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Sample records for inagua island turtle

  1. Specific accumulation of arsenic compounds in green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) from Ishigaki Island, Japan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Agusa, Tetsuro; Takagi, Kozue; Kubota, Reiji; Anan, Yasumi; Iwata, Hisato; Tanabe, Shinsuke

    2008-01-01

    Concentrations of total arsenic (As) and individual compounds were determined in green and hawksbill turtles from Ishigaki Island, Japan. In both species, total As concentrations were highest in muscle among the tissues. Arsenobetaine was a major compound in most tissues of both turtles. High concentrations of trimethylarsine oxide were detected in hawksbill turtles. A significant negative correlation between standard carapace length (SCL), an indicator of age, and total As levels in green turtles was found. In contrast, the levels increased with SCL of hawksbill turtles. Shifts in feeding habitats with growth may account for such a growth-dependent accumulation of As. Although concentrations of As in marine sponges, the major food of hawksbill turtles are not high compared to those in algae eaten by green turtles, As concentrations in hawksbill turtles were higher than those in green turtles, indicating that hawksbill turtles may have a specific accumulation mechanism for As. - Green turtles and hawksbill turtles have specific accumulation features of arsenic

  2. Diversity, habitat distribution, and indigenous hunting of marine turtles in the Calamian Islands, Palawan, Republic of the Philippines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher N.S. Poonian

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available All of the world’s seven species of marine turtle are threatened by a multitude of anthropogenic pressures across all stages of their life history. The Calamian Islands, Palawan, Philippines provide important foraging and nesting grounds for four species: green turtles (Chelonia mydas, hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata, loggerheads (Caretta caretta, and leatherbacks (Dermochelys coriacea. This work aimed to assess the relative importance of turtle nesting beaches and local threats using a combination of social science and ecological research approaches. Endangered green turtles and critically endangered hawksbills were found to nest in the Calamianes. The most important nesting sites were located on the islands off the west of Busuanga and Culion, particularly Pamalican and Galoc and along the north coast of Coron, particularly Linamodio Island. Opportunistic hunting and egg collection, conducted legally by indigenous communities, is the most significant threat to sea turtles in the area. Sites particularly vulnerable to hunting were found to be Galoc Island, Pamalican Island, and Panlaitan Island. Raising awareness, community engagement, and understanding of socio-cultural drivers of sea turtle exploitation, particularly among indigenous communities, are essential to gain support for any effective conservation program. Additionally, more effective enforcement of laws related to the trade in sea turtle products is required to close the commercial and export markets.

  3. Solomon Islands largest hawksbill turtle rookery shows signs of recovery after 150 years of excessive exploitation.

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    Richard J Hamilton

    Full Text Available The largest rookery for hawksbill turtles in the oceanic South Pacific is the Arnavon Islands, which are located in the Manning Strait between Isabel and Choiseul Province, Solomon Islands. The history of this rookery is one of overexploitation, conflict and violence. Throughout the 1800s Roviana headhunters from New Georgia repeatedly raided the Manning Strait to collect hawksbill shell which they traded with European whalers. By the 1970s the Arnavons hawksbill population was in severe decline and the national government intervened, declaring the Arnavons a sanctuary in 1976. But this government led initiative was short lived, with traditional owners burning down the government infrastructure and resuming intensive harvesting in 1982. In 1991 routine beach monitoring and turtle tagging commenced at the Arnavons along with extensive community consultations regarding the islands' future, and in 1995 the Arnavon Community Marine Conservation Area (ACMCA was established. Around the same time national legislation banning the sale of all turtle products was passed. This paper represents the first analysis of data from 4536 beach surveys and 845 individual turtle tagging histories obtained from the Arnavons between 1991-2012. Our results and the results of others, reveal that many of the hawksbill turtles that nest at the ACMCA forage in distant Australian waters, and that nesting on the Arnavons occurs throughout the year with peak nesting activity coinciding with the austral winter. Our results also provide the first known evidence of recovery for a western pacific hawksbill rookery, with the number of nests laid at the ACMCA and the remigration rates of turtles doubling since the establishment of the ACMCA in 1995. The Arnavons case study provides an example of how changes in policy, inclusive community-based management and long term commitment can turn the tide for one of the most charismatic and endangered species on our planet.

  4. Solomon Islands largest hawksbill turtle rookery shows signs of recovery after 150 years of excessive exploitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, Richard J; Bird, Tomas; Gereniu, Collin; Pita, John; Ramohia, Peter C; Walter, Richard; Goerlich, Clara; Limpus, Colin

    2015-01-01

    The largest rookery for hawksbill turtles in the oceanic South Pacific is the Arnavon Islands, which are located in the Manning Strait between Isabel and Choiseul Province, Solomon Islands. The history of this rookery is one of overexploitation, conflict and violence. Throughout the 1800s Roviana headhunters from New Georgia repeatedly raided the Manning Strait to collect hawksbill shell which they traded with European whalers. By the 1970s the Arnavons hawksbill population was in severe decline and the national government intervened, declaring the Arnavons a sanctuary in 1976. But this government led initiative was short lived, with traditional owners burning down the government infrastructure and resuming intensive harvesting in 1982. In 1991 routine beach monitoring and turtle tagging commenced at the Arnavons along with extensive community consultations regarding the islands' future, and in 1995 the Arnavon Community Marine Conservation Area (ACMCA) was established. Around the same time national legislation banning the sale of all turtle products was passed. This paper represents the first analysis of data from 4536 beach surveys and 845 individual turtle tagging histories obtained from the Arnavons between 1991-2012. Our results and the results of others, reveal that many of the hawksbill turtles that nest at the ACMCA forage in distant Australian waters, and that nesting on the Arnavons occurs throughout the year with peak nesting activity coinciding with the austral winter. Our results also provide the first known evidence of recovery for a western pacific hawksbill rookery, with the number of nests laid at the ACMCA and the remigration rates of turtles doubling since the establishment of the ACMCA in 1995. The Arnavons case study provides an example of how changes in policy, inclusive community-based management and long term commitment can turn the tide for one of the most charismatic and endangered species on our planet.

  5. Incidental catch of marine turtles by the artisanal fisheries on Santa Catarina Island, SC, Brazil

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    Natalia Hanazaki

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available The five species of sea turtles, which inhabit the Brazilian shore, have a wordwide distribution and are threatened with extinction. The south of Brazil is characterized as a feeding and breeding area of at least three of these species. The presence of turtles close to the shore and their incidental catch are occurrences reported by artisan fishermen of the Island of Santa Catarina in this work. The study was based on a questionnaire, applied to fishermen and fishfarmers at selected spots on the island. Scientific and popular names were matched using illustrations. The spots with the highest number of events and captures were close to the islands, rocky coasts and stony grounds, i.e. areas related with the foraging habits of the most abundant species, Chelonia mydas. The place, depth and size of the net are characteristics, which influence the capture. The time the net remains in the water is a factor which is fundamental to the survival of the captured turtles. The flesh of the turtle is used as an occasional feeding resource. Capacitation programs and training applied to the communities involved are recommended.

  6. Resident areas and migrations of female green turtles nesting at Buck Island Reef National Monument, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Kristen M.; Iverson, Autumn; Benscoter, Allison M.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Cherkiss, Michael S.; Pollock, Clayton; Lundgren, Ian; Hillis-Starr, Zandy

    2017-01-01

    Satellite tracking in marine turtle studies can reveal much about their spatial use of breeding areas, migration zones, and foraging sites. We assessed spatial habitat-use patterns of 10 adult female green turtles (Chelonia mydas) nesting at Buck Island Reef National Monument, U.S. Virgin Islands (BIRNM) from 2011 – 2014. Turtles ranged in size from 89.0 – 115.9 cm CCL (mean + SD = 106.8 + 7.7 cm). The inter-nesting period across all turtles ranged from 31 July to 4 November, and sizes of the 50% core-use areas during inter-nesting ranged from 4.2 – 19.0 km2. Inter-nesting core-use areas were located up to1.4 km from shore and had bathymetry values ranging from -17.0 to -13.0 m. Seven of the ten turtles remained locally resident after the nesting season. Five turtles (50%) foraged around Buck Island, two foraged around the island of St. Croix, and the other three (30%) made longer-distance migrations to Antigua, St. Kitts & Nevis, and Venezuela. Further, five turtles had foraging centroids within protected areas. Delineating spatial areas and identifying temporal periods of nearshore habitat-use can be useful for natural resource managers with responsibility for overseeing vulnerable habitats and protected marine turtle populations.

  7. Population trends and survival of nesting green sea turtles Chelonia mydas on Aves Island, Venezuela

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Cruz, Marco A.; Lampo, Margarita; Peñaloza, Claudia L.; Kendall, William L.; Solé, Genaro; Rodriguez-Clark, Kathryn M.

    2015-01-01

    Long-term demographic data are valuable for assessing the effect of anthropogenic impacts on endangered species and evaluating recovery programs. Using a 2-state open robust design model, we analyzed mark-recapture data from green turtles Chelonia mydas sighted between 1979 and 2009 on Aves Island, Venezuela, a rookery heavily impacted by human activities before it was declared a wildlife refuge in 1972. Based on the encounter histories of 7689 nesting females, we estimated the abundance, annual survival, and remigration intervals for this population. Female survival varied from 0.14-0.91, with a mean of 0.79, which is low compared to survival of other populations from the Caribbean (mean = 0.84) and Australia (mean = 0.95), even though we partially corrected for tag loss, which is known to negatively bias survival estimates. This supports prior suggestions that Caribbean populations in general, and the Aves Island population in particular, may be more strongly impacted than populations elsewhere. It is likely that nesters from this rookery are extracted while foraging in remote feeding grounds where hunting still occurs. Despite its relatively low survival, the nesting population at Aves Island increased during the past 30 years from approx. 500 to >1000 nesting females in 2009. Thus, this population, like others in the Caribbean and the Atlantic, seems to be slowly recovering following protective management. Although these findings support the importance of long-term conservation programs aimed at protecting nesting grounds, they also highlight the need to extend management actions to foraging grounds where human activities may still impact green turtle populations.

  8. Reproductive biology and genetic diversity of the green turtle (Chelonia mydas) in Vamizi island, Mozambique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anastácio, Rita; Santos, Camila; Lopes, Cardoso; Moreira, Helena; Souto, Luis; Ferrão, Jorge; Garnier, Julie; Pereira, Mário J

    2014-01-01

    Vamizi, an Island located in the Western Indian Ocean, is visited by a small and not fully characterized green turtle (Chelonia mydas (L.)) population. This population is threatened by natural hazards and several human activities, which are used to identify conservation priorities for marine turtles. It was our aim to contribute to the knowledge of marine turtles that nest in Vamizi, with respect to its regional management, and to an area that may possibly be included on the UNESCO World Heritage List due to its potential Outstanding Universal Value. Here, we evaluate the nesting parameters (incubation period, clutch size, hatching and emergence successes rates) and patterns over an 8-year (2003 - 2010) conservation program. We also present the results of genetic diversity based on the analysis of approximately an 850 pb fragment of the mitochondrial DNA control region. We found that Vamizi beaches host a small number of nesting females, approximately 52 per year, but these have shown a reduction in their length. High hatching success (88.5 ± SD 17.2%, N = 649), emergence success rates (84.5 ± SD 20.4%, N = 649) were observed, and genetic diversity (N = 135), with 11 haplotypes found (7 new). It was also observed, in the later years of this study, a reduction in the incubation period, a dislocation of the nesting peak activity and an increase in the number of flooded nests and an increase of the number of nests in areas with lower human activity. Some resilience and behavioral plasticity seems to occur regarding human territory occupancy and climate changes. However, regardless of the results, aspects like what seems to be the reduction of some cohorts, the number of flooded nests and the diminishing of the incubation period (East and South facing beaches), show that conservation efforts have to be improved.

  9. 76 FR 78308 - Endangered Species; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-16

    ... from the wild in Madagascar. The import would be for the purpose of enhancement of the survival of the... biological specimens of Cat Island slider turtle (Trachemys terrapin) and Inagua Island slider turtle (T...

  10. Endangered Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas of the Northern Mariana Islands: Nesting Ecology, Poaching, and Climate Concerns

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    Tammy M. Summers

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Marine turtles in the western Pacific remain threatened by anthropogenic impacts, but the region lacks long-term biological data for assessing conservation status and trends. The Central West Pacific (CWP population of green turtles (Chelonia mydas was listed as Endangered by the U.S. in 2016, highlighting a need to fill existing data gaps. This study focuses on the subset of this population nesting in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI. Using 11 years of nesting data, we (i estimate reproductive demographic parameters, (ii quantify abundance and trends, and (iii estimate the impacts of anthropogenic threats, such as poaching of nesting females and increasing sand temperatures. In 2006–2016, nesting beach surveys, identification tagging, and nest excavations were conducted on Saipan, and rapid assessments of nesting activity were conducted on Tinian and Rota. On Saipan, temperature data-loggers were deployed inside nests and evidence of poaching (adults and eggs was recorded. This study documents year-round nesting with a peak in March–July. Nester abundance for the three islands combined was 11.9 ± 5.7 (mean ± standard deviation females annually, with at least 62.8 ± 35.1 nests observed per year. For 39 tagged individuals, straight carapace length was 95.6 ± 4.5 cm, remigration interval was 4.6 ± 1.3 years, and somatic growth was 0.3 ± 0.2 cm/yr. Reproductive parameter estimates included clutch frequency of 7.0 ± 1.3 nests per female, inter-nesting interval of 11.4 ± 1.0 days, clutch size of 93.5 ± 21.4 eggs, incubation period of 56.7 ± 6.4 days, hatching success of 77.9 ± 27.0%, and emergence success of 69.6 ± 30.3%. Mean nest temperature of 30.9 ± 1.5°C was above the pivotal threshold of 29.0°C for temperature dependent sex determination, suggesting a female bias may already exist. Model results suggest (i hatching success decreases and embryonic death increases when nests experience maximum temperatures

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  12. Biochemical indices and life traits of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) from Cape Verde Islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vieira, Sara; Martins, Samir; Hawkes, Lucy A; Marco, Adolfo; Teodósio, M Alexandra

    2014-01-01

    The loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) is an endangered marine reptile for whom assessing population health requires knowledge of demographic parameters such as individual growth rate. In Cape Verde, as within several populations, adult female loggerhead sea turtles show a size-related behavioral and trophic dichotomy. While smaller females are associated with oceanic habitats, larger females tend to feed in neritic habitats, which is reflected in their physiological condition and in their offspring. The ratio of RNA/DNA provides a measure of cellular protein synthesis capacity, which varies depending on changes in environmental conditions such as temperature and food availability. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the combined use of morphometric data and biochemical indices as predictors of the physiological condition of the females of distinct sizes and hatchlings during their nesting season and how temperature may influence the physiological condition on the offspring. Here we employed biochemical indices based on nucleic acid derived indices (standardized RNA/DNA ratio-sRD, RNA concentration and DNA concentration) in skin tissue as a potential predictor of recent growth rate in nesting females and hatchling loggerhead turtles. Our major findings were that the physiological condition of all nesting females (sRD) decreased during the nesting season, but that females associated with neritic habitats had a higher physiological condition than females associated with oceanic habitats. In addition, the amount of time required for a hatchling to right itself was negatively correlated with its physiological condition (sRD) and shaded nests produced hatchlings with lower sRD. Overall, our results showed that nucleic acid concentrations and ratios of RNA to DNA are an important tool as potential biomarkers of recent growth in marine turtles. Hence, as biochemical indices of instantaneous growth are likely temperature-, size- and age-dependent, the utility and

  13. Biochemical indices and life traits of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta from Cape Verde Islands.

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    Sara Vieira

    Full Text Available The loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta is an endangered marine reptile for whom assessing population health requires knowledge of demographic parameters such as individual growth rate. In Cape Verde, as within several populations, adult female loggerhead sea turtles show a size-related behavioral and trophic dichotomy. While smaller females are associated with oceanic habitats, larger females tend to feed in neritic habitats, which is reflected in their physiological condition and in their offspring. The ratio of RNA/DNA provides a measure of cellular protein synthesis capacity, which varies depending on changes in environmental conditions such as temperature and food availability. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the combined use of morphometric data and biochemical indices as predictors of the physiological condition of the females of distinct sizes and hatchlings during their nesting season and how temperature may influence the physiological condition on the offspring. Here we employed biochemical indices based on nucleic acid derived indices (standardized RNA/DNA ratio-sRD, RNA concentration and DNA concentration in skin tissue as a potential predictor of recent growth rate in nesting females and hatchling loggerhead turtles. Our major findings were that the physiological condition of all nesting females (sRD decreased during the nesting season, but that females associated with neritic habitats had a higher physiological condition than females associated with oceanic habitats. In addition, the amount of time required for a hatchling to right itself was negatively correlated with its physiological condition (sRD and shaded nests produced hatchlings with lower sRD. Overall, our results showed that nucleic acid concentrations and ratios of RNA to DNA are an important tool as potential biomarkers of recent growth in marine turtles. Hence, as biochemical indices of instantaneous growth are likely temperature-, size- and age

  14. NWHI Basking Green Turtle Data (Turtle Sightings from Seal Surveys)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains records of green turtle sightings in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) since 1982 at Lisianski Island, and since 1983 for most other...

  15. Marine turtles of the Gal?pagos Islands and adjacent areas of the eastern Pacific on the basis of observations made by J.R. Slevin 1905-1906

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fritts, T.H.

    1981-01-01

    The field notes of J. R. Slevin written during the expedition of the California Academy of Sciences to the Galapagos Islands in 1905-1096 contain previously unavailable data on the marine turtles of the eastern Pacific. 'Land basking' by green turtles in Galapagos was predominately, if not exclusively, a female behavior. These terrestrial emergences were not concentrated in the major reproductive season of Galapagos turtles. Female Chelonia were also collected on shore during daylight hours on Socorro Island southwest of Baja California, Mexico. Chelonia, green turtles, were observed to feed on seaweed, the leaves and shoots of mangrove trees, and the leaves of another unidentified shoreline shrub. Comparative data on the gonads of dark and yellow turtles indicated that the latter did not breed in Galapagos during Slevin's stay. Lepidochelys olivacea, the olive ridley, was recorded in Galapagos waters and fed on fish eggs

  16. Observations of sea turtles nesting on Misali islan, Pemba | Pharoah ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A nest-recording programme has collected data over five years from turtles nesting on Misali Island, off the West coast of Pemba, Tanzania. Five species of sea turtle are known to occur in Zanzibar waters, two of these species nested regularly on the island, with green turtle nests outnumbering hawksbill turtle nests by a ...

  17. Annual abundance of salps and doliolids (Tunicata around Gorgona Island (Colombian Pacific, and their importance as potential food for green sea turtles

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    Laura Sampson

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Gorgona National Park protects fertile waters that support large vertebrates, including green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas, and for them, gelatinous zooplankton constitute a food resource that can be found year-round in Gorgona Island´s coastal waters. This study was carried out to determine the abundance of salps and doliolids around Gorgona Island over a year, and to determine whether this is a resource that could be used reliably year-round by green turtles and other large plankton-feeding predators. The monthly abundance of salps and doliolids at eight coastal stations around Gorgona Island (Colombian Pacific was determined between September 2005 and August 2006. Oblique tows were carried out from 50m to the surface, total zooplankton biomass was measured and the number of salps and doliolids per tow, and frequency of occurrence per station and month were determined. Superficial and bottom sea temperature, superficial and bottom salinity, and chlorophyll-a concentration were recorded at each station. There were tunicate abundance peaks in September 2005 and March 2006. The high abundances in March were probably due to a cold water intrusion into the study area, which resulted in colder saltier water and a shallower thermocline. Tunicates were probably advected to the area by currents from the southwest and aggregated due to the underwater topography. In September, the influence of continental river discharge as well as inputs from rainfall over the island could have provided increased nutrients and resulted in higher abundances. The large filter-feeding vertebrates that feed on tunicates include green sea turtle juveniles, which use coastal waters of Gorgona Island as feeding grounds, as part of their migration route in the Eastern Tropical Pacific. These turtles could be using tunicates opportunistically, as a sporadic resource that is available at certain times of the year. Rev. Biol. Trop. 62 (Suppl. 1: 149-159. Epub 2014 February 01.

  18. Striking resilience of an island endemic bird to a severe perturbation: the case of the Gran Canaria blue chaffinch

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    Moreno, Á. C.

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Evidence regarding population trends of endangered species in special protection areas and their recovery ability from catastrophic disturbances is scarce. We assessed the population trend of the Gran Canaria blue chaffinch (Fringilla polatzeki, a habitat specialist endemic to the pine forest of Inagua in the Canary Islands, following a devastating wildfire in July 2007. Using a standardized census program that accounts for detectability, we have monitored the population trend of the species since Inagua was declared a Strict Nature Reserve in 1994. The breeding population density of the blue chaffinch remained stable in Inagua from the beginning of the monitoring program in 1994 until the year before the wildfire. However, in spring 2008, the population density decreased by half with respect to density in the preceding years. Since 2008, the population has gradually increased, reaching its highest recorded density in 2016 (15.8 birds/km2.This represents an average annual increase of 23.7 %, indicating impressive resilience to catastrophic events. The creation of Inagua as a strict nature reserve did not therefore increase the global population or protect the blue chaffinch against a demographic crisis but probably prevented a deepening of the demographic crisis or further declines. Except for the two years immediately after the severe wildfire of 2007, the population density of the blue chaffinch in Inagua has remained relatively stable at around 9–16 birds/km2, the lowest recorded abundance for a small woodland passerine in the Western Palearctic.

  19. Factors affecting hatch success of hawksbill sea turtles on Long Island, Antigua, West Indies.

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    Mark Allan Ditmer

    Full Text Available Current understanding of the factors influencing hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata hatch success is disparate and based on relatively short-term studies or limited sample sizes. Because global populations of hawksbills are heavily depleted, evaluating the parameters that impact hatch success is important to their conservation and recovery. Here, we use data collected by the Jumby Bay Hawksbill Project (JBHP to investigate hatch success. The JBHP implements saturation tagging protocols to study a hawksbill rookery in Antigua, West Indies. Habitat data, which reflect the varied nesting beaches, are collected at egg deposition, and nest contents are exhumed and categorized post-emergence. We analyzed hatch success using mixed-model analyses with explanatory and predictive datasets. We incorporated a random effect for turtle identity and evaluated environmental, temporal and individual-based reproductive variables. Hatch success averaged 78.6% (SD: 21.2% during the study period. Highly supported models included multiple covariates, including distance to vegetation, deposition date, individual intra-seasonal nest number, clutch size, organic content, and sand grain size. Nests located in open sand were predicted to produce 10.4 more viable hatchlings per clutch than nests located >1.5 m into vegetation. For an individual first nesting in early July, the fourth nest of the season yielded 13.2 more viable hatchlings than the initial clutch. Generalized beach section and inter-annual variation were also supported in our explanatory dataset, suggesting that gaps remain in our understanding of hatch success. Our findings illustrate that evaluating hatch success is a complex process, involving multiple environmental and individual variables. Although distance to vegetation and hatch success were inversely related, vegetation is an important component of hawksbill nesting habitat, and a more complete assessment of the impacts of specific

  20. Physiological and Behavioral Adjustments Relative to Catecholamine Levels During Nesting in Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys Olivacea and Hawksbill (Eretmochelys Imbricata Sea Turtles in Masirah Island, Oman.

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    A.Y.A AlKindi

    2003-06-01

    Full Text Available Plasma adrenaline (ADR and noradrenaline (NA levels were measured for the first time in natural populations of hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata and olive ridley (Lipedochelys olivacea in Masirah Island, Arabian Sea; one of the few protected nesting grounds remaining in the world for these two endangered species. Plasma ADR and NA levels were assessed in individuals after they oviposited eggs and completed nesting exercises, and in individuals which were still searching for suitable nesting sites. Blood samples were taken from the cervical sinuses from two groups (oviposited and non-oviposited, which spent at least 1.5 h on the nesting grounds. The duration of the nesting period varied between 1.5 and 2.0 h for both species. There was no significant difference between oviposited and non-oviposited turtles in both species. As the turtles move onto the nesting grounds, their heavy weight compresses the thoracic region making terrestrial breathing laborious and difficult. During phases of nesting, the turtles undergo brief bursts of strenuous and exhaustive exercise which usually lasts less than one minute followed by a brief recovery period which is less than the exercise phase. Reptiles in general, particularly turtles, are intermittent breathers and after bursts of exercise, they appear to develop hypoxia, hypercapnia and acidemia, which are characteristic of anaerobic metabolism. The data reveals that catecholamine levels remain stable in both species during phases of nesting and may play an important role in combating stress as well as mobilizing energy reserves. The high plasma lactate and CO2 levels in olive and hawksbill turtles may signify anaerobic metabolism during exercise. Glucose levels remain unchanged throughout nesting in both species. There was no significant difference in the lactate and glucose values in the two species. The physiological and the behavioral adjustments in this study showed remarkable similarities in the two

  1. Temporal shift of sea turtle nest sites in an eroding barrier island beach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujisaki, Ikuko; Lamont, Margaret M.; Carthy, Raymond R.

