognoses. Here we describe cases of rehabilitating loggerhead turtles with FP (designated FP+). Medical records of FP+ loggerhead cases from 3 sea turtle rehabilitation facilities in the southeastern USA were reviewed. Between 2001 and 2014, FP was observed in 8 of 818 rehabilitating loggerhead turtles (0.98% overall prevalence in admitted patients). FP+ loggerhead size classes represented were large juvenile (straight carapace length, SCL: 58.1-80 cm; n=7) and adult (SCL>87 cm; n=1). Three turtles presented with FP, and 5 developed tumors during rehabilitation within a range of 45 to 319 d. Sites of new tumor growth included the eyes, sites of trauma, neck, and glottis. FP+ turtles were scored as mildly (3/8), moderately (4/8), or heavily (1/8) afflicted. The mean total time in rehabilitation was 476±355 d (SD) (range: 52-1159 d). Six turtles were released without visible evidence of FP, 1 turtle was released with mild FP, and 1 turtle with internal FP was euthanized. Clinical decision-making for FP+ loggerhead patients can be aided by such information as time to tumor development, anatomic locations to monitor for new tumor growth, husbandry considerations, diagnostic and treatment options, and comparisons to FP in rehabilitating green turtles Chelonia mydas. PMID:26290503

  10. Immunological evaluation of captive green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) with ulcerative dermatitis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muñoz, Fernando Alberto; Estrada-Para; Sergio; Romero-Rojas, Andrés; Gonzalez-Ballesteros, Erik; Work, Thierry; Villaseñor-Gaona, Hector; Estrada-Garcia, Iris

    2013-01-01

    Ulcerative dermatitis (UD) is common in captive sea turtles and manifests as skin erosions and ulcers associated with gram-negative bacteria. This study compared clinically healthy and UD-affected captive turtles by evaluating hematology, histopathology, immunoglobulin levels, and delayed-type hypersensitivity assay. Turtles with UD had significantly lower weight, reduced delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) responses, and higher heterophil:lymphocyte ratios. This study is the first to assay DTH in green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and suggests that UD is associated with immunosuppression.

  11. Use of Dry Tortugas National Park by threatened and endangered marine turtles: Chapter 5

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hart, Kristin M.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Sartain-Iverson, Autumn R.

    2012-01-01

    Satellite and acoustic tracking results for green turtles, hawksbills, and loggerheads have revealed patterns in the proportion of time that tagged turtles spend within various zones of the park, including the RNA. Green turtles primarily utilize the shallow areas in the northern portion of the park. Hawksbills were mostly observed near Garden Key and loggerheads were observed throughout DRTO. Our record of turtle captures, recaptures, and sightings over the last 4 years serves as a baseline database for understanding the size classes of each species present in the park, as well as species-specific habitats in DRTO waters.

  12. Haemogregarine infections of three species of aquatic freshwater turtles from two sites in Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Rossow, John A; Hernandez, Sonia M; Sumner, Scarlett M; Altman, Bridget R; Crider, Caroline G; Gammage, Mallory B; Segal, Kristy M; Yabsley, Michael J

    2013-12-01

    Twenty-five black river turtles (Rhinoclemmys funerea) and eight white-lipped mud turtles (Kinosternon leucostomum) from Selva Verde, Costa Rica were examined for haemoparasites. Leeches identified as Placobdella multilineata were detected on individuals from both species. All turtles sampled were positive for intraerythrocytic haemogregarines (Apicomplexa:Adeleorina) and the average parasitemia of black river turtles (0.34% ± 0.07) was significantly higher compared to white-lipped mud turtles (0.05% ± 0.006). No correlation was found between parasitemia and relative body mass of either species or between black river turtles from the two habitats. In addition, one scorpion mud turtle (Kinosternon scorpioides) examined from La Pacifica, Costa Rica, was positive for haemogregarines (0.01% parasitemia). Interestingly, parasites of the scorpion mud turtle were significantly smaller than those from the other two species and did not displace the erythrocyte nucleus, whereas parasites from the other two species consistently displaced host cell nuclei and often distorted size and shape of erythrocytes. This is the first report of haemogregarines in turtles from Central America and of haemogregarines in K. leucostomum, K. scorpioides, and any Rhinoclemmys species. Additional studies are needed to better characterise and understand the ecology of these parasites. PMID:24533326

  13. The influence of bacterial lipopolysaccharide on the thermoregulation of the box turtle Terrapene carolina.

    PubMed

    do Amaral, José Pedro Sousa; Marvin, Glenn A; Hutchison, Victor H

    2002-01-01

    Ectotherms can adjust their thermoregulatory set points in response to bacterial infection; the result may be similar to endothermic fever. We examined the influence of dose on the set point of body temperature (T(b)) in Terrapene carolina. After acclimating postprandial turtles to 20 degrees C, we injected them with two doses of bacterial endotoxin (LPS; lipopolysaccharide from Escherichia coli), 0.0025 or 0.025 mg LPS/g nonshell body mass, or with reptilian saline (control group). We placed the animals singly in linear thigmothermal gradients and recorded their T(b)'s for 48 h. The turtles showed dose-influenced thermal selection. Turtles injected with the high dose had T(b)'s significantly higher than control turtles, whereas low-dose turtles had T(b)'s significantly lower than control turtles. Also, there was a low daily effect on the T(b) of the turtles injected with the high dose. High-dose turtles had significantly higher T(b)'s than the control turtles during the first day but not during the second. Our results support the prediction of Romanovsky and Székely that an infectious agent may elicit opposite thermoregulatory responses depending on quality and quantity of the agent and the host health status. PMID:12177830

  14. TURTLE IN SPACE DESCRIBES NEW HUBBLE IMAGE

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has shown us that the shrouds of gas surrounding dying, sunlike stars (called planetary nebulae) come in a variety of strange shapes, from an 'hourglass' to a 'butterfly' to a 'stingray.' With this image of NGC 6210, the Hubble telescope has added another bizarre form to the rogues' gallery of planetary nebulae: a turtle swallowing a seashell. Giving this dying star such a weird name is less of a challenge than trying to figure out how dying stars create these unusual shapes. The larger image shows the entire nebula; the inset picture captures the complicated structure surrounding the dying star. The remarkable features of this nebula are the numerous holes in the inner shells with jets of material streaming from them. These jets produce column-shaped features that are mirrored in the opposite direction. The multiple shells of material ejected by the dying star give this planetary nebula its odd form. In the 'full nebula' image, the brighter central region looks like a 'nautilus shell'; the fainter outer structure (colored red) a 'tortoise.' The dying star is the white dot in the center. Both pictures are composite images based on observations taken Aug. 6, 1997 with the telescope's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2. Material flung off by this central star is streaming out of holes it punched in the nautilus shell. At least four jets of material can be seen in the 'full nebula' image: a pair near 6 and 12 o'clock and another near 2 and 8 o'clock. In each pair, the jets are directly opposite each other, exemplifying their 'bipolar' nature. The jets are thought to be driven by a 'fast wind' - material propelled by radiation from the hot central star. In the inner 'nautilus' shell, bright rims outline the escape holes created by this 'wind,' such as the one at 2 o'clock. This same 'wind' appears to give rise to the prominent outer jet in the same direction. The hole in the inner shell acts like a hose nozzle, directing the flow of

  15. Migration, foraging, and residency patterns for Northern Gulf loggerheads: implications of local threats and international movements

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hart, Kristen M.; Lamont, Margaret M.; Sartain-Iverson, Autumn R.; Fujisaki, Ikuko

    2014-01-01

    Northern Gulf of Mexico (NGoM) loggerheads (Caretta caretta) make up one of the smallest subpopulations of this threatened species and have declining nest numbers. We used satellite telemetry and a switching state-space model to identify distinct foraging areas used by 59 NGoM loggerheads tagged during 2010–2013. We tagged turtles after nesting at three sites, 1 in Alabama (Gulf Shores; n = 37) and 2 in Florida (St. Joseph Peninsula; n = 20 and Eglin Air Force Base; n = 2). Peak migration time was 22 July to 9 August during which >40% of turtles were in migration mode; the mean post-nesting migration period was 23.0 d (±13.8 d SD). After displacement from nesting beaches, 44 turtles traveled to foraging sites where they remained resident throughout tracking durations. Selected foraging locations were variable distances from tagging sites, and in 5 geographic regions; no turtles selected foraging sites outside the Gulf of Mexico (GoM). Foraging sites delineated using 50% kernel density estimation were located a mean distance of 47.6 km from land and in water with mean depth of −32.5 m; other foraging sites, delineated using minimum convex polygons, were located a mean distance of 43.0 km from land and in water with a mean depth of −24.9 m. Foraging sites overlapped with known trawling activities, oil and gas extraction activities, and the footprint of surface oiling during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill (n = 10). Our results highlight the year-round use of habitats in the GoM by loggerheads that nest in the NGoM. Our findings indicate that protection of females in this subpopulation requires both international collaborations and management of threats that spatially overlap with distinct foraging habitats.

  16. Migration, foraging, and residency patterns for Northern Gulf loggerheads: implications of local threats and international movements.

    PubMed

    Hart, Kristen M; Lamont, Margaret M; Sartain, Autumn R; Fujisaki, Ikuko

    2014-01-01

    Northern Gulf of Mexico (NGoM) loggerheads (Caretta caretta) make up one of the smallest subpopulations of this threatened species and have declining nest numbers. We used satellite telemetry and a switching state-space model to identify distinct foraging areas used by 59 NGoM loggerheads tagged during 2010-2013. We tagged turtles after nesting at three sites, 1 in Alabama (Gulf Shores; n = 37) and 2 in Florida (St. Joseph Peninsula; n = 20 and Eglin Air Force Base; n = 2). Peak migration time was 22 July to 9 August during which >40% of turtles were in migration mode; the mean post-nesting migration period was 23.0 d (±13.8 d SD). After displacement from nesting beaches, 44 turtles traveled to foraging sites where they remained resident throughout tracking durations. Selected foraging locations were variable distances from tagging sites, and in 5 geographic regions; no turtles selected foraging sites outside the Gulf of Mexico (GoM). Foraging sites delineated using 50% kernel density estimation were located a mean distance of 47.6 km from land and in water with mean depth of -32.5 m; other foraging sites, delineated using minimum convex polygons, were located a mean distance of 43.0 km from land and in water with a mean depth of -24.9 m. Foraging sites overlapped with known trawling activities, oil and gas extraction activities, and the footprint of surface oiling during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill (n = 10). Our results highlight the year-round use of habitats in the GoM by loggerheads that nest in the NGoM. Our findings indicate that protection of females in this subpopulation requires both international collaborations and management of threats that spatially overlap with distinct foraging habitats. PMID:25076053

  17. Migration, Foraging, and Residency Patterns for Northern Gulf Loggerheads: Implications of Local Threats and International Movements

    PubMed Central

    Hart, Kristen M.; Lamont, Margaret M.; Sartain, Autumn R.; Fujisaki, Ikuko

    2014-01-01

    Northern Gulf of Mexico (NGoM) loggerheads (Caretta caretta) make up one of the smallest subpopulations of this threatened species and have declining nest numbers. We used satellite telemetry and a switching state-space model to identify distinct foraging areas used by 59 NGoM loggerheads tagged during 2010–2013. We tagged turtles after nesting at three sites, 1 in Alabama (Gulf Shores; n = 37) and 2 in Florida (St. Joseph Peninsula; n = 20 and Eglin Air Force Base; n = 2). Peak migration time was 22 July to 9 August during which >40% of turtles were in migration mode; the mean post-nesting migration period was 23.0 d (±13.8 d SD). After displacement from nesting beaches, 44 turtles traveled to foraging sites where they remained resident throughout tracking durations. Selected foraging locations were variable distances from tagging sites, and in 5 geographic regions; no turtles selected foraging sites outside the Gulf of Mexico (GoM). Foraging sites delineated using 50% kernel density estimation were located a mean distance of 47.6 km from land and in water with mean depth of −32.5 m; other foraging sites, delineated using minimum convex polygons, were located a mean distance of 43.0 km from land and in water with a mean depth of −24.9 m. Foraging sites overlapped with known trawling activities, oil and gas extraction activities, and the footprint of surface oiling during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill (n = 10). Our results highlight the year-round use of habitats in the GoM by loggerheads that nest in the NGoM. Our findings indicate that protection of females in this subpopulation requires both international collaborations and management of threats that spatially overlap with distinct foraging habitats. PMID:25076053

  18. Aural abscesses in wild-caught box turtles (Terapene carolina): possible role of organochlorine-induced hypovitaminosis A.

    PubMed

    Holladay, S D; Wolf, J C; Smith, S A; Jones, D E; Robertson, J L

    2001-01-01

    Wild-caught box turtles (Terapene carolina carolina) with aural abscesses were observed over a period of several years. Histopathologic evaluation of epithelial tissues (conjunctiva, pharynx, trachea, auditory tube) revealed mucosal hyperplasia and squamous metaplasia, and accumulated keratin-like material in the middle ear cavity. These manifestations suggested the possibility of vitamin A deficiency. A nonsignificant trend toward reduced serum and hepatic vitamin A levels was observed in turtles with abscesses (mean serum and hepatic vitamin A levels 71 and 49% of respective levels in turtles without abscesses). Three organochlorine (OC) compounds (alpha-benzene hexachloride, heptachlor epoxide, and oxychlordane) and total (microg/g) OC compounds were significantly higher in turtles with abscesses compared with turtles without abscesses. No OC compounds were higher in turtles without abscesses compared with turtles with abscesses. These data suggest a possible effect of environmental chemicals on metabolism or utilization of vitamin A in wild box turtles, resulting in hypovitaminosis A. PMID:11161683

  19. Asynchronous emergence by loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) hatchlings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Houghton, J. D. R.; Hays, G. C.

    2001-03-01

    For many decades it has been accepted that marine turtle hatchlings from the same nest generally emerge from the sand together. However, for loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) nesting on the Greek Island of Kefalonia, a more asynchronous pattern of emergence has been documented. By placing temperature loggers at the top and bottom of nests laid on Kefalonia during 1998, we examined whether this asynchronous emergence was related to the thermal conditions within nests. Pronounced thermal variation existed not only between, but also within, individual nests. These within-nest temperature differences were related to the patterns of hatchling emergence, with hatchlings from nests displaying large thermal ranges emerging over a longer time-scale than those characterised by more uniform temperatures.

  20. Oxygenation properties of hemoglobin from the turtle Geochelone carbonaria.

    PubMed

    Torsoni, M A; Ogo, S H

    1995-01-01

    The oxygen-binding properties of hemoglobin (Hb) from the adult terrestrial turtle Geochelone carbonaria are described. Turtle hemoglobins have a low intrinsic oxygen affinity and a low sensitivity to an endogenous cofactor (ATP) usually present at high concentrations in the reptile erythrocytes. The amplitude of the Bohr effect for O2 binding was virtually the same in the absence and presence of saturating ATP concentrations (delta logP50/delta pH, about -0.60) and increased in the total hemolysate (-0.83). The large Bohr effect found in G. carbonaria Hb may be important for O2 delivery to the tissue. The degree of cooperativity displayed by Hb for O2 binding ranged between 1.5 and 2.0 in stripped solution and total hemolysate. These observations suggest that stability of the low affinity conformation, which needs to be confirmed by additional experiments. PMID:8728839

  1. Remote Guidance of Untrained Turtles by Controlling Voluntary Instinct Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Dae-Gun; Kim, Han-Guen; Lee, Phill-Seung; Myung, Hyun

    2013-01-01

    Recently, several studies have been carried out on the direct control of behavior in insects and other lower animals in order to apply these behaviors to the performance of specialized tasks in an attempt to find more efficient means of carrying out these tasks than artificial intelligence agents. While most of the current methods cause involuntary behavior in animals by electronically stimulating the corresponding brain area or muscle, we show that, in turtles, it is also possible to control certain types of behavior, such as movement trajectory, by evoking an appropriate voluntary instinctive behavior. We have found that causing a particular behavior, such as obstacle avoidance, by providing a specific visual stimulus results in effective control of the turtle's movement. We propose that this principle may be adapted and expanded into a general framework to control any animal behavior as an alternative to robotic probes. PMID:23613939

  2. A Florida Redbelly Turtle is spotted at KSC

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    A Florida Redbelly Turtle casts a suspicious look as he is being photographed on the grounds of Kennedy Space Center. The Redbelly turtle inhabits ponds, lakes, sloughs, marshes and mangrove- bordered creeks, in a range that encompasses Florida from the southern tip north to the Apalachicola area of the panhandle. Active year-round, it is often seen basking on logs or floating mats of vegetation. Adults prefer a diet of aquatic plants. The Center shares a boundary with the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, which encompasses 92,000 acres that are a habitat for more than 331 species of birds, 31 mammals, 117 fishes, and 65 amphibians and reptiles. The marshes and open water of the refuge provide wintering areas for 23 species of migratory waterfowl, as well as a year-round home for great blue herons, great egrets, wood storks, cormorants, brown pelicans and other species of marsh and shore birds, as well as a variety of insects.

  3. STS-81 Rollout to Pad 39B (turtle in foreground)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1996-01-01

    Will the Space Shuttle Atlantis or the turtle reach Launch Pad 39B first? Carried atop the Mobile Launch Platform on the 6- million-pound Crawler Transporter, Shuttle Atlantis departs the Vehicle Assembly Building en route to Pad B at a maximum speed of 1 mile per hour. No one clocked the turtle, which seems to be heading in the same direction. Atlantis is tentatively scheduled to lift off on a nine-day mission on Jan. 12. STS-81 will be the fifth Shuttle-Mir docking. The six-member crew at liftoff will include Mission Specialist J.M. Linenger, who will transfer to the Russian Mir Space Station for an extended stay, replacing astronaut John E. Blaha, who will return to Earth on Atlantis.

  4. On the homology of the shoulder girdle in turtles.

    PubMed

    Nagashima, Hiroshi; Sugahara, Fumiaki; Takechi, Masaki; Sato, Noboru; Kuratani, Shigeru

    2015-05-01

    The shoulder girdle in turtles is encapsulated in the shell and has a triradiate morphology. Due to its unique configuration among amniotes, many theories have been proposed about the skeletal identities of the projections for the past two centuries. Although the dorsal ramus represents the scapular blade, the ventral two rami remain uncertain. In particular, the ventrorostral process has been compared to a clavicle, an acromion, and a procoracoid based on its morphology, its connectivity to the rest of the skeleton and to muscles, as well as with its ossification center, cell lineage, and gene expression. In making these comparisons, the shoulder girdle skeleton of anurans has often been used as a reference. This review traces the history of the debate on the homology of the shoulder girdle in turtles. And based on the integrative aspects of developmental biology, comparative morphology, and paleontology, we suggest acromion and procoracoid identities for the two ventral processes. PMID:25052382

  5. Organochlorine contaminants in sea turtles from the Eastern Pacific.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Susan C; Pier, M Dawn; Wesselman, Raymond; Juárez, J Arturo

    2003-09-01

    We measured organochlorine residues in three species of sea turtles from the Baja California peninsula, Mexico. Seventeen of 21 organochlorine pesticides analyzed were detected, with heptachlor epoxide and gamma-hexachlorocyclohexane the most prevalent (14 (40%) and 11 (31%) of the 35 tissue samples, respectively). PCBs were detected in all but one of the 9 turtles studied, with congener 18 the most commonly detected (8 (23%) of the samples). The dioxin-like congeners 118 and 180 were detected in 4 (11%) and 3 (9%) of the samples, respectively. Percent contribution of congeners was negatively correlated to their octanol-water partition coefficients, with kidney and muscle containing more lower-chlorinated congeners than liver or adipose samples. Levels of organochlorines detected in the present study were low, potentially attributable to the feeding habits of the predominant species collected in this study (herbivorous) and/or the samples obtained in an unindustrialized region. PMID:12932489

  6. Investigating the potential role of persistent organic pollutants in Hawaiian green sea turtle fibropapillomatosis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keller, Jennifer M.; Balazs, George H.; Nilsen, Frances; Rice, Marc; Work, Thierry M.; Jensen, Brenda A.