    2018-01-01

    Shoreline changes affect functionality of a sandy beach as a wildlife habitat and coastal erosion is among the primary causes of the changes. We examined temporal shifts in locations where loggerheads placed nests in relation to coastal erosion along a barrier island beach in the northern Gulf of Mexico. We first confirmed consistency in long-term (1855–2001), short-term (1976–2001), and more recent (2002–2012) shoreline change rates in two adjacent beach sections, one historically eroding (west beach) and the other accreting (east beach). The mean annual shoreline change rate in the two sections was significantly different in all time periods. The recent (1998–2012) mean change rate was −10.9 ± 9.9 m/year in the west beach and −2.8 ± 4.9 m/year in the east beach, which resulted in the loss of about 70% and 30% of area in the west and east beaches, respectively. Loggerheads nested significantly closer to the vegetation line in 2012 than in 2002 in the west beach but the difference between the two time periods was not significant in the east beach. However, the distance from nests to the vegetation line from 2002 to 2014 was significantly reduced annually in both beaches; on average, loggerheads nested closer to the vegetation line by 9 m/year in the west beach and 5.8 m/year in the east beach. The observed shoreline change rate and corresponding shift of nest placement sites, combined with the forecasted future beach loss, highlighted the importance of addressing the issue of beach erosion to conserve sandy beach habitats.

  2. The Effects of 60 Days of Tray Ration Consumption in Marine Combat Engineers While Deployed on Great Inagua Island, Bahamas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-01-01

    7.8 ± 0.3 3 7.3 ±1.0 8 114 Table 5.8 (Continued). Acceptability of Meal Ready-to-Eat (MRE) items over time for the T Ration group. Granola Bar 7.4...Table 5.9 (Continued). Acceptability of Meal Ready-to-Eat (MRE) items over time for the B Ration group. Granola Bar 8.3 ±1.0 10 7.8 ±1.3 12 7.9

  3. Turtle Girls

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  4. Striking resilience of an island endemic bird to a severe perturbation: the case of the Gran Canaria blue chaffinch

    OpenAIRE

    Moreno, Á. C.; Carrascal, Luis M.; Delgado, A.; Suárez, V.; Seoane, J.

    2018-01-01

    [ES] Striking resilience of an island–endemic bird to a severe perturbation: the case of the Gran Canaria blue chaffinch. Evidence regarding population trends of endangered species in special protection areas and their recovery ability from catastrophic disturbances is scarce. We assessed the population trend of the Gran Canaria blue chaffinch (Fringilla polatzeki), a habitat specialist endemic to the pine forest of Inagua in the Canary Islands, following a devastating wildfire in July 2007. ...

  5. Turtles: Freshwater

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibbons, J. Whitfield; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Bowden, R.M.

    2017-01-01

    With their iconic shells, turtles are morphologically distinct in being the only extant or extinct vertebrate animals to have their shoulders and hips inside their rib cages. By the time an asteroid hit the earth 65.5 million years ago, causing the extinction of dinosaurs, turtles were already an ancient lineage that was 70% through their evolutionary history to date. The remarkable evolutionary success of turtles over 220 million years is due to a combination of both conservative and effective life history traits and an essentially unchanging morphology that withstood the test of time. However, the life history traits of many species make them particularly susceptible to overharvest and habitat destruction in the modern world, and a majority of the world’s species face serious conservation challenges with several extinctions documented in modern times. The global plight of turtles is underscored by the fact that the percentage of imperiled species exceeds that of even the critically endangered primates.Freshwater turtles, with over 260 recognized species, have become a focus on a worldwide scale for many conservation issues. This article is a synthesis of a diverse body of information on the general biology of freshwater turtles, with particular emphasis on the extensive research on ecology, life history, and behavior that has been accomplished in the last half century. Much of the research has been applicable to the aforementioned conservation challenges. The studies presented include a combination of laboratory and field experiments and observational studies on this intriguing group of animals.

  6. Causes of Stranding and Mortality, and Final Disposition of Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta) Admitted to a Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Gran Canaria Island, Spain (1998-2014): A Long-Term Retrospective Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orós, Jorge; Montesdeoca, Natalia; Camacho, María; Arencibia, Alberto; Calabuig, Pascual

    2016-01-01

    The aims of this study were to analyze the causes of stranding of 1,860 loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) admitted at the Tafira Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Gran Canaria Island, Spain, from 1998 to 2014, and to analyze the outcomes of the rehabilitation process to allow meaningful auditing of its quality. Primary causes of morbidity were classified into seven categories: entanglement in fishing gear and/or plastics, ingestion of hooks and monofilament lines, trauma, infectious disease, crude oil, other causes, and unknown/undetermined. Final dispositions were calculated as euthanasia (Er), unassisted mortality (Mr), and release (Rr) rates. Time to death (Td) for euthanized and dead turtles, and length of stay for released (Tr) turtles were evaluated. The most frequent causes of morbidity were entanglement in fishing gear and/or plastics (50.81%), unknown/undetermined (20.37%), and ingestion of hooks (11.88%). The final disposition of the 1,634 loggerhead turtles admitted alive were: Er = 3.37%, Mr = 10.34%, and Rr = 86.29%. Er was significantly higher in the trauma category (18.67%) compared to the other causes of admission. The highest Mr was observed for turtles admitted due to trauma (30.67%). The highest Rr was observed in the crude oil (93.87%) and entanglement (92.38%) categories. The median Tr ranged from 12 days (unknown) to 70 days (trauma). This survey is the first large-scale epidemiological study on causes of stranding and mortality of Eastern Atlantic loggerheads and demonstrates that at least 71.72% of turtles stranded due to anthropogenic causes. The high Rr (86.29%) emphasizes the importance of marine rehabilitation centers for conservation purposes. The stratified analysis by causes of admission of the three final disposition rates, and the parameters Td and Tr should be included in the outcome research of the rehabilitation process of sea turtles in order to allow comparative studies between marine rehabilitation centers around the world.

  7. Causes of Stranding and Mortality, and Final Disposition of Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta Admitted to a Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Gran Canaria Island, Spain (1998-2014: A Long-Term Retrospective Study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Orós

    Full Text Available The aims of this study were to analyze the causes of stranding of 1,860 loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta admitted at the Tafira Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Gran Canaria Island, Spain, from 1998 to 2014, and to analyze the outcomes of the rehabilitation process to allow meaningful auditing of its quality.Primary causes of morbidity were classified into seven categories: entanglement in fishing gear and/or plastics, ingestion of hooks and monofilament lines, trauma, infectious disease, crude oil, other causes, and unknown/undetermined. Final dispositions were calculated as euthanasia (Er, unassisted mortality (Mr, and release (Rr rates. Time to death (Td for euthanized and dead turtles, and length of stay for released (Tr turtles were evaluated.The most frequent causes of morbidity were entanglement in fishing gear and/or plastics (50.81%, unknown/undetermined (20.37%, and ingestion of hooks (11.88%. The final disposition of the 1,634 loggerhead turtles admitted alive were: Er = 3.37%, Mr = 10.34%, and Rr = 86.29%. Er was significantly higher in the trauma category (18.67% compared to the other causes of admission. The highest Mr was observed for turtles admitted due to trauma (30.67%. The highest Rr was observed in the crude oil (93.87% and entanglement (92.38% categories. The median Tr ranged from 12 days (unknown to 70 days (trauma.This survey is the first large-scale epidemiological study on causes of stranding and mortality of Eastern Atlantic loggerheads and demonstrates that at least 71.72% of turtles stranded due to anthropogenic causes. The high Rr (86.29% emphasizes the importance of marine rehabilitation centers for conservation purposes. The stratified analysis by causes of admission of the three final disposition rates, and the parameters Td and Tr should be included in the outcome research of the rehabilitation process of sea turtles in order to allow comparative studies between marine rehabilitation centers around the world.

  8. Assessing Trophic Position and Mercury Accumulation in Sanpping Turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 ...

  9. Tumors in sea turtles: The insidious menace of fibropapillomatosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  10. Food-poisoning outbreak and fatality following ingestion of sea turtle meat in the rural community of Ndrondroni, Mohéli Island, Comoros, December 2012.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben Ali Mbaé, Saindou; Mlindassé, Mohamed; Mihidjaé, Saindou; Seyler, Thomas

    2016-09-15

    On 24-December-2012 newspapers reported food-poisoning cases in Ndrondroni, Comoros. The authors conducted an investigation and a case-control study to identify the source and control the outbreak. They identified eight cases. A 6-month breastfed infant died. The results suggest consumption of Eretmochelys imbricata caused the outbreak. A bio-toxin ingested by the turtle might be the source. The local authorities informed the population on the danger of turtle-meat consumption. Cooking does not destroy the toxin. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Marine Turtles Surveys in Nosy Iranja Kely, North-Western ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    the island, these activities also have a positive impact on the south, helping to reduce threats such as poaching and allow an effective monitoring of nesting marine turtles on the island. Keywords: Chelonia mydas, eretmochelys imbricata, nesting activity, ecotourism, Iranja island, Madagscar West Indian Ocean Journal of ...

  12. A report on the hybridization between two species of threatenedAsian box turtles (Testudines: Cuora) in the wild on Hainan Island(China) with comments on the origin of 'Serrata'-like turtles.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shi, H.; Parham, James F.; Simison, W. Brian; Wang, J.; Gong, S.; Fu, B.

    2004-03-01

    Ten new turtle taxa were described from pet trade specimens from China since the 1980s (see Fritz and Obst, 1998; Fritz and Obst, 1999; Parham et al., 2001 for a review). Specimens similar to one of these taxa, Cuora serrata Iverson and McCord, 1992 (originally Cuora galbinifrons serrata, elevated by Fritz and Obst, 1997), were shown to be hybrids of male Cuora mouhotii (Gray, 1862; formerly Pyxidea, but see Stuart and Parham, 2004) and females of Cuora galbinifrons Bourret, 1939 or Cuora bourreti Obst and Reimann, 1994 (Parham et al., 2001; and Stuart and Parham, 2004).

  13. Coastal Resources Atlas: Long Island: REPTILES (Reptile and Amphibian Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for sea turtles, estuarine turtles, and amphibians for Long Island, New York. Vector polygons in this data...

  14. Turtle Photograph Collection

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Photos collected in marine turtle research programs are diverse, ranging from isolated observations of incidental encounters with turtles on the high-seas to...

  15. Turtle cleaners: reef fishes foraging on epibionts of sea turtles in the tropical Southwestern Atlantic, with a summary of this association type

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Sazima

    Full Text Available In the present study we record several instances of reef fish species foraging on epibionts of sea turtles (cleaning symbiosis at the oceanic islands of Fernando de Noronha Archipelago and near a shipwreck, both off the coast of Pernambuco State, northeast Brazil. Nine reef fish species and three turtle species involved in cleaning are herein recorded. Besides our records, a summary of the literature on this association type is presented. Postures adopted by turtles during the interaction are related to the habits of associated fishes. Feeding associations between fishes and turtles seem a localized, albeit common, phenomenon.

  16. Tracking sea turtles in the Everglades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Kristin M.

    2008-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has a long history of conducting research on threatened, endangered, and at-risk species inhabiting both terrestrial and marine environments, particularly those found within national parks and protected areas. In the coastal Gulf of Mexico region, for example, USGS scientist Donna Shaver at Padre Island National Seashore in Texas has focused on “headstarting” hatchlings of the rare Kemp’s ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii). She is also analyzing trends in sea turtle strandings onshore and interactions with Gulf shrimp fisheries. Along south Florida’s Gulf coast, the USGS has focused on research and monitoring for managing the greater Everglades ecosystem. One novel project involves the endangered green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas). The ecology and movements of adult green turtles are reasonably well understood, largely due to decades of nesting beach monitoring by a network of researchers and volunteers. In contrast, relatively little is known about the habitat requirements and movements of juvenile and subadult sea turtles of any species in their aquatic environment.

  17. The Classroom Animal: Box Turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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)

  18. Prime time for turtle conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    A. Ross Kiester; Deanna H. Olson

    2011-01-01

    Our turtle heritage is diminishing at a rate outpacing that of other main animal groups. The 2011-Year of the Turtle partnership and campaign is an opportunity to raise awareness for turtles, celebrate our turtle heritage, herald conservation and research successes, and identify gaps in our understanding that can be the focus of future work. We outline seven...

  19. Investigation of Immature Sea Turtles in the Coastal Waters of West Florida

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — To survey immature sea turtles that inhabit the Ten Thousand Islands. Program funding came from South Florida Ecosystem Restoration. This project provided base-line...

  20. Underwater Hearing in Turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. PIR Marine Turtle Nesting

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Effective management of marine turtle data is essential to maximize their research value and enable timely population assessments and recovery monitoring. To provide...

  2. Green Turtle Trophic Ecology

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — SWFSC is currently conducting a study of green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) trophic ecology in the eastern Pacific. Tissue samples and stable carbon and stable...

  3. PIR Marine Turtle Strandings

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Effective management of marine turtle data is essential to maximize their research value and enable timely population assessments and recovery monitoring. To provide...

  4. Green Turtle Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data represent the critical habitat for green turtle as designated by Federal Register Vol. 63, No. 46701, September 2, 1998, Rules and Regulations.

  5. European Atlantic Turtles

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brongersma, L.D.

    1972-01-01

    CONTENTS Preface ................... 3 Introduction .................. 5 Identification.................. 13 The records................... 25 I. Dermochelys coriacea (L.), Leathery Turtle......... 30 IA. List of records of Dermochelys coriacea (L.)......... 31 IB. List of records of unidentified

  6. Taxonomic Composition of the Diet of Hawksbill Turtles ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The taxonomic composition of the diet of hawksbill turtles was determined at five locations in the Republic of Seychelles (Inner Islands, Amirantes Group, Farquhar Atoll, Cosmoledo Atoll and Aldabra Atoll) using a combination of gut samples taken from salvaged dead animals, oesophageal lavages and in-water ...

  7. Turtles as hopeful monsters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rieppel, O

    2001-11-01

    A recently published study on the development of the turtle shell highlights the important role that development plays in the origin of evolutionary novelties. The evolution of the highly derived adult anatomy of turtles is a prime example of a macroevolutionary event triggered by changes in early embryonic development. Early ontogenetic deviation may cause patterns of morphological change that are not compatible with scenarios of gradualistic, stepwise transformation. Copyright 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

  8. Sea Turtle Stranding Network Reports

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network (STSSN) was formally established in 1980 to collect information on and document the stranding of marine turtles along...

  9. Factors influencing survivorship of rehabilitating green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) with fibropapillomatosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Page-Karjian, Annie; Norton, Terry M; Krimer, Paula; Groner, Maya; Nelson, Steven E; Gottdenker, Nicole L

    2014-09-01

    Marine turtle fibropapillomatosis (FP) is a debilitating, infectious neoplastic disease that has reached epizootic proportions in several tropical and subtropical populations of green turtles (Chelonia mydas). FP represents an important health concern in sea turtle rehabilitation facilities. The objectives of this study were to describe the observed epidemiology, biology, and survival rates of turtles affected by FP (FP+ turtles) in a rehabilitation environment; to evaluate clinical parameters as predictors of survival in affected rehabilitating turtles; and to provide information about case progression scenarios and potential outcomes for FP+ sea turtle patients. A retrospective case series analysis was performed using the medical records of the Georgia Sea Turtle Center (GSTC), Jekyll Island, Georgia, USA, during 2009-2013. Information evaluated included signalment, morphometrics, presenting complaint, time to FP onset, tumor score (0-3), co-morbid conditions, diagnostic test results, therapeutic interventions, and case outcomes. Overall, FP was present in 27/362 (7.5%) of all sea turtles admitted to the GSTC for rehabilitation, either upon admittance or during their rehabilitation. Of these, 25 were green and 2 were Kemp's ridley turtles. Of 10 turtles that had only plaque-like FP lesions, 60% had natural tumor regression, all were released, and they were significantly more likely to survive than those with classic FP (P = 0.02 [0.27-0.75, 95% CI]). Turtles without ocular FP were eight times more likely to survive than those with ocular FP (odds ratio = 8.75, P = 0.032 [1.21-63.43, 95% CI]). Laser-mediated tumor removal surgery is the treatment of choice for FP+ patients at the GSTC; number of surgeries was not significantly related to case outcome.

  10. Salmonella from Baby Turtles

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2017-01-09

    Dr. Stacey Bosch, a veterinarian with CDC, discusses her article on Salmonella infections associated with baby turtles.  Created: 1/9/2017 by National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID).   Date Released: 1/9/2017.

  11. Palaeoecology of triassic stem turtles sheds new light on turtle origins.

    OpenAIRE

    Joyce, Walter G.; Gauthier, Jacques A.

    2004-01-01

    Competing hypotheses of early turtle evolution contrast sharply in implying very different ecological settings-aquatic versus terrestrial-for the origin of turtles. We investigate the palaeoecology of extinct turtles by first demonstrating that the forelimbs of extant turtles faithfully reflect habitat preferences, with short-handed turtles being terrestrial and long-handed turtles being aquatic. We apply this metric to the two successive outgroups to all living turtles with forelimbs preserv...

  12. Asynchronous emergence by loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) hatchlings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houghton, J D; 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. In many egg-laying animals, parental care of the offspring may continue while the eggs are incubating and also after they have hatched. Consequently, the importance of the nest site for determining incubation conditions may be reduced since the parents themselves may alter the local environment. By contrast, in marine turtles, parental care ceases once the eggs have been laid and the nest site covered. The positioning of the nest site, in both space and time, may therefore have profound effects for marine turtles by affecting, for example, the survival of the eggs and hatchlings as well as their sex (Janzen and Paukstis 1991). During incubation, sea turtle embryos grow from a few cells at oviposition to a self-sufficient organism at hatching some 50-80 days later (Ackerman 1997). After hatching, the young turtles dig up through the sand and emerge typically en masse at the surface 1-7 nights later, with a number of stragglers following over the next few nights (Christens 1990). This contrasts with the frequently observed pattern of hatching asynchrony in birds. It has been suggested that the cause of mass emergence in turtles is that eggs within a clutch are fertilised

  13. Human Salmonellosis and Pet Turtles

    OpenAIRE

    Bowering, David J.; Jessop, John; Black, W.

    1987-01-01

    Turtles have long been implicated as carriers of salmonella species, which can and do infect humans. This report reviews the British Columbia Provincial Laboratory's experience with turtle-associated salmonellosis from 1964 to 1985. The author identifies the salmonella serotypes that were most often associated with turtles during this period and discusses the impact that public-health measures may have had on human salmonellosis.

  14. Spatial Dynamics of Sea Turtle Abundance and Shrimping Intensity in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carrie J. McDaniel

    2000-07-01

    Full Text Available In order to examine the scientific feasibility of area closures for sea turtle protection, we determined the spatial dynamics of sea turtles for the U.S. Gulf of Mexico by analyzing National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS aerial survey data in September, October, and November of 1992, 1993, and 1994. Turtle sightings were grouped into depth zones and NMFS fishery statistical zones, and strip transect methods were used to estimate the relative abundance of sea turtles in each subzone. Average shrimping intensity was calculated for each subzone for all months of 1992, 1993, and 1994, as well as for the months and locations of the aerial survey. The spatial overlap of sea turtle abundance and shrimping intensity suggested regions where interactions are likely to occur. Sea turtles were observed at much higher rates along the coast of Florida than in the Western Gulf; the highest density of sea turtles was observed in the Florida Keys region (0.525 turtles/km2. Shrimping intensity was highest in the Western Gulf along the coast of Texas and Louisiana, for both annual and fall estimates. Among alternative management scenarios, area closures in conjunction with continued Turtle Excluder Device (TED requirements would probably best prevent sea turtles from future extinction. By implementing shrimping closures off of South Padre Island, Texas, a potential second nesting population of Kemp's ridleys (Lepidochelys kempi could be protected. Closing waters where shrimping intensity is low and sea turtle abundance is high (e.g., South Florida waters would protect sea turtles without economically impacting a large number of shrimpers.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  16. Respiration in neonate sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Edwin R; Paladino, Frank V; Strohl, Kingman P; Santidrián T, Pilar; Klann, Kenneth; Spotila, James R

    2007-03-01

    The pattern and control of respiration is virtually unknown in hatchling sea turtles. Using incubator-raised turtles, we measured oxygen consumption, frequency, tidal volume, and minute volume for leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) and olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) turtle hatchlings for the first six days after pipping. In addition, we tested the hatchlings' response to hypercapnic, hyperoxic, and hypoxic challenges over this time period. Hatchling sea turtles generally showed resting ventilation characteristics that are similar to those of adults: a single breath followed by a long respiratory pause, slow frequency, and high metabolic rate. With hypercapnic challenge, both species responded primarily by elevating respiratory frequency via a decrease in the non-ventilatory period. Leatherback resting tidal volume increased with age but otherwise, neither species' resting respiratory pattern nor response to gas challenge changed significantly over the first few days after hatching. At the time of nest emergence, sea turtles have achieved a respiratory pattern that is similar to that of actively diving adults.

  17. The diapsid origin of turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  18. Measuring the impact of invasive species on popular culture: a case study based on toy turtles from Japan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Yamamoto, Katsuya

    2016-01-01

    The red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans) is native to portions of the United States of America (USA) and adjacent northeastern Mexico. The bright and colorful hatchlings have long been popular as pets globally but numerous individuals have been released into the wild establishing populations in areas well outside their native range. As a result, slider turtles are now introduced worldwide on all continents, with the exception of Antarctica, and many temperate and tropical islands, including Japan. They are very successful at establishing breeding populations in a variety of habitats, even those in proximity to human development. Once established in large populations, they compete with native turtle species sometimes to the detriment of the latter. Tin toy turtles were popular in Japan for decades, and they were an important export item after World War II. From the 1920s to the 1950s, prior to the widespread establishment of slider populations in Japan, the toys were characterized by muted earth-tone colors representative of native species of Japanese turtles. After the 1950s, toy turtles exhibited brighter combinations of yellow, red and green more typical of slider turtles. This transition may reflect demand for more colorful toys by importing countries like the USA. Alternatively, the change was coincident with the importation of large numbers of colorful slider turtles to Japan via the pet trade and their subsequent establishment and numerical dominance in Japanese wetlands. This switch in toy turtle colors may reflect a cultural transition in awareness of what constitutes the appearance of a typical turtle in Japan. Sliders appear to have been accepted by Japanese consumers as a new cultural norm in the appearance of turtles, a case of art imitating life.

  19. Turtle care and husbandry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wappel, Sharon M; Schulte, Michelle S

    2004-05-01

    Chelonians (turtles, tortoises, and terrapins) are not as well represented in private reptile collections as are snakes and lizards. Thismay be due in part to the fact that they often require more space and time for proper care. Nonetheless, they are still popular pets.Unfortunately, many people are not aware of what constitutes proper care for these animals. This article will discuss basic captive husbandry and nutrition issues of common chelonians, as well as recognizing illness, capture and restraint, sample collection, medication administration, and preventive care.

  20. 78 FR 44915 - Turtles Intrastate and Interstate Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-25

    .... FDA-2013-N-0639] Turtles Intrastate and Interstate Requirements AGENCY: Food and Drug Administration... turtle eggs and live turtles with a carapace length of less than 4 inches to remove procedures for... viable turtle eggs and turtles with a carapace length of less than 4 inches to stop the spread of turtle...

  1. Sea Turtle Acoustic Telemetry Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Acoustic transmitters attached to sea turtles captured in various fishing gear enable the animals to be passively tracked. Acoustic receivers set up in an array...

  2. Leatherback Sea Turtle Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data represent the critical habitat for leatherback turtle as designated by Federal Register Vol. 44, No. 17711, March 23, 1979, Rules and Regulations....

  3. Hawksbill Sea Turtle Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data represent the critical habitat for hawksbill turtle as designated by Federal Register Vol. 63, No. 46701, September 2, 1998, Rules and Regulations....

  4. Sea Turtle Satellite Telemetry Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Sea turtles captured in various fishing gear (pound nets, long haul seines, gill nets) were outfitted with satellite transmitters so that their movements, migratory...

  5. Status and conservation of parrots and parakeets in the Greater Antilles, Bahama Islands, and Cayman Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiley, J.W.

    1991-01-01

    In the 1490s a minimum of 28 species of psittacines occurred in the West Indies. Today, only 43% (12) of the species survive. All macaws and most parakeet species have been lost. Although the surviving parrot fauna of the Greater Antilles, Cayman Islands, and Bahama Islands has fared somewhat better than that of the Lesser Antilles, every species has undergone extensive reductions of populations and all but two have undergone extensive reductions in range, mostly as a result of habitat loss, but also from persecution as agricultural pests, conflicts with exotic species, harvesting for pets, and natural disasters. The Cayman Brac Parrot Amazona leucocephala hesterna with its tiny population (less than 150 individuals in the wild) and range, and the Puerto Rican Parrot A. vittata, with about 22-23 birds in the wild and 56 individuals in captivity, must be considered on the verge of extinction and in need of (in the latter's case, continuing) aggressive programmes of research and management. Other populations declining in numbers and range include the Yellow-billed Amazona collaria, and Black-billed A. agilis Parrots of Jamaica, Hispaniolan Parakeet Aratinga chloroptera, Hispaniolan Parrot Amazona ventralis, Cuban Parrot A. leucocephala leucocephala and, most seriously, Cuban Parakeet Aratinga euops. The population of the Grand Cayman Parrot (Amazona leucocephala caymanensis), although numbering only about 1,000 birds, appears stable and the current conservation programme gives hope for the survival of the race. An active conservation and public education programme has begun for the Bahama Parrot A. l. bahamensis, which still occurs in good numbers on Great Inagua Island, but is threatened on Abaco Island. Recommendations for conservation of parrots and parakeets in the region include (1) instituting long-term programmes of research to determine distribution, status, and ecology of each species; (2) developing conservation programmes through education and management

  6. Plasma Vitellogenin in Free-Ranging Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kimberly Smelker

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Vitellogenin is the egg yolk precursor protein produced by oviparous vertebrates. As endogenous estrogen increases during early reproductive activity, hepatic production of vitellogenin is induced and is assumed to be complete in female sea turtles before the first nesting event. Until the present study, innate production of vitellogenin has not been described in free-ranging sea turtles. Our study describes circulating concentrations of vitellogenin in loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta from the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. We collected blood samples from juveniles and adults via in-water captures off the coast of the Southeast USA from May to August, and from nesting females in June and July at Hutchinson Island, Florida. All samples were analyzed using an in-house ELISA developed specifically to measure Caretta caretta vitellogenin concentration. As expected, plasma vitellogenin declined in nesting turtles as the nesting season progressed, although it still remained relatively elevated at the end of the season. In addition, mean vitellogenin concentration in nesting turtles was 1,000 times greater than that measured in samples from in-water captures. Our results suggest that vitellogenesis may continue throughout the nesting season, albeit at a decreasing rate. Further, vitellogenin detected in turtles captured in-water may have resulted from exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals.

  7. Sea turtle photo-identification database

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The ability to correctly and consistently identify sea turtles over time was evaluated using digital imagery of the turtles dorsal and side views of their heads and...

  8. Sea turtles sightings in North Carolina

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Sea turtles sightings are reported to the NMFS Beaufort Laboratory sea turtle program by the general public as they are fishing, boating, etc. These sightings...

  9. Determining sex ratios of turtle hatchlings

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Previous status assessments of marine turtles have assumed that the natural sex ratio of a marine turtle population is 1:1 (e.g. Conant et al. 2009). However, this...

  10. The influence of disturbance events on survival and dispersal rates of Florida box turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dodd, C.K.; Ozgul, A.; Oli, M.K.

    2006-01-01

    Disturbances have the potential to cause long-term effects to ecosystem structure and function, and they may affect individual species in different ways. Long-lived vertebrates such as turtles may be at risk from such events, inasmuch as their life histories preclude rapid recovery should extensive mortality occur. We applied capture–mark–recapture models to assess disturbance effects on a population of Florida box turtles (Terrapene carolina bauri) on Egmont Key, Florida, USA. Near the midpoint of the study, a series of physical disturbances affected the island, from salt water overwash associated with several tropical storms to extensive removal of nonindigenous vegetation. These disturbances allowed us to examine demographic responses of the turtle population and to determine if they affected dispersal throughout the island. Adult survival rates did not vary significantly either between sexes or among years of the study. Survival rates did not vary significantly between juvenile and adult turtles, or among years of the study. Furthermore, neither adult nor juvenile survival rates differed significantly between pre- and post-disturbance. However, dispersal rates varied significantly among the four major study sites, and dispersal rates were higher during the pre-disturbance sampling periods compared to post-disturbance. Our results suggest few long-term effects on the demography of the turtle population. Florida box turtles responded to tropical storms and vegetation control by moving to favorable habitats minimally affected by the disturbances and remaining there. As long as turtles and perhaps other long-lived vertebrates can disperse to non-disturbed habitat, and high levels of mortality do not occur in a population, a long life span may allow them to wait out the impact of disturbance with potentially little effect on long-term population processes.

  11. The influence of disturbance events on survival and dispersal rates of Florida box turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dodd, C Kenneth; Ozgul, Arpat; Oli, Madan K

    2006-10-01

    Disturbances have the potential to cause long-term effects to ecosystem structure and function, and they may affect individual species in different ways. Long-lived vertebrates such as turtles may be at risk from such events, inasmuch as their life histories preclude rapid recovery should extensive mortality occur. We applied capture-mark-recapture models to assess disturbance effects on a population of Florida box turtles (Terrapene carolina bauri) on Egmont Key, Florida, USA. Near the midpoint of the study, a series of physical disturbances affected the island, from salt water overwash associated with several tropical storms to extensive removal of nonindigenous vegetation. These disturbances allowed us to examine demographic responses of the turtle population and to determine if they affected dispersal throughout the island. Adult survival rates did not vary significantly either between sexes or among years of the study. Survival rates did not vary significantly between juvenile and adult turtles, or among years of the study. Furthermore, neither adult nor juvenile survival rates differed significantly between pre- and post-disturbance. However, dispersal rates varied significantly among the four major study sites, and dispersal rates were higher during the pre-disturbance sampling periods compared to post-disturbance. Our results suggest few long-term effects on the demography of the turtle population. Florida box turtles responded to tropical storms and vegetation control by moving to favorable habitats minimally affected by the disturbances and remaining there. As long as turtles and perhaps other long-lived vertebrates can disperse to non-disturbed habitat, and high levels of mortality do not occur in a population, a long life span may allow them to wait out the impact of disturbance with potentially little effect on long-term population processes.

  12. Modeling neck mobility in fossil turtles

    OpenAIRE

    Werneburg, Ingmar; Hinz, Juliane K.; Gumpenberger, Michaela; Volpato, Virginie; Natchev, Nikolay; Joyce, Walter G.

    2014-01-01

    Turtles have the unparalleled ability to retract their heads and necks within their shell but little is known about the evolution of this trait. Extensive analysis of neck mobility in turtles using radiographs, CT scans, and morphometry reveals that basal turtles possessed less mobility in the neck relative to their extant relatives, although the anatomical prerequisites for modern mobility were already established. Many extant turtles are able to achieve hypermobility by dislocating the cent...

  13. 50 CFR 223.205 - Sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Sea turtles. 223.205 Section 223.205... Threatened Marine and Anadromous Species § 223.205 Sea turtles. (a) The prohibitions of section 9 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1538) relating to endangered species apply to threatened species of sea turtle, except as...

  14. Application of topography survey on the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Yuan-Yu; Lo, Liu-Chih; Peng, Kuan-Chieh

    2017-04-01

    Taiwan is located in the Western Pacific monsoon region, typhoon is one of the common natural disasters. Taiwan is hit by typhoons 6 times on average each year, and 2016 have 5. Typhoon not only caused the loss of nature environment in Taiwan but also decreased the endangered species- green sea turtle's breeding success rate. In Wangan island, Penghu, green sea turtle nesting beach's slop is too steep to form the dune cliff, block the way which green sea turtle should nesting above the vegetation line. Nesting under the dune cliff is disturbed easily by the swell from typhoon, Leading to the whole nest was emptied or hatching rate decreased due to water content changed. In order to reduce the threat of typhoon on the green sea turtle, and promote the success of green sea turtle reproduction, we used LiDAR(Light Detection And Ranging) to monitor the topographic change of the green sea turtle nesting habitat and compare the invasion and deposition of the green sea turtle nests before and after the occurrence of typhoons. The results showed that the breeding success rate before the typhoon (2016/09/12) was 93%, which was not affected by the swell. The breeding success rate at the higher position after the typhoon was 95%, and under the dune cliff, 10 nests reproduction failed due to the swell changing the sand layer thickness. The production of dune cliffs is formed by the roots of coastal sand-fixation plants. In the past, the residents collected the coastal plants for fuel, after collecting, sparse vegetation is good to form the flat beach, and to promote green sea turtle nesting on the higher position from the disturbance of typhoon. In the future, to protect the success of green sea turtle's reproduction, should increase the human intervention that disturb the nesting beach's vegetation appropriately, Or cutting the roots directly to reduce the dune cliffs before the nesting season, help the green sea turtle nesting in a higher beach, improve the green sea turtle

  15. Global sea turtle conservation successes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazaris, Antonios D; Schofield, Gail; Gkazinou, Chrysoula; Almpanidou, Vasiliki; Hays, Graeme C

    2017-09-01

    We document a tendency for published estimates of population size in sea turtles to be increasing rather than decreasing across the globe. To examine the population status of the seven species of sea turtle globally, we obtained 299 time series of annual nesting abundance with a total of 4417 annual estimates. The time series ranged in length from 6 to 47 years (mean, 16.2 years). When levels of abundance were summed within regional management units (RMUs) for each species, there were upward trends in 12 RMUs versus downward trends in 5 RMUs. This prevalence of more upward than downward trends was also evident in the individual time series, where we found 95 significant increases in abundance and 35 significant decreases. Adding to this encouraging news for sea turtle conservation, we show that even small sea turtle populations have the capacity to recover, that is, Allee effects appear unimportant. Positive trends in abundance are likely linked to the effective protection of eggs and nesting females, as well as reduced bycatch. However, conservation concerns remain, such as the decline in leatherback turtles in the Eastern and Western Pacific. Furthermore, we also show that, often, time series are too short to identify trends in abundance. Our findings highlight the importance of continued conservation and monitoring efforts that underpin this global conservation success story.

  16. Palaeoecology of triassic stem turtles sheds new light on turtle origins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joyce, Walter G; Gauthier, Jacques A

    2004-01-07

    Competing hypotheses of early turtle evolution contrast sharply in implying very different ecological settings-aquatic versus terrestrial-for the origin of turtles. We investigate the palaeoecology of extinct turtles by first demonstrating that the forelimbs of extant turtles faithfully reflect habitat preferences, with short-handed turtles being terrestrial and long-handed turtles being aquatic. We apply this metric to the two successive outgroups to all living turtles with forelimbs preserved, Proganochelys quenstedti and Palaeochersis talampayensis, to discover that these earliest turtle outgroups were decidedly terrestrial. We then plot the observed distribution of aquatic versus terrestrial habits among living turtles onto their hypothesized phylogenies. Both lines of evidence indicate that although the common ancestor of all living turtles was aquatic, the earliest turtles clearly lived in a terrestrial environment. Additional anatomical and sedimentological evidence favours these conclusions. The freshwater aquatic habitat preference so characteristic of living turtles cannot, consequently, be taken as positive evidence for an aquatic origin of turtles, but must rather be considered a convergence relative to other aquatic amniotes, including the marine sauropterygians to which turtles have sometimes been allied.

  17. Patterning of the turtle shell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moustakas-Verho, Jacqueline E; Cebra-Thomas, Judith; Gilbert, Scott F

    2017-08-01

    Interest in the origin and evolution of the turtle shell has resulted in a most unlikely clade becoming an important research group for investigating morphological diversity in developmental biology. Many turtles generate a two-component shell that nearly surrounds the body in a bony exoskeleton. The ectoderm covering the shell produces epidermal scutes that form a phylogenetically stable pattern. In some lineages, the bones of the shell and their ectodermal covering become reduced or lost, and this is generally associated with different ecological habits. The similarity and diversity of turtles allows research into how changes in development create evolutionary novelty, interacting modules, and adaptive physiology and anatomy. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Dynamics of turtle cones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naka, K I; Itoh, M A; Chappell, R L

    1987-02-01

    The response dynamics of turtle photoreceptors (cones) were studied by the cross-correlation method using a white-noise-modulated light stimulus. Incremental responses were characterized by the kernels. White-noise-evoked responses with a peak-to-peak excursion of greater than 5 mV were linear, with mean square errors of approximately 8%, a degree of linearity comparable to the horizontal cell responses. Both a spot (0.17 mm diam) and a large field of light produced almost identical kernels. The amplitudes of receptor kernels obtained at various mean irradiances fitted approximately the Weber-Fechner relationship and the mean levels controlled both the amplitude and the response dynamics; kernels were slow and monophasic at low mean irradiance and were fast and biphasic at high mean irradiance. This is a parametric change and is a piecewise linearization. Horizontal cell kernels evoked by the small spot of light were monophasic and slower than the receptor kernels produced by the same stimulus. Larger spots of light or a steady annular illumination transformed the slow horizontal cell kernel into a fast kernel similar to those of the receptors. The slowing down of the kernel waveform was modeled by a simple low-pass circuit and the presumed feedback from horizontal cells onto cones did not appear to play a major role.

  19. Blood biochemistry reference values for wild juvenile loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from Madeira archipelago.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delgado, Cláudia; Valente, Ana; Quaresma, Isabel; Costa, Margarida; Dellinger, Thomas

    2011-07-01

    Standard biochemical parameters were determined in wild juvenile loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta living offshore Madeira Island, northeast Atlantic. We analyzed the influence of age, sex, sea surface temperature, and body condition index on biochemical parameters including uric acid, total bilirubin, total cholesterol, creatinine kinase (CK), glucose, total protein, urea nitrogen, lactate dehydrogenase, aspartate aminotranspherase (AST), gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT), albumin, alkaline phosphatase (ALP), sodium (NA), potassium (K), chloride, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. Significant positive correlations were found between turtle body size and total cholesterol, total protein, and albumin. Total protein and the enzymes AST and CK were lower than reported levels in adults. Calcium levels were lower than those reported in adult or captive turtles, but similar to wild juveniles from Australian waters, and were interpreted as normal for this age category. These data may be useful to evaluate the health status of stranded or injured animals and to improve veterinary care at rehabilitation centers.

  20. The origin of turtles: a paleontological perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Ecological opportunities, habitat, and past climatic fluctuations influenced the diversification of modern turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, João Fabrício Mota; Diniz-Filho, José Alexandre Felizola

    2016-08-01

    Habitat may be viewed as an important life history component potentially related to diversification patterns. However, differences in diversification rates between aquatic and terrestrial realms are still poorly explored. Testudines is a group distributed worldwide that lives in aquatic and terrestrial environments, but until now no-one has evaluated the diversification history of the group as a whole. We aim here to investigate the diversification history of turtles and to test if habitat influenced speciation rate in these animals. We reconstructed the phylogeny of the modern species of chelonians and estimated node divergence dates using molecular markers and a Bayesian approach. Then, we used Bayesian Analyses of Macroevolutionary Mixtures to evaluate the diversification history of turtles and evaluate the effect of habitat on this pattern. Our reconstructed phylogeny covered 300 species (87% of the total diversity of the group). We found that the emydid subfamily Deirochelyinae, which forms the turtle hotspot in south-eastern United States, had an increase in its speciation rate, and that Galapagos tortoises had similar increases. Current speciation rates are lower in terrestrial turtles, contradicting studies supporting the idea terrestrial animals diversify more than aquatic species. Our results suggest that habitat, ecological opportunities, island invasions, and climatic factors are important drivers of diversification in modern turtles and reinforce the importance of habitat as a diversification driver. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Ethogram of Immature Green Turtles: Behavioral Strategies for Somatic Growth in Large Marine Herbivores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okuyama, Junichi; Nakajima, Kana; Noda, Takuji; Kimura, Satoko; Kamihata, Hiroko; Kobayashi, Masato; Arai, Nobuaki; Kagawa, Shiro; Kawabata, Yuuki; Yamada, Hideaki

    2013-01-01

    Animals are assumed to obtain/conserve energy effectively to maximise their fitness, which manifests itself in a variety of behavioral strategies. For marine animals, however, these behavioral strategies are generally unknown due to the lack of high-resolution monitoring techniques in marine habitats. As large marine herbivores, immature green turtles do not need to allocate energy to reproduction but are at risk of shark predation, although it is a rare occurrence. They are therefore assumed to select/use feeding and resting sites that maximise their fitness in terms of somatic growth, while avoiding predation. We investigated fine-scale behavioral patterns (feeding, resting and other behaviors), microhabitat use and time spent on each behavior for eight immature green turtles using data loggers including: depth, global positioning system, head acceleration, speed and video sensors. Immature green turtles at Iriomote Island, Japan, spent an average of 4.8 h feeding on seagrass each day, with two peaks, between 5∶00 and 9∶00, and between 17∶00 and 20∶00. This feeding pattern appeared to be restricted by gut capacity, and thus maximised energy acquisition. Meanwhile, most of the remaining time was spent resting at locations close to feeding grounds, which allowed turtles to conserve energy spent travelling and reduced the duration of periods exposed to predation. These behavioral patterns and time allocations allow immature green turtles to effectively obtain/conserve energy for growth, thus maximising their fitness. PMID:23840367

  3. Captive sea turtle rearing inventory, feeding, and water chemistry in sea turtle rearing tanks at NOAA Galveston 1995-present

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The database contains daily records of sea turtle inventories by species feeding rates type of food fed sick sea turtles sea turtles that have died log of tanks...

  4. Terrestrial Turtle Habitats Potentially Impacted

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Dickerson, Dena

    1999-01-01

    .... This group includes the tortoises and box turtles with two species Federally threatened and three species having protection in at least one state. Three of these protected species are associated with environmental issues at 21 USACE projects from 5 USACE Districts.

  5. Immunoglobulin genes of the turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magadán-Mompó, Susana; Sánchez-Espinel, Christian; Gambón-Deza, Francisco

    2013-03-01

    The availability of reptile genomes for the use of the scientific community is an exceptional opportunity to study the evolution of immunoglobulin genes. The genome of Chrysemys picta bellii and Pelodiscus sinensis is the first one that has been reported for turtles. The scanning for immunoglobulin genes resulted in the presence of a complex locus for the immunoglobulin heavy chain (IGH). This IGH locus in both turtles contains genes for 13 isotypes in C. picta bellii and 17 in P. sinensis. These correspond with one immunoglobulin M, one immunoglobulin D, several immunoglobulins Y (six in C. picta bellii and eight in P. sinensis), and several immunoglobulins that are similar to immunoglobulin D2 (five in C. picta belli and seven in P. sinensis) that was previously described in Eublepharis macularius. It is worthy to note that IGHD2 are placed in an inverted transcriptional orientation and present sequences for two immunoglobulin domains that are similar to bird IgA domains. Furthermore, its phylogenetic analysis allows us to consider about the presence of IGHA gene in a primitive reptile, so we would be dealing with the memory of the gene that originated from the bird IGHA. In summary, we provide a clear picture of the immunoglobulins present in a turtle, whose analysis supports the idea that turtles emerged from the evolutionary line from the differentiation of birds and the presence of the IGHA gene present in a common ancestor.

  6. Notes upon some Sea Turtles

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brongersma, L.D.

    1961-01-01

    In recent years much attention is being paid to marine turtles, and it is the merit of Deraniyagala, Carr, and others to have contributed much to our knowledge of this group. Nevertheless, our knowledge of the species and subspecies that may be recognized, and that of their distribution is as yet

  7. Sea Turtle Conservation on Bonaire. Sea Turtle Club Bonaire 1997. Project Report

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schuit, M.; Put, van A.L.L.M.; Valkering, N.P.; Eijck, van T.J.W.

    1998-01-01

    The Sea Turtle Club Bonaire (STCB) is a non-governmental, non-profit organization. Its main goal is the conservation of the sea turtles that occur on Bonaire. To reach this goal, annual projects are undertaken, such as research and the promotion of public awareness on sea turtle conservation. The

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliana Costa Jordão

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  9. Genetic structure of Florida green turtle rookeries as indicated by mitochondrial DNA control region sequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shamblin, Brian M.; Bagley, Dean A.; Ehrhart, Llewellyn M.; Desjardin, Nicole A.; Martin, R. Erik; Hart, Kristen M.; Naro-Maciel, Eugenia; Rusenko, Kirt; Stiner, John C.; Sobel, Debra; Johnson, Chris; Wilmers, Thomas; Wright, Laura J.; Nairn, Campbell J.

    2014-01-01

    Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) nesting has increased dramatically in Florida over the past two decades, ranking the Florida nesting aggregation among the largest in the Greater Caribbean region. Individual beaches that comprise several hundred kilometers of Florida’s east coast and Keys support tens to thousands of nests annually. These beaches encompass natural to highly developed habitats, and the degree of demographic partitioning among rookeries was previously unresolved. We characterized the genetic structure of ten Florida rookeries from Cape Canaveral to the Dry Tortugas through analysis of 817 base pair mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region sequences from 485 nesting turtles. Two common haplotypes, CM-A1.1 and CM-A3.1, accounted for 87 % of samples, and the haplotype frequencies were strongly partitioned by latitude along Florida’s Atlantic coast. Most genetic structure occurred between rookeries on either side of an apparent genetic break in the vicinity of the St. Lucie Inlet that separates Hutchinson Island and Jupiter Island, representing the finest scale at which mtDNA structure has been documented in marine turtle rookeries. Florida and Caribbean scale analyses of population structure support recognition of at least two management units: central eastern Florida and southern Florida. More thorough sampling and deeper sequencing are necessary to better characterize connectivity among Florida green turtle rookeries as well as between the Florida nesting aggregation and others in the Greater Caribbean region.

  10. Nest inundation from sea-level rise threatens sea turtle population viability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pike, David A; Roznik, Elizabeth A; Bell, Ian

    2015-07-01

    Contemporary sea-level rise will inundate coastal habitats with seawater more frequently, disrupting the life cycles of terrestrial fauna well before permanent habitat loss occurs. Sea turtles are reliant on low-lying coastal habitats worldwide for nesting, where eggs buried in the sand remain vulnerable to inundation until hatching. We show that saltwater inundation directly lowers the viability of green turtle eggs (Chelonia mydas) collected from the world's largest green turtle nesting rookery at Raine Island, Australia, which is undergoing enigmatic decline. Inundation for 1 or 3 h reduced egg viability by less than 10%, whereas inundation for 6 h reduced viability by approximately 30%. All embryonic developmental stages were vulnerable to mortality from saltwater inundation. Although the hatchlings that emerged from inundated eggs displayed normal physical and behavioural traits, hypoxia during incubation could influence other aspects of the physiology or behaviour of developing embryos, such as learning or spatial orientation. Saltwater inundation can directly lower hatching success, but it does not completely explain the consistently low rates of hatchling production observed on Raine Island. More frequent nest inundation associated with sea-level rise will increase variability in sea turtle hatching success spatially and temporally, due to direct and indirect impacts of saltwater inundation on developing embryos.