    2014-01-01

    It has been hypothesized for decades that environmental pollutants may contribute to green sea turtle fibropapillomatosis (FP), possibly through immunosuppression leading to greater susceptibility to the herpesvirus, the putative causative agent of this tumor-forming disease. To address this question, we measured concentrations of 164 persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and halogenated phenols in 53 Hawaiian green turtle (Chelonia mydas) plasma samples archived by the Biological and Environmental Monitoring and Archival of Sea Turtle Tissues (BEMAST) project at the National Institute of Standards and Technology Marine Environmental Specimen Bank. Four groups of turtles were examined: free-ranging turtles from Kiholo Bay (0% FP, Hawaii), Kailua Bay (low FP, 8%, Oahu), and Kapoho Bay (moderate FP, 38%, Hawaii) and severely tumored stranded turtles that required euthanasia (high FP, 100%, Main Hawaiian Islands). Four classes of POPs and seven halogenated phenols were detected in at least one of the turtles, and concentrations were low (often <200 pg/g wet mass). The presence of halogenated phenols in sea turtles is a novel discovery; their concentrations were higher than most man-made POPs, suggesting that the source of most of these compounds was likely natural (produced by the algal turtle diet) rather than metabolites of man-made POPs. None of the compounds measured increased in concentration with increasing prevalence of FP across the four groups of turtles, suggesting that these 164 compounds are not likely primary triggers for the onset of FP. However, the stranded, severely tumored, emaciated turtle group (n = 14) had the highest concentrations of POPs, which might suggest that mobilization of contaminants with lipids into the blood during late-stage weight loss could contribute to the progression of the disease. Taken together, these data suggest that POPs are not a major cofactor in causing the onset of FP.

  7. Comparison of Two Freshwater Turtle Species as Monitors of Environmental Contamination

    SciTech Connect

    Meyers-Schone, L.

    1990-01-01

    Two species of turtles that occupy different ecological niches were compared for their usefulness as monitors of contamination in freshwater ecosystems. Trachemvs scrinta (Agassiz) (yellow-bellied slider) and Chelvdra sernentina (Linnaeus) (common snapping turtle) were selected for comparison based on species abundance and differences in food habits and sediment contact. A review of the literature on contaminants in turtles and results of preliminary surveys conducted at the field sites, which are included in this study, were used to direct and focus this research project. White Oak Lake, a settling basin for low-level radioactive and nonradioactive contaminants, and Bearden Creek Embayment, an uncontaminated reference site upriver, were used as study sites in the investigation of turtles as indicators of chemical contamination. Turtles were analyzed for concentrations of strontium-go, cesium-137, cobalt 60, and mercury in specific target tissues, and for single-stranded DNA breaks, a non-specific indicator of possible exposure to genotoxic agents in the environment. Significantly higher concentrations of {sup 90}Sr, {sup 137}Cs, {sup 60}Co, and mercury were detected in turtles from White Oak Lake than in turtles from the reference site. In addition, turtles from White Oak Lake contained a significantly greater amount of DNA damage than those from the reference site. Although this suggests greater exposure of White Oak Lake turtles to genotoxic agents, further studies are needed to establish the cause of the enhanced amount of single-stranded breaks. Interspecific comparisons of the turtles from White Oak Lake indicated that diet may play a significant role in the exposure of turtles to certain contaminants. No difference was detected between the concentrations of {sup 90}Sr, {sup 137}Cs, {sup 60}Co between the two species.

  8. An enormous Jurassic turtle bone bed from the Turpan Basin of Xinjiang, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wings, Oliver; Rabi, Márton; Schneider, Jörg W.; Schwermann, Leonie; Sun, Ge; Zhou, Chang-Fu; Joyce, Walter G.

    2012-11-01

    A spectacular new terrestrial Konzentratlagerstätte is introduced from the Turpan Basin of Xinjiang, China that probably belongs to the late Middle Jurassic Qigu Formation. It contains a mass accumulation of "xinjiangchelyid" turtles preliminarily identified as Annemys sp. In the zone with the highest turtle concentration, complete and articulated turtle skeletons are tightly packed at a density of up to 36 turtles per square meter. The fossiliferous layer is thickened here and shows an erosional base. This high concentration zone outcrops approximately 10 m in length and shows no decrease in turtle density after exposing 2 m of the layer into the hillside. Adjacent is a more expansive zone of at least 10 m by 30 m. In this region, the fossiliferous layer is evenly thick, and approximately five, fully disarticulated turtles are present per square meter. A conservatively estimated 1,800 turtles may, therefore, have been deposited at this site. It is likely that these aquatic turtles gathered in a retreating water hole in a riverine environment during a drought, much as some aquatic turtles will do today, but perished when the habitat dried up completely. A following catastrophic rainfall event caused a debris flow, possibly channelized in a dry river bed, which transported complete turtles, disarticulated turtles, and mudstone clasts and deposited them after a short distance. This taphonomic model is consistent with previous environmental reconstructions of the Turpan Basin during the late Middle Jurassic in predicting the episodic breakdown of regional monsoonal circulation resulting in a seasonally dry climate with severe episodic droughts.

  9. Venous blood gases and lactates of wild loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) following two capture techniques.

    PubMed

    Harms, Craig A; Mallo, Kate M; Ross, Patricia M; Segars, Al

    2003-04-01

    During summer of 2001, venous blood gases were determined in loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) captured by trawl (n = 16) in coastal waters of South Carolina and Georgia (USA) as part of a sea turtle census program and captured in pound nets (n = 6) in coastal North Carolina (USA) during a study of sea turtle population biology. Trawls were towed for 30 min, so turtles captured were forcibly submerged for < or = 30 min. Pound nets are passive gear in which fish and sea turtles are funneled into a concentrated area and removed periodically. Sea turtles in pound nets are free to surface and to feed at will. Blood was obtained from the dorsal cervical sinus as quickly as possible after landing on the boat (range 2-10 min trawl, 1-2 min pound net) and at 30 min after landing just prior to release. Blood gases including pH, partial pressures of O2 and CO2 (pO2, pCO2), and lactate were measured within 10 min. Instrument measurements for pH, pO2, and pCO2 made at 37 C were corrected to cloacal temperature and HCO3- was calculated from temperature-corrected pH and pCO2. Venous blood pH and bicarbonate were higher, and pO2 and lactate were lower from pound net-captured turtles compared to trawl captured turtles at the initial sampling time. In pound net turtles, pH and bicarbonate declined and lactate increased during 30 min on deck. In trawled sea turtles, venous blood pH increased and pCO2 and pO2 decreased during the 30 min on deck. Both capture systems caused perturbations in blood gas, acid-base, and lactate status, though alterations were greater in trawl captured turtles. PMID:12918445

  10. Habitat selection by green turtles in a spatially heterogeneous benthic landscape in Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fujisaki, Ikuko; Hart, Kristen M.; Sartain-Iverson, Autumn R.

    2016-01-01

    We examined habitat selection by green turtles Chelonia mydas at Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida, USA. We tracked 15 turtles (6 females and 9 males) using platform transmitter terminals (PTTs); 13 of these turtles were equipped with additional acoustic transmitters. Location data by PTTs comprised periods of 40 to 226 d in varying months from 2009 to 2012. Core areas were concentrated in shallow water (mean bathymetry depth of 7.7 m) with a comparably dense coverage of seagrass; however, the utilization distribution overlap index indicated a low degree of habitat sharing. The probability of detecting a turtle on an acoustic receiver was inversely associated with the distance from the receiver to turtle capture sites and was lower in shallower water. The estimated daily detection probability of a single turtle at a given acoustic station throughout the acoustic array was small (<0.1 in any year), and that of multiple turtle detections was even smaller. However, the conditional probability of multiple turtle detections, given at least one turtle detection at a receiver, was much higher despite the small number of tagged turtles in each year (n = 1 to 5). Also, multiple detections of different turtles at a receiver frequently occurred within a few minutes (40%, or 164 of 415, occurred within 1 min). Our numerical estimates of core area overlap, co-occupancy probabilities, and habitat characterization for green turtles could be used to guide conservation of the area to sustain the population of this species.

  11. 75 FR 9404 - Turtle Bayou Gas Storage Company, LLC; Amended Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-03-02

    ... Energy Regulatory Commission Turtle Bayou Gas Storage Company, LLC; Amended Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Planned Turtle Bayou Natural Gas Storage Project and Request for... environmental assessment (EA) that will discuss the environmental impacts of the Turtle Bayou Natural...

  12. Project-Based Learning: A Student Investigation of the Turtle Trade in Guangzhou, People's Republic of China

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cheung, Sze Man; Chow, Alex T.

    2011-01-01

    This article describes a survey conducted by 20 university students in Guangzhou, China since January 2008 on the live turtle trade in markets. Lectures on the Asian turtle conservation problem, turtle identification skills and survey techniques were given to the students before on-site surveys. After guided observation with teachers, students…

  13. 75 FR 12496 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plans; Recovery Plan for the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-03-16

    ... Plans; Recovery Plan for the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle AGENCIES: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS... availability for public review of the draft Bi-National Recovery Plan (Plan) for the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle... turtles. The Plan identifies substantive actions needed to achieve recovery by addressing the threats...

  14. 76 FR 58781 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plans; Recovery Plan for the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-09-22

    ... Plans; Recovery Plan for the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS...- National Recovery Plan (Recovery Plan) for the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys kempii). The Recovery...: The Bi-National Recovery Plan for the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys kempii) is available...

  15. Are Your Children Captured by Ninja Turtles? How To Turn What Children "Love" into What Is Appropriate.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miles, Sue L.

    This booklet relates ways to communicate with preschoolers about such phenomena as Ninja Turtles. Ninja Turtles are likeable, fun-loving creatures that have captured the imagination of children because they have a great deal of energy, strength, and power. However, because the turtles model language and engage in violence that negatively affects…

  16. Electrical coupling between cones in turtle retina.

    PubMed Central

    Detwiler, P B; Hodgkin, A L

    1979-01-01

    1. The electrical coupling between cones of known spectral sensitivity in the peripheral part of the turtle's retina was studied by passing current through a micro-electrode inserted into one cone and recording with a second micro-electrode inserted into a neighbouring cone. 2. Spatial sensitivity profiles were determined by recording flash responses to a long narrow strip of light which was moved across the impaled cones in orthogonal directions. These measurements gave both the length constant lambda of electrical spread in the cone network and the separation of the two cones. 3. The cone separation determined from the spatial profiles agreed closely with that measured directly by injecting a fluorescent dye into two cones. 4. The length constant lambda varied from 18 to 39 micron with a mean of 25 micron for red-sensitive cones and 26 micron for green-sensitive cones. 5. The majority of cone pairs studied were electrically coupled provided they had the same spectral sensitivity and were separated by less than 60 micron: thirty-two out of thirty-six red-red pairs, two out of two green-green pairs, none out of eight red-green pairs: no blue cones were observed. 6. The strength of electrical coupling was expressed as a mutual resistance defined as the voltage in one cell divided by the current flowing into the other. Mutual resistances decreased from a maximum value of about 30 M omega at separations close to zero to 0.2 M omega, the lower limit of detectable coupling at separations of about 60 micron. Mutual resistances were always positive and were independent of which cell was directly polarized. The coupling seemed to be ohmic and any rectification or non-linearity probably arose in the cone membranes rather than in the coupling resistances. 7. The results were analysed in terms of the Lamb & Simon (1977) theories of square and hexagonal lattices, which approximate to the continuous sheet model except in the case of the cone to which current is applied. 8. The

  17. Changes in a box turtle population during three decades

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stickel, L.F.

    1978-01-01

    Studies of a Maryland population of marked box-turtles (Terrapene carolina) in 1945, 1955, 1965 and 1975 showed a pronounced decline in population size during the three decades; the greatest change came between 1965 and 1975, when numbers were reduced by half. Proportions of females and of young also declined. Fifteen % of the males and 11% of the females that were more than 20 years old in 1945 still were present in 1975; some probably were more than 80 years old.

  18. AMPA receptors undergo channel arrest in the anoxic turtle cortex.

    PubMed

    Pamenter, Matthew Edward; Shin, Damian Seung-Ho; Buck, Leslie Thomas

    2008-02-01

    Without oxygen, all mammals suffer neuronal injury and excitotoxic cell death mediated by overactivation of the glutamatergic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR). The western painted turtle can survive anoxia for months, and downregulation of NMDAR activity is thought to be neuroprotective during anoxia. NMDAR activity is related to the activity of another glutamate receptor, the alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid receptor (AMPAR). AMPAR blockade is neuroprotective against anoxic insult in mammals, but the role of AMPARs in the turtle's anoxia tolerance has not been investigated. To determine whether AMPAR activity changes during hypoxia or anoxia in the turtle cortex, whole cell AMPAR currents, AMPAR-mediated excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs), and excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) were measured. The effect of AMPAR blockade on normoxic and anoxic NMDAR currents was also examined. During 60 min of normoxia, evoked peak AMPAR currents and the frequencies and amplitudes of EPSPs and EPSCs did not change. During anoxic perfusion, evoked AMPAR peak currents decreased 59.2 +/- 5.5 and 60.2 +/- 3.5% at 20 and 40 min, respectively. EPSP frequency (EPSP(f)) and amplitude decreased 28.7 +/- 6.4% and 13.2 +/- 1.7%, respectively, and EPSC(f) and amplitude decreased 50.7 +/- 5.1% and 51.3 +/- 4.7%, respectively. In contrast, hypoxic (Po(2) = 5%) AMPAR peak currents were potentiated 56.6 +/- 20.5 and 54.6 +/- 15.8% at 20 and 40 min, respectively. All changes were reversed by reoxygenation. AMPAR currents and EPSPs were abolished by 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (CNQX). In neurons pretreated with CNQX, anoxic NMDAR currents were reversibly depressed by 49.8 +/- 7.9%. These data suggest that AMPARs may undergo channel arrest in the anoxic turtle cortex. PMID:18056983

  19. A review of fibropapillomatosis in Green turtles (Chelonia mydas).

    PubMed

    Jones, K; Ariel, E; Burgess, G; Read, M

    2016-06-01

    Despite being identified in 1938, many aspects of the pathogenesis and epidemiology of fibropapillomatosis (FP) in marine turtles are yet to be fully uncovered. Current knowledge suggests that FP is an emerging infectious disease, with the prevalence varying both spatially and temporally, even between localities in close proximity to each other. A high prevalence of FP in marine turtles has been correlated with residency in areas of reduced water quality, indicating that there is an environmental influence on disease presentation. Chelonid herpesvirus 5 (ChHV5) has been identified as the likely aetiological agent of FP. The current taxonomic position of ChHV5 is in the family Herpesviridae, subfamily Alphaherpesvirinae, genus Scutavirus. Molecular differentiation of strains has revealed that a viral variant is typically present at specific locations, even within sympatric species of marine turtles, indicating that the disease FP originates regionally. There is uncertainty surrounding the exact path of transmission and the conditions that facilitate lesion development, although recent research has identified atypical genes within the genome of ChHV5 that may play a role in pathogenesis. This review discusses emerging areas where researchers might focus and theories behind the emergence of FP globally since the 1980s, which appear to be a multi-factorial interplay between the virus, the host and environmental factors influencing disease expression. PMID:27256025

  20. Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas) Have Novel Asymmetrical Antibodies.

    PubMed

    Work, Thierry M; Dagenais, Julie; Breeden, Renee; Schneemann, Anette; Sung, Joyce; Hew, Brian; Balazs, George H; Berestecky, John M

    2015-12-01

    Igs in vertebrates comprise equally sized H and L chains, with exceptions such as H chain-only Abs in camels or natural Ag receptors in sharks. In Reptilia, Igs are known as IgYs. Using immunoassays with isotype-specific mAbs, in this study we show that green turtles (Chelonia mydas) have a 5.7S 120-kDa IgY comprising two equally sized H/L chains with truncated Fc and a 7S 200-kDa IgY comprised of two differently sized H chains bound to L chains and apparently often noncovalently associated with an antigenically related 90-kDa moiety. Both the 200- and 90-kDa 7S molecules are made in response to specific Ag, although the 90-kDa molecule appears more prominent after chronic Ag stimulation. Despite no molecular evidence of a hinge, electron microscopy reveals marked flexibility of Fab arms of 7S and 5.7S IgY. Both IgY can be captured with protein G or melon gel, but less so with protein A. Thus, turtle IgY share some characteristics with mammalian IgG. However, the asymmetrical structure of some turtle Ig and the discovery of an Ig class indicative of chronic antigenic stimulation represent striking advances in our understanding of immunology. PMID:26500346

  1. Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) have novel asymmetrical antibodies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Work, Thierry M.; Dagenais, Julie; Breeden, Renee; Schneemann, Anette; Sung, Joyce; Hew, Brian; Balazs, George H.; Berestecky, John M.

    2015-01-01

    Igs in vertebrates comprise equally sized H and L chains, with exceptions such as H chain–only Abs in camels or natural Ag receptors in sharks. In Reptilia, Igs are known as IgYs. Using immunoassays with isotype-specific mAbs, in this study we show that green turtles (Chelonia mydas) have a 5.7S 120-kDa IgY comprising two equally sized H/L chains with truncated Fc and a 7S 200-kDa IgY comprised of two differently sized H chains bound to L chains and apparently often noncovalently associated with an antigenically related 90-kDa moiety. Both the 200- and 90-kDa 7S molecules are made in response to specific Ag, although the 90-kDa molecule appears more prominent after chronic Ag stimulation. Despite no molecular evidence of a hinge, electron microscopy reveals marked flexibility of Fab arms of 7S and 5.7S IgY. Both IgY can be captured with protein G or melon gel, but less so with protein A. Thus, turtle IgY share some characteristics with mammalian IgG. However, the asymmetrical structure of some turtle Ig and the discovery of an Ig class indicative of chronic antigenic stimulation represent striking advances in our understanding of immunology.

  2. Warm-blooded isochore structure in Nile crocodile and turtle.

    PubMed

    Hughes, S; Zelus, D; Mouchiroud, D

    1999-11-01

    The genomes of warm-blooded vertebrates are characterized by a strong heterogeneity in base composition, with GC-rich and GC-poor isochores. The GC content of sequences, especially in third codon positions, is highly correlated with that of the isochore they are embedded in. In amphibian and fish genomes, GC-rich isochores are nearly absent. Thus, it has been proposed that the GC increase in a part of mammalian and avian genomes represents an adaptation to homeothermy. To test this selective hypothesis, we sequenced marker protein genes in two cold-blooded vertebrates, the Nile crocodile Crocodylus niloticus (10 genes) and the red-eared slider Trachemys scripta elegans (6 genes). The analysis of base composition in third codon position of this original data set shows that the Nile crocodile and the turtle also exhibit GC-rich isochores, which rules out the homeothermy hypothesis. Instead, we propose that the GC increase results from a mutational bias that took place earlier than the adaptation to homeothermy in birds and before the turtle/crocodile divergence. Surprisingly, the isochore structure appears very similar between the red-eared slider and the Nile crocodile than between the chicken and the Nile crocodile. This point questions the phylogenetic position of turtles as a basal lineage of extant reptiles. We also observed a regular molecular clock in the Archosauria, which enables us, by using a more extended data set, to confirm Kumar and Hedges's dating of the bird-crocodile split. PMID:10555283

  3. Turtle mimetic soft robot with two swimming gaits.

    PubMed

    Song, Sung-Hyuk; Kim, Min-Soo; Rodrigue, Hugo; Lee, Jang-Yeob; Shim, Jae-Eul; Kim, Min-Cheol; Chu, Won-Shik; Ahn, Sung-Hoon

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents a biomimetic turtle flipper actuator consisting of a shape memory alloy composite structure for implementation in a turtle-inspired autonomous underwater vehicle. Based on the analysis of the Chelonia mydas, the flipper actuator was divided into three segments containing a scaffold structure fabricated using a 3D printer. According to the filament stacking sequence of the scaffold structure in the actuator, different actuating motions can be realized and three different types of scaffold structures were proposed to replicate the motion of the different segments of the flipper of the Chelonia mydas. This flipper actuator can mimic the continuous deformation of the forelimb of Chelonia mydas which could not be realized in previous motor based robot. This actuator can also produce two distinct motions that correspond to the two different swimming gaits of the Chelonia mydas, which are the routine and vigorous swimming gaits, by changing the applied current sequence of the SMA wires embedded in the flipper actuator. The generated thrust and the swimming efficiency in each swimming gait of the flipper actuator were measured and the results show that the vigorous gait has a higher thrust but a relatively lower swimming efficiency than the routine gait. The flipper actuator was implemented in a biomimetic turtle robot, and its average swimming speed in the routine and vigorous gaits were measured with the vigorous gait being capable of reaching a maximum speed of 11.5 mm s(-1). PMID:27145061

  4. Recent hybrid origin of three rare chinese turtles

    SciTech Connect

    Stuart, Bryan L.; Parham, James F.

    2006-02-07

    Three rare geoemydid turtles described from Chinese tradespecimens in the early 1990s, Ocadia glyphistoma, O. philippeni, andSacalia pseudocellata, are suspected to be hybrids because they are knownonly from their original descriptions and because they have morphologiesintermediate between other, better-known species. We cloned the allelesof a bi-parentally inherited nuclear intron from samples of these threespecies. The two aligned parental alleles of O. glyphistoma, O.philippeni, and S. pseudocellata have 5-11.5 times more heterozygouspositions than do 13 other geoemydid species. Phylogenetic analysis showsthat the two alleles from each turtle are strongly paraphyletic, butcorrectly match sequences of other species that were hypothesized frommorphology to be their parental species. We conclude that these rareturtles represent recent hybrids rather than valid species. Specifically,"O. glyphistoma" is a hybrid of Mauremys sinensis and M. cf. annamensis,"O. philippeni" is a hybrid of M. sinensis and Cuora trifasciata, and "S.pseudocellata" is a hybrid of C. trifasciata and S. quadriocellata.Conservation resources are better directed toward finding and protectingpopulations of other rare Southeast Asian turtles that do representdistinct evolutionary lineages.

  5. Long-Term Climate Forcing in Loggerhead Sea Turtle Nesting

    PubMed Central

    Van Houtan, Kyle S.; Halley, John M.

    2011-01-01

    The long-term variability of marine turtle populations remains poorly understood, limiting science and management. Here we use basin-scale climate indices and regional surface temperatures to estimate loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) nesting at a variety of spatial and temporal scales. Borrowing from fisheries research, our models investigate how oceanographic processes influence juvenile recruitment and regulate population dynamics. This novel approach finds local populations in the North Pacific and Northwest Atlantic are regionally synchronized and strongly correlated to ocean conditions—such that climate models alone explain up to 88% of the observed changes over the past several decades. In addition to its performance, climate-based modeling also provides mechanistic forecasts of historical and future population changes. Hindcasts in both regions indicate climatic conditions may have been a factor in recent declines, but future forecasts are mixed. Available climatic data suggests the Pacific population will be significantly reduced by 2040, but indicates the Atlantic population may increase substantially. These results do not exonerate anthropogenic impacts, but highlight the significance of bottom-up oceanographic processes to marine organisms. Future studies should consider environmental baselines in assessments of marine turtle population variability and persistence. PMID:21589639

  6. Long-term climate forcing in loggerhead sea turtle nesting.

    PubMed

    Van Houtan, Kyle S; Halley, John M

    2011-01-01

    The long-term variability of marine turtle populations remains poorly understood, limiting science and management. Here we use basin-scale climate indices and regional surface temperatures to estimate loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) nesting at a variety of spatial and temporal scales. Borrowing from fisheries research, our models investigate how oceanographic processes influence juvenile recruitment and regulate population dynamics. This novel approach finds local populations in the North Pacific and Northwest Atlantic are regionally synchronized and strongly correlated to ocean conditions--such that climate models alone explain up to 88% of the observed changes over the past several decades. In addition to its performance, climate-based modeling also provides mechanistic forecasts of historical and future population changes. Hindcasts in both regions indicate climatic conditions may have been a factor in recent declines, but future forecasts are mixed. Available climatic data suggests the Pacific population will be significantly reduced by 2040, but indicates the Atlantic population may increase substantially. These results do not exonerate anthropogenic impacts, but highlight the significance of bottom-up oceanographic processes to marine organisms. Future studies should consider environmental baselines in assessments of marine turtle population variability and persistence. PMID:21589639

  7. A new iridovirus isolated from soft-shelled turtle.

    PubMed

    Chen, Z X; Zheng, J C; Jiang, Y L

    1999-09-01

    A virus was isolated from soft-shelled turtle (Trionyx sinensis) with 'red neck disease' on a farm in Shenzhen, China, the virus multiplied and caused a cytopathogenic effect (CPE) at 15-30 degrees C in CO, FHM, CK and BF-2 cells. The optimum conditions for replication was in CO cells at 25-30 degrees C. The virus was sensitive to chloroform treatment, acid (pH 3) or alkaline (pH 10) conditions and heating at 56 degrees C for 30 min. Treatment with 5-iodo-2-deoxyuridine (IUDR) inhibited viral replication, indicating the presence of a DNA genome. Electron microscopy of infected CO culture fluid revealed spherical particles measuring 120-160 nm in diameter. Observation of ultra-thin sections showed numerous hexagonal viral particles in the cytoplasm and nucleus of cells typical of an iridovirus. This virus was moderately virulent for turtles in infection tests. We suggest that this virus is named soft-shelled turtle iridovirus (STIV). PMID:10509727

  8. The geomagnetic environment in which sea turtle eggs incubate affects subsequent magnetic navigation behaviour of hatchlings

    PubMed Central

    Fuxjager, Matthew J.; Davidoff, Kyla R.; Mangiamele, Lisa A.; Lohmann, Kenneth J.

    2014-01-01

    Loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings (Caretta caretta) use regional magnetic fields as open-ocean navigational markers during trans-oceanic migrations. Little is known, however, about the ontogeny of this behaviour. As a first step towards investigating whether the magnetic environment in which hatchlings develop affects subsequent magnetic orientation behaviour, eggs deposited by nesting female loggerheads were permitted to develop in situ either in the natural ambient magnetic field or in a magnetic field distorted by magnets placed around the nest. In orientation experiments, hatchlings that developed in the normal ambient field oriented approximately south when exposed to a field that exists near the northern coast of Portugal, a direction consistent with their migratory route in the northeastern Atlantic. By contrast, hatchlings that developed in a distorted magnetic field had orientation indistinguishable from random when tested in the same north Portugal field. No differences existed between the two groups in orientation assays involving responses to orbital movements of waves or sea-finding, neither of which involves magnetic field perception. These findings, to our knowledge, demonstrate for the first time that the magnetic environment present during early development can influence the magnetic orientation behaviour of a neonatal migratory animal. PMID:25100699

  9. Microhabitat use, home range, and movements of the alligator snapping turtle, Macrochelys temminckii, in Oklahoma

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Riedle, J.D.; Shipman, P.A.; Fox, S. F.; Leslie, David M., Jr.

    2006-01-01

    Little is known about the ecology of the alligator snapping turtle, Macrochelys temminckii, particularly dentography and behavior. To learn more about the species in Oklahoma, we conducted a telemetry project on 2 small streams at Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge, an 8,417.5-ha refuge located in east-central Oklahoma. Between June 1999 and August 2000, we fitted 19 M. temminckii with ultrasonic telemetry tags and studied turtle movements and microhahitat use. Turtles were checked 2 to 3 times weekly in summer and sporadically in winter. Several microhabitat variables were measured at each turtle location and a random location to help quantify microhabitat use vs. availability. We recorded 147 turtle locations. Turtles were always associated with submerged cover with a high percentage of overhead canopy cover. Turtles used deeper depths in late summer (but not deeper depths than random locations) and deeper depths in mid-winter (and deeper depths than random locations) than in early summer. They used shallower depths than random locations in early summer. This seasonal shift in depth use might be thermoregulatory, although evidence for this is indirect. The mean linear home range for all turtles was 777.8 m. Females had larger home ranges than males, and juveniles had larger home ranges than adults, although the latter was not statistically significant. Macrochelys temminckii used submerged structures as a core site, and stayed at each core site for an average of 12.3 d.

  10. 77 FR 65446 - Turtle Creek Industrial Railroad, Inc.-Acquisition and Operation Exemption-Consolidated Rail...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-10-26

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Surface Transportation Board Turtle Creek Industrial Railroad, Inc.--Acquisition and Operation Exemption--Consolidated Rail Corporation Turtle Creek Industrial Railroad, Inc. (TCKR), a noncarrier and a wholly...

  11. Characterization of the renin-angiotensin system in the turtle Pseudemys scripta.

    PubMed

    Cipolle, M D; Zehr, J E

    1984-07-01

    Studies were conducted in freshwater turtles Pseudemys scripta to define some characteristics of the renin-angiotensin system in this reptile. Dialyzed acid-treated kidney extract (1 g tissue per ml water) produced a prolonged pressor response in unanesthetized turtles, which was eliminated by boiling the extract or by pretreating the turtle with [Sar1, Ile8]angiotensin II. A rat pressor assay was employed because turtle angiotensin (ANG) was bound poorly by the anti-[Asp1, Ile5, His9]ANG I used in our radioimmunoassay. Kidney extract incubated with homologous plasma (pH 5.5 and 25 degrees C) produced a time-dependent pressor response in rats. The pressor activity of the product was eliminated by dialysis or by pretreating the rats with [Sar1, Ile8]ANG II. The pressor response in anesthetized turtles to ANG I was significantly reduced by captopril, whereas the ANG II response remained unchanged, thus demonstrating the presence of ANG-converting enzyme activity in these animals. We determined the velocity of turtle ANG formation at various dilutions of enzyme (kidney extract) or substrate (plasma). Turtle kidney extract incubated with homologous plasma displayed typical Michaelis-Menten kinetics. Finally we conducted experiments to determine whether a portion of turtle plasma renin exists in an inactive form. Trypsinization caused a slight increase in plasma renin activity (PRA), whereas acidification to pH 3.3 yielded a fourfold increase in PRA. PMID:6377928

  12. Radial glia in the proliferative ventricular zone of the embryonic and adult turtle, Trachemys scripta elegans

    PubMed Central

    Clinton, Brian K; Cunningham, Christopher L; Kriegstein, Arnold R; Noctor, Stephen C; Martínez-Cerdeño, Verónica

    2014-01-01

    To better understand the role of radial glial (RG) cells in the evolution of the mammalian cerebral cortex, we investigated the role of RG cells in the dorsal cortex and dorsal ventricular ridge of the turtle, Trachemys scripta elegans. Unlike mammals, the glial architecture of adult reptile consists mainly of ependymoradial glia, which share features with mammalian RG cells, and which may contribute to neurogenesis that continues throughout the lifespan of the turtle. To evaluate the morphology and proliferative capacity of ependymoradial glia (here referred to as RG cells) in the dorsal cortex of embryonic and adult turtle, we adapted the cortical electroporation technique, commonly used in rodents, to the turtle telencephalon. Here, we demonstrate the morphological and functional characteristics of RG cells in the developing turtle dorsal cortex. We show that cell division occurs both at the ventricle and away from the ventricle, that RG cells undergo division at the ventricle during neurogenic stages of development, and that mitotic Tbr2+ precursor cells, a hallmark of the mammalian SVZ, are present in the turtle cortex. In the adult turtle, we show that RG cells encompass a morphologically heterogeneous population, particularly in the subpallium where proliferation is most prevalent. One RG subtype is similar to RG cells in the developing mammalian cortex, while 2 other RG subtypes appear to be distinct from those seen in mammal. We propose that the different subtypes of RG cells in the adult turtle perform distinct functions. PMID:27504470

  13. 50 CFR 648.126 - Protection of threatened and endangered sea turtles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... Species Act under 50 CFR parts 222 and 223. In addition to the measures required under those parts, NMFS... sea turtles. 648.126 Section 648.126 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT... sea turtles. Link to an amendment published at 76 FR 60635, Sept. 29, 2011. This section...

  14. Concurrent Phaeohyphomycosis and Ranavirus Infection in an Eastern Box Turtle ( Terrapene carolina ) in Athens, Georgia, USA.

    PubMed

    Perpiñán, David; Blas-Machado, Uriel; Sánchez, Susan; Miller, Debra L

    2016-07-01

    An eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina) was found in a stream in the southeastern US, with a mass affecting the distal right forelimb. The turtle developed complications during hospitalization, including lethargy and oral caseous plaques and eventually died. Postmortem analyses diagnosed a mixed infection of phaeohyphomycosis and Ranavirus. PMID:27310167

  15. 76 FR 52888 - Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries; American Samoa Longline Gear Modifications To Reduce Turtle...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-08-24

    ..., 2011, NMFS published a proposed rule and request for public comments (76 FR 32929); the comment ended... Fisheries; American Samoa Longline Gear Modifications To Reduce Turtle Interactions AGENCY: National Marine... Pacific green sea turtles. This final rule also makes administrative clarifications to the names...

  16. Background matching and camouflage efficiency predict population density in four-eyed turtle (Sacalia quadriocellata).

    PubMed

    Xiao, Fanrong; Yang, Canchao; Shi, Haitao; Wang, Jichao; Sun, Liang; Lin, Liu

    2016-10-01

    Background matching is an important way to camouflage and is widespread among animals. In the field, however, few studies have addressed background matching, and there has been no reported camouflage efficiency in freshwater turtles. Background matching and camouflage efficiency of the four-eyed turtle, Sacalia quadriocellata, among three microhabitat sections of Hezonggou stream were investigated by measuring carapace components of CIE L*a*b* (International Commission on Illumination; lightness, red/green and yellow/blue) color space, and scoring camouflage efficiency through the use of humans as predators. The results showed that the color difference (ΔE), lightness difference (ΔL(*)), and chroma difference (Δa(*)b(*)) between carapace and the substrate background in midstream were significantly lower than that upstream and downstream, indicating that the four-eyed turtle carapace color most closely matched the substrate of midstream. In line with these findings, the camouflage efficiency was the best for the turtles that inhabit midstream. These results suggest that the four-eyed turtles may enhance camouflage efficiency by selecting microhabitat that best match their carapace color. This finding may explain the high population density of the four-eyed turtle in the midstream section of Hezonggou stream. To the best of our knowledge, this study is among the first to quantify camouflage of freshwater turtles in the wild, laying the groundwork to further study the function and mechanisms of turtle camouflage. PMID:27542920

  17. 78 FR 51705 - Proposed Designation of Marine Critical Habitat for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Caretta caretta...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-08-21

    ... our comments. The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on July 18, 2013 (78 FR 43006... Marine Critical Habitat for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Caretta caretta, Under the Endangered Species Act... related to our Proposed Designation of Marine Critical Habitat for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle,...

  18. 75 FR 81201 - 2011 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-12-27

    ... Sea Turtle Observer Requirement for Fisheries (72 FR 43176, August 3, 2007) may be obtained at http... to place observers (72 FR 43176, August 3, 2007). These regulations specify that NMFS may place... for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National...

  19. 78 FR 65959 - Proposed Designation of Marine Critical Habitat for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Caretta caretta...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-11-04

    ... your comments. The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on July 18, 2013 (78 FR 43006... Marine Critical Habitat for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Caretta caretta, Under the Endangered Species Act... related to our Proposed Designation of Marine Critical Habitat for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle,...

  20. 77 FR 29905 - Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp and Summer Flounder Trawling Requirements

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-05-21

    ... 4 turtles to pass the ``small turtle test'' (55 FR 41092, October 9, 1990). The Boone Wedge Cut...) outside diameter aluminum or steel pipe with a wall thickness of at least \\1/8\\ inch (0.32 cm). Each of... piece of 3-inch (7.6-cm) inside diameter PVC pipe which measures 30 inches (76.2 cm) in length; the...

  1. Bacteremia in free-ranging Hawaiian green turtles, Chelonia mydas, with fibropapillomatosis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Work, T.M.; Balazs, G.H.; Wolcott, M.; Morris, R.

    2003-01-01

    Past studies of free-ranging green turtles Chelonia mydas with fibropapillomatosis (FP) in Hawaii have shown that animals become immunosuppressed with increasing severity of this disease. Additionally, preliminary clinical examination of moribund turtles with FP revealed that some animals were also bacteraemic. We tested the hypothesis that bacteraemia in sea turtles is associated with the severity of FP. We captured free-ranging green turtles from areas in Hawaii where FP is absent, and areas where FP has been endemic since the late 1950s. Each turtle was given an FP severity score ranging from 0 (no tumours) to 3 (severely affected). A fifth category included turtles that were stranded ashore and moribund with FP. We found that the percentage of turtles with bacteraemia increased with the severity of FP, and that the majority of bacteria cultured were Vibrio spp. Turtles with severe FP were more susceptible to bactaeremia, probably in part due to immunosuppression. The pattern of bacteraemia in relation to severity of disease strengthens the hypothesis that immunosuppression is a sequel to FP.

  2. PCBS AND OTHER CHLORINATED ORGANIC CONTAMINANTS IN TISSUES OF JUVENILE KEMP'S RIDLEY TURTLES (LEPIDOCHELYS KEMPI)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Concentrations of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) and chlorinated pesticides were measured in liver and body fat samples of juvenile Kemp's ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempi). hese turtles were killed in the fall or early winter by rapid seasonal temperature drops and were ...

  3. Hepatocyte growth factor is crucial for development of the carapace in turtles.

    PubMed

    Kawashima-Ohya, Yoshie; Narita, Yuichi; Nagashima, Hiroshi; Usuda, Ryo; Kuratani, Shigeru

    2011-01-01

    Turtles are characterized by their shell, composed of a dorsal carapace and a ventral plastron. The carapace first appears as the turtle-specific carapacial ridge (CR) on the lateral aspect of the embryonic flank. Accompanying the acquisition of the shell, unlike in other amniotes, hypaxial muscles in turtle embryos appear as thin threads of fibrous tissue. To understand carapacial evolution from the perspective of muscle development, we compared the development of the muscle plate, the anlage of hypaxial muscles, between the Chinese soft-shelled turtle, Pelodiscus sinensis, and chicken embryos. We found that the ventrolateral lip (VLL) of the thoracic dermomyotome of P. sinensis delaminates early and produces sparse muscle plate in the lateral body wall. Expression patterns of the regulatory genes for myotome differentiation, such as Myf5, myogenin, Pax3, and Pax7 have been conserved among amniotes, including turtles. However, in P. sinensis embryos, the gene hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), encoding a regulatory factor for delamination of the dermomyotomal VLL, was uniquely expressed in sclerotome and the lateral body wall at the interlimb level. Implantation of COS-7 cells expressing a HGF antagonist into the turtle embryo inhibited CR formation. We conclude that the de novo expression of HGF in the turtle mesoderm would have played an innovative role resulting in the acquisition of the turtle-specific body plan. PMID:21535464

  4. Underwater, low-frequency noise in a coastal sea turtle habitat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samuel, Y.; Morreale, S. J.; Clark, C. W.; Greene, C. H.; Richmond, M. E.