  11. The endoskeletal origin of the turtle carapace.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  12. The endoskeletal origin of the turtle carapace

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  13. Status of marine turtle rehabilitation in Queensland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaylene Flint

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Rehabilitation of marine turtles in Queensland has multifaceted objectives. It treats individual animals, serves to educate the public, and contributes to conservation. We examined the outcome from rehabilitation, time in rehabilitation, and subsequent recapture and restranding rates of stranded marine turtles between 1996 and 2013 to determine if the benefits associated with this practice are cost-effective as a conservation tool. Of 13,854 marine turtles reported as stranded during this 18-year period, 5,022 of these turtles were stranded alive with the remainder verified as dead or of unknown condition. A total of 2,970 (59% of these live strandings were transported to a rehabilitation facility. Overall, 1,173/2,970 (39% turtles were released over 18 years, 101 of which were recaptured: 77 reported as restrandings (20 dead, 13 alive subsequently died, 11 alive subsequently euthanized, 33 alive and 24 recaptured during normal marine turtle population monitoring or fishing activities. Of the turtles admitted to rehabilitation exhibiting signs of disease, 88% of them died, either unassisted or by euthanasia and 66% of turtles admitted for unknown causes of stranding died either unassisted or by euthanasia. All turtles recorded as having a buoyancy disorder with no other presenting problem or disorder recorded, were released alive. In Queensland, rehabilitation costs approximately $1,000 per animal per year admitted to a center, $2,583 per animal per year released, and $123,750 per animal per year for marine turtles which are presumably successfully returned to the functional population. This practice may not be economically viable in its present configuration, but may be more cost effective as a mobile response unit. Further there is certainly benefit giving individual turtles a chance at survival and educating the public in the perils facing marine turtles. As well, rehabilitation can provide insight into the diseases and environmental

  14. Modeling neck mobility in fossil turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werneburg, Ingmar; Hinz, Juliane K; Gumpenberger, Michaela; Volpato, Virginie; Natchev, Nikolay; Joyce, Walter G

    2015-05-01

    Turtles have the unparalleled ability to retract their heads and necks within their shell but little is known about the evolution of this trait. Extensive analysis of neck mobility in turtles using radiographs, CT scans, and morphometry reveals that basal turtles possessed less mobility in the neck relative to their extant relatives, although the anatomical prerequisites for modern mobility were already established. Many extant turtles are able to achieve hypermobility by dislocating the central articulations, which raises cautions about reconstructing the mobility of fossil vertebrates. A 3D-model of the Late Triassic turtle Proganochelys quenstedti reveals that this early stem turtle was able to retract its head by tucking it sideways below the shell. The simple ventrolateral bend seen in this stem turtle, however, contrasts with the complex double-bend of extant turtles. The initial evolution of neck retraction therefore occurred in a near-synchrony with the origin of the turtle shell as a place to hide the unprotected neck. In this early, simplified retraction mode, the conical osteoderms on the neck provided further protection. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Transitional fossils and the origin of turtles

    OpenAIRE

    Lyson, Tyler R.; Bever, Gabe S.; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S.; Joyce, Walter G.; Gauthier, Jacques A.

    2010-01-01

    The origin of turtles is one of the most contentious issues in systematics with three currently viable hypotheses: turtles as the extant sister to (i) the crocodile–bird clade, (ii) the lizard–tuatara clade, or (iii) Diapsida (a clade composed of (i) and (ii)). We reanalysed a recent dataset that allied turtles with the lizard–tuatara clade and found that the inclusion of the stem turtle Proganochelys quenstedti and the ‘parareptile’ Eunotosaurus africanus results in a single overriding morph...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. Turtle cleaners: reef fishes foraging on epibionts of sea turtles in the tropical Southwestern Atlantic, with a summary of this association type

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Sazima

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available In the present study we record several instances of reef fish species foraging on epibionts of sea turtles (cleaning symbiosis at the oceanic islands of Fernando de Noronha Archipelago and near a shipwreck, both off the coast of Pernambuco State, northeast Brazil. Nine reef fish species and three turtle species involved in cleaning are herein recorded. Besides our records, a summary of the literature on this association type is presented. Postures adopted by turtles during the interaction are related to the habits of associated fishes. Feeding associations between fishes and turtles seem a localized, albeit common, phenomenon.No presente estudo registramos diversos episódios de peixes recifais alimentando-se de epibiontes sobre o corpo de tartarugas marinhas (simbiose de limpeza nas ilhas oceânicas do arquipélago de Fernando de Noronha e próximo a um naufrágio na costa de Pernambuco, nordeste do Brasil. Nove espécies de peixes recifais e três espécies de tartarugas envolvidas nas associações são aqui registradas. Além de nossos registros, apresentamos também um resumo da literatura sobre o tema. As posturas adotadas pelas tartarugas durante as interações estão relacionadas com os hábitos dos peixes associados. Associações alimentares entre peixes e tartarugas podem ser consideradas como um fenômeno local, embora comum.

  18. Heavy metals in sea turtles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Witkowski, S.A. (Millersville State College, PA); Frazier, J.G.

    1982-07-01

    Bone and barnacle samples from sea turtles (Hepidochelys olivacea) in Ecuador were analyzed for manganese, iron, copper, zinc and lead. Analysis was performed by flame atomic absorption spectroscopy. Results show that zinc and iron levels in bone and barnacles were greater than copper, manganese and lead levels. The significance of the findings is difficult to interpret because so little is known about baseline levels and physiological effects of heavy metals in the animals. (JMT)

  19. Turtle geometry the Python way

    OpenAIRE

    Battle, S.

    2014-01-01

    An introduction to coding using Python’s on-screen ‘turtle’ that can be commanded with a few simple instructions including forward, backward, left and right. The turtle leaves a trace that can be used to draw geometric figures. This workshop is aimed at beginners of all ages. The aim is to learn a smattering of programming and a little bit of geometry in a fun way.

  20. 78 FR 44878 - Turtles Intrastate and Interstate Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-25

    .... FDA-2013-N-0639] Turtles Intrastate and Interstate Requirements AGENCY: Food and Drug Administration... turtle eggs and live turtles with a carapace length of less than 4 inches to remove procedures for... 21 CFR 1240.62 on May 23, 1975 (40 FR 22543), that ban the sale and distribution of viable turtle...

  1. 42 CFR 71.52 - Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 1 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins. 71.52 Section 71..., INSPECTION, LICENSING FOREIGN QUARANTINE Importations § 71.52 Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins. (a) Definitions. As used in this section the term: Turtles includes all animals commonly known as turtles...

  2. More on Sea Turtles and Seaweed

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  3. North American box turtles: A natural history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dodd, C. Kenneth

    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.

  4. Marine turtle mitogenome phylogenetics and evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Duchene, Sebastián; Frey, Amy; Alfaro-Núñez, Luis Alonso

    2012-01-01

    The sea turtles are a group of cretaceous origin containing seven recognized living species: leatherback, hawksbill, Kemp's ridley, olive ridley, loggerhead, green, and flatback. The leatherback is the single member of the Dermochelidae family, whereas all other sea turtles belong in Cheloniidae...... distributions, shedding light on complex migration patterns and possible geographic or climatic events as driving forces of sea-turtle distribution. We have sequenced complete mitogenomes for all sea-turtle species, including samples from their geographic range extremes, and performed phylogenetic analyses...... to assess sea-turtle evolution with a large molecular dataset. We found variation in the length of the ATP8 gene and a highly variable site in ND4 near a proton translocation channel in the resulting protein. Complete mitogenomes show strong support and resolution for phylogenetic relationships among all...

  5. Transitional fossils and the origin of turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyson, Tyler R; Bever, Gabe S; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S; Joyce, Walter G; Gauthier, Jacques A

    2010-12-23

    The origin of turtles is one of the most contentious issues in systematics with three currently viable hypotheses: turtles as the extant sister to (i) the crocodile-bird clade, (ii) the lizard-tuatara clade, or (iii) Diapsida (a clade composed of (i) and (ii)). We reanalysed a recent dataset that allied turtles with the lizard-tuatara clade and found that the inclusion of the stem turtle Proganochelys quenstedti and the 'parareptile' Eunotosaurus africanus results in a single overriding morphological signal, with turtles outside Diapsida. This result reflects the importance of transitional fossils when long branches separate crown clades, and highlights unexplored issues such as the role of topological congruence when using fossils to calibrate molecular clocks.

  6. Sea Turtles Geolocalization in the Indian Ocean: An Over Sea Radio Channel framework integrating a trilateration technique

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guegan, Loic; Murad, Nour Mohammad; Bonhommeau, Sylvain

    2018-03-01

    This paper deals with the modeling of the over sea radio channel and aims to establish sea turtles localization off the coast of Reunion Island, and also on Europa Island in the Mozambique Channel. In order to model this radio channel, a framework measurement protocol is proposed. The over sea measured channel is integrated to the localization algorithm to estimate the turtle trajectory based on Power of Arrival (PoA) technique compared to GPS localization. Moreover, cross correlation tool is used to characterize the over sea propagation channel. First measurement of the radio channel on the Reunion Island coast combine to the POA algorithm show an error of 18 m for 45% of the approximated points.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tyffen C Read

    Full Text Available 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.

  8. The girdles of the oldest fossil turtle, Proterochersis robusta, and the age of the turtle crown

    OpenAIRE

    Joyce, Walter G; Schoch, Rainer R; Lyson, Tyler R

    2013-01-01

    Background: Proterochersis robusta from the Late Triassic (Middle Norian) of Germany is the oldest known fossil turtle (i.e. amniote with a fully formed turtle shell), but little is known about its anatomy. A newly prepared, historic specimen provides novel insights into the morphology of the girdles and vertebral column of this taxon and the opportunity to reassess its phylogenetic position.Results: The anatomy of the pectoral girdle of P. robusta is similar to that of other primitive turtle...

  9. Evolutionary origin of the turtle skull.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  10. Plasma lead, silicon and titanium concentrations are considerably higher in green sea turtle from the suburban coast than in those from the rural coast in Okinawa, Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsukano, Kenji; Suzuki, Kazuyuki; Noda, Jun; Yanagisawa, Makio; Kameda, Kazunari; Sera, Koichiro; Nishi, Yasunobu; Shimamori, Toshio; Morimoto, Yasuyo; Yokota, Hiroshi; Asakawa, Mitsuhiko

    2017-12-22

    The purpose of this study was to compare the concentration of trace elements in the plasma of sea turtles that inhabited the suburban (Okinawa Main Island, n=8) and the rural coast (Yaeyama Island, n=57) in Okinawa, Japan. Particle induced X-ray emission allowed detection of 20 trace and major elements. The wild sea turtles in the suburban coast in Okinawa were found to have high concentrations of Pb, Si and Ti in the plasma when compared to the rural area but there were no significant changes in the Al, As and Hg concentrations. These results may help to suggest the status of some elements in a marine environment. Further, monitoring the plasma trace and major element status in sea turtles can be used as a bio-monitoring approach by which specific types of elements found here could indicate effects that are related to human activities.

  11. Adult loggerhead turtle size, age, stage duration

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This study involves analysis of skeletal growth marks in humerus bones of 313 loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) stranded dead along the Atlantic US coast...

  12. Leatherback sea turtle age and growth

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This study involves analysis of skeletal growth marks in scleral ossicle bones of 33 leatherback sea turtles stranded dead along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico US...

  13. PIR Marine Turtle Ocean Captures & Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Effective management of marine turtle data is essential to maximize their research value and enable timely population assessments and recovery monitoring. To provide...

  14. Green sea turtle age, growth, population characteristics

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Morphology, sex ratio, body condition, disease status, age structure, and growth patterns were characterized for 448 green sea turtles cold stunned in St. Joseph...

  15. Blood gases, biochemistry, and hematology of Galapagos green turtles (Chelonia mydas).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewbart, Gregory A; Hirschfeld, Maximilian; Denkinger, Judith; Vasco, Karla; Guevara, Nataly; García, Juan; Muñoz, Juanpablo; Lohmann, Kenneth J

    2014-01-01

    The green turtle, Chelonia mydas, is an endangered marine chelonian with a circum-global distribution. Reference blood parameter intervals have been published for some chelonian species, but baseline hematology, biochemical, and blood gas values are lacking from the Galapagos sea turtles. Analyses were done on blood samples drawn from 28 green turtles captured in two foraging locations on San Cristóbal Island (14 from each site). Of these turtles, 20 were immature and of unknown sex; the other eight were males (five mature, three immature). A portable blood analyzer (iSTAT) was used to obtain near immediate field results for pH, lactate, pO2, pCO2, HCO3-, Hct, Hb, Na, K, iCa, and Glu. Parameter values affected by temperature were corrected in two ways: (1) with standard formulas; and (2) with auto-corrections made by the iSTAT. The two methods yielded clinically equivalent results. Standard laboratory hematology techniques were employed for the red and white blood cell counts and the hematocrit determination, which was also compared to the hematocrit values generated by the iSTAT. Of all blood analytes, only lactate concentrations were positively correlated with body size. All other values showed no significant difference between the two sample locations nor were they correlated with body size or internal temperature. For hematocrit count, the iSTAT blood analyzer yielded results indistinguishable from those obtained with high-speed centrifugation. The values reported in this study provide baseline data that may be useful in comparisons among populations and in detecting changes in health status among Galapagos sea turtles. The findings might also be helpful in future efforts to demonstrate associations between specific biochemical parameters and disease.

  16. Helminth component community of the loggerhead sea turtle, Caretta caretta, from Madeira Archipelago, Portugal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valente, Ana Luisa; Delgado, Cláudia; Moreira, Cláudia; Ferreira, Sandra; Dellinger, Thomas; Pinheiro de Carvalho, Miguel A A; Costa, Graça

    2009-02-01

    The helminth fauna of pelagic-stage loggerhead sea turtles, Caretta caretta, is still poorly known. Here, we describe the helminth-component community of healthy, free-ranging juvenile loggerhead sea turtles captured in the waters around Madeira Island, Portugal. Fifty-seven were used in this study. The esophagus, stomach, intestine, liver, gallbladder, spleen, kidneys, trachea, bronchi, urinary bladder, heart, left and right aortas, and coelomic cavity were macroscopically inspected; organs and tissues were removed and washed through a sieve. A search for parasites was made using a stereoscopic microscope; recovered parasites were fixed and stored in 70% alcohol until staining and identification. Prevalence, mean intensity, and mean abundance values were recorded. In total, 156 parasite specimens belonging to 9 species were found: nematodes included Anisakis simplex s.l. (larvae) and an unidentified species; digenetic trematodes present were Enodiotrema megachondrus, Rhytidodes gelatinosus, Pyelosomum renicapite, and Calycodes anthos; acanthocephalans included Bolbosoma vasculosum and Rhadinorhynchus pristis; a single cestode, Nybelinia sp., was present. Parasite infections were found to have both low prevalences and intensities. Possible reasons for this include the oligotrophic conditions of the pelagic habitat around Madeira; a 'dilution effect' because of the vastness of the area; and the small size, and thus ingestion rate, of the turtles. Results are discussed in terms of the various turtle populations that may use the waters surrounding Madeira. This work provides valuable information on the parasite fauna of a poorly known stage in the life of loggerhead sea turtles, thereby filling a fundamental gap with regard to features of the parasite fauna in this species.

  17. Trace elements in loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) stranded in mainland Portugal: Bioaccumulation and tissue distribution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicolau, Lídia; Monteiro, Sílvia S; Pereira, Andreia T; Marçalo, Ana; Ferreira, Marisa; Torres, Jordi; Vingada, José; Eira, Catarina

    2017-07-01

    Pollution is among the most significant threats that endanger sea turtles worldwide. Waters off the Portuguese mainland are acknowledged as important feeding grounds for juvenile loggerheads. However, there is no data on trace element concentrations in marine turtles occurring in these waters. We present the first assessment of trace element concentrations in loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) occurring off the coast of mainland Portugal. Also, we compare our results with those from other areas and discuss parameters that may affect element concentrations. Trace element concentrations (As, Cd, Cu, Pb, Mn, Hg, Ni, Se, Zn) were determined in kidney, liver and muscle samples from 38 loggerheads stranded between 2011 and 2013. As was the only element with higher concentrations in muscle (14.78 μg g -1 ww) than in liver or kidney. Considering non-essential elements, Cd presented the highest concentrations in kidney (34.67 μg g -1 ) and liver (5.03 μg g -1 ). Only a weak positive link was found between renal Cd and turtle size. Inter-elemental correlations were observed in both liver and kidney tissues. Hepatic Hg values (0.30 ± 0.03 μg g -1 ) were higher than values reported in loggerheads in the Canary Islands but lower than in Mediterranean loggerheads. Cd concentrations in the present study were only exceeded by values found in turtles from the Pacific. Although many endogenous and exogenous parameters related with complex life cycle changes and wide geographic range may influence trace element accumulation, the concentrations of Cd are probably related to the importance of crustaceans in loggerhead diet in the Portuguese coast. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Sea Turtle Conservation on Bonaire. Sea Turtle Club Bonaire 1995 Project Report and Long Term Proposal

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Valkering, N.P.; Nugteren, Van P.; Eijck, Van T.J.W.

    1996-01-01

    Bonaire (12°12’N, 68°77’W), Netherlands Antilles, is famous for its unspoiled coral reefs. Reefs and lush sea grass provide forage and refuge for two species of endangered sea turtle, the green turtle ( Chelonia mydas) and the hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata). Loggerhead ( Caretta caretta ) and

  19. Emydid herpesvirus 1 infection in northern map turtles (Graptemys geographica) and painted turtles (Chrysemys picta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ossiboff, Robert J; Newton, Alisa L; Seimon, Tracie A; Moore, Robert P; McAloose, Denise

    2015-05-01

    A captive, juvenile, female northern map turtle (Graptemys geographica) was found dead following a brief period of weakness and nasal discharge. Postmortem examination identified pneumonia with necrosis and numerous epithelial, intranuclear viral inclusion bodies, consistent with herpesviral pneumonia. Similar intranuclear inclusions were also associated with foci of hepatocellular and splenic necrosis. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) screening of fresh, frozen liver for the herpesviral DNA-dependent DNA polymerase gene yielded an amplicon with 99.2% similarity to recently described emydid herpesvirus 1 (EmyHV-1). Molecular screening of turtles housed in enclosures that shared a common circulation system with the affected map turtle identified 4 asymptomatic, EmyHV-1 PCR-positive painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) and 1 asymptomatic northern map turtle. Herpesvirus transmission between painted and map turtles has been previously suggested, and our report provides the molecular characterization of a herpesvirus in asymptomatic painted turtles that can cause fatal herpesvirus-associated disease in northern map turtles. © 2015 The Author(s).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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)

  1. The western pond turtle: Habitat and history. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Holland, D.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

  2. Heat Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    EPA's Heat Island Effect Site provides information on heat islands, their impacts, mitigation strategies, related research, a directory of heat island reduction initiatives in U.S. communities, and EPA's Heat Island Reduction Program.

  3. Island biogeography

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Whittaker, Robert James; Fernández-Palacios, José María; Matthews, Thomas J.

    2017-01-01

    Islands provide classic model biological systems. We review how growing appreciation of geoenvironmental dynamics of marine islands has led to advances in island biogeographic theory accommodating both evolutionary and ecological phenomena. Recognition of distinct island geodynamics permits gener...

  4. Assessment of MEGA BORG impacts on sea turtles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gitschlag, G.

    1993-01-01

    Studies were conducted to assess the impacts of the MEGA BORG oil spill on sea turtles in the path of the oil plume. Aerial surveys were performed to determine the presence of turtles and provide a gross visual assessment of potential impacts. Although extensive efforts were made to capture sea turtles around oil and gas platforms only one loggerhead sea turtle, Caretta caretta, was captured. Neither external visual inspection nor laboratory fecal analysis showed evidence of petroleum contamination

  5. Shell bone histology indicates terrestrial palaeoecology of basal turtles

    OpenAIRE

    Scheyer, Torsten; Sander, P. Martin

    2009-01-01

    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 que...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. 50 CFR 648.106 - Sea Turtle conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 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 ATMOSPHERIC... Summer Flounder Fisheries § 648.106 Sea Turtle conservation. Sea turtle regulations are found at 50 CFR...

  8. Turtle bycatch in the pelagic longline fishery off southern Africa ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Capture by pelagic longline fisheries has been identified as a key threat to turtle populations. This study is the first assessment of turtle bycatch in the South African pelagic longline fishery for tunas Thunnus spp. and swordfish Xiphias gladius. A total of 181 turtles was caught on observed sets between 1998 and 2005, at a ...

  9. 21 CFR 1240.62 - Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 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 of...

  10. Morphological study of the plastron of the African sideneck turtle ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The morphological analysis of the plastron of the African sideneck turtle (Pelusios castaneus) was carried out using fifty adult turtles comprising twenty female and thirty male turtles picked up at different times from various river banks in Ibadan, Nigeria. The aim of the study was to provide baseline information that could be ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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,…

  12. Geometry and self-righting of turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domokos, Gábor; Várkonyi, Péter L

    2008-01-07

    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.

  13. Evolutionary origin of the turtle shell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyson, Tyler R; Bever, Gabe S; Scheyer, Torsten M; Hsiang, Allison Y; Gauthier, Jacques A

    2013-06-17

    The origin of the turtle shell has perplexed biologists for more than two centuries. It was not until Odontochelys semitestacea was discovered, however, that the fossil and developmental data could be synthesized into a model of shell assembly that makes predictions for the as-yet unestablished history of the turtle stem group. We build on this model by integrating novel data for Eunotosaurus africanus-a Late Guadalupian (∼260 mya) Permian reptile inferred to be an early stem turtle. Eunotosaurus expresses a number of relevant characters, including a reduced number of elongate trunk vertebrae (nine), nine pairs of T-shaped ribs, inferred loss of intercostal muscles, reorganization of respiratory muscles to the ventral side of the ribs, (sub)dermal outgrowth of bone from the developing perichondral collar of the ribs, and paired gastralia that lack both lateral and median elements. These features conform to the predicted sequence of character acquisition and provide further support that E. africanus, O. semitestacea, and Proganochelys quenstedti represent successive divergences from the turtle stem lineage. The initial transformations of the model thus occurred by the Middle Permian, which is congruent with molecular-based divergence estimates for the lineage, and remain viable whether turtles originated inside or outside crown Diapsida. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. [Identification of turtle shell, tortoise plastron and their counterfeit products].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Z Z; Lin, J M; Ye, G M; Quan, S C; Hu, J H

    2000-05-01

    To identify the commercial Chinese medicines turtle shell and tortoise plastron. Morphological identification and differential thermal analysis (DTA). 2 kinds of counterfeit turtle shell and 3 kinds of counterfeit tortoise plastron were found, and their morphological and DTA identification features were proposed. Sea turtle shells presently on the market are sham commodities of turtle shell, which derive from Lissemys punctata and Pelochelys bibroni indigenous to south Asia, while plastrons of Ocadia sinensis, Chelonia mydas and Lepidochelys olivacea are counterfeit products of tortoise plastron. Turtle shells, tortoise plastrons and their counterfeit products may be exactly distinguished by morphological and DTA features.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. Checklist of sea turtles endohelminth in Neotropical region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Werneck M. R.

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a list of parasites described in sea turtles from the Neotropical region. Through the review of literature the occurrence of 79 taxa of helminthes parasites were observed, mostly consisting of the Phylum Platyhelminthes with 76 species distributed in 14 families and 2 families of the Phylum Nematoda within 3 species. Regarding the parasite records, the most studied host was the green turtle (Chelonia mydas followed by the hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata, olive ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea, loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta and leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea. Overall helminths were reported in 12 countries and in the Caribbean Sea region. This checklist is the largest compilation of data on helminths found in sea turtles in the Neotropical region.

  17. TURTLE 24.0 diffusion depletion code

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Altomare, S.; Barry, R.F.

    1971-09-01

    TURTLE is a two-group, two-dimensional (x-y, x-z, r-z) neutron diffusion code featuring a direct treatment of the nonlinear effects of xenon, enthalpy, and Doppler. Fuel depletion is allowed. TURTLE was written for the study of azimuthal xenon oscillations, but the code is useful for general analysis. The input is simple, fuel management is handled directly, and a boron criticality search is allowed. Ten thousand space points are allowed (over 20,000 with diagonal symmetry). TURTLE is written in FORTRAN IV and is tailored for the present CDC-6600. The program is core-contained. Provision is made to save data on tape for future reference. (auth)

  18. Islands, Island Studies, Island Studies Journal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Godfrey Baldacchino

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available Islands are sites of innovative conceptualizations, whether of nature or human enterprise, whether virtual or real. The study of islands on their own terms today enjoys a growing and wide-ranging recognition. This paper celebrates the launch of Island Studies Journal in the context of a long and thrilling tradition of island studies scholarship.

  19. Does the "kamaroma"-plastron pattern morph occur in both Philippine subspecies of the turtle Cuora amboinensis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ernst, C.H.; Laemmerzahl, A.F.; Lovich, J.E.