    2005-03-01

    Underwater sound was recorded in one of the major coastal foraging areas for juvenile sea turtles in the Peconic Bay Estuary system in Long Island, New York. The recording season of the underwater environment coincided with the sea turtle activity season in an inshore area where there is considerable boating and recreational activity, especially during the summer between Independence Day and Labor Day. Within the range of sea turtle hearing, average noise pressure reached 110 dB during periods of high human activity and diminished proportionally, down to 80 dB, with decreasing human presence. Therefore, during much of the season when sea turtles are actively foraging in New York waters, their coastal habitats are flooded with underwater noise. During the period of highest human activity, average noise pressures within the range of frequencies heard by sea turtles were greater by over two orders of magnitude (26 dB) than during the lowest period of human activity. Sea turtles undoubtedly are exposed to high levels of noise, most of which is anthropogenic. Results suggest that continued exposure to existing high levels of pervasive anthropogenic noise in vital sea turtle habitats and any increase in noise could affect sea turtle behavior and ecology. .

  5. Multistate outbreak of human Salmonella typhimurium infections associated with pet turtle exposure - United States, 2008.

    PubMed

    2010-02-26

    On September 4, 2008, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) and the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) notified CDC of an outbreak of possible turtle-associated human Salmonella Typhimurium infections detected by identifying strains with similar pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns in PulseNet. Turtles and other reptiles have long been recognized as sources of human Salmonella infections, and the sale or distribution of small turtles (those with carapace lengths <4 inches) has been prohibited in the United States since 1975. CDC and state and local health departments conducted a multistate investigation during September-November 2008. This report summarizes the results of that investigation, which identified 135 cases in 25 states and the District of Columbia; 45% were in children aged turtle exposure, of which 81% was to small turtles most commonly purchased from street vendors. A matched case-control study showed a significant association between illness and exposure to turtles (matched odds ratio [mOR] = 16.5). Increasing enforcement of existing local, state, and federal regulations against the sale of small turtles, increasing penalties for illegal sales, and enacting more state and local laws regulating the sale of small turtles (e.g., requiring Salmonella awareness education at the point-of-sale), could augment federal prevention efforts. PMID:20186118

  6. Relational responding by eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina) in a series of color discrimination tasks.

    PubMed

    Leighty, Katherine A; Grand, Alison P; Pittman Courte, Victoria L; Maloney, Margaret A; Bettinger, Tamara L

    2013-08-01

    Prior work with chelonians has demonstrated their capacity for successful performance in cognitive tasks, including those requiring color discrimination. Here, we sought to expand on historical research and determine whether eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina) are capable of not only making simple color discriminations but also whether they can demonstrate abstract concept formation evidenced by using a relational response rule in their discrimination performance. Two eastern box turtles were rapidly and successfully trained on a black-and-white two-choice discrimination task using painted paddles and food reinforcement. After mastery, a medium gray paddle was added as a choice stimulus and turtle "Flippy" was reinforced for selecting the darker of the 2 stimuli presented in each trial, and turtle "Mario" was reinforced for selecting the lighter of the paddles presented. Nonreinforced probe trials incorporating light and dark gray stimuli paired with all other color options were then added to each session to test the turtles' ability to use the relationship between choice stimuli to guide responding. The turtles successfully selected the paddles corresponding to their assigned relational response rule of "darker" or "lighter" at a level significantly above that predicted by chance. The turtles then demonstrated immediate generalization of their relational rule in testing with a novel array of blue paddles. Finally, the turtles continued to use their relational rule when presented with a novel array of green paddles in a traditional transposition task. Together, these findings support the capacity for higher order cognitive functioning in chelonians beyond that previously described. PMID:23339559

  7. Addressing the Problem of Poorly Preserved Zoological Specimens: A Case Study with Turtles

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomas, Robert A.; Thomas, Aimée K.

    2015-01-01

    We present a new use for a poorly preserved turtle specimen that teachers can easily use in demonstrating vertebrate anatomy or adaptive herpetology at the high school or college level. We give special attention to illustrating the sigmoid flexure of the neck as certain turtles withdraw their heads. This ability is anatomically and biologically…

  8. Propofol anesthesia in loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtles.

    PubMed

    MacLean, Robert A; Harms, Craig A; Braun-McNeill, Joanne

    2008-01-01

    Rapid, safe, and effective methods of anesthetic induction and recovery are needed for sea turtles, especially in cases eligible for immediate release. This study demonstrates that intravenous propofol provides a rapid induction of anesthesia in loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtles and results in rapid recovery, allowing safe return to water shortly after the procedure. Forty-nine loggerhead sea turtles were recovered as local fishery by-catch in pound nets and transported to a surgical suite for laparoscopic sex determination. Treatment animals (n = 32) received 5 mg/kg propofol intravenously (i.v.) as a rapid bolus, whereas control animals (n = 17) received no propofol. For analgesia, all animals received a 4 ml infusion of 1% lidocaine, locally, as well as 2 mg/kg ketoprofen intramuscularly (i.m.). Physiologic data included heart and respiratory rate, temperature, and a single blood gas sample collected upon termination of the laparoscopy. Subjective data included jaw tone and ocular reflex: 3 (vigorous) to 0 (none detected). Anesthetic depth was scored from 1, no anesthesia, to 3, surgical anesthesia. Turtles receiving propofol became apneic for a minimum of 5 min with a mean time of 13.7 +/- 8.3 min to the first respiration. Limb movement returned at a mean time of 21.1 +/- 16.8 min. The treatment animals were judged to be sedated for approximately 30 min (mean anesthetic depth score > or = 1.5) when compared to controls. Median respiratory rates for treatment animals were slower compared to controls for the first 15 min, then after 35 min, they became significantly faster than the controls. Median heart rates of control animals became significantly slower than treatment animals between 40 and 45 min. Physiologic differences between groups persisted a minimum of 55 min. Possible explanations for heart rate and respiratory rate differences later in the monitoring period include a compensatory recovery of treatment animals from anesthesia-induced hypoxia and

  9. Gastrointestinal helminths of the Caspian turtle, Mauremys caspica (Testudines), from Northern Iran.

    PubMed

    Youssefi, Mohammad Reza; Mousapour, Ali; Nikzad, Reza; Gonzalez-Solis, David; Halajian, Ali; Rahimi, Mohammad Taghi

    2016-03-01

    The Caspian turtle (Mauremys caspica) is a semi-aquatic and adaptable reptile. To date, there are no reports on the parasites of this turtle in Iran. Hence, the current survey was designed to prepare a list of the gastrointestinal helminth parasites of the Caspian turtle in North Iran. A total of 34 road-killed individuals (14 males and 20 females) were collected between July 2011 and October 2012 from the Mazandaran province, Iran. All parts of gastrointestinal were parasitologically scrutinized and collected specimens were fixed and preserved in 70 % ethanol. Half of the examined Caspian turtles (17) were infected with at least one parasitic helminth. The list of helminths includes three nematodes: Serpinema microcephalum (Camallanidae), Falcaustra armenica (Kathlaniidae), Oxyuridae sp., and one digenean: Telorchis sp. (Telorchiidae). This is the first report of the gastrointestinal helminth parasites of the Caspian turtle in Iran and all helminth species are reported for the first time in Iran. PMID:27065600

  10. Developing ultraviolet illumination of gillnets as a method to reduce sea turtle bycatch.

    PubMed

    Wang, John; Barkan, Joel; Fisler, Shara; Godinez-Reyes, Carlos; Swimmer, Yonat

    2013-10-23

    Fisheries bycatch of marine animals has been linked to population declines of multiple species, including many sea turtles. Altering the visual cues associated with fishing gear may reduce sea turtle bycatch. We examined the effectiveness of illuminating gillnets with ultraviolet (UV) light-emitting diodes for reducing green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) interactions. We found that the mean sea turtle capture rate was reduced by 39.7% in UV-illuminated nets compared with nets without illumination. In collaboration with commercial fishermen, we tested UV net illumination in a bottom-set gillnet fishery in Baja California, Mexico. We did not find any difference in overall target fish catch rate or market value between net types. These findings suggest that UV net illumination may have applications in coastal and pelagic gillnet fisheries to reduce sea turtle bycatch. PMID:23883577

  11. Marine debris ingestion by sea turtles (Testudines) on the Brazilian coast: an underestimated threat?

    PubMed

    de Carvalho, Robson Henrique; Lacerda, Pedro Dutra; da Silva Mendes, Sarah; Barbosa, Bruno Corrêa; Paschoalini, Mariana; Prezoto, Fabio; de Sousa, Bernadete Maria

    2015-12-30

    Assessment of marine debris ingestion by sea turtles is important, especially to ensure their survival. From January to December 2011, 23 specimens of five species of sea turtles were found dead or dying after being rehabilitated, along the coast of the municipality of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. To detect the presence of marine debris in the digestive tract of these turtles, we conducted a postmortem examination from the esophagus until the distal portion of the large intestine for each specimen. Of the total number of turtles, 39% had ingested marine debris such as soft plastic, hard plastic, metal, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle caps, human hair, tampons, and latex condoms. Five of the seven sea turtles species are found along the Brazilian coast, where they feed and breed. A large number of animals are exposed to various kinds of threats, including debris ingestion. PMID:26454630

  12. Development of the carapacial ridge: implications for the evolution of genetic networks in turtle shell development.

    PubMed

    Moustakas, Jacqueline E

    2008-01-01

    Paleontologists and neontologists have long looked to development to understand the homologies of the dermal bones that form the "armor" of turtles, crocodiles, armadillos, and other vertebrates. This study shows molecular evidence supporting a dermomyotomal identity for the mesenchyme of the turtle carapacial ridge. The mesenchyme of the carapace primordium expresses Pax3, Twist1, Dermo1, En1, Sim1, and Gremlin at early stages and before overt ossification expresses Pax1. A hypothesis is proposed that this mesenchyme forms dermal bone in the turtle carapace. A comparison of regulatory gene expression in the primordia of the turtle carapace, the vertebrate limb, and the vertebral column implies the exaptation of key genetic networks in the development of the turtle shell. This work establishes a new role for this mesodermal compartment and highlights the importance of changes in genetic regulation in the evolution of morphology. PMID:18184355

  13. Populations and home range relationships of the box turtle, Terrapene carolina (Linnaeus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stickel, L.F.

    1949-01-01

    A population study of Terrapene carolina (Linnaeus) was made at the Patuxent Research Refuge, Maryland, from 1944 to 1947. A thirty acre area in bottomland forest was selected for intensive study. Turtles were marked by filing notches in marginal scutes according to a code. Turtles make extensive use of brushy shelter during the day as well.as at night. Gully banks and woods openings are used for sunning. Nights are usually spent in a 'form,' constructed by the turtle in leaves, debris, or earth. A form may be used once or it may be used repeatedly by the same or different turtles. Weather conditions most favorable to turtle activity are high humidity, warm sunny days, and frequent rains. Periods of activity are alternated with periods of quiet, even in favorable weather. There is no evidence for territorialism. Ranges of turtles of all ages and both sexes overlap grossly. Turtles are frequently found near each other but no antagonistic behavior has been observed. Adult turtles occupy specific home ranges which they maintain from year to year. Turtles retained their ranges even though a flood that completely covered the study area. Maximum home range diameters were determined by measurements of the mapped ranges of individual turtles. There was no significant difference between sizes of male and female ranges: males 33O+ 26 feet, females 37O+29 feet. A trail-laying device was used in following travel routes for 456 turtle days. Normal movements within the home range are characterized by (1) turns, doublings, detours, and criss-crossing paths, (2) interspersion of fairly direct traverses of the home range, (3) frequently repeated travels over certain routes. Maximum limits of the home range are ordinarily reached within a few days or weeks, although some turtles cover only one portion of the range at a time. Some turtles have two home ranges. One of these turtles was followed with a trailer for 161 days in 1946 and 1947. Trips outside the home range are made by

  14. Inferring Foraging Areas of Nesting Loggerhead Turtles Using Satellite Telemetry and Stable Isotopes

    PubMed Central

    Ceriani, Simona A.; Roth, James D.; Evans, Daniel R.; Weishampel, John F.; Ehrhart, Llewellyn M.

    2012-01-01

    In recent years, the use of intrinsic markers such as stable isotopes to link breeding and foraging grounds of migratory species has increased. Nevertheless, several assumptions still must be tested to interpret isotopic patterns found in the marine realm. We used a combination of satellite telemetry and stable isotope analysis to (i) identify key foraging grounds used by female loggerheads nesting in Florida and (ii) examine the relationship between stable isotope ratios and post-nesting migration destinations. We collected tissue samples for stable isotope analysis from 14 females equipped with satellite tags and an additional 57 untracked nesting females. Telemetry identified three post-nesting migratory pathways and associated non-breeding foraging grounds: (1) a seasonal continental shelf–constrained migratory pattern along the northeast U.S. coastline, (2) a non-breeding residency in southern foraging areas and (3) a residency in the waters adjacent to the breeding area. Isotopic variability in both δ13C and δ15N among individuals allowed identification of three distinct foraging aggregations. We used discriminant function analysis to examine how well δ13C and δ15N predict female post-nesting migration destination. The discriminant analysis classified correctly the foraging ground used for all but one individual and was used to predict putative feeding areas of untracked turtles. We provide the first documentation that the continental shelf of the Mid- and South Atlantic Bights are prime foraging areas for a large number (61%) of adult female loggerheads from the largest loggerhead nesting population in the western hemisphere and the second largest in the world. Our findings offer insights for future management efforts and suggest that this technique can be used to infer foraging strategies and residence areas in lieu of more expensive satellite telemetry, enabling sample sizes that are more representative at the population level. PMID:23028943

  15. TURTLE IN SPACE DESCRIBES NEW HUBBLE IMAGE

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has shown us that the shrouds of gas surrounding dying, sunlike stars (called planetary nebulae) come in a variety of strange shapes, from an 'hourglass' to a 'butterfly' to a 'stingray.' With this image of NGC 6210, the Hubble telescope has added another bizarre form to the rogues' gallery of planetary nebulae: a turtle swallowing a seashell. Giving this dying star such a weird name is less of a challenge than trying to figure out how dying stars create these unusual shapes. The larger image shows the entire nebula; the inset picture captures the complicated structure surrounding the dying star. The remarkable features of this nebula are the numerous holes in the inner shells with jets of material streaming from them. These jets produce column-shaped features that are mirrored in the opposite direction. The multiple shells of material ejected by the dying star give this planetary nebula its odd form. In the 'full nebula' image, the brighter central region looks like a 'nautilus shell'; the fainter outer structure (colored red) a 'tortoise.' The dying star is the white dot in the center. Both pictures are composite images based on observations taken Aug. 6, 1997 with the telescope's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2. Material flung off by this central star is streaming out of holes it punched in the nautilus shell. At least four jets of material can be seen in the 'full nebula' image: a pair near 6 and 12 o'clock and another near 2 and 8 o'clock. In each pair, the jets are directly opposite each other, exemplifying their 'bipolar' nature. The jets are thought to be driven by a 'fast wind' - material propelled by radiation from the hot central star. In the inner 'nautilus' shell, bright rims outline the escape holes created by this 'wind,' such as the one at 2 o'clock. This same 'wind' appears to give rise to the prominent outer jet in the same direction. The hole in the inner shell acts like a hose nozzle, directing the flow of

  16. Assessment of ground transportation stress in juvenile Kemp's ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii).

    PubMed

    Hunt, Kathleen E; Innis, Charles J; Kennedy, Adam E; McNally, Kerry L; Davis, Deborah G; Burgess, Elizabeth A; Merigo, Constance

    2016-01-01

    Sea turtle rehabilitation centres frequently transport sea turtles for long distances to move animals between centres or to release them at beaches, yet there is little information on the possible effects of transportation-related stress ('transport stress') on sea turtles. To assess whether transport stress is a clinically relevant concern for endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii), we obtained pre-transport and post-transport plasma samples from 26 juvenile Kemp's ridley sea turtles that were transported for 13 h (n = 15 turtles) or 26 h (n = 11 turtles) by truck for release at beaches. To control for effects of handling, food restriction and time of day, the same turtles were also studied on 'control days' 2 weeks prior to transport, i.e. with two samples taken to mimic pre-transport and post-transport timing, but without transportation. Blood samples were analysed for nine clinical health measures (pH, pCO2, pO2, HCO3, sodium, potassium, ionized calcium, lactate and haematocrit) and four 'stress-associated' parameters (corticosterone, glucose, white blood cell count and heterophil-to-lymphocyte ratio). Vital signs (heart rate, respiratory rate and cloacal temperature) were also monitored. Corticosterone and glucose showed pronounced elevations due specifically to transportation; for corticosterone, this elevation was significant only for the longer transport duration, whereas glucose increased significantly after both transport durations. However, clinical health measures and vital signs showed minimal or no changes in response to any sampling event (with or without transport), and all turtles appeared to be in good clinical health after both transport durations. Thus, transportation elicits a mild, but detectable, adrenal stress response that is more pronounced during longer durations of transport; nonetheless, Kemp's ridley sea turtles can tolerate ground transportation of up to 26 h in good health. These results are likely

  17. Modeling Commercial Freshwater Turtle Production on US Farms for Pet and Meat Markets

    PubMed Central

    Mali, Ivana; Wang, Hsiao-Hsuan; Grant, William E.; Feldman, Mark; Forstner, Michael R. J.