    2011-01-01

    Two subspecies of the turtle Cuora amboinensis have been reported from the Philippine Islands, C. a. amboinensis and C. a. kamaroma, distinguished primarily by their carapace morphology, and secondarily by their plastron patterns. We assessed the utility of using shell and postorbital-stripe morphology instead of plastron patterns to distinguish these putative taxa. Adult C. amboinensis from the Philippines were examined to determine the extent of occurrence of C. a. kamaroma on the islands. Several morphological carapace characters and one based on the postorbital stripe were found to differ significantly between the subspecies C. a. amboinensis and C. a. kamaroma, and were used to assign turtles to subspecies. Use of these characters often resulted in conflicting subspecific identifications for those previously assigned by their plastron patterns to C. a. kamaroma. This poses important questions. Using the carapace and postorbital-stripe characters, 95.2% of the turtles in the mainland chain of islands were identified as C. a. amboinensis, and only 4.8% as C. a. kamaroma. Surprisingly, most of those assigned to C. a. kamaroma were from the northern islands of Babuyan and Luzon, not from the southern main chain island populations closest to the likely geographic area of invasion by that subspecies. This may be due to the common practice of importation of C. a. kamaroma into these northern islands, especially Luzon, for food. Turtles with kamaroma-like or C. a. amboinensis ?? C. a. kamaroma plastron patterns have been reported from the Sulu Archipelago and Busuanga/Palawan chain, and those specimens we examined from those islands confirmed this. The questions of whether or not C. a. kamaroma actually occurs in the Philippines and, if so, what is its island distribution, cannot be answered at this time. All specimens previously identified as C. a. kamaroma by their plastron-patterns should be re-evaluated, using the significant carapace and postorbital

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  1. Light pollution affects nesting behavior of loggerhead turtles and predation risk of nests and hatchlings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Elton; Marco, Adolfo; da Graça, Jesemine; Pérez, Héctor; Abella, Elena; Patino-Martinez, Juan; Martins, Samir; Almeida, Corrine

    2017-08-01

    The introduction of artificial light into wildlife habitats is a rapidly expanding aspect of global change, which has many negative impacts on a wide range of taxa. In this experimental study, which took place on a beach located on the island of Boa Vista (Cabo Verde), three types of artificial light were tested on nesting loggerhead sea turtles as well as on ghost crabs, which intensively predate on nests and hatchlings, to determine the effects they would produce on the behavior of both species. Over the course of 36days, female loggerheads and ghost crabs were studied under yellow, orange and red lights, with observations also being made on dark nights that served as a control treatment. During this period, the frequencies of nesting attempts, the time taken by turtles to complete each phase of the nesting process, and ghost crab abundance and behaviors were carefully recorded. 1146 loggerhead nesting attempts were observed and recorded during the experiments, and results showed a decrease in nesting attempts of at least 20% when artificial lighting was present. A significant decline in successful attempts was also observed within the central sections of the beach, which corresponded to those that received more light. This artificial lighting significantly increased the time that turtles spent on the nesting process and forced them to do more extensive beach crawls. Despite this, the presence of light had no apparent effect on the final selection of the nesting site. Yellow and orange lights significantly disrupted the sea finding behavior and turtles were often unable to orient themselves seaward under these color lights. Disoriented turtles were observed crawling in circuitous paths in front of the light source for several minutes. In addition, artificial lights had the potential to increase the number of ghost crabs present within the illuminated stretches of the beach. However, only yellow lighting produced a significant change on aggressive and prey

  2. Tactile Turtle: Explorations in Space with Visually Impaired Children and a Floor Turtle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gay, Penny

    1989-01-01

    The article describes a project in which blind and partially sighted children used a computer-guided floor turtle to develop spatial concepts such as right and left and accurate facing movements. (Author/DB)

  3. Systemic mycosis caused by Trichophyton spp. in an olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea): an immunohistochemical study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oros, J; Calabuig, P; Arencibia, A; Camacho, M; Jensen, He

    2011-03-01

    A sub-adult female olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) was found floating off the coast of Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain. The turtle was lethargic and weak, and died one day after it was found. Necropsy was performed and selected samples of lung and liver were routinely processed for histopathological and immunohistological studies. Grossly, round, ulcerative lesions were observed on the rear flippers. The liver, spleen, coelomic wall, gastric serosa, lungs and urinary bladder were covered by various amounts of fibrin and small granulomas. Histopathologically, a severe fibrinous and granulomatous polyserositis (liver, spleen, stomach, urinary bladder, coelomic wall), severe fibrinous pleuritis and severe multifocal granulomatous pneumonia were diagnosed. Numerous fungal hyphae were observed associated with the lesions. Specific monoclonal and heterologously absorbed polyclonal antibodies served as the primary reagents for identification of aspergillosis, candidiasis, fusariosis, geotricosis, dermatophytosis, scedosporiosis, and zygomycosis. All hyphae were identified as Trichophyton spp., because a strong and uniform reactivity was obtained only with an heterologously absorbed polyclonal antibody raised against somatic antigens of Trichophyton spp. Systemic mycosis caused by Trichophyton spp. There are no known previous reports of Trichophyton spp. causing skin disease or systemic mycotic infection in sea turtles. The usefulness of immunohistochemistry for identifying fungi in sea turtles is reinforced.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  5. Seasonal movements and habitat preferences for the spotted turtle and eastern box turtle in Massachusetts

    OpenAIRE

    Kaye, Delia R.J.; Walsh, Kevin M.; Ross, Christopher M.

    2001-01-01

    Seasonal habitat use and population dynamics of a spotted turtle (Clemmys guttata) population and an eastern box turtle (Terrapene c. carolina) population in southeastern Massachusetts are presented in this paper. The two-year study, conducted between March 1998 and December 1999, was part of a mitigation plan proposed by the Massachusetts Highway Department (MassHighway) and approved by the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (NHESP) to mitigate for 1.0 hectares of ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Chang-Fu; Rabi, Márton

    2015-11-10

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. Shell bone histology indicates terrestrial palaeoecology of basal turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheyer, Torsten M; Sander, P Martin

    2007-08-07

    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.

  9. Subsistence hunting for turtles in Northwestern Ecuador

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carr, John L; Almendariz, Ana; Simmons, John E; Nielsen, Mark T

    2014-01-01

    We describe the subsistence exploitation of an entire turtle fauna in Esmerald's Province, Ecuador. We collected first hand accounts and witnessed a number of capture techniques used by rural afroecuadorian and chachi inhabitants of the Cayapas Santiago River basin. The diversity of techniques indicated a practical knowledge of the ecology of the species. Chelydra acutirostris, Kinosternon leucostomum, Rhinoclemmys annulata, Melanosterna, and R. nasuta were captured and eaten. Poziando involved cleaning pools in a stream bed during the relatively dry season by removing live plants, organic detritus, and then seining with baskets; we observed R. melanosterna and K. leucostomum captured in this way. Pitfall traps baited with fruit were used to catch R. melanosterna during forays on land. Basket traps (Canasto tortuguero) with a wooden slat funnel across the opening are floated with balsa lashed to the sides. Banana or Xanthosoma leaf bait in the basket traps caught R. melanosterna, R. nasuta, and K. leucostomum. Marshy areas were probed for R. melanosterna and K. leucostomum. Direct capture by hand was also common. Turtles were relished as food items; all turtles captured were consumed, usually in soup or stew. Use of turtles for food in the region was pervasive, perhaps because fish and game populations were depleted.

  10. A toothed turtle from the Late Jurassic of China and the global biogeographic history of turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joyce, Walter G; Rabi, Márton; Clark, James M; Xu, Xing

    2016-10-28

    Turtles (Testudinata) are a successful lineage of vertebrates with about 350 extant species that inhabit all major oceans and landmasses with tropical to temperate climates. The rich fossil record of turtles documents the adaptation of various sub-lineages to a broad range of habitat preferences, but a synthetic biogeographic model is still lacking for the group. We herein describe a new species of fossil turtle from the Late Jurassic of Xinjiang, China, Sichuanchelys palatodentata sp. nov., that is highly unusual by plesiomorphically exhibiting palatal teeth. Phylogenetic analysis places the Late Jurassic Sichuanchelys palatodentata in a clade with the Late Cretaceous Mongolochelys efremovi outside crown group Testudines thereby establishing the prolonged presence of a previously unrecognized clade of turtles in Asia, herein named Sichuanchelyidae. In contrast to previous hypotheses, M. efremovi and Kallokibotion bajazidi are not found within Meiolaniformes, a clade that is here reinterpreted as being restricted to Gondwana. A revision of the global distribution of fossil and recent turtle reveals that the three primary lineages of derived, aquatic turtles, including the crown, Paracryptodira, Pan-Pleurodira, and Pan-Cryptodira can be traced back to the Middle Jurassic of Euramerica, Gondwana, and Asia, respectively, which resulted from the primary break up of Pangaea at that time. The two primary lineages of Pleurodira, Pan-Pelomedusoides and Pan-Chelidae, can similarly be traced back to the Cretaceous of northern and southern Gondwana, respectively, which were separated from one another by a large desert zone during that time. The primary divergence of crown turtles was therefore driven by vicariance to the primary freshwater aquatic habitat of these lineages. The temporally persistent lineages of basal turtles, Helochelydridae, Meiolaniformes, Sichuanchelyidae, can similarly be traced back to the Late Mesozoic of Euramerica, southern Gondwana, and Asia. Given

  11. Global Conservation Priorities for Marine Turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  12. Global conservation priorities for marine turtles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bryan P Wallace

    Full Text Available 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

  13. Body plan of turtles: an anatomical, developmental and evolutionary perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagashima, Hiroshi; Kuraku, Shigehiro; Uchida, Katsuhisa; Kawashima-Ohya, Yoshie; Narita, Yuichi; Kuratani, Shigeru

    2012-03-01

    The evolution of the turtle shell has long been one of the central debates in comparative anatomy. The turtle shell consists of dorsal and ventral parts: the carapace and plastron, respectively. The basic structure of the carapace comprises vertebrae and ribs. The pectoral girdle of turtles sits inside the carapace or the rib cage, in striking contrast to the body plan of other tetrapods. Due to this topological change in the arrangement of skeletal elements, the carapace has been regarded as an example of evolutionary novelty that violates the ancestral body plan of tetrapods. Comparing the spatial relationships of anatomical structures in the embryos of turtles and other amniotes, we have shown that the topology of the musculoskeletal system is largely conserved even in turtles. The positional changes seen in the ribs and pectoral girdle can be ascribed to turtle-specific folding of the lateral body wall in the late developmental stages. Whereas the ribs of other amniotes grow from the axial domain to the lateral body wall, turtle ribs remain arrested axially. Marginal growth of the axial domain in turtle embryos brings the morphologically short ribs in to cover the scapula dorsocaudally. This concentric growth appears to be induced by the margin of the carapace, which involves an ancestral gene expression cascade in a new location. These comparative developmental data allow us to hypothesize the gradual evolution of turtles, which is consistent with the recent finding of a transitional fossil animal, Odontochelys, which did not have the carapace but already possessed the plastron.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. The girdles of the oldest fossil turtle, Proterochersis robusta, and the age of the turtle crown.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joyce, Walter G; Schoch, Rainer R; Lyson, Tyler R

    2013-12-06

    Proterochersis robusta from the Late Triassic (Middle Norian) of Germany is the oldest known fossil turtle (i.e. amniote with a fully formed turtle shell), but little is known about its anatomy. A newly prepared, historic specimen provides novel insights into the morphology of the girdles and vertebral column of this taxon and the opportunity to reassess its phylogenetic position. The anatomy of the pectoral girdle of P. robusta is similar to that of other primitive turtles, including the Late Triassic (Carnian) Proganochelys quenstedti, in having a vertically oriented scapula, a large coracoid foramen, a short acromion process, and bony ridges that connect the acromion process with the dorsal process, glenoid, and coracoid, and by being able to rotate along a vertical axis. The pelvic elements are expanded distally and suturally attached to the shell, but in contrast to modern pleurodiran turtles the pelvis is associated with the sacral ribs. The primary homology of the character "sutured pelvis" is unproblematic between P. robusta and extant pleurodires. However, integration of all new observations into the most complete phylogenetic analysis that support the pleurodiran nature of P. robusta reveals that this taxon is more parsimoniously placed along the phylogenetic stem of crown Testudines. All current phylogenetic hypotheses therefore support the basal placement of this taxon, imply that the sutured pelvis of this taxon developed independently from that of pleurodires, and conclude that the age of the turtle crown is Middle Jurassic.

  17. TurtleCam: A “Smart” Autonomous Underwater Vehicle for Investigating Behaviors and Habitats of Sea Turtles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kara L. Dodge

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Sea turtles inhabiting coastal environments routinely encounter anthropogenic hazards, including fisheries, vessel traffic, pollution, dredging, and drilling. To support mitigation of potential threats, it is important to understand fine-scale sea turtle behaviors in a variety of habitats. Recent advancements in autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs now make it possible to directly observe and study the subsurface behaviors and habitats of marine megafauna, including sea turtles. Here, we describe a “smart” AUV capability developed to study free-swimming marine animals, and demonstrate the utility of this technology in a pilot study investigating the behaviors and habitat of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea. We used a Remote Environmental Monitoring UnitS (REMUS-100 AUV, designated “TurtleCam,” that was modified to locate, follow and film tagged turtles for up to 8 h while simultaneously collecting environmental data. The TurtleCam system consists of a 100-m depth rated vehicle outfitted with a circular Ultra-Short BaseLine receiver array for omni-directional tracking of a tagged animal via a custom transponder tag that we attached to the turtle with two suction cups. The AUV collects video with six high-definition cameras (five mounted in the vehicle nose and one mounted aft and we added a camera to the animal-borne transponder tag to record behavior from the turtle's perspective. Since behavior is likely a response to habitat factors, we collected concurrent in situ oceanographic data (bathymetry, temperature, salinity, chlorophyll-a, turbidity, currents along the turtle's track. We tested the TurtleCam system during 2016 and 2017 in a densely populated coastal region off Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA, where foraging leatherbacks overlap with fixed fishing gear and concentrated commercial and recreational vessel traffic. Here we present example data from one leatherback turtle to demonstrate the utility of TurtleCam. The

  18. MicroRNAs support a turtle + lizard clade.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyson, Tyler R; Sperling, Erik A; Heimberg, Alysha M; Gauthier, Jacques A; King, Benjamin L; Peterson, Kevin J

    2012-02-23

    Despite much interest in amniote systematics, the origin of turtles remains elusive. Traditional morphological phylogenetic analyses place turtles outside Diapsida-amniotes whose ancestor had two fenestrae in the temporal region of the skull (among the living forms the tuatara, lizards, birds and crocodilians)-and allied with some unfenestrate-skulled (anapsid) taxa. Nonetheless, some morphological analyses place turtles within Diapsida, allied with Lepidosauria (tuatara and lizards). Most molecular studies agree that turtles are diapsids, but rather than allying them with lepidosaurs, instead place turtles near or within Archosauria (crocodilians and birds). Thus, three basic phylogenetic positions for turtles with respect to extant Diapsida are currently debated: (i) sister to Diapsida, (ii) sister to Lepidosauria, or (iii) sister to, or within, Archosauria. Interestingly, although these three alternatives are consistent with a single unrooted four-taxon tree for extant reptiles, they differ with respect to the position of the root. Here, we apply a novel molecular dataset, the presence versus absence of specific microRNAs, to the problem of the phylogenetic position of turtles and the root of the reptilian tree, and find that this dataset unambiguously supports a turtle + lepidosaur group. We find that turtles and lizards share four unique miRNA gene families that are not found in any other organisms' genome or small RNA library, and no miRNAs are found in all diapsids but not turtles, or in turtles and archosaurs but not in lizards. The concordance between our result and some morphological analyses suggests that there have been numerous morphological convergences and reversals in reptile phylogeny, including the loss of temporal fenestrae.

  19. Do roads reduce painted turtle (Chrysemys picta populations?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra Dorland

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2013 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc., on behalf of the Society for Conservation Biology.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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...

  2. Diet Composition of Hawksbill Turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    conservation. ASEAN Academic Press. Ltd, London, 361 pp. Mortimer JA (2006) Simple, yet effective: Protection at the nesting beach. SWoT State of the World's Sea Turtles. Report, 1: 8. Mortimer JA, Balazs GH (1999) Post-nesting migrations of hawksbill turtles in the. Granitic Seychelles and implications for conservation.

  3. Turtle origins: insights from phylogenetic retrofitting and molecular scaffolds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, M S Y

    2013-12-01

    Adding new taxa to morphological phylogenetic analyses without substantially revising the set of included characters is a common practice, with drawbacks (undersampling of relevant characters) and potential benefits (character selection is not biased by preconceptions over the affinities of the 'retrofitted' taxon). Retrofitting turtles (Testudines) and other taxa to recent reptile phylogenies consistently places turtles with anapsid-grade parareptiles (especially Eunotosaurus and/or pareiasauromorphs), under both Bayesian and parsimony analyses. This morphological evidence for turtle-parareptile affinities appears to contradict the robust genomic evidence that extant (living) turtles are nested within diapsids as sister to extant archosaurs (birds and crocodilians). However, the morphological data are almost equally consistent with a turtle-archosaur clade: enforcing this molecular scaffold onto the morphological data does not greatly increase tree length (parsimony) or reduce likelihood (Bayesian inference). Moreover, under certain analytic conditions, Eunotosaurus groups with turtles and thus also falls within the turtle-archosaur clade. This result raises the possibility that turtles could simultaneously be most closely related to a taxon traditionally considered a parareptile (Eunotosaurus) and still have archosaurs as their closest extant sister group. © 2013 The Author. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2013 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  4. First records in Guinea Bissau of Adamawa Turtle Dove Streptopelia ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    There are no confirmed records of the Adamawa Turtle Dove Streptopelia hypopyrrha in north-eastern Guinea Bissau and there is very little information available on the biology of the species. Eight individuals of the Adamawa Turtle Dove were identified from the game bags of sport hunters in north-eastern Guinea Bissau, ...

  5. 50 CFR 660.720 - Interim protection for sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Interim protection for sea turtles. 660.720 Section 660.720 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND... Migratory Fisheries § 660.720 Interim protection for sea turtles. (a) Until the effective date of §§ 660.707...

  6. A large phylogeny of turtles (Testudines) using molecular data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Guillon, J.-M.; Guéry, L.; Hulin, V.; Girondot, M.

    2012-01-01

    Turtles (Testudines) form a monophyletic group with a highly distinctive body plan. The taxonomy and phylogeny of turtles are still under discussion, at least for some clades. Whereas in most previous studies, only a few species or genera were considered, we here use an extensive compilation of DNA

  7. The Biophysical Characteristics Of Hatching Habitat Of Lekang Turtle (Lepidhochelys olivacea) Eggs In Turtle Conservation And Education Center, Bali

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suryono; Ario, R.; Wibowo, E.; Handoyo, G.

    2018-02-01

    Lekang turtle (Lepidhochelys olivacea) is one of the fauna that is protected as an endangered population. This marine reptile was able to migrate in great distance along the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, and South East Asia. Its existence has long been threatened, either by nature or human activities that endangered the population directly or indirectly. The decreasing number of sea turtle population that nest in Bali area is one indication of the reducing number of Lekang turtle in Indonesia. If left unchecked, it will result in the loss of Lekang turtle. This study aims to determine the successful percentage of conservation techniques and Lekang turtle hatching eggs (olive ridley sea turtle) in TCEC, Bali. The method used in this research is the method of observation or direct observation done in the field. Data collection is done by direct observation in the field. The results showed that the turtle breeding site is located in an area that is less strategic because too far from the sea, so that the temperature and humidity cannot be stable. Water content is most an important factor in the growth of embryo and egg hatching. This will lead to the decrease of hatching percentage of turtle eggs.

  8. Three novel herpesviruses of endangered Clemmys and Glyptemys turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. Hierarchical, quantitative biogeographic provinces for all North American turtles and their contribution to the biogeography of turtles and the continent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ennen, Joshua R.; Matamoros, Wilfredo A.; Agha, Mickey; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Sweat, Sarah C.; Hoagstrom, Christopher W.

    2017-01-01

    Our study represents the first attempt to describe biogeographic provinces for North American (México, United States, and Canada) turtles. We analyzed three nested data sets separately: (1) all turtles, (2) freshwater turtles, and (3) aquatic turtles. We georeferenced North American turtle distributions, then we created presence–absence matrices for each of the three data sets. We used watershed unit as biogeographic units. We conducted an unweighted pair-group method with arithmetic mean clustering analysis on each Jaccard index distance matrix from our watershed species matrices to delineate biogeographic provinces. Provinces were then tested for significant differences in species compositions in a global model with the use of a one-way analysis of similarity. We conducted a best subset of environmental variables with maximum (rank) correlation with community dissimilarities that determined the best model of abiotic variables explaining province delineation (i.e., climate, topography, and stream channel). To identify which species contributed the most to province delineations, we conducted an indicator species analysis and a similarity-percentage analysis. There were 16 all-turtle provinces, 15 freshwater provinces, and 13 aquatic provinces. Species compositions delineating the provinces were explained by abiotic variables, including mean annual precipitation, mean precipitation seasonality, and diversity of streams. Province delineations correspond closely with geographical boundaries, many of which have Pleistocene origins. For example, rivers with a history of carrying glacial runoff (e.g., Arkansas, Mississippi) sometimes dissect upland provinces, especially for aquatic and semiaquatic turtles. Compared with freshwater fishes, turtles show greater sensitivity to decreased temperature with restriction of most taxa south of the last permafrost maximum. Turtles also exhibit higher sensitivity to climatic, geomorphic, and tectonic instability, with richness

  10. Invasion of the turtles? : exotic turtles in the Netherland: a risk assessment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bugter, R.J.F.; Ottburg, F.G.W.A.; Roessink, I.; Jansman, H.A.H.; Grift, van der E.A.; Griffioen, A.J.

    2011-01-01

    The authors of this report assessed the risk of exotic turtles becoming invasive in the Netherlands. Main components of the risk are the large scale of introduction of discarded pets to Dutch nature and possible suitability of species to survive and reproduce successfully under present or future

  11. Climate change and temperature-linked hatchling mortality at a globally important sea turtle nesting site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laloë, Jacques-Olivier; Cozens, Jacquie; Renom, Berta; Taxonera, Albert; Hays, Graeme C

    2017-11-01

    The study of temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) in vertebrates has attracted major scientific interest. Recently, concerns for species with TSD in a warming world have increased because imbalanced sex ratios could potentially threaten population viability. In contrast, relatively little attention has been given to the direct effects of increased temperatures on successful embryonic development. Using 6603 days of sand temperature data recorded across 6 years at a globally important loggerhead sea turtle rookery-the Cape Verde Islands-we show the effects of warming incubation temperatures on the survival of hatchlings in nests. Incorporating published data (n = 110 data points for three species across 12 sites globally), we show the generality of relationships between hatchling mortality and incubation temperature and hence the broad applicability of our findings to sea turtles in general. We use a mechanistic approach supplemented by empirical data to consider the linked effects of warming temperatures on hatchling output and on sex ratios for these species that exhibit TSD. Our results show that higher temperatures increase the natural growth rate of the population as more females are produced. As a result, we project that numbers of nests at this globally important site will increase by approximately 30% by the year 2100. However, as incubation temperatures near lethal levels, the natural growth rate of the population decreases and the long-term survival of this turtle population is threatened. Our results highlight concerns for species with TSD in a warming world and underline the need for research to extend from a focus on temperature-dependent sex determination to a focus on temperature-linked hatchling mortalities. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Diving behavior and movements of juvenile hawksbill turtles Eretmochelys imbricata on a Caribbean coral reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blumenthal, J. M.; Austin, T. J.; Bothwell, J. B.; Broderick, A. C.; Ebanks-Petrie, G.; Olynik, J. R.; Orr, M. F.; Solomon, J. L.; Witt, M. J.; Godley, B. J.

    2009-03-01

    As historically abundant spongivores, hawksbill turtles Eretmochelys imbricata likely played a key ecological role on coral reefs. However, coral reefs are now experiencing global declines and many hawksbill populations are critically reduced. For endangered species, tracking movement has been recognized as fundamental to management. Since movements in marine vertebrates encompass three dimensions, evaluation of diving behavior and range is required to characterize marine turtle habitat. In this study, habitat use of hawksbill turtles on a Caribbean coral reef was elucidated by quantifying diel depth utilization and movements in relation to the boundaries of marine protected areas. Time depth recorders (TDRs) and ultrasonic tags were deployed on 21 Cayman Islands hawksbills, ranging in size from 26.4 to 58.4 cm straight carapace length. Study animals displayed pronounced diel patterns of diurnal activity and nocturnal resting, where diurnal dives were significantly shorter, deeper, and more active. Mean diurnal dive depth (±SD) was 8 ± 5 m, range 2-20 m, mean nocturnal dive depth was 5 ± 5 m, range 1-14 m, and maximum diurnal dive depth was 43 ± 27 m, range 7-91 m. Larger individuals performed significantly longer dives. Body mass was significantly correlated with mean dive depth for nocturnal but not diurnal dives. However, maximum diurnal dive depth was significantly correlated with body mass, suggesting partitioning of vertical habitat by size. Thus, variable dive capacity may reduce intraspecific competition and provide resistance to degradation in shallow habitats. Larger hawksbills may also represent important predators on deep reefs, creating a broad ecological footprint over a range of depths.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. Vibrio cholerae Colonization of Soft-Shelled Turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jiazheng; Yan, Meiying; Gao, He; Lu, Xin; Kan, Biao

    2017-07-15

    Vibrio cholerae is an important human pathogen and environmental microflora species that can both propagate in the human intestine and proliferate in zooplankton and aquatic organisms. Cholera is transmitted through food and water. In recent years, outbreaks caused by V. cholerae -contaminated soft-shelled turtles, contaminated mainly with toxigenic serogroup O139, have been frequently reported, posing a new foodborne disease public health problem. In this study, the colonization by toxigenic V. cholerae on the body surfaces and intestines of soft-shelled turtles was explored. Preferred colonization sites on the turtle body surfaces, mainly the carapace and calipash of the dorsal side, were observed for the O139 and O1 strains. Intestinal colonization was also found. The colonization factors of V. cholerae played different roles in the colonization of the soft-shelled turtle's body surface and intestine. Mannose-sensitive hemagglutinin (MSHA) of V. cholerae was necessary for body surface colonization, but no roles were found for toxin-coregulated pili (TCP) or N -acetylglucosamine-binding protein A (GBPA). Both TCP and GBPA play important roles for colonization in the intestine, whereas the deletion of MSHA revealed only a minor colonization-promoting role for this factor. Our study demonstrated that V. cholerae can colonize the surfaces and the intestines of soft-shelled turtles and indicated that the soft-shelled turtles played a role in the transmission of cholera. In addition, this study showed that the soft-shelled turtle has potential value as an animal model in studies of the colonization and environmental adaption mechanisms of V. cholerae in aquatic organisms. IMPORTANCE Cholera is transmitted through water and food. Soft-shelled turtles contaminated with Vibrio cholerae (commonly the serogroup O139 strains) have caused many foodborne infections and outbreaks in recent years, and they have become a foodborne disease problem. Except for epidemiological

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susan G Heaslip

    Full Text Available 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

  16. Fine-scale monitoring of routine deep dives by gravid leatherback turtles during the internesting interval indicate a capital breeding strategy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junichi Okuyama

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The dive behavior of gravid leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea was studied during the internesting interval in two western Pacific nesting regions: Papua Barat, Indonesia, and the Solomon Islands in 2006, 2007 and 2010. We used three types of dive data: time-at-depth data (Papua Barat: N = 4; Solomon Islands: N = 6, intermittent dive data (Papua Barat: N = 6 obtained from ARGOS satellite transmitters, and continuous dive data obtained from recovered semi-archival tags (Papua Barat: N = 1, Solomon Islands: N = 1. All dive data demonstrated that the leatherback turtles routinely dove to deep waters (around 150 m throughout the internesting interval. The continuous dive data showed that turtles spent 37.3% of their time in routine deep dives and that they stayed in cold waters below the thermocline. Fine-scale monitoring (1-s interval, 0.5 m of resolution suggested that these routine deep dives were not accompanied with any wiggles (up-and-down undulations in the depth profile or flat-bottom phases, and they reached deep waters by gliding, which suggests that these dives may have served to conserve energy and/or to thermoregulate. Comparison with the dive behavior in other regions (Costa Rica, French Guiana, Grenada, Malaysia, and St. Croix suggests that gravid leatherback turtles in all regions except French Guiana assume an energy-saving strategy during the internesting interval that involves gliding to or resting on the sea floor in colder water. The behavioral tactics (dive patterns they use, however, differ because of bathymetric constraints.

  17. Are thermal barriers "higher" in deep sea turtle nests?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santidrián Tomillo, Pilar; Fonseca, Luis; Paladino, Frank V; Spotila, James R; Oro, Daniel

    2017-01-01

    Thermal tolerances are affected by the range of temperatures that species encounter in their habitat. Daniel Janzen hypothesized in his "Why mountain passes are higher in the tropics" that temperature gradients were effective barriers to animal movements where climatic uniformity was high. Sea turtles bury their eggs providing some thermal stability that varies with depth. We assessed the relationship between thermal uniformity and thermal tolerance in nests of three species of sea turtles. We considered that barriers were "high" when small thermal changes had comparatively large effects and "low" when the effects were small. Mean temperature was lower and fluctuated less in species that dig deeper nests. Thermal barriers were comparatively "higher" in leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) nests, which were the deepest, as embryo mortality increased at lower "high" temperatures than in olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) and green turtle (Chelonia mydas) nests. Sea turtles have temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) and embryo mortality increased as temperature approached the upper end of the transitional range of temperatures (TRT) that produces both sexes (temperature producing 100% female offspring) in leatherback and olive ridley turtles. As thermal barriers are "higher" in some species than in others, the effects of climate warming on embryo mortality is likely to vary among sea turtles. Population resilience to climate warming may also depend on the balance between temperatures that produce female offspring and those that reduce embryo survival.

  18. Are thermal barriers "higher" in deep sea turtle nests?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pilar Santidrián Tomillo

    Full Text Available Thermal tolerances are affected by the range of temperatures that species encounter in their habitat. Daniel Janzen hypothesized in his "Why mountain passes are higher in the tropics" that temperature gradients were effective barriers to animal movements where climatic uniformity was high. Sea turtles bury their eggs providing some thermal stability that varies with depth. We assessed the relationship between thermal uniformity and thermal tolerance in nests of three species of sea turtles. We considered that barriers were "high" when small thermal changes had comparatively large effects and "low" when the effects were small. Mean temperature was lower and fluctuated less in species that dig deeper nests. Thermal barriers were comparatively "higher" in leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea nests, which were the deepest, as embryo mortality increased at lower "high" temperatures than in olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea and green turtle (Chelonia mydas nests. Sea turtles have temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD and embryo mortality increased as temperature approached the upper end of the transitional range of temperatures (TRT that produces both sexes (temperature producing 100% female offspring in leatherback and olive ridley turtles. As thermal barriers are "higher" in some species than in others, the effects of climate warming on embryo mortality is likely to vary among sea turtles. Population resilience to climate warming may also depend on the balance between temperatures that produce female offspring and those that reduce embryo survival.

  19. The role of turtles as coral reef macroherbivores

    KAUST Repository

    Goatley, Christopher H. R.

    2012-06-29

    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. © 2012 Goatley et al.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. Are thermal barriers "higher" in deep sea turtle nests?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santidrián Tomillo, Pilar; Fonseca, Luis; Paladino, Frank V.; Spotila, James R.; Oro, Daniel

    2017-01-01

    Thermal tolerances are affected by the range of temperatures that species encounter in their habitat. Daniel Janzen hypothesized in his “Why mountain passes are higher in the tropics” that temperature gradients were effective barriers to animal movements where climatic uniformity was high. Sea turtles bury their eggs providing some thermal stability that varies with depth. We assessed the relationship between thermal uniformity and thermal tolerance in nests of three species of sea turtles. We considered that barriers were “high” when small thermal changes had comparatively large effects and “low” when the effects were small. Mean temperature was lower and fluctuated less in species that dig deeper nests. Thermal barriers were comparatively “higher” in leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) nests, which were the deepest, as embryo mortality increased at lower “high” temperatures than in olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) and green turtle (Chelonia mydas) nests. Sea turtles have temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) and embryo mortality increased as temperature approached the upper end of the transitional range of temperatures (TRT) that produces both sexes (temperature producing 100% female offspring) in leatherback and olive ridley turtles. As thermal barriers are “higher” in some species than in others, the effects of climate warming on embryo mortality is likely to vary among sea turtles. Population resilience to climate warming may also depend on the balance between temperatures that produce female offspring and those that reduce embryo survival. PMID:28545092

  2. Galapagos Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-01-01

    This true-color image of the Galapagos Islands was acquired on March 12, 2002, by the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), flying aboard NASA's Terra satellite. The Galapagos Islands, which are part of Ecuador, sit in the Pacific Ocean about 1000 km (620 miles) west of South America. As the three craters on the largest island (Isabela Island) suggest, the archipelago was created by volcanic eruptions, which took place millions of years ago. Unlike most remote islands in the Pacific, the Galapagos have gone relatively untouched by humans over the past few millennia. As a result, many unique species have continued to thrive on the islands. Over 95 percent of the islands' reptile species and nearly three quarters of its land bird species cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Two of the more well known are the Galapagos giant tortoise and marine iguanas. The unhindered evolutionary development of the islands' species inspired Charles Darwin to begin The Origin of Species eight years after his visit there. To preserve the unique wildlife on the islands, the Ecuadorian government made the entire archipelago a national park in 1959. Each year roughly 60,000 tourists visit these islands to experience what Darwin did over a century and a half ago. Image courtesy Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. Inter-nesting movements and habitat-use of adult female Kemp's ridley turtles in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donna J Shaver

    Full Text Available Species vulnerability is increased when individuals congregate in restricted areas for breeding; yet, breeding habitats are not well defined for many marine species. Identification and quantification of these breeding habitats are essential to effective conservation. Satellite telemetry and switching state-space modeling (SSM were used to define inter-nesting habitat of endangered Kemp's ridley turtles (Lepidochelys kempii in the Gulf of Mexico. Turtles were outfitted with satellite transmitters after nesting at Padre Island National Seashore, Texas, USA, from 1998 through 2013 (n = 60; Rancho Nuevo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, during 2010 and 2011 (n = 11; and Tecolutla, Veracruz, Mexico, during 2012 and 2013 (n = 11. These sites span the range of nearly all nesting by this species. Inter-nesting habitat lies in a narrow band of nearshore western Gulf of Mexico waters in the USA and Mexico, with mean water depth of 14 to 19 m within a mean distance to shore of 6 to 11 km as estimated by 50% kernel density estimate, α-Hull, and minimum convex polygon methodologies. Turtles tracked during the inter-nesting period moved, on average, 17.5 km/day and a mean total distance of 398 km. Mean home ranges occupied were 725 to 2948 km2. Our results indicate that these nearshore western Gulf waters represent critical inter-nesting habitat for this species, where threats such as shrimp trawling and oil and gas platforms also occur. Up to half of all adult female Kemp's ridleys occupy this habitat for weeks to months during each nesting season. Because inter-nesting habitat for this species is concentrated in nearshore waters of the western Gulf of Mexico in both Mexico and the USA, international collaboration is needed to protect this essential habitat and the turtles occurring within it.

  5. Phylogenetic relationships among extinct and extant turtles: the position of Pleurodira and the effects of the fossils on rooting crown-group turtles

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sterli, J.

    2010-01-01

    The origin and evolution of the crown-group of turtles (Cryptodira + Pleurodira) is one of the most interesting topics in turtle evolution, second perhaps only to the phylogenetic position of turtles among amniotes. The present contribution focuses on the former problem, exploring the phylogenetic

  6. Phallus development in the turtle Trachemys scripta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larkins, Christine E; Cohn, Martin J

    2015-01-01

    Development of a phallus occurs in almost all amniotes; however, considerable variation in phallus morphology among different amniote lineages has contributed to the debate about their structural homology. Mammals are the only amniotes that form a closed urethral tube within the penis. In contrast, the phallus of reptiles and birds has an open urethral groove, or sulcus spermaticus, that facilitates directional flow of sperm along the penis. One condition of structural homology is that the organs should share a common developmental origin; de novo development from different embryonic progenitors would indicate that the structure re-evolved in a new position. Although a common developmental origin does not itself demonstrate homology, different origins could indicate a lack of homology. To further understand how development of external genitalia evolved in amniotes, we examined this in the turtle Trachemys scripta. We found that phallus development in the turtle closely resembles that of mice at the tissue, cellular, and molecular levels, consistent with the hypothesis that their phalluses are homologous structures. We find that acquisition of specialized characters, such as a closed urethral tube, involved lineage-specific specialization of the common plan for amniote phallus development.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

    Marine turtles are generally viewed as vulnerable to climate change because of the role that temperature plays in the sex determination of embryos, their long life history, long age-to-maturity and their highly migratory nature. Extant species of marine turtles probably arose during the mid-late Jurassic period (180-150 Mya) so have survived past shifts in climate, including glacial periods and warm events and therefore have some capacity for adaptation. The present-day rates of increase of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, and associated temperature changes, are very rapid; the capacity of marine turtles to adapt to this rapid change may be compromised by their relatively long generation times. We consider the evidence and likely consequences of present-day trends of climate change on marine turtles. Impacts are likely to be complex and may be positive as well as negative. For example, rising sea levels and increased storm intensity will negatively impact turtle nesting beaches; however, extreme storms can also lead to coastal accretion. Alteration of wind patterns and ocean currents will have implications for juveniles and adults in the open ocean. Warming temperatures are likely to impact directly all turtle life stages, such as the sex determination of embryos in the nest and growth rates. Warming of 2 degrees C could potentially result in a large shift in sex ratios towards females at many rookeries, although some populations may be resilient to warming if female biases remain within levels where population success is not impaired. Indirectly, climate change is likely to impact turtles through changes in food availability. The highly migratory nature of turtles and their ability to move considerable distances in short periods of time should increase their resilience to climate change. However, any such resilience of marine turtles to climate change is likely to be severely compromised by other anthropogenic influences. Development of coastlines may

  8. Summary of bacteria found in captive sea turtles 2002-Present

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The database contains a summary of bacteria which have been isolated in sea turtles dead and alive at the NOAA Galveston Laboratory and is based on reports received...

  9. Gulf of Mexico Kemps ridley sea turtle age and growth

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This study involves analysis of skeletal growth marks in humerus bones of 333 Kemps ridley sea turtles stranded dead along the Gulf of Mexico US coast (hatchling to...

  10. The Vertebral Formula of the African Sideneck Turtle ( Pelusios ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Pelusios castaneus), was carried out with the view of deriving its vertebral formula which could be useful in the comparative systematic anatomy of sea and freshwater turtles as well as in paleontological and archaeological investigations. A total ...

  11. Monthly morphometric data on captive loggerhead sea turtles 1995-present

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The database contains monthly measurements taken on captive reared sea turtles. Measurements include: straight carapace length nuchal notch to carapace tip, straight...

  12. Molecular phylogeny and divergence of the map turtles (Emydidae: Graptemys).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomson, Robert C; Spinks, Phillip Q; Shaffer, H Bradley

    2018-04-01

    The map turtles (genus Graptemys) comprise a morphologically diverse clade that forms a major component of the southeastern US hotspot of chelonian diversity. Map turtles have experienced both recent and rapid diversification resulting in long-standing uncertainty regarding species boundaries and phylogenetic relationships within the genus as well as timing of their divergence. We present a phylogeny for the group that includes geographically representative sampling for all described species and subspecies. We make use of an empirical prior on rates of molecular evolution to estimate divergence times with a molecular clock under a coalescent framework. Together, the phylogeny and divergence time estimates suggest that diversification has been both more recent and more rapid than has so far been suspected. We provide a well-supported evolutionary framework for Graptemys that is necessary for understanding map turtle diversity, biogeography, and for conservation of this threatened clade of turtles. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. How to Explain a Cycloid to a Turtle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leron, Uri; Armon, Uzi

    1988-01-01

    Discusses various representations of a curve and the relationships between them. Describes mathematical exercises which use Logo to derive a turtle procedure for graphically representing a cycloid. Provides a proof of the trigonometric series formula to show equality. (RT)

  14. Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Research Collection (MMASTR)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla houses one of the largest marine mammal and marine turtle sample collections in the world, with over 140,000...

  15. Conservation of freshwater turtles in Amazonia: retrospective and future prospects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aderson de Souza Alcântara

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available This paper aims to discuss the current status of conservation of freshwater turtles of the Amazon and the absence of the genus Podocnemis the Official List of Species of Brazilian Fauna Threatened with Extinction. Amazonian turtles are used as food by indigenous people and fisherman communities. However, fishing of adult females, uncontrolled egg collecting, habitat degradation and trafficking in wildlife have caused the decline of these populations. Nevertheless, Podocnemis expansa and Podocnemis unifilis were not included in the Brazil’s official list of animals threatened. Therefore, the turtles remain at great risk, due to the intense pressure that they are suffering. It is recommended that the criteria and the conservation status are reviewed including those animals in the category of vulnerable and to ensure a thorough review and modification in the current Brazilian law to be covered studies and management of turtles for subsistence, respecting and adding value to way of life of Amazonian peoples.

  16. Abundance of juvenile eastern box turtles in manages forest stands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Z. Felix; Y. Wang; H. Czech; C. Schweitzer

    2008-01-01

    Between 2002 and 2005, we used drift fences and artificial pools to sample juvenile eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina) in northeastern Alabama in forest stands experimentally treated to retain various amounts of overstory trees—clear-cuts and those with 25%–50% and 75%–100% of trees retained.We captured juvenile turtles only in clear-cut and 25%–50% retention...

  17. Saving turtles: Talisman, Elf and BHP make room for reptiles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lorenz, A.

    1999-05-03

    Cooperation between Australia`s BHP Petroleum, Canada`s Talisman Energy and France`s El Aquitaine to help the Trinidadian government and conservation groups to save the nesting grounds of the Carribean sea turtle is described. The nesting ground is located near one of the projects the three companies are working on. The giant turtle, also called the leatherback, can weigh as much as a tonne and have a 2.4 metre flipper span, have their nesting places on Trinidad`s northeastern shore. The three companies are working in 36 metres of water opposite two of the turtles` last nesting places. Had the companies proceeded as planned, the project could have destroyed their nesting place. Instead, the companies put up $90,000 for a three-month research project to monitor the movement of the turtles with satellite telemetry. In order to assess the turtles` hearing, tiny wires were inserted in the the turtles` brain to measure brain wave patterns - a method similar to that used on human neo-natals. When it was discovered that the turtles did not adapt well to captivity, they were fitted with earphones and transmitter during 10-minute period when they were in the quiescent state of egg-laying. The companies proceeded with a seismic program that used cables on the sea floor. Rather than use a large and noisy survey vessel to lay long streamers on a wide area, they laid shorter strips on a grid with smaller, quieter boats. That was sufficient for the turtles to continue normal activity as females arrived on the beach in the usual numbers to nest and to lay eggs. The documentation provided to the Trinidadian government was well received and plans are afoot to use it as a benchmark in assessing future exploratory applications within Trinidadian jurisdiction.

  18. Complete mitochondrial genome suggests diapsid affinities of turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zardoya, R; Meyer, A

    1998-11-24

    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.

  19. Diatoms on the carapace of common snapping turtles: Luticola spp. dominate despite spatial variation in assemblages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shelly C Wu

    Full Text Available Filamentous algae are often visible on the carapaces of freshwater turtles and these algae are dominated by a few species with varying geographic distributions. Compared to filamentous algae, little is known about the much more speciose microalgae on turtles. Our objectives were to compare the diatom flora on a single turtle species (the common snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina across part of its range to examine spatial patterns and determine whether specific diatom taxa were consistently associated with turtles (as occurs in the filamentous alga Basicladia spp.. Using preserved turtle specimens from museums, we systematically sampled diatoms on the carapaces of 25 snapping turtles across five states. The diverse diatom assemblages formed two groups-the southern Oklahoma group and the northern Illinois/Wisconsin/New York group, with Arkansas not differing from either group. Of the six diatom species found in all five states, four species are widespread, whereas Luticola cf. goeppertiana and L. cf. mutica are undescribed species, known only from turtles in our study. L. cf. goeppertiana comprised 83% of the diatom abundance on Oklahoma turtles and was relatively more abundant on southern turtles (Oklahoma and Arkansas than on northern turtles (where mean abundance/state was > 10%. L. cf. mutica was the most abundant species (40% on New York turtles. Some Luticola species are apparently turtle associates and results support a pattern of spatial variation in Luticola species, similar to that in Basicladia. Using museum specimens is an efficient and effective method to study the distribution of micro-epibionts.

  20. Diatoms on the carapace of common snapping turtles: Luticola spp. dominate despite spatial variation in assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Shelly C; Bergey, Elizabeth A

    2017-01-01

    Filamentous algae are often visible on the carapaces of freshwater turtles and these algae are dominated by a few species with varying geographic distributions. Compared to filamentous algae, little is known about the much more speciose microalgae on turtles. Our objectives were to compare the diatom flora on a single turtle species (the common snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina) across part of its range to examine spatial patterns and determine whether specific diatom taxa were consistently associated with turtles (as occurs in the filamentous alga Basicladia spp.). Using preserved turtle specimens from museums, we systematically sampled diatoms on the carapaces of 25 snapping turtles across five states. The diverse diatom assemblages formed two groups-the southern Oklahoma group and the northern Illinois/Wisconsin/New York group, with Arkansas not differing from either group. Of the six diatom species found in all five states, four species are widespread, whereas Luticola cf. goeppertiana and L. cf. mutica are undescribed species, known only from turtles in our study. L. cf. goeppertiana comprised 83% of the diatom abundance on Oklahoma turtles and was relatively more abundant on southern turtles (Oklahoma and Arkansas) than on northern turtles (where mean abundance/state was > 10%). L. cf. mutica was the most abundant species (40%) on New York turtles. Some Luticola species are apparently turtle associates and results support a pattern of spatial variation in Luticola species, similar to that in Basicladia. Using museum specimens is an efficient and effective method to study the distribution of micro-epibionts.

  1. The Distribution and Conservation Status of Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas) and Olive Ridley Turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) on Pulau Pinang beaches (Malaysia), 1995–2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salleh, Sarahaizad Mohd; Yobe, Mansor; Sah, Shahrul Anuar Mohd

    2012-01-01

    The Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) and Olive Ridley Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) are the only sea turtles with recorded landings in the Pulau Pinang coastal area. The Green Turtle has been the most abundant and widely distributed sea turtle in this area since it was first surveyed in 1995. Statistical analysis by the Pulau Pinang Department of Fisheries on the distribution of sea turtles from 2001 through 2009 has identified Pantai Kerachut and Telok Kampi as the most strongly preferred beaches for Green Turtle landings, with records for almost every month in every year. Green Turtle tracks and nests have also been found along the coast of Pulau Pinang at Batu Ferringhi, Tanjong Bungah, Pantai Medan, Pantai Belanda, Telok Kumbar, Gertak Sanggul, Moonlight Beach, Telok Duyung, Telok Aling, Telok Bahang and Telok Katapang. The Olive Ridley Turtle is present in smaller numbers; landing and nesting have only been recorded on a few beaches. There are no previous records of Olive Ridley landings at Pantai Kerachut and Telok Kampi, but tracks and nests have been found at Telok Kumbar, Tanjong Bungah, Pantai Medan, Telok Duyung and Gertak Sanggul. A Turtle Conservation Centre has been established at Pantai Kerachut to protect these species from extinction in Pulau Pinang. This paper presents details of the records and distribution of sea turtles in Pulau Pinang from 1995 through 2009. PMID:24575226

  2. The Distribution and Conservation Status of Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas) and Olive Ridley Turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) on Pulau Pinang beaches (Malaysia), 1995-2009.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salleh, Sarahaizad Mohd; Yobe, Mansor; Sah, Shahrul Anuar Mohd

    2012-05-01

    The Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) and Olive Ridley Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) are the only sea turtles with recorded landings in the Pulau Pinang coastal area. The Green Turtle has been the most abundant and widely distributed sea turtle in this area since it was first surveyed in 1995. Statistical analysis by the Pulau Pinang Department of Fisheries on the distribution of sea turtles from 2001 through 2009 has identified Pantai Kerachut and Telok Kampi as the most strongly preferred beaches for Green Turtle landings, with records for almost every month in every year. Green Turtle tracks and nests have also been found along the coast of Pulau Pinang at Batu Ferringhi, Tanjong Bungah, Pantai Medan, Pantai Belanda, Telok Kumbar, Gertak Sanggul, Moonlight Beach, Telok Duyung, Telok Aling, Telok Bahang and Telok Katapang. The Olive Ridley Turtle is present in smaller numbers; landing and nesting have only been recorded on a few beaches. There are no previous records of Olive Ridley landings at Pantai Kerachut and Telok Kampi, but tracks and nests have been found at Telok Kumbar, Tanjong Bungah, Pantai Medan, Telok Duyung and Gertak Sanggul. A Turtle Conservation Centre has been established at Pantai Kerachut to protect these species from extinction in Pulau Pinang. This paper presents details of the records and distribution of sea turtles in Pulau Pinang from 1995 through 2009.