    2015-01-01

    Freshwater turtles are being exploited for meat, eggs, traditional medicine, and pet trade. As a response, turtle farming became a booming aquaculture industry in the past two decades, specifically in the southeastern states of the United States of America (US) and across Southeast Asia. However, US turtle farms are currently producing turtles only for the pet trade while commercial trappers remain focused on catching the largest individuals from the wild. In our analyses we have created a biological and economic model that describes farming operations on a representative turtle farm in Louisiana. We first modeled current production of hatchling and yearling red-eared slider turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans) (i.e., traditional farming) for foreign and domestic pet markets, respectively. We tested the possibility of harvesting adult turtles from the breeding stock for sale to meat markets to enable alternative markets for the farmers, while decreasing the continued pressures on wild populations (i.e., non-traditional farming). Our economic model required current profit requirements of ~$13/turtle or ~$20.31/kg of meat from non-traditional farming in order to acquire the same profit as traditional farming, a value which currently exceeds market values of red-eared sliders. However, increasing competition with Asian turtle farms and decreasing hatchling prices may force the shift in the US toward producing turtles for meat markets. In addition, our model can be modified and applied to more desirable species on the meat market once more knowledge is acquired about species life histories and space requirements under farmed conditions. PMID:26407157

  18. High rates of growth recorded for hawksbill sea turtles in Anegada, British Virgin Islands

    PubMed Central

    Hawkes, Lucy A; McGowan, Andrew; Broderick, Annette C; Gore, Shannon; Wheatley, Damon; White, Jim; Witt, Matthew J; Godley, Brendan J

    2014-01-01

    Management of species of conservation concern requires knowledge of demographic parameters, such as rates of recruitment, survival, and growth. In the Caribbean, hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) have been historically exploited in huge numbers to satisfy trade in their shells and meat. In the present study, we estimated growth rate of juvenile hawksbill turtles around Anegada, British Virgin Islands, using capture–mark–recapture of 59 turtles over periods of up to 649 days. Turtles were recaptured up to six times, having moved up to 5.9 km from the release location. Across all sizes, turtles grew at an average rate of 9.3 cm year−1 (range 2.3–20.3 cm year−1), and gained mass at an average of 3.9 kg year−1 (range 850 g–16.1 kg year−1). Carapace length was a significant predictor of growth rate and mass gain, but there was no relationship between either variable and sea surface temperature. These are among the fastest rates of growth reported for this species, with seven turtles growing at a rate that would increase their body size by more than half per year (51–69% increase in body length). This study also demonstrates the importance of shallow water reef systems for the developmental habitat for juvenile hawksbill turtles. Although growth rates for posthatching turtles in the pelagic, and turtles larger than 61 cm, are not known for this population, the implications of this study are that Caribbean hawksbill turtles in some areas may reach body sizes suggesting sexual maturity in less time than previously considered. PMID:24834324

  19. Risk analysis reveals global hotspots for marine debris ingestion by sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Schuyler, Qamar A; Wilcox, Chris; Townsend, Kathy A; Wedemeyer-Strombel, Kathryn R; Balazs, George; van Sebille, Erik; Hardesty, Britta Denise

    2016-02-01

    Plastic marine debris pollution is rapidly becoming one of the critical environmental concerns facing wildlife in the 21st century. Here we present a risk analysis for plastic ingestion by sea turtles on a global scale. We combined global marine plastic distributions based on ocean drifter data with sea turtle habitat maps to predict exposure levels to plastic pollution. Empirical data from necropsies of deceased animals were then utilised to assess the consequence of exposure to plastics. We modelled the risk (probability of debris ingestion) by incorporating exposure to debris and consequence of exposure, and included life history stage, species of sea turtle and date of stranding observation as possible additional explanatory factors. Life history stage is the best predictor of debris ingestion, but the best-fit model also incorporates encounter rates within a limited distance from stranding location, marine debris predictions specific to the date of the stranding study and turtle species. There is no difference in ingestion rates between stranded turtles vs. those caught as bycatch from fishing activity, suggesting that stranded animals are not a biased representation of debris ingestion rates in the background population. Oceanic life-stage sea turtles are at the highest risk of debris ingestion, and olive ridley turtles are the most at-risk species. The regions of highest risk to global sea turtle populations are off of the east coasts of the USA, Australia and South Africa; the east Indian Ocean, and Southeast Asia. Model results can be used to predict the number of sea turtles globally at risk of debris ingestion. Based on currently available data, initial calculations indicate that up to 52% of sea turtles may have ingested debris. PMID:26365568

  20. Modeling Commercial Freshwater Turtle Production on US Farms for Pet and Meat Markets.

    PubMed

    Mali, Ivana; Wang, Hsiao-Hsuan; Grant, William E; Feldman, Mark; Forstner, Michael R J

    2015-01-01

    Freshwater turtles are being exploited for meat, eggs, traditional medicine, and pet trade. As a response, turtle farming became a booming aquaculture industry in the past two decades, specifically in the southeastern states of the United States of America (US) and across Southeast Asia. However, US turtle farms are currently producing turtles only for the pet trade while commercial trappers remain focused on catching the largest individuals from the wild. In our analyses we have created a biological and economic model that describes farming operations on a representative turtle farm in Louisiana. We first modeled current production of hatchling and yearling red-eared slider turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans) (i.e., traditional farming) for foreign and domestic pet markets, respectively. We tested the possibility of harvesting adult turtles from the breeding stock for sale to meat markets to enable alternative markets for the farmers, while decreasing the continued pressures on wild populations (i.e., non-traditional farming). Our economic model required current profit requirements of ~$13/turtle or ~$20.31/kg of meat from non-traditional farming in order to acquire the same profit as traditional farming, a value which currently exceeds market values of red-eared sliders. However, increasing competition with Asian turtle farms and decreasing hatchling prices may force the shift in the US toward producing turtles for meat markets. In addition, our model can be modified and applied to more desirable species on the meat market once more knowledge is acquired about species life histories and space requirements under farmed conditions. PMID:26407157

  1. Phylogenomic analyses support the position of turtles as the sister group of birds and crocodiles (Archosauria)

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The morphological peculiarities of turtles have, for a long time, impeded their accurate placement in the phylogeny of amniotes. Molecular data used to address this major evolutionary question have so far been limited to a handful of markers and/or taxa. These studies have supported conflicting topologies, positioning turtles as either the sister group to all other reptiles, to lepidosaurs (tuatara, lizards and snakes), to archosaurs (birds and crocodiles), or to crocodilians. Genome-scale data have been shown to be useful in resolving other debated phylogenies, but no such adequate dataset is yet available for amniotes. Results In this study, we used next-generation sequencing to obtain seven new transcriptomes from the blood, liver, or jaws of four turtles, a caiman, a lizard, and a lungfish. We used a phylogenomic dataset based on 248 nuclear genes (187,026 nucleotide sites) for 16 vertebrate taxa to resolve the origins of turtles. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian concatenation analyses and species tree approaches performed under the most realistic models of the nucleotide and amino acid substitution processes unambiguously support turtles as a sister group to birds and crocodiles. The use of more simplistic models of nucleotide substitution for both concatenation and species tree reconstruction methods leads to the artefactual grouping of turtles and crocodiles, most likely because of substitution saturation at third codon positions. Relaxed molecular clock methods estimate the divergence between turtles and archosaurs around 255 million years ago. The most recent common ancestor of living turtles, corresponding to the split between Pleurodira and Cryptodira, is estimated to have occurred around 157 million years ago, in the Upper Jurassic period. This is a more recent estimate than previously reported, and questions the interpretation of controversial Lower Jurassic fossils as being part of the extant turtles radiation. Conclusions These results

  2. Telomeres, Age and Reproduction in a Long-Lived Reptile

    PubMed Central

    Plot, Virginie; Criscuolo, François; Zahn, Sandrine; Georges, Jean-Yves

    2012-01-01

    A major interest has recently emerged in understanding how telomere shortening, mechanism triggering cell senescence, is linked to organism ageing and life history traits in wild species. However, the links between telomere length and key history traits such as reproductive performances have received little attention and remain unclear to date. The leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea is a long-lived species showing rapid growth at early stages of life, one of the highest reproductive outputs observed in vertebrates and a dichotomised reproductive pattern related to migrations lasting 2 or 3 years, supposedly associated with different environmental conditions. Here we tested the prediction of blood telomere shortening with age in this species and investigated the relationship between blood telomere length and reproductive performances in leatherback turtles nesting in French Guiana. We found that blood telomere length did not differ between hatchlings and adults. The absence of blood telomere shortening with age may be related to an early high telomerase activity. This telomere-restoring enzyme was formerly suggested to be involved in preventing early telomere attrition in early fast-growing and long-lived species, including squamate reptiles. We found that within one nesting cycle, adult females having performed shorter migrations prior to the considered nesting season had shorter blood telomeres and lower reproductive output. We propose that shorter blood telomeres may result from higher oxidative stress in individuals breeding more frequently (i.e., higher costs of reproduction) and/or restoring more quickly their body reserves in cooler feeding areas during preceding migration (i.e., higher foraging costs). This first study on telomeres in the giant leatherback turtle suggests that blood telomere length predicts not only survival chances, but also reproductive performances. Telomeres may therefore be a promising new tool to evaluate individual reproductive

  3. Nesting Phenology of Marine Turtles: Insights from a Regional Comparative Analysis on Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas)

    PubMed Central

    Dalleau, Mayeul; Ciccione, Stéphane; Mortimer, Jeanne A.; Garnier, Julie; Benhamou, Simon; Bourjea, Jérôme

    2012-01-01

    Changes in phenology, the timing of seasonal activities, are among the most frequently observed responses to environmental disturbances and in marine species are known to occur in response to climate changes that directly affects ocean temperature, biogeochemical composition and sea level. We examined nesting seasonality data from long-term studies at 8 green turtle (Chelonia mydas) rookeries that include 21 specific nesting sites in the South-West Indian Ocean (SWIO). We demonstrated that temperature drives patterns of nesting seasonality at the regional scale. We found a significant correlation between mean annual Sea Surface Temperature (SST) and dates of peak nesting with rookeries exposed to higher SST having a delayed nesting peak. This supports the hypothesis that temperature is the main factor determining peak nesting dates. We also demonstrated a spatial synchrony in nesting activity amongst multiple rookeries in the northern part of the SWIO (Aldabra, Glorieuses, Mohéli, Mayotte) but not with the eastern and southern rookeries (Europa, Tromelin), differences which could be attributed to females with sharply different adult foraging conditions. However, we did not detect a temporal trend in the nesting peak date over the study period or an inter-annual relation between nesting peak date and SST. The findings of our study provide a better understanding of the processes that drive marine species phenology. The findings will also help to predict their ability to cope with climate change and other environmental perturbations. Despite demonstrating this spatial shift in nesting phenology, no trend in the alteration of nesting dates over more than 20 years was found. PMID:23056527

  4. Biases and best approaches for assessing debris ingestion in sea turtles, with a case study in the Mediterranean.

    PubMed

    Casale, Paolo; Freggi, Daniela; Paduano, Valentina; Oliverio, Marco

    2016-09-15

    In a sample of 567 loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) from the central Mediterranean, debris occurrence varied according to methods and turtle source, and was up to 80% in pelagic turtles. Frequencies of plastic types, size and color are also reported. These results and a critical review of 49 studies worldwide indicate that: (i) the detected occurrence of plastic (% turtles) is affected by several factors (e.g., necropsy/feces, ecological zone, type and date of finding, captivity period for feces collection), (ii) mixed dataset and opportunistic approaches provide results which are biased , not comparable, and ultimately of questionable value, (iii) only turtles assumed to have had a normal feeding behaviour at the time of capture or death should be considered, (iv) turtle foraging ecology and possible selectivity may undermine the use of turtles as indicator species for monitoring marine litter, as recently proposed for the Mediterranean. PMID:27321803

  5. Toward consilience in reptile phylogeny: microRNAs support an archosaur, not a lepidosaur affinity for turtles

    PubMed Central

    Field, Daniel J.; Gauthier, Jacques A.; King, Benjamin L.; Pisani, Davide; Lyson, Tyler R.; Peterson, Kevin J.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the phylogenetic placement of crown turtles (Testudines) among amniotes has been a source of particular contention. Recent morphological analyses suggest that turtles are sister to all other reptiles, whereas virtually all analyses of gene sequences support turtles as being inside Diapsida, and usually as sister to crown Archosauria (birds and crocodylians). Previously, a study using microRNAs (miRNAs) placed turtles inside diapsids, but as sister to lepidosaurs (lizards and Sphenodon) rather than archosaurs. Here, we test this result with an expanded dataset, and employ proper criteria for miRNA annotation. Significantly, we find no support for a turtle + lepidosaur sister-relationship; intstead, we recover strong support for turtles sharing a more recent common ancestor with archosaurs as the living sister group to birds + crocodylians. These results are in accordance with most gene sequence studies, providing strong, consilient evidence from diverse independent datasets for the phylogenetic position of turtles. PMID:24798503

  6. Western Pond Turtle Head-starting and Reintroduction; 2003-2004 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Van Leuven, Susan; Allen, Harriet; Slavin, Kate

    2004-09-01

    This report covers the results of the western pond turtle head-starting and reintroduction project for the period of October 2003-September 2004. Wild hatchling western pond turtles from the Columbia River Gorge were reared at the Woodland Park and Oregon Zoos in 2003 and 2004 as part of the recovery effort for this Washington State endangered species. The objective of the program is to reduce losses to introduced predators like bullfrogs and largemouth bass by raising the hatchlings to a size where they are too large to be eaten by most of these predators. Sixty-nine turtles were over-wintered at the Woodland Park Zoo and 69 at the Oregon Zoo. Of these, 136 head-started juvenile turtles were released at three sites in the Columbia Gorge in 2004. Two were held back to attain more growth in captivity. Thirty-four were released at the Klickitat ponds, 19 at the Klickitat lake, 21 at the Skamania site, and 62 at Pierce National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). This brought the total number of head-start turtles released since 1991 to 246 for the Klickitat ponds, 114 for the Klickitat lake, 167 for the Skamania pond complex, and 250 at Pierce NWR. In 2004, 32 females from the two Columbia Gorge populations were equipped with transmitters and monitored for nesting activity. Twenty-one of the females nested and produced 85 hatchlings. The hatchlings were collected in September and October and transported to the Woodland Park and Oregon zoos for rearing in the head-start program. Data collection for a four-year telemetry study of survival and habitat use by juvenile western pond turtles at Pierce NWR concluded in 2004. Radio transmitters on study animals were replaced as needed until all replacements were in service; afterward, the turtles were monitored until their transmitters failed. The corps of study turtles ranged from 39 in August 2003 to 2 turtles at the end of August 2004. These turtles showed the same seasonal pattern of movements between summer water and upland winter

  7. Toxicological effects of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) on freshwater turtles in the United States.

    PubMed

    Ming-Ch'eng Adams, Clare Isabel; Baker, Joel E; Kjellerup, Birthe V

    2016-07-01

    Prediction of vertebrate health effects originating from persistent organic pollutants (POPs) such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) has remained a challenge for decades thus making the identification of bioindicators difficult. POPs are predominantly present in soil and sediment, where they adhere to particles due to their hydrophobic characteristics. Animals inhabiting soil and sediment can be exposed to PCBs via dermal exposure while others may obtain PCBs through contaminated trophic interaction. Freshwater turtles can serve as bioindicators due to their strong site fidelity, longevity and varied diet. Previous research observed the health effects of PCBs on turtles such as decreased bone mass, changed sexual development and decreased immune responses through studying both contaminated sites along with laboratory experimentation. Higher deformity rates in juveniles, increased mortality and slower growth have also been observed. Toxicological effects of PCBs vary between species of freshwater turtles and depend on the concertation and configuration of PCB congeners. Evaluation of ecotoxicological effects of PCBs in non-endangered turtles could provide important knowledge about the health effects of endangered turtle species thus inform the design of remediation strategies. In this review, the PCB presence in freshwater turtle habitats and the ecotoxicological effects were investigated with the aim of utilizing the health status to identify areas of focus for freshwater turtle conservation. PMID:27043381

  8. Mistaken identity? Visual similarities of marine debris to natural prey items of sea turtles

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background There are two predominant hypotheses as to why animals ingest plastic: 1) they are opportunistic feeders, eating plastic when they encounter it, and 2) they eat plastic because it resembles prey items. To assess which hypothesis is most likely, we created a model sea turtle visual system and used it to analyse debris samples from beach surveys and from necropsied turtles. We investigated colour, contrast, and luminance of the debris items as they would appear to the turtle. We also incorporated measures of texture and translucency to determine which of the two hypotheses is more plausible as a driver of selectivity in green sea turtles. Results Turtles preferred more flexible and translucent items to what was available in the environment, lending support to the hypothesis that they prefer debris that resembles prey, particularly jellyfish. They also ate fewer blue items, suggesting that such items may be less conspicuous against the background of open water where they forage. Conclusions Using visual modelling we determined the characteristics that drive ingestion of marine debris by sea turtles, from the point of view of the turtles themselves. This technique can be utilized to determine debris preferences of other visual predators, and help to more effectively focus management or remediation actions. PMID:24886170

  9. Contamination in marine turtle (Dermochelys coriaca) egg shells of Playon de Mexiquillo, Michoacan, Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Vazquez, G.F.; Reyes, M.C.; Fenandez, G.

    1997-02-01

    Concern for the decreasing population sizes of marine turtles around the world is growing. Potential contamination within habitats of marine turtles, and human activities, such as poaching, modification of nesting sites, and capture of adult turtles, may be responsible for their decreasing populations. Little is known about the baseline levels and physiological effects of environmental contaminants on marine turtle populations. Responding to this concern, the Mexican government has designated areas along the Mexican coastline to preserve marine turtle nesting habitats. {open_quotes}Playon de Mexiquillo{close_quotes}, Michocan, Mexico is one of the coastal preservation areas located near the mouth of Rio la Manzanilla which flows between Sierra Madre del Sur and the Pacific Ocean. Samples of seawater, sand, and marine turtle egg (Dermochelys Coriaca) shells were collected monthly from October, 1992-March, 1993. Contaminants investigated were oil and grease, and metals (cadmium, copper, zinc, nickel, and lead). Seawater samples were collected where the turtles lay eggs in the preservation area and sand samples were taken from the area surrounding the eggs. 12 refs., 1 fig., 4 tabs.

  10. Evidence for retrovirus infections in green turtles Chelonia mydas from the Hawaiian islands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Casey, R.N.; Quackenbush, S.L.; Work, T.M.; Balazs, G.H.; Bowser, P.R.; Casey, J.W.

    1997-01-01

    Apparently normal Hawaiian green turtles Chelonia mydas and those displaying fibropapillomas were analyzed for infection by retroviruses. Strikingly, all samples were positive for polymerase enhanced reverse transcriptase (PERT) with levels high enough to quantitate by the conventional reverse transcriptase (RT) assay. However, samples of skin, even from asymptomatic turtles, were RT positive, although the levels of enzyme activity in healthy turtles hatched and raised in captivity were much lower than those observed in asymptomatic free-ranging turtles. Turtles with fibropapillomas displayed a broad range of reverse transcriptase activity. Skin and eye fibropapillomas and a heart tumor were further analyzed and shown to have reverse transcriptase activity that banded in a sucrose gradient at 1.17 g ml-1. The reverse transcriptase activity purified from the heart tumor displayed a temperature optimum of 37??C and showed a preference for Mn2+ over Mg2+. Sucrose gradient fractions of this sample displaying elevated reverse transcriptase activity contained primarily retrovitalsized particles with prominent envelope spikes, when negatively stained and examined by electron microscopy. Sodium dodecylsulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) analysis of gradient-purified virions revealed a conserved profile among 4 independent tumors and showed 7 prominent proteins having molecular weights of 116, 83, 51, 43, 40, 20 and 14 kDa. The data suggest that retroviral infections are widespread in Hawaiian green turtles and a comprehensive investigation is warranted to address the possibility that these agents cause green turtle fibropapillomatosis (GTFP).

  11. How Much Are Floridians Willing to Pay for Protecting Sea Turtles from Sea Level Rise?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamed, Ahmed; Madani, Kaveh; Von Holle, Betsy; Wright, James; Milon, J. Walter; Bossick, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) is posing a great inundation risk to coastal areas. Some coastal nesting species, including sea turtle species, have experienced diminished habitat from SLR. Contingent valuation method (CVM) was used in an effort to assess the economic loss impacts of SLR on sea turtle nesting habitats for Florida coasts; and to elicit values of willingness to pay (WTP) of Central Florida residents to implement certain mitigation strategies, which would protect Florida's east coast sea turtle nesting areas. Using the open-ended and dichotomous choice CVM, we sampled residents of two Florida communities: Cocoa Beach and Oviedo. We estimated the WTP of households from these two cities to protect sea turtle habitat to be between 42 and 57 per year for 5 years. Additionally, we attempted to assess the impact of the both the respondents' demographics and their perception toward various situations on their WTP value. Findings include a negative correlation between the age of a respondent and the probability of an individual willing to pay the hypothetical WTP amount. We found that WTP of an individual was not dependent on prior knowledge of the effects of SLR on sea turtle habitat. The greatest indicators of whether or not an individual was willing to pay to protect sea turtle habitat were the respondents' perception regarding the trustworthiness and efficiency of the party which will implement the conservation measures and their confidence in the conservation methods used. Respondents who perceive sea turtles having an effect on their life were also more likely to pay.

  12. Effects of environmental contaminants on snapping turtles of a tidal wetland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Albers, P.H.; Sileo, L.; Mulhern, B.M.

    1986-01-01

    Snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) were collected from a brackish-water and a nearly freshwater area in the contaminated Hackensack Meadowlands of New Jersey and an uncontaminated freshwater area in Maryland to determine the effects of environmental contaminants on a resident wetland species. No turtles were observed or caught in the Meadowlands at two trapping sites that were the most heavily contaminated by metals. Snapping turtles from the brackish-water area had an unusually low lipid content of body fat and reduced growth compared to turtles from the fresh-water areas in New Jersey and Maryland. Despite the serious metal contamination of the Hackensack Meadowlands, the metal content of kidneys and livers from New Jersey turtles was low and not greatly different from that of the Maryland turtles. Organochlorine pesticide concentrations in body fat were generally low at all three study areas. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) concentrations in fat were highest in male turtles from the New Jersey brackish-water area. Analysis of blood for amino-levulinic acid dehydratase, albumin, glucose, hemoglobin, osmolality, packed cell volume, total protein, triglycerides, and uric acid failed to reveal any differences among groups that would indicate physiological impairment related to contaminants.

  13. Allometric growth in juvenile marine turtles: possible role as an antipredator adaptation.

    PubMed

    Salmon, Michael; Scholl, Joshua

    2014-04-01

    Female marine turtles produce hundreds of offspring during their lifetime but few survive because small turtles have limited defenses and are vulnerable to many predators. Little is known about how small turtles improve their survival probabilities with growth though it is assumed that they do. We reared green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and loggerheads (Caretta caretta) from hatchlings to 13 weeks of age and documented that they grew wider faster than they grew longer. This pattern of allometric growth might enable small turtles to more quickly achieve protection from gape-limited predators, such as the dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus). As a test of that hypothesis, we measured how dolphinfish gape increased with length, reviewed the literature to determine how dolphinfish populations were size/age structured in nearby waters, and then determined the probability that a small turtle would encounter a fish large enough to consume it if it grew by allometry vs. by isometry (in which case it retained its hatchling proportions). Allometric growth more quickly reduced the probability of a lethal encounter than did isometric growth. On that basis, we suggest that allometry during early ontogeny may have evolved because it provides a survival benefit for small turtles. PMID:24629459

  14. Skeletal remodelling suggests the turtle's shell is not an evolutionary straitjacket.

    PubMed

    Cordero, Gerardo Antonio; Quinteros, Kevin

    2015-04-01

    Recent efforts to decipher the enigma of the turtle's shell revealed that distantly related turtle species deploy diverse processes during shell development. Even so, extant species share in common a shoulder blade (scapula) that is encapsulated within the shell. Thus, evolutionary change in the correlated development of the shell and scapula probably underpins the evolution of highly derived shell morphologies. To address this expectation, we conducted one of the most phylogenetically comprehensive surveys of turtle development, focusing on scapula growth and differentiation in embryos, hatchlings and adults of 13 species. We report, to our knowledge, the first description of secondary differentiation owing to skeletal remodelling of the tetrapod scapula in turtles with the most structurally derived shell phenotypes. Remodelling and secondary differentiation late in embryogenesis of box turtles (Emys and Terrapene) yielded a novel skeletal segment (i.e. the suprascapula) of high functional value to their complex shell-closing system. Remarkably, our analyses suggest that, in soft-shelled turtles (Trionychidae) with extremely flattened shells, a similar transformation is linked to truncated scapula growth. Skeletal remodelling, as a form of developmental plasticity, might enable the seemingly constrained turtle body plan to diversify, suggesting the shell is not an evolutionary straitjacket. PMID:25878046

  15. Development of a Summarized Health Index (SHI) for Use in Predicting Survival in Sea Turtles

    PubMed Central

    Li, Tsung-Hsien; Chang, Chao-Chin; Cheng, I-Jiunn; Lin, Suen-Chuain

    2015-01-01

    Veterinary care plays an influential role in sea turtle rehabilitation, especially in endangered species. Physiological characteristics, hematological and plasma biochemistry profiles, are useful references for clinical management in animals, especially when animals are during the convalescence period. In this study, these factors associated with sea turtle surviving were analyzed. The blood samples were collected when sea turtles remained alive, and then animals were followed up for surviving status. The results indicated that significantly negative correlation was found between buoyancy disorders (BD) and sea turtle surviving (p < 0.05). Furthermore, non-surviving sea turtles had significantly higher levels of aspartate aminotranspherase (AST), creatinine kinase (CK), creatinine and uric acid (UA) than surviving sea turtles (all p < 0.05). After further analysis by multiple logistic regression model, only factors of BD, creatinine and UA were included in the equation for calculating summarized health index (SHI) for each individual. Through evaluation by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve, the result indicated that the area under curve was 0.920 ± 0.037, and a cut-off SHI value of 2.5244 showed 80.0% sensitivity and 86.7% specificity in predicting survival. Therefore, the developed SHI could be a useful index to evaluate health status of sea turtles and to improve veterinary care at rehabilitation facilities. PMID:25803431

  16. Pathology of aural abscesses in free-living Eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina).

    PubMed

    Brown, Justin D; Richards, Jean M; Robertson, John; Holladay, Steven; Sleeman, Jonathan M

    2004-10-01

    Aural abscess or abscess of the middle ear is common in free-living Eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina) of Virginia (USA) and elsewhere. Although its etiology remains unknown, hypovitaminosis A has been suggested on the basis of similar lesions occurring in captive chelonians fed diets that are deficient in vitamin A. This hypothesis was supported by significantly greater body burdens of organochlorine compounds (reported disruptors of vitamin A metabolism) and a nonsignificant trend toward lower serum and hepatic vitamin A levels in free-living box turtles with this lesion. The tympanic epithelium was evaluated in 27 box turtles (10 with aural abscesses and 17 without). Lesions of the tympanic epithelium of box turtles with aural abscesses included hyperplasia, squamous metaplasia, hyperemia, cellular sloughing, granulomatous inflammation, and bacterial infection. These changes were more severe in turtles with aural abscesses than in those without and were more severe in tympanic cavities that had an abscess compared to those without when the lesion was unilateral. Organs from 21 box turtles (10 with aural abscesses and 11 without) from the study population were examined for microscopic lesions, and minimal histopathologic changes were found, none of which were similar to those found in the tympanic epithelium. Histopathologic changes in box turtles with aural abscesses were consistent with a syndrome that may involve hypovitaminosis A. PMID:15650088

  17. Deformation analysis of terrestrial monitoring observations on Turtle Mountain, Alberta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ebeling, Axel; Chow, Jacky; Teskey, W. F.

    2011-05-01

    Deformation monitoring has been carried out in two epochs on Turtle Mountain, Alberta, using a high-precision total station and a terrestrial laser scanner. From the total station observations, coordinates have been computed for seven signalized target points in a least-squares network adjustment. Then, a deformation analysis using a Multi-Parameter Transformation has been performed to derive movements between epochs. The two point clouds obtained with the laser scanner were registered using the iterative closest point algorithm. Differences in elevation between the two point clouds were then derived for the entire scene. Results indicate a downward movement of South Peak, and no significant horizontal deformations were found.

  18. [[Evolution of Egyptian migration

    PubMed

    Saleh, S A

    1985-01-01

    Changing patterns of Egyptian emigration over the past 30 years are reviewed. Four phases are identified: migration among Arab countries up to 1961, migration to the West for professional advancement, migration for political freedom, and migration to oil-producing countries since 1973 for economic reasons. (SUMMARY IN ENG) PMID:12268794

  19. Hexavalent chromium is cytotoxic and genotoxic to hawksbill sea turtle cells

    SciTech Connect

    Wise, Sandra S.; Xie, Hong; Fukuda, Tomokazu; Douglas Thompson, W.; and others

    2014-09-01

    Sea turtles are a charismatic and ancient ocean species and can serve as key indicators for ocean ecosystems, including coral reefs and sea grass beds as well as coastal beaches. Genotoxicity studies in the species are absent, limiting our understanding of the impact of environmental toxicants on sea turtles. Hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) is a ubiquitous environmental problem worldwide, and recent studies show it is a global marine pollutant of concern. Thus, we evaluated the cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of soluble and particulate Cr(VI) in hawksbill sea turtle cells. Particulate Cr(VI) was both cytotoxic and genotoxic to sea turtle cells. Concentrations of 0.1, 0.5, 1, and 5 μg/cm{sup 2} lead chromate induced 108, 79, 54, and 7% relative survival, respectively. Additionally, concentrations of 0, 0.1, 0.5, 1, and 5 μg/cm{sup 2} lead chromate induced damage in 4, 10, 15, 26, and 36% of cells and caused 4, 11, 17, 30, and 56 chromosome aberrations in 100 metaphases, respectively. For soluble Cr, concentrations of 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2.5, and 5 μM sodium chromate induced 84, 69, 46, 25, and 3% relative survival, respectively. Sodium chromate induced 3, 9, 9, 14, 21, and 29% of metaphases with damage, and caused 3, 10, 10, 16, 26, and 39 damaged chromosomes in 100 metaphases at concentrations of 0, 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2.5, and 5 μM sodium chromate, respectively. These data suggest that Cr(VI) may be a concern for hawksbill sea turtles and sea turtles in general. - Highlights: • Particulate Cr(VI) is cytotoxic and clastogenic to hawksbill sea turtle cells. • Soluble Cr(VI) is cytotoxic and clastogenic to hawksbill sea turtle cells. • Cr(VI) may be a risk factor for hawksbill sea turtle health.

  20. To Eat or Not to Eat? Debris Selectivity by Marine Turtles

    PubMed Central

    Schuyler, Qamar; Hardesty, Britta Denise; Wilcox, Chris; Townsend, Kathy

    2012-01-01

    Marine debris is a growing problem for wildlife, and has been documented to affect more than 267 species worldwide. We investigated the prevalence of marine debris ingestion in 115 sea turtles stranded in Queensland between 2006–2011, and assessed how the ingestion rates differ between species (Eretmochelys imbricata vs. Chelonia mydas) and by turtle size class (smaller oceanic feeders vs. larger benthic feeders). Concurrently, we conducted 25 beach surveys to estimate the composition of the debris present in the marine environment. Based on this proxy measurement of debris availability, we modeled turtles’ debris preferences (color and type) using a resource selection function, a method traditionally used for habitat and food selection. We found no significant difference in the overall probability of ingesting debris between the two species studied, both of which have similar life histories. Curved carapace length, however, was inversely correlated with the probability of ingesting debris; 54.5% of pelagic sized turtles had ingested debris, whereas only 25% of benthic feeding turtles were found with debris in their gastrointestinal system. Benthic and pelagic sized turtles also exhibited different selectivity ratios for debris ingestion. Benthic phase turtles had a strong selectivity for soft, clear plastic, lending support to the hypothesis that sea turtles ingest debris because it resembles natural prey items such as jellyfish. Pelagic turtles were much less selective in their feeding, though they showed a trend towards selectivity for rubber items such as balloons. Most ingested items were plastic and were positively buoyant. This study highlights the need to address increasing amounts of plastic in the marine environment, and provides evidence for the disproportionate ingestion of balloons by marine turtles. PMID:22829894

  1. Immune status of free-ranging green turtles with fibropapillomatosis from Hawaii

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Work, T.M.; Rameyer, R.A.; Balazs, G.H.; Cray, C.; Chang, S.P.

    2001-01-01

    Cell-mediated and humoral immune status of free-ranging green turtles (Chelonia mydas) in Hawaii (USA) with and without fibropapillornatosis (FP) were assessed. Tumored and non-tumored turtles from Kaneohe Bay (KB) on the island of Oahu and from FP-free areas on the west (Kona/Kohala) coast of the island of Hawaii were sampled from April 1998 through February 1999. Turtles on Oahu were grouped (0-3) for severity of tumors with 0 for absence of tumors, 1 for light, 2 for moderate, and 3 for most severe. Turtles were weighed, straight carapace length measured and the regression slope of weight to straight carapace length compared between groups (KB0, KB1, KB2, KB3, Kona). Blood was assayed for differential white blood cell count, hematocrit, in vitro peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) proliferation in the presence of concanavalin A (ConA) and phytohaemagglutinin (PHA), and protein electrophoresis. On Oahu, heterophil/lymphocyte ratio increased while eosinophil/monocyte ratio decreased with increasing tumors score. Peripheral blood mononuclear cell proliferation indices for ConA and PHA were significantly lower for turtles with tumor scores 2 and 3. Tumor score 3 turtles (KB3) had significantly lower hematocrit, total protein, alpha 1, alpha 2, and gamma globulins than the other four groups. No significant differences in immune status were seen between non-tumored (or KB1) turtles from Oahu and Hawaii. There was no significant difference between groups in regression slopes of body condition to carapace length. We conclude that turtles with severe FP are imunosuppressed. Furthermore, the lack of significant difference in immune status between non-tumored (and KB1) turtles from Oahu and Kona/Kohala indicates that immunosuppression may not be a prerequisite for development of FP.

  2. Asymmetry of righting reflexes in sea turtles and its behavioral correlates.

    PubMed

    Malashichev, Yegor

    2016-04-01

    The righting responses, when the animal rights itself over one side of the body after been overturned on the back, are one of the simplest ways to test for laterality, especially in lower vertebrates. In anuran amphibians unilateral preferences in righting responses correlated to the degree of the use of alternating-limb (asynchronous) movements during locomotion. Turtles is one of the underrepresented vertebrate groups in the studies of laterality, while possess also different types of locomotion (with synchronous or asynchronous use of the contralateral limbs), which allows testing the hypothesis on functional relationship between the mode of locomotion and the strength of laterality. We studied two species of sea turtles, Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) and Olive Ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), which differ from the majority of other representatives of the order in that they mostly utilize synchronous locomotion, when all four limbs move simultaneously in strokes (scratching). In righting response tests turtles demonstrated individual and weak population level laterality, which differed in strength. The Green turtle was less lateralized with the majority of individuals being ambipreferent. The Olive Ridley turtle had a greater number of lateralized individuals and a greater average strength of laterality. Interspecies comparison to land tortoises, which use only asynchronous (alternating-limb) walking (crawling), confirmed the rule found in amphibians: the more asynchronous locomotion is used, the greater is the strength of laterality in righting. Hence, data from turtles and amphibians may represent a phenomenon common for all quadruped vertebrates. We also discuss possible biomechanical and neurological correlates of this evolutionary change in locomotory patterns and lateralization in sea turtles when adapting to sea life. PMID:26772421

  3. Susceptibility of fish and turtles to three ranaviruses isolated from different ectothermic vertebrate classes.

    PubMed

    Brenes, Roberto; Miller, Debra L; Waltzek, Thomas B; Wilkes, Rebecca P; Tucker, Jennifer L; Chaney, Jordan C; Hardman, Rebecca H; Brand, Mabre D; Huether, Rebecca R; Gray, Matthew J

    2014-06-01

    Ranaviruses have been associated with mortality of lower vertebrates around the world. Frog virus 3 (FV3)-like ranaviruses have been isolated from different ectothermic vertebrate classes; however, few studies have demonstrated whether this pathogen can be transmitted among classes. Using FV3-like ranaviruses isolated from the American bullfrog Lithobates catesbeianus, eastern box turtle Terrapene carolina carolina, and Pallid Sturgeon Scaphirhynchus albus, we tested for the occurrence of interclass transmission (i.e., infection) and host susceptibility (i.e., percent mortality) for five juvenile fish and three juvenile turtle species exposed to each of these isolates. Exposure was administered via water bath (10(3) PFU/mL) for 3 d and survival was monitored for 28 d. Florida softshell turtles Apalone ferox experienced no mortality, but 10% and 20% of individuals became infected by the turtle and fish isolate, respectively. Similarly, 5% of Mississippi map turtles Graptemys pseudogeographica kohni were subclinically infected with the turtle isolate at the end of the experiment. Channel Catfish Ictalurus punctatus experienced 5% mortality when exposed to the turtle isolate, while Western Mosquitofish Gambusia affinis experienced 10% mortality when exposed to the turtle and amphibian isolates and 5% mortality when exposed to the fish isolate. Our results demonstrated that interclass transmission of FV3-like ranaviruses is possible. Although substantial mortality did not occur in our experiments, the occurrence of low mortality and subclinical infections suggest that fish and aquatic turtles may function as reservoirs for FV3-like ranaviruses. Additionally, our study is the first to report transmission of FV3-like ranaviruses between fish and chelonians. PMID:24895866

  4. Head-started Kemp’s ridley turtle (Lepidochelys kempii) nest recorded in Florida: Possible implications

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shaver, Donna J.; Lamont, Margaret M.; Maxwell, Sharon; Walker, Jennifer Shelby; Dillingham, Ted

    2016-01-01

    A head-started Kemp’s ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii) was documented nesting on South Walton Beach, Florida on 25 May 2015. This record supports the possibility that exposure to Florida waters after being held in captivity through 1–3 yrs of age during the head-starting process may have influenced future nest site selection of this and perhaps other Kemp’s ridley turtles. Such findings could have important ramifications for marine water experimentation and release site selection for turtles that have been reared in captivity.

  5. The story of invasive algae, arginine, and turtle tumors does not make sense

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Work, Thierry M.; Ackermann, Mathias; Casey, James W.; Chaloupka, Milani; Herbst, Lawrence; Lynch, Jennifer M.; Stacy, Brian A.

    2014-01-01

    We are presenting a rebuttal letter to the following article that appeared recently on PeerJ: Van Houtan KS, Smith CM, Dailer ML, and Kawachi M. 2014. Eutrophication and the dietary promotion of sea turtle tumors. PeerJ 2:e602. This article is available at the following URL: https://peerj.com/articles/602/. We argue that the article lacks an inferential framework to answer the complex question regarding the drivers of the turtle tumor disease fibropapillomatosis in Hawaii. The article also contains procedural flaws and does not provide any compelling evidence of a link between algae, arginine, and turtle tumors.

  6. Raccoon removal reduces sea turtle nest depredation in the Ten Thousand Islands of Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Garmestani, A.S.; Percival, H.F.

    2005-01-01

    Predation by raccoons, Procyon lotor marinus (L.), is the primary cause of sea turtle nest loss in the Ten Thousand Islands archipelago. Four islands within Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge were surveyed for sea turtle nesting activity from 1991-95. Raccoons depredated 76-100% of nests on Panther Key from 1991-94, until 14 raccoons were removed in 1995 resulting in 0% depredation and 2 more were removed in 1996 resulting in 0% depredation. Raccoon removal may be an effective management option for increasing sea turtle nest survival on barrier islands.