  3. Emerging from the rib: resolving the turtle controversies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, Ritva; Riccio, Paul; Gilbert, Scott F; Cebra-Thomas, Judith

    2015-05-01

    Two of the major controversies in the present study of turtle shell development involve the mechanism by which the carapacial ridge initiates shell formation and the mechanism by which each rib forms the costal bones adjacent to it. This paper claims that both sides of each debate might be correct-but within the species examined. Mechanism is more properly "mechanisms," and there is more than one single way to initiate carapace formation and to form the costal bones. In the initiation of the shell, the rib precursors may be kept dorsal by either "axial displacement" (in the hard-shell turtles) or "axial arrest" (in the soft-shell turtle Pelodiscus), or by a combination of these. The former process would deflect the rib into the dorsal dermis and allow it to continue its growth there, while the latter process would truncate rib growth. In both instances, though, the result is to keep the ribs from extending into the ventral body wall. Our recent work has shown that the properties of the carapacial ridge, a key evolutionary innovation of turtles, differ greatly between these two groups. Similarly, the mechanism of costal bone formation may differ between soft-shell and hard-shell turtles, in that the hard-shell species may have both periosteal flattening as well as dermal bone induction, while the soft-shelled turtles may have only the first of these processes. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Origin of the unique ventilatory apparatus of turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-07

    The turtle body plan differs markedly from that of other vertebrates and serves as a model system for studying structural and developmental evolution. Incorporation of the ribs into the turtle shell negates the costal movements that effect lung ventilation in other air-breathing amniotes. Instead, turtles have a unique abdominal-muscle-based ventilatory apparatus whose evolutionary origins have remained mysterious. Here we show through broadly comparative anatomical and histological analyses that an early member of the turtle stem lineage has several turtle-specific ventilation characters: rigid ribcage, inferred loss of intercostal muscles and osteological correlates of the primary expiratory muscle. Our results suggest that the ventilation mechanism of turtles evolved through a division of labour between the ribs and muscles of the trunk in which the abdominal muscles took on the primary ventilatory function, whereas the broadened ribs became the primary means of stabilizing the trunk. These changes occurred approximately 50 million years before the evolution of the fully ossified shell.

  5. ESTABLISHMENT OF A FIBRINOGEN REFERENCE INTERVAL IN ORNATE BOX TURTLES (TERRAPENE ORNATA ORNATA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parkinson, Lily; Olea-Popelka, Francisco; Klaphake, Eric; Dadone, Liza; Johnston, Matthew

    2016-09-01

    This study sought to establish a reference interval for fibrinogen in healthy ornate box turtles ( Terrapene ornata ornata). A total of 48 turtles were enrolled, with 42 turtles deemed to be noninflammatory and thus fitting the inclusion criteria and utilized to estimate a fibrinogen reference interval. Turtles were excluded based upon physical examination and blood work abnormalities. A Shapiro-Wilk normality test indicated that the noninflammatory turtle fibrinogen values were normally distributed (Gaussian distribution) with an average of 108 mg/dl and a 95% confidence interval of the mean of 97.9-117 mg/dl. Those turtles excluded from the reference interval because of abnormalities affecting their health had significantly different fibrinogen values (P = 0.313). A reference interval for healthy ornate box turtles was calculated. Further investigation into the utility of fibrinogen measurement for clinical usage in ornate box turtles is warranted.

  6. Applying new genetic approaches to improve quality of population assessment of green and loggerhead turtles

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — As the NOAA-Fisheries? National Sea Turtle Genetics Lab, the SWFSC Marine Turtle Genetics Program has the lead responsibility for generating, analyzing and...

  7. Estimation of survival rates and abundance of green turtles along the U.S. West Coast

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — To determine abundance and survival rates of the east Pacific green turtles in the northern most foraging grounds, the turtle research groups at SWFSC have been...

  8. Seagrasses in the Age of Sea Turtle Conservation and Shark Overfishing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael R Heithaus

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Efforts to conserve globally declining herbivorous green sea turtles have resulted in promising growth of some populations. These trends could significantly impact critical ecosystem services provided by seagrass meadows on which turtles feed. Expanding turtle populations could improve seagrass ecosystem health by removing seagrass biomass and preventing of the formation of sediment anoxia. However, overfishing of large sharks, the primary green turtle predators, could facilitate turtle populations growing beyond historical sizes and trigger detrimental ecosystem impacts mirroring those on land when top predators were extirpated. Experimental data from multiple ocean basins suggest that increasing turtle populations can negatively impact seagrasses, including triggering virtual ecosystem collapse. Impacts of large turtle populations on seagrasses are reduced in the presence of intact shark populations. Healthy populations of sharks and turtles, therefore, are likely vital to restoring or maintaining seagrass ecosystem structure, function, and their value in supporting fisheries and as a carbon sink.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  11. One foot out the door: limb function during swimming in terrestrial versus aquatic turtles

    OpenAIRE

    Young, Vanessa K Hilliard; Vest, Kaitlyn G.; Rivera, Angela R. V.; Espinoza, Nora R.; Blob, Richard W.

    2017-01-01

    Specialization for a new habitat often entails a cost to performance in the ancestral habitat. Although aquatic lifestyles are ancestral among extant cryptodiran turtles, multiple lineages, including tortoises (Testudinidae) and emydid box turtles (genus Terrapene), independently specialized for terrestrial habitats. To what extent is swimming function retained in such lineages despite terrestrial specialization? Because tortoises diverged from other turtles over 50 Ma, but box turtles did so...

  12. Protecting the Sacred Water Bundle: Education about Fracking at Turtle Mountain Community College

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blue, Stacie

    2017-01-01

    Leaving the plains of North Dakota and entering the hills known as the Turtle Mountains, the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians (TMBCI) reservation is found. Located on the TMBCI reservation, Turtle mountain Community College (TMCC) has provided opportunities for all interested parties to learn about fracking and why the tribe banned it.…

  13. Protection of marine birds and turtles at St Brandon's Rock, Indian ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A survey of seabirds and turtles at St Brandon's Rock, 400 km north of Mauritius, was undertaken in 2010. We estimated that 1 084 191 seabirds comprising seven breeding species and excluding non-breeders were present at the archipelago and we counted 279 turtle tracks and nesting pits of green turtles Chelonia ...

  14. 78 FR 66841 - Turtles Intrastate and Interstate Requirements; Confirmation of Effective Date

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-07

    ... DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 1240 [Docket No. FDA-2013-N-0639] Turtles Intrastate and Interstate Requirements; Confirmation of Effective Date AGENCY... turtle eggs and live turtles with a carapace length of less than 4 inches to remove procedures for...

  15. Calcium spikes and calcium plateaux evoked by differential polarization in dendrites of turtle motoneurones in vitro

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hounsgaard, J; Kiehn, O

    1993-01-01

    The ability of dendrites in turtle motoneurones to support calcium spikes and calcium plateaux was investigated using differential polarization by applied electric fields. 2. Electric fields were generated by passing current through transverse slices of the turtle spinal cord between two plate......+ spikes and Ca2+ plateaux are present in dendrites of spinal motoneurones of the turtle....

  16. 75 FR 47825 - Emergency Exemption; Issuance of Emergency Permit to Rehabilitate Sea Turtles Affected by the...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-08-09

    ...] Emergency Exemption; Issuance of Emergency Permit to Rehabilitate Sea Turtles Affected by the Deepwater... threaten the Gulf of Mexico environment and its inhabitants, including five sea turtle species. We, the U.S...) permit, to aid sea turtles affected by the oil spill. ADDRESSES: Documents and other information...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 subject...

  18. 50 CFR 648.126 - Protection of threatened and endangered sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... sea turtles. 648.126 Section 648.126 Wildlife and Fisheries FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT... 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...

  19. Deep time perspective on turtle neck evolution: chasing the Hox code by vertebral morphology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Böhmer, Christine; Werneburg, Ingmar

    2017-08-21

    The unparalleled ability of turtle neck retraction is possible in three different modes, which characterize stem turtles, living side-necked (Pleurodira), and hidden-necked (Cryptodira) turtles, respectively. Despite the conservatism in vertebral count among turtles, there is significant functional and morphological regionalization in the cervical vertebral column. Since Hox genes play a fundamental role in determining the differentiation in vertebra morphology and based on our reconstruction of evolutionary genetics in deep time, we hypothesize genetic differences among the turtle groups and between turtles and other land vertebrates. We correlated anterior Hox gene expression and the quantifiable shape of the vertebrae to investigate the morphological modularity in the neck across living and extinct turtles. This permitted the reconstruction of the hypothetical ancestral Hox code pattern of the whole turtle clade. The scenario of the evolution of axial patterning in turtles indicates shifts in the spatial expression of HoxA-5 in relation to the reduction of cervical ribs in modern turtles and of HoxB-5 linked with a lower morphological differentiation between the anterior cervical vertebrae observed in cryptodirans. By comparison with the mammalian pattern, we illustrate how the fixed count of eight cervical vertebrae in turtles resulted from the emergence of the unique turtle shell.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. Blood oxygen transport in common map turtles during simulated hibernation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maginniss, Leigh A; Ekelund, Summer A; Ultsch, Gordon R

    2004-01-01

    We assessed the effects of cold and submergence on blood oxygen transport in common map turtles (Graptemys geographica). Winter animals were acclimated for 6-7 wk to one of three conditions at 3 degrees C: air breathing (AB-3 degrees C), normoxic submergence (NS-3 degrees C), and hypoxic (PO2=49 Torr) submergence (HS-3 degrees C). NS-3 degrees C turtles exhibited a respiratory alkalosis (pH 8.07; PCO2=7.9 Torr; [lactate]=2.2 mM) relative to AB-3 degrees C animals (pH 7.89; PCO2=13.4 Torr; [lactate]=1.1 mM). HS-3 degrees C animals experienced a profound metabolic acidosis (pH 7.30; PCO2=7.9 Torr; [lactate]=81 mM). NS-3 degrees C turtles exhibited an increased blood O2 capacity; however, isoelectric focusing revealed no seasonal changes in the isohemoglobin (isoHb) profile. Blood O2 affinity was significantly increased by cold acclimation; half-saturation pressures (P50's) for air-breathing turtles at 3 degrees and 22 degrees C were 6.5 and 18.8 Torr, respectively. P50's for winter animals submerged in normoxic and hypoxic water were 5.2 and 6.5 Torr, respectively. CO2 Bohr slopes (Delta logP50/Delta pH) were -0.15, -0.16, and -0.07 for AB-3 degrees C, NS-3 degrees C, and HS-3 degrees C turtles, respectively; the corresponding value for AB-22 degrees C was -0.37. The O2 equilibrium curve (O2EC) shape was similar for AB-3 degrees C and NS-3 degrees C turtles; Hill plot n coefficients ranged from 1.8 to 2.0. The O2EC shape for HS-3 degrees C turtles was anomalous, exhibiting high O2 affinity below P50 and a right-shifted segment above half-saturation. We suggest that increases in Hb-O2 affinity and O2 capacity enhance extrapulmonary O2 uptake by turtles overwintering in normoxic water. The anomalous O2EC shape and reduced CO2 Bohr effect of HS-3 degrees C turtles may also promote some aerobic metabolism in hypoxic water.

  2. Global distribution of two fungal pathogens threatening endangered sea turtles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jullie M Sarmiento-Ramírez

    Full Text Available 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.

  3. Eutrophication and the dietary promotion of sea turtle tumors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyle S. Van Houtan

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2015 The Author(s).

  6. Homeotic shift at the dawn of the turtle evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szczygielski, Tomasz

    2017-04-01

    All derived turtles are characterized by one of the strongest reductions of the dorsal elements among Amniota, and have only 10 dorsal and eight cervical vertebrae. I demonstrate that the Late Triassic turtles, which represent successive stages of the shell evolution, indicate that the shift of the boundary between the cervical and dorsal sections of the vertebral column occurred over the course of several million years after the formation of complete carapace. The more generalized reptilian formula of at most seven cervicals and at least 11 dorsals is thus plesiomorphic for Testudinata. The morphological modifications associated with an anterior homeotic change of the first dorsal vertebra towards the last cervical vertebra in the Triassic turtles are partially recapitulated by the reduction of the first dorsal vertebra in crown-group Testudines, and they resemble the morphologies observed under laboratory conditions resulting from the experimental changes of Hox gene expression patterns. This homeotic shift hypothesis is supported by the, unique to turtles, restriction of Hox-5 expression domains, somitic precursors of scapula, and brachial plexus branches to the cervical region, by the number of the marginal scute-forming placodes, which was larger in the Triassic than in modern turtles, and by phylogenetic analyses.

  7. Dispersion of radioactively contamination turtles on the SRP: research and reconnaissance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lamb, T.; Taylor, B.; Gibbons, J.W.

    1986-01-01

    Although SREL continued long-term studies on turtles during 1986, much research effort centered on contaminated turtle dispersion. The problem of radionuclide contamination in turtles and their dispersal through aquatic sites on and off the Savannah River Plant (SRP) was approached along three fronts. The first involved site reconnaissance, where aquatic habitats, adjacent to contaminated areas on the SRP were identified and surveyed for contaminated turtles. The second approach involved the development of a dispersal model. Third, mitochondrial DNA analysis was conducted to assess genetic differentiation between turtle populations inhabiting either side of the Savannah River near SRP. 1 figures, 2 tables

  8. The fossil record of turtles in Colombia; a review of the discoveries, research and future challenges

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cadena, Edwin A

    2014-01-01

    This is a review article on the fossil record of turtles in colombia that includes: the early cretaceous turtles from Zapatoca and Villa de Leyva localities; the giant turtles from the Paleocene Cerrejon and Calenturitas Coal Mines; the early Miocene, earliest record of Chelus from Pubenza, Cundinamarca; the early to late Miocene large podocnemids, chelids and testudinids from Castilletes, Alta Guajira and La Venta; and the small late Pleistocene kinosternids from Pubenza, Cundinamarca. I also discuss here the current gaps in the fossil record of tropical South American turtles, as well as the ongoing research and future projects to be developed in order to understand better the evolutionary history of Colombian turtles.

  9. A morphological review of subspecies of the Asian box turtle, Cuora amboinensis (Testudines, Geomydidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ernst, Carl H.; Laemmerzahl, Arndt F.; Lovich, Jeffrey E.

    2016-01-01

    The turtle Cuora amboinensis has an extensive distribution covering most of southern mainland Asia, Indonesia, and extending to the Philippine Islands. Unlike many species, C. amboinensis occurs on both sides of Wallace's Line separating Asian and Australian flora and fauna. Four subspecies are currently recognized; Cuora a. kamaroma (southern continental Asia, Java and the northern Philippines [introduced]), C. a. lineata (Kachin Province, Myanmar [Burma] and adjacent Yunnan Province, China), C. a. couro (Sumatra, Java, Sumbawa, and adjacent smaller Indonesian islands); and C. a. amboinensis (Moluccas, Sulawesi, Philippines). Five pattern and 33 morphological characters were examined for variation in 691 individuals from throughout the species' range. Our analyses suggest that only two presently recognized subspecies are valid: amboinensis andkamaroma. Neither couro nor lineata are supported by our analysis. We recommend that C. a. couroshould be synonymized with the species C. amboinensis and C. a. lineata with the subspecies C. a. kamaroma.

  10. Estimates of the non-market value of sea turtles in Tobago using stated preference techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cazabon-Mannette, Michelle; Schuhmann, Peter W; Hailey, Adrian; Horrocks, Julia

    2017-05-01

    Economic benefits are derived from sea turtle tourism all over the world. Sea turtles also add value to underwater recreation and convey non-use values. This study examines the non-market value of sea turtles in Tobago. We use a choice experiment to estimate the value of sea turtle encounters to recreational SCUBA divers and the contingent valuation method to estimate the value of sea turtles to international tourists. Results indicate that turtle encounters were the most important dive attribute among those examined. Divers are willing to pay over US$62 per two tank dive for the first turtle encounter. The mean WTP for turtle conservation among international visitors to Tobago was US$31.13 which reflects a significant non-use value associated with actions targeted at keeping sea turtles from going extinct. These results illustrate significant non-use and non-consumptive use value of sea turtles, and highlight the importance of sea turtle conservation efforts in Tobago and throughout the Caribbean region. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Development of a Summarized Health Index (SHI) for Use in Predicting Survival in Sea Turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 turtles had significantly higher levels of aspartate aminotranspherase (AST), creatinine kinase (CK), creatinine and uric acid (UA) than surviving sea turtles (all p turtles and to improve veterinary care at rehabilitation facilities. PMID:25803431

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Description of cloacoscopy in the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Filippo Spadola

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the study was to describe cloacoscopy in the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta and to evaluate its efficacy in clinical practice. Cloacoscopy was performed on 31 turtles, 23 females and 8 males. Thirty minutes before anaesthesia, meloxicam (0.4 mg/kg was administered intramuscularly. Turtles were anaesthetised with a combination of 0.04 mg/kg dexmedetomidine and 4 mg/kg ketamine administered intramuscularly. Cloacoscopy was performed with a diagnostic telescope (10 mm diameter, 30 cm long, 0°, with an operating sheath or with a flexible colonoscope (13 mm diameter, 160 cm long. Turtles were placed in dorsal recumbence and endoscope was inserted through the vent. In the distal part of the proctodeum, phallus or clitoris were easily visualized. A finger and thumb were placed around the vent to act as a valve in order to control the fluid infusion. Flushing the cloaca with warm saline and 0.6% lidocaine allowed clear view. The urethral orifice was located centrally within the urogenital sinus. Further proximally, the slit of the urodeum with the distal sphincter of the colon could be visualized. Passing gently through the urethral orifice allowed direct visualization of the urinary bladder. After withdrawing and re-directing the endoscope into the coprodeum, the terminal part of the intestine was reached. From 31 loggerhead turtles examined, fishing lines were found in 23 animals. Cloacoscopy proved to be a feasible diagnostic method and it is suggested as a routine diagnostic tool for clinical assessment of loggerhead turtle patients.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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

    2013-01-01

    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 tu...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  16. Ingestion and defecation of marine debris by loggerhead sea turtles, Caretta caretta, from by-catches in the South-West Indian Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoarau, Ludovic; Ainley, Lara; Jean, Claire; Ciccione, Stéphane

    2014-07-15

    Marine debris, caused by anthropogenic pollution, is a major problem impacting marine wildlife worldwide. This study documents and quantifies the ingestion and defecation of debris by 74 loggerhead sea turtles, Caretta caretta, in the South-West Indian Ocean. Debris was found in 51.4% of gut or fecal samples of loggerheads by-catch from Reunion Island long liners. Anthropogenic debris was ubiquitous in our samples with plastics accounting for 96.2% of the total debris collected. No significant relationship was detected between the characteristics of ingested debris and the biometric characteristics of loggerheads. The number, weight, volume and mean length of debris were higher in gut content of deceased loggerheads than in fecal samples of live turtles, but not significantly, except for the mean length. This is the first record of debris ingestion by sea turtles in the Indian Ocean and our results highlight the magnitude of this pollution of the marine environment. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Temporal variation in demography of the Chocoan River turtle, Rhinoclemmys nasuta (Geoemydidae), on Isla Palma, Malaga Bay, pacific coast of Valle del Cauca

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garces Restrepo, Mario Fernando; Giraldo, Alan; Carr, John L

    2014-01-01

    Few long-term demographic studies have been conducted in freshwater turtles of South America despite the need for this type of inquiry to investigate natural variation and strengthen conservation efforts for these species. In this study, we examined variation in demography of the Chocoan River turtle (Rhinoclemmys nasuta) based on a population from an island locality in the Colombian pacific region between 2005 and 2012. At this locality we captured turtles by hand in five streams with a total area of 0.4 ha. We calculated population size with the jolly-seber method and compared the population structure of four time periods (2005-06, 2007, 2011 and 2012). we calculated the probability of survival and capture probability for males, females and juveniles using the cormack jolly seber model and we estimated the rate of population growth with the Popan model. We found increases and decreases in population size, and a significant increase in the percentage of juveniles in 2011 and 2012. In all periods, females dominated the sex structure of the population. Temporal variation in population size may be due to natural changes in habitat or density dependent effects. However, it may correspond with normal fluctuations in population parameters, therefore continuous monitoring that can be correlated with environmental and physical factors of the habitat could elucidate the causes of the variation.

  18. Encroachment of Human Activity on Sea Turtle Nesting Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  19. A model for simulating the active dispersal of juvenile sea turtles with a case study on western Pacific leatherback turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaspar, Philippe; Lalire, Maxime

    2017-01-01

    Oceanic currents are known to broadly shape the dispersal of juvenile sea turtles during their pelagic stage. Accordingly, simple passive drift models are widely used to investigate the distribution at sea of various juvenile sea turtle populations. However, evidence is growing that juveniles do not drift purely passively but also display some swimming activity likely directed towards favorable habitats. We therefore present here a novel Sea Turtle Active Movement Model (STAMM) in which juvenile sea turtles actively disperse under the combined effects of oceanic currents and habitat-driven movements. This model applies to all sea turtle species but is calibrated here for leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea). It is first tested in a simulation of the active dispersal of juveniles originating from Jamursba-Medi, a main nesting beach of the western Pacific leatherback population. Dispersal into the North Pacific Ocean is specifically investigated. Simulation results demonstrate that, while oceanic currents broadly shape the dispersal area, modeled habitat-driven movements strongly structure the spatial and temporal distribution of juveniles within this area. In particular, these movements lead juveniles to gather in the North Pacific Transition Zone (NPTZ) and to undertake seasonal north-south migrations. More surprisingly, juveniles in the NPTZ are simulated to swim mostly towards west which considerably slows down their progression towards the American west coast. This increases their residence time, and hence the risk of interactions with fisheries, in the central and eastern part of the North Pacific basin. Simulated habitat-driven movements also strongly reduce the risk of cold-induced mortality. This risk appears to be larger among the juveniles that rapidly circulate into the Kuroshio than among those that first drift into the North Equatorial Counter Current (NECC). This mechanism might induce marked interannual variability in juvenile survival as the

  20. A model for simulating the active dispersal of juvenile sea turtles with a case study on western Pacific leatherback turtles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philippe Gaspar

    Full Text Available Oceanic currents are known to broadly shape the dispersal of juvenile sea turtles during their pelagic stage. Accordingly, simple passive drift models are widely used to investigate the distribution at sea of various juvenile sea turtle populations. However, evidence is growing that juveniles do not drift purely passively but also display some swimming activity likely directed towards favorable habitats. We therefore present here a novel Sea Turtle Active Movement Model (STAMM in which juvenile sea turtles actively disperse under the combined effects of oceanic currents and habitat-driven movements. This model applies to all sea turtle species but is calibrated here for leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea. It is first tested in a simulation of the active dispersal of juveniles originating from Jamursba-Medi, a main nesting beach of the western Pacific leatherback population. Dispersal into the North Pacific Ocean is specifically investigated. Simulation results demonstrate that, while oceanic currents broadly shape the dispersal area, modeled habitat-driven movements strongly structure the spatial and temporal distribution of juveniles within this area. In particular, these movements lead juveniles to gather in the North Pacific Transition Zone (NPTZ and to undertake seasonal north-south migrations. More surprisingly, juveniles in the NPTZ are simulated to swim mostly towards west which considerably slows down their progression towards the American west coast. This increases their residence time, and hence the risk of interactions with fisheries, in the central and eastern part of the North Pacific basin. Simulated habitat-driven movements also strongly reduce the risk of cold-induced mortality. This risk appears to be larger among the juveniles that rapidly circulate into the Kuroshio than among those that first drift into the North Equatorial Counter Current (NECC. This mechanism might induce marked interannual variability in juvenile

  1. Inter-nesting movements and habitat-use of adult female Kemp’s ridley turtles in the Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaver, Donna J.; Hart, Kristen M.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Bucklin, David N.; Iverson, Autumn; Rubio, Cynthia; Backof, Thomas F.; Burchfield, Patrick M.; Gonzales Diaz Miron, Raul de Jesus; Dutton, Peter H.; Frey, Amy; Peña, Jaime; Gamez, Daniel Gomez; Martinez, Hector J.; Ortiz, Jaime

    2017-01-01

    Species vulnerability is increased when individuals congregate in restricted areas for breeding; yet, breeding habitats are not well defined for many marine species. Identification and quantification of these breeding habitats are essential to effective conservation. Satellite telemetry and switching state-space modeling (SSM) were used to define inter-nesting habitat of endangered Kemp’s ridley turtles (Lepidochelys kempii) in the Gulf of Mexico. Turtles were outfitted with satellite transmitters after nesting at Padre Island National Seashore, Texas, USA, from 1998 through 2013 (n = 60); Rancho Nuevo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, during 2010 and 2011 (n = 11); and Tecolutla, Veracruz, Mexico, during 2012 and 2013 (n = 11). These sites span the range of nearly all nesting by this species. Inter-nesting habitat lies in a narrow band of nearshore western Gulf of Mexico waters in the USA and Mexico, with mean water depth of 14 to 19 m within a mean distance to shore of 6 to 11 km as estimated by 50% kernel density estimate, α-Hull, and minimum convex polygon methodologies. Turtles tracked during the inter-nesting period moved, on average, 17.5 km/day and a mean total distance of 398 km. Mean home ranges occupied were 725 to 2948 km2. Our results indicate that these nearshore western Gulf waters represent critical inter-nesting habitat for this species, where threats such as shrimp trawling and oil and gas platforms also occur. Up to half of all adult female Kemp’s ridleys occupy this habitat for weeks to months during each nesting season. Because inter-nesting habitat for this species is concentrated in nearshore waters of the western Gulf of Mexico in both Mexico and the USA, international collaboration is needed to protect this essential habitat and the turtles occurring within it.