  7. Notes from the field: outbreak of salmonellosis associated with pet turtle exposures--United States, 2011.

    PubMed

    2012-02-01

    CDC is collaborating with the Pennsylvania State Health Department in an ongoing investigation of an outbreak of human Salmonella enterica serotype Paratyphi B var. L (+) tartrate + infections associated with pet turtle exposures. Turtles have long been recognized as sources of human Salmonella infections and are a particular risk to young children. Although the sale or distribution of small turtles (those with carapace lengths <4 inches [<10.2 cm]) has been prohibited in the United States since 1975 (with exceptions for scientific or educational purposes), they are still available for illegal purchase through transient vendors on the street, at flea markets, and at fairs. PMID:22298304

  8. Preparation, cryopreservation, and growth of cells prepared from the green turtle (Chelonia mydas)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Moore, M.K.; Work, T.M.; Balazs, G.H.; Docherty, D.E.

    1997-01-01

    Techniques are described for preparing, preserving, and growing cell cultures from 30 to 40-day old green turtle embryos (2.0-3.0 cm length) including cells derived from skeletal muscle, liver, heart, kidney, eye, lung, and brain. Acceptable growth of all cells occurred in all standard cell culture media tested, with optimum growth temperature near 30??C. These cell cultures will be used in the study of sea turtle viral diseases including fibropapillomatosis, which is currently epidemic in some green turtle populations.

  9. Epidemiologic determinants of aural abscessation in free-living eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina) in Virginia.

    PubMed

    Brown, Justin D; Sleeman, Jonathan M; Elvinger, François

    2003-10-01

    Epidemiologic determinants of 46 cases of aural abscessation in free-living eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina) admitted to the Wildlife Center of Virginia (Virginia, USA) from 1991 to 2000 were evaluated. County human population density, year and season of admission, weight, and sex did not affect the risk for box turtles to develop aural abscessation. Counties with cases of aural abscessation were not randomly distributed, but rather were clustered into two multi-county regions. Geographic location was the only risk factor associated with aural abscessation in box turtles found in this study. Possible etiologies could include chronic infectious disease, malnutrition, or chronic exposure to environmental contamination with organochlorine compounds. PMID:14733291

  10. Physical Mapping and Refinement of the Painted Turtle Genome (Chrysemys picta) Inform Amniote Genome Evolution and Challenge Turtle-Bird Chromosomal Conservation

    PubMed Central

    Badenhorst, Daleen; Hillier, LaDeana W.; Literman, Robert; Montiel, Eugenia Elisabet; Radhakrishnan, Srihari; Shen, Yingjia; Minx, Patrick; Janes, Daniel E.; Warren, Wesley C.; Edwards, Scott V.; Valenzuela, Nicole

    2015-01-01

    Comparative genomics continues illuminating amniote genome evolution, but for many lineages our understanding remains incomplete. Here, we refine the assembly (CPI 3.0.3 NCBI AHGY00000000.2) and develop a cytogenetic map of the painted turtle (Chrysemys picta—CPI) genome, the first in turtles and in vertebrates with temperature-dependent sex determination. A comparison of turtle genomes with those of chicken, selected nonavian reptiles, and human revealed shared and novel genomic features, such as numerous chromosomal rearrangements. The largest conserved syntenic blocks between birds and turtles exist in four macrochromosomes, whereas rearrangements were evident in these and other chromosomes, disproving that turtles and birds retain fully conserved macrochromosomes for greater than 300 Myr. C-banding revealed large heterochromatic blocks in the centromeric region of only few chromosomes. The nucleolar-organizing region (NOR) mapped to a single CPI microchromosome, whereas in some turtles and lizards the NOR maps to nonhomologous sex-chromosomes, thus revealing independent translocations of the NOR in various reptilian lineages. There was no evidence for recent chromosomal fusions as interstitial telomeric-DNA was absent. Some repeat elements (CR1-like, Gypsy) were enriched in the centromeres of five chromosomes, whereas others were widespread in the CPI genome. Bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones were hybridized to 18 of the 25 CPI chromosomes and anchored to a G-banded ideogram. Several CPI sex-determining genes mapped to five chromosomes, and homology was detected between yet other CPI autosomes and the globally nonhomologous sex chromosomes of chicken, other turtles, and squamates, underscoring the independent evolution of vertebrate sex-determining mechanisms. PMID:26108489

  11. Retrospective pathology survey of green turtles Chelonia mydas with fibropapillomatosis in the Hawaiian Islands, 1993-2003

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Work, T.M.; Balazs, G.H.; Rameyer, R.A.; Morris, R.A.

    2004-01-01

    We necropsied 255 stranded green turtles Chelonia mydas with fibropapillomatosis (FP) from the Hawaiian Islands, North Pacific, from August 1993 through May 2003. Of these, 214 (84%) were euthanized due to advanced FP and the remainder were found dead in fresh condition. Turtles were assigned a standardized tumor severity score ranging from 1 (lightly tumored) to 3 (heavily tumored). Tumors were counted and measured and categorized as external, oral, or internal and tissues evaluated by light microscopy. Turtles in tumor score 2 and 3 categories predominated, and tumor score 3 turtles were significantly larger than the other 2 categories. More juveniles stranded than subadults or adults. Total cross-sectional area of tumors increased significantly with straight carapace length (SCL). Frequency distribution of total number of external tumors per turtle was significantly skewed to the right, and there were significantly more tumors at the front than rear of turtles. Eighty percent of turtles had oral tumors, and 51% of turtles with oral tumors had tumors in the glottis. Thirty-nine percent of turtles had internal tumors, most of them in the lung, kidney and heart. Fibromas predominated in lung, kidney and musculoskeletal system whereas myxofibromas were more common in intestines and spleen. Fibrosarcomas of low-grade malignancy were most frequent in the heart, and heart tumors had a predilection for the right atrium. Turtles with FP had significant additional complications including inflammation with vascular flukes, bacterial infections, poor body condition, and necrosis of salt gland. Turtles with oral tumors were more likely to have secondary complications such as pneumonia. Most turtles came from the island of Oahu (74%) followed by Maui (20%), Hawaii, Molokai, and Lanai (<3% each). On Oahu, significantly more turtles we necropsied stranded along the northwestern and northeastern shores.

  12. Migration history, migration behavior and selectivity.

    PubMed

    Bailey, A J

    1993-01-01

    "A series of proportional hazards models are used to study the relationship between migration history and migration behavior for a sample of young adults from the [U.S.] National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. The results support the argument that migration is a selective process. College educated young adults have a greater hazard rate of making an initial migration but a lower hazard rate of re-migration, suggesting they have less need of corrective geographic behavior. Individuals who have moved two or more times are less responsive to national unemployment conditions than first time migrants. Migration is related to the timing of unemployment within a sojourn. The findings suggest that migrant stock is an important determinant of how labor markets function." PMID:12318324

  13. Growth and morphometrics of the box turtle, Terrapene c. carolina

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stickel, L.F.; Bunck, C.M.

    1989-01-01

    Growth of box turtles in a bottomland forest in Maryland was studied over a period of years (1944-1981). A bivariate analysis of age related growth showed that between 8 and 13 yr, male turtles grew at an average rate of 6.7% per year in carapace length, whereas females grew at 5.3% per year. Both males and females grew considerably more slowly between 14 and 19 years, males at 2.3% per year and females at 3.4% per year. Growth slowed still more in the twenties. Growth in the six other dimensions that were measured provided additional comparisons. Allometric analysis of the different carapace and plastron dimensions showed that among males length increased proportionally more than either width or height and that width increased more than height. Among females, only the greater increase of length than of width was statistically significant. Fully grown males were larger than females in all dimensions except height. Differences from the normal scutal pattern occurred in 16.8% of fully grown males and 18.4% of the females

  14. ABC of multi-fractal spacetimes and fractional sea turtles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calcagni, Gianluca

    2016-04-01

    We clarify what it means to have a spacetime fractal geometry in quantum gravity and show that its properties differ from those of usual fractals. A weak and a strong definition of multi-scale and multi-fractal spacetimes are given together with a sketch of the landscape of multi-scale theories of gravitation. Then, in the context of the fractional theory with q-derivatives, we explore the consequences of living in a multi-fractal spacetime. To illustrate the behavior of a non-relativistic body, we take the entertaining example of a sea turtle. We show that, when only the time direction is fractal, sea turtles swim at a faster speed than in an ordinary world, while they swim at a slower speed if only the spatial directions are fractal. The latter type of geometry is the one most commonly found in quantum gravity. For time-like fractals, relativistic objects can exceed the speed of light, but strongly so only if their size is smaller than the range of particle-physics interactions. We also find new results about log-oscillating measures, the measure presentation and their role in physical observations and in future extensions to nowhere-differentiable stochastic spacetimes.

  15. Bending mechanics of the red-eared slider turtle carapace.

    PubMed

    Achrai, Ben; Bar-On, Benny; Wagner, H Daniel

    2014-02-01

    The turtle shell is a natural shield that possesses complex hierarchical structure, giving rise to superior mechanical properties. The keratin-covered boney top (dorsal) part of the shell, termed carapace, is composed of rigid sandwich-like ribs made of a central foam-like interior flanked by two external cortices. The ribs are attached to one another in a 3-D interdigitated manner at soft unmineralized collagenous sutures. This unique structural combination promotes sophisticated mechanical response upon predator attacks. In the present study mechanical bending tests were performed to examine the static behavior of the red-eared slider turtle carapace, in different orientations and from various locations, as well as from whole-rib and sub-layer regions. In addition, the suture properties were evaluated as well and compared with those of the rib. A simplified classical analysis was used here to rationalize the experimental results of the whole rib viewed as a laminated composite. The measured strength (~300MPa) and bending modulus (~7-8.5GPa) of the rib were found to be of the same order of magnitude as the strength and modulus of the cortices. The theoretical prediction of the ribs' moduli, predicted in terms of the individual sub-layers moduli, agreed well with the experimental results. The suture regions were found to be more compliant and weaker than the ribs, but comparatively tough, likely due to the interlocking design of the boney zigzag elements. PMID:24333673

  16. 77 FR 4169 - Endangered and Threatened Species: Final Rule To Revise the Critical Habitat Designation for the...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-01-26

    ... leatherback sea turtle was listed as endangered throughout its range on June 2, 1970 (35 FR 8491). Pursuant to... designated critical habitat for leatherbacks on September 26, 1978 (43 FR 43688). This critical habitat area... meters) curve shoreward to the level of mean high tide (44 FR 17710). On October 2, 2007, we received...

  17. Modification of sperm morphology during long-term sperm storage in the reproductive tract of the Chinese soft-shelled turtle, Pelodiscus sinensis

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Linli; Yang, Ping; Bian, Xunguang; Zhang, Qian; Ullah, Shakeeb; Waqas, Yasir; Chen, Xiaowu; Liu, Yi; Chen, Wei; Le, Yuan; Chen, Bing; Wang, Shuai; Chen, Qiusheng

    2015-01-01

    Sperm storage in vivo extends the time window for fertilisation in several animal species, from a few days to several years. The underlying storage mechanisms, however, are largely unknown. In this study, spermatozoa from the epididymis and oviduct of Chinese soft-shelled turtles were investigated to identify potentially relevant morphological features and transformations at different stages of sperm storage. Large cytoplasmic droplets (CDs) containing lipid droplets (LDs) were attached to the midpiece of most spermatozoa in the epididymis, without migrating down the sperm tail. However, they were absent from the oviductal spermatozoa, suggesting that CDs with LDs may be a source of endogenous energy for epididymal spermatozoa. The onion-like mitochondria recovered their double-membrane morphology, with typical cristae, within the oviduct at a later stage of storage, thus implying that mitochondrial metabolism undergoes alterations during storage. Furthermore, a well developed fibrous sheath on the long principal piece was the integrating ultrastructure for glycolytic enzymes and substrates. These novel morphological characteristics may allow turtle spermatozoa to use diverse energy metabolism pathways at different stages of storage. PMID:26537569

  18. Modification of sperm morphology during long-term sperm storage in the reproductive tract of the Chinese soft-shelled turtle, Pelodiscus sinensis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Linli; Yang, Ping; Bian, Xunguang; Zhang, Qian; Ullah, Shakeeb; Waqas, Yasir; Chen, Xiaowu; Liu, Yi; Chen, Wei; Le, Yuan; Chen, Bing; Wang, Shuai; Chen, Qiusheng

    2015-01-01

    Sperm storage in vivo extends the time window for fertilisation in several animal species, from a few days to several years. The underlying storage mechanisms, however, are largely unknown. In this study, spermatozoa from the epididymis and oviduct of Chinese soft-shelled turtles were investigated to identify potentially relevant morphological features and transformations at different stages of sperm storage. Large cytoplasmic droplets (CDs) containing lipid droplets (LDs) were attached to the midpiece of most spermatozoa in the epididymis, without migrating down the sperm tail. However, they were absent from the oviductal spermatozoa, suggesting that CDs with LDs may be a source of endogenous energy for epididymal spermatozoa. The onion-like mitochondria recovered their double-membrane morphology, with typical cristae, within the oviduct at a later stage of storage, thus implying that mitochondrial metabolism undergoes alterations during storage. Furthermore, a well developed fibrous sheath on the long principal piece was the integrating ultrastructure for glycolytic enzymes and substrates. These novel morphological characteristics may allow turtle spermatozoa to use diverse energy metabolism pathways at different stages of storage. PMID:26537569

  19. 77 FR 61573 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Initiation of 5-Year Review for Kemp's Ridley, Olive Ridley...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-10-10

    ...; Initiation of 5-Year Review for Kemp's Ridley, Olive Ridley, Leatherback, and Hawksbill Sea Turtles AGENCY... (Dermochelys coriacea), and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) sea turtles under the Endangered Species Act of... sea turtles that has become available since that has become available since their last status...

  20. The potential role of natural tumor promoters in marine turtle fibropapillomatosis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Landsberg, J.H.; Balazs, G.H.; Steidinger, K.A.; Baden, D.G.; Work, T.M.; Russel, D.J.

    1999-01-01

    Fibropapillomatosis (FP) in green turtles Chelonia mydas is a debilitating, neoplastic disease that has reached worldwide epizootic levels. The etiology of FP is unknown but has been linked to oncogenic viruses. Toxic benthic dinoflagellates (Prorocentrum spp.) are not typically considered tumorigenic agents, yet they have a worldwide distribution and produce a tumor promoter, okadaic acid (OA). Prorocentrum spp. are epiphytic on macroalgae and seagrasses that are normal components of green turtle diets. Here we show that green turtles in the Hawaiian Islands consume Prorocentrum and that high-risk FP areas are associated with areas where P. lima and P. concavum are both highly prevalent and abundant. The presence of presumptive OA in the tissues of Hawaiian green turtles further suggests exposure and a potential role for this tumor promoter in the etiology of FP.

  1. Evidence of counter-gradient growth in western pond turtles (Actinemys marmorata) across thermal gradients

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Snover, Melissa; Adams, Michael J.; Ashton, Donald T.; Bettaso, Jamie B.; Welsh, Hartwell H., Jr.

    2015-01-01

    Given the importance of size and age at reproductive maturity to population dynamics, this information on counter-gradient growth will improve our ability to understand and predict the consequences of dam operations for downstream turtle populations.

  2. Young green turtles, Chelonia mydas, exposed to plastic in a frontal area of the SW Atlantic.

    PubMed

    González Carman, Victoria; Acha, E Marcelo; Maxwell, Sara M; Albareda, Diego; Campagna, Claudio; Mianzan, Hermes

    2014-01-15

    Ingestion of anthropogenic debris represents an important threat to marine turtle populations. Information has been limited to inventories of debris ingested and its consequences, but why ingestion occurs and the conditions that enable it are less understood. Here we report on the occurrence of plastic ingestion in young green turtles (Chelonia mydas) inhabiting the Río de la Plata (SW Atlantic). This estuarine area is characterized by a frontal system that accumulates anthropogenic debris. We explored exposure of green turtles to plastic and its ingestion via debris distribution, habitat use and digestive tract examination. Results indicated that there is considerable overlap of frontal accumulated plastic and core foraging areas of the animals. Exposure results in ingestion, as shown by the high frequency of plastic found in the digestive tracts. The Río de la Plata estuarine front is an area of conservation concern for young green turtles. PMID:24315702

  3. What Makes Them Pay? Values of Volunteer Tourists Working for Sea Turtle Conservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campbell, Lisa M.; Smith, Christy

    2006-07-01

    As charismatic mega-fauna, sea turtles attract many volunteers to conservation programs. This article examines the ways in which volunteers value sea turtles, in the specific context of volunteers working with the Caribbean Conservation Corporation, at Tortuguero, Costa Rica. The complexity of volunteer values is explored using a qualitative approach. In-depth interviews with 31 volunteers were conducted in July of 1999 and 2000. Interviews probed, among other things, interest in sea turtles and their conservation, motives for participating, and the most gratifying parts of their volunteer experience. Results show that volunteers hold multiple and complex values for sea turtles, but particular values dominate. Results have implications for understanding human-environment relations and the emerging study of volunteer tourism. There are also management implications for volunteer programs hoping to attract participants.

  4. EVALUATING MULTIPLE STRESSORS IN LOGGERHEAD SEA TURTLES: DEVELOPING A TWO-SEX SPATIALLY EXPLICIT MODEL

    EPA Science Inventory

    North Atlantic loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta L.) populations respond to the integrated effects of multiple environmental stressors. Environmental stressors often occur in spatially distinct frameworks and affect distinct age classes, sexes, and subpopulations differentia...

  5. Morphologic and cytochemical characteristics of green turtle (Chelonia mydas) blood cells

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Work, T.M.; Raskin, R.E.; Balazs, G.H.; Whittaker, S.D.

    1998-01-01

    Objective - To identify and characterize blood cells from free-ranging Hawaiian green turtles, Chelonia mydas. Sample Population - 26 green turtles from Puako on the island of Hawaii and Kaneohe Bay on the island of Oahu. Procedure - Blood was examined, using light and electron microscopy and cytochemical stains that included benzidine peroxidase, chloroacetate esterase, alpha naphthyl butyrate esterase, acid phosphatase, Sudan black B, periodic acid-Schiff, and toluidine blue. Results - 6 types of WBC were identified: lymphocytes, monocytes, thrombocytes, heterophils, basophils, and eosinophils (small and large). Morphologic characteristics of mononuclear cells and most granulocytes were similar to those of cells from other reptiles except that green turtles have both large and small eosinophils. Conclusions - Our classification of green turtle blood cells clarifies imporoper nomenclature reported previously and provides a reference for future hematologic studies in this species.

  6. Comparison of two freshwater turtle species as monitors of environmental contamination

    SciTech Connect

    Meyers-Schoene, L. ); Walton, B.T. )

    1990-04-01

    Two species of turtles that occupy different ecological niches were compared for their usefulness as monitors of contamination in freshwater ecosystems. Trachemys scripta (Agassiz) and Chelydra serpentina (Linnaeus) were selected for comparison based on species abundance and differences in food habits and sediment contact. A review of the literature on contaminants in turtles and results of preliminary surveys conducted at the field sites, which are included in this study, were used to direct and focus this research project. White Oak Lake, a settling basin for low-level radioactive and nonradioactive contaminants, and Bearden Creek Embayment, an uncontaminated reference site upriver, were used as study sites in the investigation of turtles as indicators of chemical contamination. Turtles were analyzed for concentrations of strontium-90, cesium-137, cobalt 60, and mercury in specific target tissues, and for single-stranded DNA breaks, a non-specific indicator of possible exposure to genotoxic agents in the environment. 133 refs., 2 figs., 15 tabs.

  7. Relating tumor score to hematology in green turtles with fibropapillomatosis in Hawaii

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Work, T.M.; Balazs, G.H.

    1999-01-01

    The relationship between hematologic status and severity of tumor affliction in green turtles (Chelonia mydas) with fibropapillomatosis (FP) was examined. During 1 wk periods in July 1997 and July 1998, we bled 108 free-ranging green turtles from Pala'au (Molokai, Hawaii, USA) where FP is endemic. Blood was analyzed for hematocrit, estimated total solids, total white blood cell (WBC) count and differential WBC count. Each turtle was assigned a subjective tumor score ranging from 0 (no visible external tumors) to 3 (heavily tumored) that indicated the severity of FP. There was a progressive increase in monocytes and a decrease in all other hematologic parameters except heterophils and total numbers of white blood cells as tumor score increased. These data indicate that tumor score can relate to physiologic status of green turtles afflicted with FP, and that tumor score is a useful field monitor of severity of FP in this species.

  8. Bacterial and viral pathogens detected in sea turtles stranded along the coast of Tuscany, Italy.

    PubMed

    Fichi, G; Cardeti, G; Cersini, A; Mancusi, C; Guarducci, M; Di Guardo, G; Terracciano, G

    2016-03-15

    During 2014, six loggerhead turtles, Caretta caretta and one green turtle, Chelonia mydas, found stranded on the Tuscany coast of Italy, were examined for the presence of specific bacterial and viral agents, along with their role as carriers of fish and human pathogens. Thirteen different species of bacteria, 10 Gram negative and 3 Gram positive, were identified. Among them, two strains of Vibrio parahaemolyticus and one strain of Lactococcus garviae were recovered and confirmed by specific PCR protocols. No trh and tdh genes were detected in V. parahaemolyticus. The first isolation of L. garviae and the first detection of Betanodavirus in sea turtles indicate the possibility for sea turtles to act as carriers of fish pathogens. Furthermore, the isolation of two strains of V. parahaemolyticus highlights the possible role of these animals in human pathogens' diffusion. PMID:26931392

  9. Behavioral Response of Reef Fish and Green Sea Turtles to Midfrequency Sonar.

    PubMed

    Watwood, Stephanie L; Iafrate, Joseph D; Reyier, Eric A; Redfoot, William E

    2016-01-01

    There is growing concern over the potential effects of high-intensity sonar on wild fish populations and commercial fisheries. Acoustic telemetry was employed to measure the movements of free-ranging reef fish and sea turtles in Port Canaveral, FL, in response to routine submarine sonar testing. Twenty-five sheepshead (Archosargus probatocephalus), 28 gray snapper (Lutjanus griseus), and 29 green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) were tagged, with movements monitored for a period of up to 4 months using an array of passive acoustic receivers. Baseline residency was examined for fish and sea turtles before, during, and after the test event. No mortality of tagged fish or sea turtles was evident from the sonar test event. There was a significant increase in the daily residency index for both sheepshead and gray snapper at the testing wharf subsequent to the event. No broad-scale movement from the study site was observed during or immediately after the test. PMID:26611089

  10. Roles of diet protein and temperature in the nutritional energetics of juvenile slider turtles, Trachemys scripta:

    SciTech Connect

    Avery, H.W.

    1988-08-01

    Juvenile slider turtles (Trachemys scripta) were used in laboratory experiments to determine the effects of dietary protein and ambient temperature on growth rates, food consumption rates, digestion rates and digestive efficiencies, in order to better understand how the interactive roles these environmental factors may potentially influence body sizes and growth rates of individuals among wild slider turtle populations. Changes in plastron length, carapace length and body mass were significantly greater for Trachemys scripta eating 25% and 40% crude protein diets than for those eating 10% crude protein. Those consuming 10% crude protein showed significant decreases in all measurements of body size over a 13 wk period. These data suggest that dietary protein may be an important nutritional component to the growth of juvenile slider turtles, and that elevated thermal conditions, combined with a high dietary protein availability, may in part explain the exceedingly high growth rates of slider turtles attained in certain wild populations. 63 refs., 11 figs., 6 tabs.

  11. The use of spirometry to evaluate pulmonary function in olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) with positive buoyancy disorders.

    PubMed

    Schmitt, Todd L; Munns, Suzanne; Adams, Lance; Hicks, James

    2013-09-01

    This study utilized computed spirometry to compare the pulmonary function of two stranded olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) presenting with a positive buoyancy disorder with two healthy captive olive ridley sea turtles held in a large public aquarium. Pulmonary function test (PFT) measurements demonstrated that the metabolic cost of breathing was much greater for animals admitted with positive buoyancy than for the normal sea turtles. Positively buoyant turtles had higher tidal volumes and significantly lower breathing-frequency patterns with significantly higher expiration rates, typical of gasp-type breathing. The resulting higher energetic cost of breathing in the diseased turtles may have a significant impact on their long-term survival. The findings represent a method for clinical respiratory function analysis for an individual animal to assist with diagnosis, therapy, and prognosis. This is the first study, to our knowledge, to evaluate objectively sea turtles presenting with positive buoyancy and respiratory disease using pulmonary function tests. PMID:24063092

  12. Large-scale predation by river otters (Lontra canadensis) on Florida cooter (Pseudemys floridana) and Florida softshell turtles (Apalone ferox).

    PubMed

    Stacy, Brian A; Wolf, Dan A; Wellehan, James F X

    2014-10-01

    Abstract We observed predation by river otters (Lontra canadensis) on large numbers of Florida cooter (Pseudemys floridana) and Florida softshell turtles (Apalone ferox) in two small lakes in North Central Florida, USA during a period of unusually low water levels. Carcasses were strewn on the shoreline and accumulated around floating boat docks, where some residents observed turtles being killed. We found 76 carcasses, including predominantly skeletons, and two live, severely injured turtles from one lake; however, numerous remains undoubtedly were unrecovered. The otters frequently eviscerated the turtles and removed the head and one or more appendages, including the phallus of mature males. In skeletal remains, injuries inflicted by otters were nonspecific, indistinguishable from damage caused by scavengers, or easily missed in incomplete carcasses. This report of large-scale mortality of freshwater turtles in Florida suggests that otters could have a significant impact on local turtle populations. PMID:25098299

  13. The complete mitochondrial genome of the Keeled box turtle Pyxidea mouhotii and phylogenetic analysis of major turtle groups.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Li; Nie, Liuwang; Cao, Chenghe; Zhan, Ying

    2008-01-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome (16,837 bp) from the Keeled box turtle (Pyxidea mouhotii) was determined. The genome content, gene order, and base composition conformed to the consensus vertebrate type mtDNA. However, a remarkable feature was found in this molecule: a large number of (ATTATATC) (n) direct tandem repeats followed by (TA) (n) microsatellite at the 3' end of the control region (D-loop), which might be useful as molecular markers for studying population genetics and helpful for species identification and conservation. Besides, to review phylogenetic relationships among major turtle lineages, maximum-likelihood (ML) and Bayesian (BI) analyses were conducted based on concatenated sequences of 13 protein-coding genes from 16 taxa. The resultant ML and BI analyses showed homological topologies, which only differed on the exact placement of Platysternon. Nevertheless, the results strongly supported that 1) Pyxidea mouhotii and Cuora aurocapitata formed a monophyletic clade, whereas Cyclemys atripons was not closer to the Pyxidea-Cuora than to Chinemys reevesii, suggesting that Cyclemys and the Cuora group (containing Pyxidea) may have originated from two ancestors; 2) the Geoemydidae with Testudinidae was a sister group rather than with the Emydidae. PMID:18222407

  14. Baseline plasma corticosterone, haematological and biochemical results in nesting and rehabilitating loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta)

    PubMed Central

    Flower, Jennifer E.; Norton, Terry M.; Andrews, Kimberly M.; Nelson, Steven E.; Parker, Clare E.; Romero, L. Michael; Mitchell, Mark A.

    2015-01-01

    The evaluation of hormonal responses to stress in reptiles relies on acquisition of baseline corticosterone concentrations; however, the stress associated with the restraint needed to collect the blood samples can affect the results. The purpose of this study was to determine a time limit for the collection of blood samples to evaluate baseline corticosterone, haematological and biochemical results in nesting (n = 11) and rehabilitating (n = 16) loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta). Blood samples were collected from the dorsal cervical sinus of each turtle immediately after touching the animal (t0; 0–3 min) and 3 (t3; 3–6 min), 6 (t6; 6–9 min; nesting turtles only), 10 (t10; 10–13 min) and 30 min (t30; rehabilitating turtles only) after the initial hands-on time. Consistent between the rehabilitating and nesting turtles, there was a subtle yet significant increase in white blood cell counts over time. Despite the fact that white blood cell counts increased during the sampling period, there was no direct correlation between white blood cell count and corticosterone in the sampled turtles. In the nesting turtles, significant elevations in corticosterone were noted between t0 and t3 (P = 0.014) and between t0 and t6 (P = 0.022). Values at t10 were not significantly different from those at t0 (P = 0.102); however, there was a trend for the corticosterone values to continue to increase. These results suggest that sampling of nesting loggerhead sea turtles within 3 min of handling will provide baseline corticosterone concentrations in their natural environment. Significant elevations in corticosterone were also noted in the rehabilitating loggerhead sea turtles between t0 and t10 (P = 0.02) and between t0 and t30 of sampling (P = 0.0001). These results suggest that sampling of loggerhead sea turtles within 6 min of handling should provide baseline corticosterone concentrations in a rehabilitation setting. The delay in

  15. Review of potential impacts to sea turtles from underwater explosive removal of offshore structures

    SciTech Connect

    Viada, Stephen T. Hammer, Richard M. Racca, Roberto Hannay, David Thompson, M. John Balcom, Brian J. Phillips, Neal W.

    2008-05-15

    The purpose of this study was to collect and synthesize existing information relevant to the explosive removal of offshore structures (EROS) in aquatic environments. Data sources were organized and summarized by topic - explosive removal methods, physics of underwater explosions, sea turtle resources, documented impacts to sea turtles, and mitigation of effects. Information was gathered via electronic database searches and literature source review. Bulk explosive charges are the most commonly used technique in EROS. While the physical principles of underwater detonations and the propagation of pressure and acoustic waves are well understood, there are significant gaps in the application of this knowledge. Impacts to sea turtles from explosive removal operations may range from non-injurious effects (e.g. acoustic annoyance; mild tactile detection or physical discomfort) to varying levels of injury (i.e. non-lethal and lethal injuries). Very little information exists regarding the impacts of underwater explosions on sea turtles. Effects of explosions on turtles often must be inferred from documented effects to other vertebrates with lungs or other gas-containing organs, such as mammals and most fishes. However, a cautious approach should be used when determining impacts to sea turtles based on extrapolations from other vertebrates. The discovery of beached sea turtles and bottlenose dolphins following an explosive platform removal event in 1986 prompted the initiation of formal consultation between the U.S. Department of the Interior, Minerals Management Service (MMS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), authorized through the Endangered Species Act Section 7, to determine a mechanism to minimize potential impacts to listed species. The initial consultation resulted in a requirement for oil and gas companies to obtain a permit (through separate consultations on a case-by-case basis) prior to using explosives in Federal waters. Because many offshore

  16. Mass poisoning after consumption of a hawksbill turtle, Federated States of Micronesia, 2010

    PubMed Central

    Musto, Jennie; Pretrick, Moses; Sarofalpiy, Joannes; Sappa, Perpetua; Shapucy, Siana; Kool, Jacobus

    2015-01-01

    Background Marine turtles of all species are capable of being toxic. On 17 October 2010, health authorities in the Federated States of Micronesia were notified of the sudden death of three children and the sickening of approximately 20 other people on Murilo Atoll in Chuuk State. The illnesses were suspected to be the result of mass consumption of a hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata). An investigation team was assembled to confirm the cause of the outbreak, describe the epidemiology of cases and provide recommendations for control. Methods We conducted chart reviews, interviewed key informants, collected samples for laboratory analysis, performed environmental investigations and conducted a cohort study. Results Four children and two adults died in the outbreak and 95 others were sickened; 84% of those who ate the turtle became ill (n = 101). The relative risk for developing illness after consuming the turtle was 11.1 (95% confidence inteval: 4.8–25.9); there was a dose-dependent relationship between amount of turtle meat consumed and risk of illness. Environmental and epidemiological investigations revealed no alternative explanation for the mass illness. Laboratory testing failed to identify a causative agent. Conclusion We concluded that turtle poisoning (also called chelonitoxism) was the cause of the outbreak on Murilo. The range of illness described in this investigation is consistent with previously reported cases of chelonitoxism. This devastating incident highlights the dangers, particularly to children, of consuming turtle meat. Future incidents are certain to occur unless action is taken to alter turtle-eating behaviour in coastal communities throughout the world. PMID:26045970

  17. Organochlorine pesticides, PCBs, trace elements and metals in western pond turtle eggs from Oregon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Henny, Charles J.; Beal, K.F.; Bury, R. Bruce; Goggans, R.

    2003-01-01

    With increased concern over the status of reptile populations globally, contaminant studies should be part of species evaluations. We analyzed eggs of western pond turtles from Fern Ridge Reservoir in western Oregon for 20 organochlorine (OC) pesticides or metabolites, 42 congener-specific polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and 16 trace elements or metals. These eggs represent the first of this species analyzed. The OC pesticides and PCB residue concentrations in the western pond turtle eggs were generally low and similar to those found in eggs of snapping turtles from a remote site in Ontario, Canada. Western pond turtle eggs also contained mercury and chromium, which are metals of special concern. Although few reptilian eggs have been analyzed for metals, the 44.9 mug/g dry weight chromium in a western pond turtle egg in this study may be the highest reported in a reptilian egg. We found no significant difference in contaminant concentrations in eggs from nests in Oregon, where all turtle eggs failed to hatch compared to those where some eggs hatched. During this initial project, however, we were unable to assess fully the role of OCs, PCBs and other contaminants in the western pond turtle decline. Factors other than contaminants may be involved. In another study, snapping turtle eggs near the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River basin were much more contaminated with evidence reported of effects on sex differentiation and reproductive endocrine function. Egg hatchability, the only reproductive parameter monitored, may not be the most sensitive endpoint. Other endpoints, including endocrine function, deformity rates, growth rates, and sex determination need study.

  18. Genetic studies of freshwater turtle and tortoises: a review of the past 70 years

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    FitzSimmons, Nancy N.; Hart, Kristen M.

    2007-01-01

    Powerful molecular techniques have been developed over many decades for resolving genetic relationships, population genetic structure, patterns of gene flow, mating systems, and the amount of genetic diversity in animals. Genetic studies of turtles were among the earliest and the rapid application of new genetic tools and analytical techniques is still apparent in the literature on turtles. At present, of the 198 freshwater turtles and tortoises that are listed as not extinct by the IUCN Red List, 69 species worldwide are listed as endangered or critically endangered, and an additional 56 species are listed as vulnerable. Of the ca. 300 species of the freshwater turtles and tortoises in the world, ca. 42% are considered to be facing a high risk extinction, and there is a need to focus intense conservation attention on these species. This includes a need to (i) assess our current state of knowledge regarding the application of genetics to studies of freshwater turtles and tortoises and (ii) determine future research directions. Here, we review all available published studies for the past 70 years that were written in English and used genetic markers (e.g. karyotypes, allozymes, DNA loci) to better understand the biology of freshwater turtles and tortoises. We review the types of studies conducted in relation to the species studied and quantify the countries where the studies were performed. We rack the changing use of different genetic markers through time and report on studies focused on aspects of molecular evolution within turtle genomes. We address the usefulness of particular genetic markers to answer phylogenetic questions and present data comparing population genetic structure and mating systems across species. We draw specific attention to whether authors have considered issues to turtle conservation in their research or provided new insights that have been translated into recommendations for conservation management.

  19. Brief Chilling to Subzero Temperature Increases Cold Hardiness in the Hatchling Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta).

    PubMed

    Muir, Timothy J; Costanzo, Jon P; Lee, Richard E

    2010-01-01

    Although many studies of ectothermic vertebrates have documented compensatory changes in cold hardiness associated with changes of season, much less attention has been paid to adjustment of physiological functions and survival limits following more acute exposure to cold. We investigated the ability of hatchling painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) to increase cold hardiness in response to brief exposure to a subzero temperature. Winter-acclimated turtles were "cold conditioned" by chilling them in the supercooled (unfrozen) state to -7 degrees C over a few days before returning them to 4 degrees C. These turtles fared no better than control animals in resisting freezing when cooled in the presence or absence of ice and exogenous ice nuclei. Survival following tests of freeze tolerance (freezing for about 70 h; minimum body temperature, -3.75 degrees C) was nominally higher in cold-conditioned turtles than in controls (36% vs. 13%, respectively), although the difference was not statistically significant. Of the survivors, cold-conditioned turtles apparently recovered sooner. Turtles subjected to cold shock (supercooling to -13 degrees C for 24 h, followed by rewarming to 0 degrees C) were strongly affected by cold conditioning: all controls died, but 50% of cold-conditioned turtles survived. We investigated potential mechanisms underlying the response to cold conditioning by measuring changes in levels of putative cryoprotectants. Plasma levels of glucose and lactate, but not urea, were higher in cold-conditioned turtles than in controls, although the combined increase in these solutes was only 23 mmol L(-1). Cold conditioning attenuated cold-shock injury to brain cells, as assessed using a vital-dye assay, suggesting a link between protection of the nervous system and cold hardiness at the organismal level. PMID:19947887

  20. EVALUATION OF REBOUND TONOMETRY IN RED-EARED SLIDER TURTLES (TRACHEMYS SCRIPTA ELEGANS)

    PubMed Central

    Delgado, Cherlene; Mans, Christoph; McLellan, Gillian J.; Bentley, Ellison; Sladky, Kurt K.; Miller, Paul E.

    2013-01-01

    Objective To evaluate feasibility and accuracy of intraocular pressure (IOP) measurement by rebound tonometry in adult red-eared slider turtles and determine the effects of manual and chemical restraint on IOP. Animal studied Seventeen adult red-eared slider turtles. Procedures IOP was measured with TonoLab® and TonoVet® tonometers in conscious, unrestrained turtles. To evaluate the effects of manual restraint, turtles were restrained by digital pressure on the rostral head or proximal neck. The effect of two chemical restraint protocols (dexmedetomidine, ketamine, midazolam [DKM] and dexmedetomidine, ketamine [DK] subcutaneously) on IOP was evaluated. Triplicate TonoLab® and TonoVet® readings were compared to direct manometry in 3 ex vivo turtle eyes. Results TonoLab® correlated better with manometry at IOPs <45 mm Hg than TonoVet® (linear regression slopes of 0.89 and 0.30 respectively). Mean (±SD) IOP in unrestrained conscious turtles was significantly lower (P<0.01) with TonoLab® (10.02 ± 0.66 mmHg) than with TonoVet® (11.32 ± 1.57 mmHg). Manual neck restraint caused a significant increase in IOP (+6.31 ± 5.59 mmHg), while manual rostral head restraint did not. Both chemical restraint protocols significantly reduced IOP (DKM: −1.0 ± 0.76 mmHg,; DK: −1.79 ± 1.17) compared to measurements in conscious unrestrained turtles. Conclusions Chemical and manual neck restraint affected IOP. Rostral head restraint had no significant effect on IOP and is, therefore, recommended as the appropriate restraint technique in red-eared-slider turtles. TonoLab® measurements estimated actual IOP more accurately, within physiologic range, than measurements obtained using the TonoVet®. PMID:25097909