  2. Do open-cycle hatcheries relying on tourism conserve sea turtles? Sri Lankan developments and economic-ecological considerations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tisdell, Clem; Wilson, Clevo

    2005-04-01

    By combining economic analysis of markets with ecological parameters, this article considers the role that tourism-based sea turtle hatcheries (of an open-cycle type) can play in conserving populations of sea turtles. Background is provided on the nature and development of such hatcheries in Sri Lanka. The modeling facilitates the assessment of the impacts of turtle hatcheries on the conservation of sea turtles and enables the economic and ecological consequences of tourism, based on such hatcheries, to be better appreciated. The results demonstrate that sea turtle hatcheries serving tourists can make a positive contribution to sea turtle conservation, but that their conservation effectiveness depends on the way they are managed. Possible negative effects are also identified. Economic market models are combined with turtle population survival relationships to predict the conservation impact of turtle hatcheries and their consequence for the total economic value obtained from sea turtle populations.

  3. Arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, and selenium levels in blood of four species of turtles from the Amazon in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burger, Joanna; Jeitner, Christian; Schneider, Larissa; Vogt, Richard; Gochfeld, Michael

    2010-01-01

    Using blood as a method of assessing metal levels in turtles may be useful for populations that are threatened or endangered or are decreasing. In this study the levels of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), and selenium (Se) in blood of four species of turtles from the tributaries of the Rio Negro in the Amazon of Brazil were examined. The turtles included the six-tubercled Amazon (river) turtle (Podocnemis sextuberculata), red-headed Amazon (river) turtle (Podocnemis erythrocephala), big-headed Amazon (river) turtle (Peltocephalus dumerilianus), and matamata turtle (Chelus fimbriatus). Blood samples were taken from the vein in the left hind leg of each turtle. There were significant interspecific differences in the sizes of the turtles from the Rio Negro, and in concentrations of Pb, Hg, and Se; the smallest species (red-headed turtles) had the highest levels of Pb in their blood, while Se levels were highest in big-headed turtles and lowest in red-headed turtles. Hg in blood was highest in matamata, intermediate in big-headed, and lowest in the other two turtles. Even though females were significantly larger than males, there were no significant differences in metal levels as a function of gender, and the only relationship of metals to size was for Cd. Variations in metal levels among species suggest that blood may be a useful bioindicator. Metal levels were not high enough to pose a health risk to the turtles or to consumers, such as humans.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    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. 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. 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. 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.

  5. High incidence of deformity in aquatic turtles in the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bell, Barbara; Spotila, James R.; Congdon, Justin

    2006-01-01

    The John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge is subject to pollution from multiple sources. We studied development of snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) and painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) embryos from the refuge from 2000 through 2003. Mean annual deformity rate of pooled painted turtle clutches over four years ranged from 45 to 71%, while that of snapping turtle clutches ranged from 13 to 19%. Lethal deformities were more common than minor or moderate deformities in embryos of both species. Adult painted turtles had a higher deformity rate than adult snapping turtles. Snapping turtles at JHNWR had high levels of PAH contamination in their fat. This suggests that PAHs are involved in the high level of deformities. Other contaminants may also play a role. Although the refuge offers many advantages to resident turtle populations, pollution appears to place a developmental burden on the life history of these turtles. - This paper presents findings on the prevalence of developmental abnormalities in turtles at a national wildlife refuge that have direct relevance to studies on the effects of contamination on development and morphology of vertebrates

  6. One foot out the door: limb function during swimming in terrestrial versus aquatic turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Vanessa K Hilliard; Vest, Kaitlyn G; Rivera, Angela R V; Espinoza, Nora R; Blob, Richard W

    2017-01-01

    Specialization for a new habitat often entails a cost to performance in the ancestral habitat. Although aquatic lifestyles are ancestral among extant cryptodiran turtles, multiple lineages, including tortoises (Testudinidae) and emydid box turtles (genus Terrapene), independently specialized for terrestrial habitats. To what extent is swimming function retained in such lineages despite terrestrial specialization? Because tortoises diverged from other turtles over 50 Ma, but box turtles did so only 5 Ma, we hypothesized that swimming kinematics for box turtles would more closely resemble those of aquatic relatives than those of tortoises. To test this prediction, we compared high-speed video of swimming Russian tortoises (Testudo horsfieldii), box turtles (Terrapene carolina) and two semi-aquatic emydid species: sliders (Trachemys scripta) and painted turtles (Chrysemys picta). We identified different kinematic patterns between limbs. In the forelimb, box turtle strokes most resemble those of tortoises; for the hindlimb, box turtles are more similar to semi-aquatic species. Such patterns indicate functional convergence of the forelimb of terrestrial species, whereas the box turtle hindlimb exhibits greater retention of ancestral swimming motions. © 2017 The Author(s).

  7. Induction of oviposition by the administration of oxytocin in hawksbill turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawazu, Isao; Kino, Masakatsu; Maeda, Konomi; Yamaguchi, Yasuhiro; Sawamukai, Yutaka

    2014-12-01

    We set out to develop an oviposition induction technique for captive female hawksbill turtles Eretmochelys imbricata. The infertile eggs of nine females were induced to develop by the administration of follicle-stimulating hormone, after which we investigated the effects of administering oxytocin on oviposition. Seven of the turtles were held in a stationary horizontal position on a retention stand, and then oxytocin was administrated (0.6-0.8 units/kg of body weight; 5 mL). The seven turtles were retained for a mandatory 2 h period after oxytocin administration, and were then returned to the holding tanks. As the control, normal saline (5 mL) was administered to the other two turtles, followed by the administration of oxytocin after 24 h. The eggs in oviducts of all nine turtles were observed by ultrasonography at 24 h after oxytocin administration. The control experiment validated that stationary retention and normal saline administration had no effect on egg oviposition. Eight of the turtles began ovipositing eggs at 17-43 min after oxytocin administration, while one began ovipositing in the holding tank immediately after retention. All turtles finished ovipositing eggs within 24 h of oxytocin administration. This report is the first to demonstrate successful induced oviposition in sea turtles. We suggest that the muscles in the oviducts of hawksbill turtles may respond to relatively lower doses of oxytocin (inducing contractions) compared to land and freshwater turtles (4-40 units/kg) based on existing studies.

  8. Measuring Energy Expenditure in Sub-Adult and Hatchling Sea Turtles via Accelerometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 ( o 2) 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 o 2 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 o 2. A o 2-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

  9. Studies on bioactive peptide from Chinese soft-shelled turtle ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper dealt with a novel anti-hypertensive collagen peptide from Chinese soft-shelled turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis), which was an efficient inhibitor of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE, EC 3.4.15.1). ACE plays an important physiological role in the regulation of blood pressure by virtue of the rennin angiotensin ...

  10. Anatomical evidence for intracardiac blood shunting in marine turtles

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Its presence suggests that right to left intra-cardiac blood shunts may be a feature of diving in sea turtles; the sphincter providing a mechanism for the control of blood flow through the heart. The comparative anatomy of the pulmonary arteries of selected terrestrial reptiles suggests that a similar mechanism exists in ...

  11. Studies on bioactive peptide from Chinese soft-shelled turtle ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Yomi

    2012-03-27

    Mar 27, 2012 ... blood pressure while oxidative stress is implicated in the pathogenesis of hypertension and stroke (Münzel and. Keaney, 2001; Fiordaliso et al., 2006). Therefore, anti- oxidant therapy provides another choice to hypertension patient. MATERIALS AND METHODS. Chinese soft-shelled turtle was provided by ...

  12. Anatomical Evidence for Intracardiac Blood Shunting in Marine Turtles

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... suggests that right to left intra-cardiac blood shunts may be a feature of diving in sea turtles; the sphincter providing a mechanism for the control of blood flow through the heart. The comparative anatomy of the pulmonary arteries of selected terrestrial reptiles suggests that a similar mechanism exists in non-diving species.

  13. Body temperature of the loggerhead sea turtle Caretta caretta and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Lepidochelys olivacea L respectively, after emerging from water of 27,SoC to nest. (Mrosovsky &. Pritchard 1971). Smaller but significant temperature differentials have been reported for green and hawksbill turtles by Hirth (1962). Records of body temperatures of free-ranging animals are scarce; the only record being.

  14. 78 FR 9024 - Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp Trawling Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-07

    ... (TEDs) in their nets is not warranted at this time. Thus, we are discontinuing our Environmental Review... populations. During this past summer, we shifted observer effort from the offshore otter shrimp trawl fishery..., assuming that roughly one-third to one-half of the small turtles would not be excluded by the TED but would...

  15. Daily basking patterns of the fresh-water turtle

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Department of Biological Sciences, University of Natal, Durban. Basking activity in the turtle Pelomedusa subrufa L. apparently is initiated by the presence of a ..... the desert tortoises, Gopherus berlandieri and G. agassizii. (Auffenberg & Weaver 1969). It is suggested that maximum activity in these species occurs in the early ...

  16. Neurological disease in wild loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. Daily basking patterns of the fresh-water turtle

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A single asbestos platform (25 X 25 X 25 cm) was situated at one end of the tank, allowing turtles to emerge completely from the water should they wish to bask. A heat lamp (Philips Infraphil 240 V, 150 W; Type. F/3379/F49) was positioned at varying heights above the platform (Table 1) illuminating it for 12 hours daily.

  18. Latitudinal diversity gradients in Mesozoic non-marine turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholson, David B.; Holroyd, Patricia A.; Valdes, Paul; Barrett, Paul M.

    2016-11-01

    The latitudinal biodiversity gradient (LBG)-the pattern of increasing taxonomic richness with decreasing latitude-is prevalent in the structure of the modern biota. However, some freshwater taxa show peak richness at mid-latitudes; for example, extant Testudines (turtles, terrapins and tortoises) exhibit their greatest diversity at 25° N, a pattern sometimes attributed to recent bursts of climatically mediated species diversification. Here, we test whether this pattern also characterizes the Mesozoic distribution of turtles, to determine whether it was established during either their initial diversification or as a more modern phenomenon. Using global occurrence data for non-marine testudinate genera, we find that subsampled richness peaks at palaeolatitudes of 15-30° N in the Jurassic, 30-45° N through the Cretaceous to the Campanian, and from 30° to 60° N in the Maastrichtian. The absence of a significant diversity peak in southern latitudes is consistent with results from climatic models and turtle niche modelling that demonstrate a dearth of suitable turtle habitat in Gondwana during the Jurassic and Late Cretaceous. Our analyses confirm that the modern testudinate LBG has a deep-time origin and further demonstrate that LBGs are not always expressed as a smooth, equator-to-pole distribution.

  19. 78 FR 63872 - Turtles Intrastate and Interstate Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-10-25

    ... DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 1240 [Docket No. FDA-2013-N-0639] Turtles Intrastate and Interstate Requirements Correction In rule document 2013-17751 appearing on pages 44878-44881 in the issue of July 25, 2013, make the following correction: On page 44879...

  20. Turtle carapace anomalies: the roles of genetic diversity and environment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guillermo Velo-Antón

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available 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.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.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.

  1. ORGANOCHLORINE CONTAMINANTS IN SEA TURTLES FROM THE EASTERN PACIFIC

    Science.gov (United States)

    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...

  2. Adaptive evolution of plastron shape in emydine turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angielczyk, Kenneth D; Feldman, Chris R; Miller, Gretchen R

    2011-02-01

    Morphology reflects ecological pressures, phylogeny, and genetic and biophysical constraints. Disentangling their influence is fundamental to understanding selection and trait evolution. Here, we assess the contributions of function, phylogeny, and habitat to patterns of plastron (ventral shell) shape variation in emydine turtles. We quantify shape variation using geometric morphometrics, and determine the influence of several variables on shape using path analysis. Factors influencing plastron shape variation are similar between emydine turtles and the more inclusive Testudinoidea. We evaluate the fit of various evolutionary models to the shape data to investigate the selective landscape responsible for the observed morphological patterns. The presence of a hinge on the plastron accounts for most morphological variance, but phylogeny and habitat also correlate with shape. The distribution of shape variance across emydine phylogeny is most consistent with an evolutionary model containing two adaptive zones--one for turtles with kinetic plastra, and one for turtles with rigid plastra. Models with more complex adaptive landscapes often fit the data only as well as the null model (purely stochastic evolution). The adaptive landscape of plastron shape in Emydinae may be relatively simple because plastral kinesis imposes overriding mechanical constraints on the evolution of form. © 2010 The Author(s). Evolution© 2010 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  3. Marine debris removal: one year of effort by the Georgia Sea Turtle-Center-Marine Debris Initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Jeannie Miller

    2013-09-15

    Once in the marine environment, debris poses a significant threat to marine life that can be prevented through the help of citizen science. Marine debris is any manufactured item that enters the ocean regardless of source, commonly plastics, metal, wood, glass, foam, cloth, or rubber. Citizen science is an effective way to engage volunteers in conservation initiatives and provide education and skill development. The Georgia Sea Turtle Center Marine Debris Initiative (GSTC-MDI) is a grant funded program developed to engage citizens in the removal of marine debris from the beaches of Jekyll Island, GA, USA and the surrounding areas. During the first year of effort, more than 200 volunteers donated over 460 h of service to the removal of marine debris. Of the debris removed, approximately 89% were plastics, with a significant portion being cigarette materials. Given the successful first year, the GSTC-MDI was funded again for a second year. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Isotope analysis reveals foraging area dichotomy for atlantic leatherback turtles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stéphane Caut

    Full Text Available 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

  5. Persistent leatherback turtle migrations present opportunities for conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George L Shillinger

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  6. Pharmacokinetics of radioiodinated growth hormones in the turtle Chrysemys dorbigni.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turyn, D; Da Silva, R S; Marques, M

    1999-04-01

    Growth hormone binding proteins (GHBP) have been identified in the blood of many species. The aim of the present work is to study the physiological role of the GHBP in the turtle serum which we recently described. Binding studies were carried out using in vivo pharmacokinetic and chromatographic techniques as well as in vitro methods. When (125)I-GH was injected in physiological concentration into Chrysemys dorbigni turtles, the first step of pharmacokinetics was the binding of a significant fraction of the labeled GH by the GHBPs present in serum. The decay curve followed a three compartments model and gave the equation: Ae(-alphat) + Be(-betat) + Ce(-gammat). The fast compartment with t(1/2) of 14.4 min or 25.2 min, for hGH and bGH represents 30.3% and 18.9% of total radioactivity, respectively, at hypothetical time zero (not experi mental). Chromatographic studies reveal that this rapid compartment represents free GH. The second and third compartments represent complex forms between GH and GHBPs present in the turtle serum, and represent 70% and 80% of total radioactivity for hGH and bGH, respectively. In vitro chromatographic studies showed direct evidence of the presence of GHBPs in the turtle serum. The presence of these GHBPs changed the pharmacokinetics of labeled GH in plasma and the subsequent liver uptake of GH. The labeled hGH or bGH binds to turtle serum in similar proportion, but maximal liver uptake of these hormones are completely different (L/B ratio of 9.2 +/- 0.6 (n = 5) for ( 125)I-hGH and 4.8 +/- 0.3 (n = 7) for (125)I-bGH). The reasons for these differences could be that human GH binds to lactogenic and somatotropic receptors and bovine GH binds only to somatotropic receptors.

  7. Differential impact of marine debris ingestion during ontogenetic dietary shift of green turtles in Uruguayan waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vélez-Rubio, G M; Teryda, N; Asaroff, P E; Estrades, A; Rodriguez, D; Tomás, J

    2018-02-01

    Anthropogenic debris ingestion has been reported for green turtles in all their life stages worldwide. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the marine debris ingestion by green turtles stranded in Uruguayan coast between 2005 and 2013. Debris items were categorized and quantified by frequency of occurrence, relative weight, volume and number of items. A total of 96 dead stranded turtles were analyzed and 70% presented debris in their guts. The majority of debris found were plastic, being hard plastics the most abundant in weight. We found no differences in debris ingestion in stranded turtles a long the Uruguayan coast. However we detected a negative correlation between the presence of debris and turtle's size. Smaller turtles are new recruits to neritic grounds indicating that the early juvenile stage of this species is the most vulnerable to this threat in the Southwestern Atlantic. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Populations and home range relationships of the box turtle, Terrapene c. carolina (Linnaeus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  9. Here, There and Everywhere - On the Recurring Use of Turtle Graphics in CS1

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Henrik Bærbak; Caspersen, Michael Edelgaard

    2000-01-01

    The Logo programming language implements a virtual drawing machine—the turtle machine. The turtle machine is well-known for giving students an intuitive understanding of fundamental procedural programming principles. In this paper we present our experiences with resurrecting the Logo turtle...... in a new object-oriented way and using it in an introductory object-oriented programming course. While, at the outset, we wanted to achieve the same qualities as the original turtle (understanding of state, control flow, instructions) we realized that the concept of turtles is well suited for teaching...... a whole range of fundamental principles. We have successfully used turtles to give students an intuitive understanding of central object-oriented concepts and principles such as object, class, message passing, behaviour, object identification, subclasses and inheritance; an intuitive understanding...

  10. Global distribution of Chelonid fibropapilloma-associated herpesvirus among clinically healthy sea turtles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alfaro Nuñez, Luis Alonso; Bertelsen, Mads Frost; Bojesen, Anders Miki

    2014-01-01

    -based detection of herpesvirus DNA sequences from FP tumours. We used a recently described PCR-based assay that targets 3 conserved CFPHV genes, to survey 208 green turtles (Chelonia mydas). This included both FP tumour exhibiting and clinically healthy individuals. An additional 129 globally distributed...... for two of the markers (UL18 and UL22) in turtles from Turks and Caicos separate to all others, regardless of host species or geographic origin.ConclusionPresence of CFPHV DNA within globally distributed samples for all five species of sea turtle was confirmed. While 100% of the FP exhibiting green...... turtles yielded CFPHV sequences, surprisingly, so did 15% of the clinically healthy turtles. We hypothesize that turtle populations with zero (0%) CFPHV frequency may be attributed to possible environmental differences, diet and/or genetic resistance in these individuals. Our results provide first data...

  11. Evolution of the turtle body plan by the folding and creation of new muscle connections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagashima, Hiroshi; Sugahara, Fumiaki; Takechi, Masaki; Ericsson, Rolf; Kawashima-Ohya, Yoshie; Narita, Yuichi; Kuratani, Shigeru

    2009-07-10

    The turtle shell offers a fascinating case study of vertebrate evolution, based on the modification of a common body plan. The carapace is formed from ribs, which encapsulate the scapula; this stands in contrast to the typical amniote body plan and serves as a key to understanding turtle evolution. Comparative analyses of musculoskeletal development between the Chinese soft-shelled turtle and other amniotes revealed that initial turtle development conforms to the amniote pattern; however, during embryogenesis, lateral rib growth results in a shift of elements. In addition, some limb muscles establish new turtle-specific attachments associated with carapace formation. We propose that the evolutionary origin of the turtle body plan results from heterotopy based on folding and novel connectivities.

  12. The origin of the turtle body plan: bridging a famous morphological gap.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, M S

    1993-09-24

    A restudy of pareiasaurs reveals that these primitive reptiles are the nearest relatives of turtles. The two groups share numerous derived characters, such as a reduced presacral count, an acromion process, and a trochanter major, which are absent in other basal amniotes. Many traits long thought specific to chelonians also occur in pareiasaurs and must have evolved before the distinctive turtle shell appeared. Evidence uniting captorhinid or procolophonoids with turtles is shown to be weak. The phylogeny proposed here also suggests that certain features of the earliest turtle (Proganochelys) that have been interpreted as specializations, such as the large supratemporal and robust metacarpals, are primitive for turtles. In pareiasaurs, the osteoderms represent the precursors of the chelonian shell and the morphology of the anterior region is consistent with the idea that the shoulder girdle in turtles has migrated posteriorly into the rib cage.

  13. EFFECTS OF "SWIM WITH THE TURTLES" TOURIST ATTRACTIONS ON GREEN SEA TURTLE (CHELONIA MYDAS) HEALTH IN BARBADOS, WEST INDIES.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  14. Case descriptions of fibropapillomatosis in rehabilitating loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta in the southeastern USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. A new diverse turtle fauna in the late Kimmeridgian of Switzerland

    OpenAIRE

    Anquetin, Jérémy

    2014-01-01

    Talk given at the 12th Swiss Geoscience Meeting in Fribourg, Switzerland, November 22nd, 2014.   Abstract: During the Kimmeridgian and the Tithonian (Late Jurassic), Europe was the theater of the diversification of numerous coastal eucryptodiran turtles (Plesiochelyidae, Thalassemydidae, and Eurysternidae). Most turtle assemblages were discovered during the 19th century. The best localities and horizons include the Kimmeridge Clay of England, the Turtle Limestone of Solothurn, Switze...

  16. The fossil record of turtles in colombia; a review of the discoveries research and future challenges

    OpenAIRE

    Cadena Rueda, Edwin Alberto

    2014-01-01

    This is a review article on the fossil record of turtles in Colombia that includes: the early Cretaceous turtles from Zapatocaand Villa de Leyva localities; the giant turtles from the Paleocene Cerrejón and Calenturitas Coal Mines; the early Miocene,earliest record of Chelus from Pubenza, Cundinamarca; the early to late Miocene large podocnemids, chelids and testudinidsfrom Castilletes, Alta Guajira and La Venta; and the small late Pleistocene kinosternids from Pubenza, Cundinamarca. I alsodi...

  17. Sensory Evolution and Ecology of Early Turtles Revealed by Digital Endocranial Reconstructions

    OpenAIRE

    Stephan Lautenschlager; Gabriel S. Ferreira; Gabriel S. Ferreira; Gabriel S. Ferreira; Ingmar Werneburg; Ingmar Werneburg; Ingmar Werneburg

    2018-01-01

    In the past few years, new fossil finds and novel methodological approaches have prompted intensive discussions about the phylogenetic affinities of turtles and rekindled the debate on their ecological origin, with very distinct scenarios, such as fossoriality and aquatic habitat occupation, proposed for the earliest stem-turtles. While research has focused largely on the origin of the anapsid skull and unique postcranial anatomy, little is known about the endocranial anatomy of turtles. Here...

  18. 77 FR 75999 - 2013 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-26

    ... (Lepidochelys olivacea) sea turtles are listed as threatened, except for breeding colony populations of green... (Lepidochelys kempii), loggerhead (Caretta caretta; North Pacific distinct population segment), leatherback...

  19. 78 FR 77428 - 2014 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-23

    ... population segment), green (Chelonia mydas), and olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) sea turtles are listed... or threatened under the ESA. Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), loggerhead (Caretta caretta; North...

  20. Inorganic elements in green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas): relationships among external and internal tissues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faust, Derek R.; Hooper, Michael J.; Cobb, George P.; Barnes, Melanie; Shaver, Donna; Ertolacci, Shauna; Smith, Philip N.

    2014-01-01

    Inorganic elements from anthropogenic sources have entered marine environments worldwide and are detectable in marine organisms, including sea turtles. Threatened and endangered classifications of sea turtles have heretofore made assessments of contaminant concentrations difficult because of regulatory restrictions on obtaining samples using nonlethal techniques. In the present study, claw and skin biopsy samples were examined as potential indicators of internal tissue burdens in green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas). Significant relationships were observed between claw and liver, and claw and muscle concentrations of mercury, nickel, arsenic, and selenium (p turtles.

  1. Survival and behavior of freshwater turtles after rehabilitation from an oil spill

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Saba, V.S.; Spotila, J.R.

    2003-01-01

    An oil spill in February 2000 at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Pennsylvania affected four species of freshwater turtles including painted turtles (Chrysemys picta), snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina), red-eared slider turtles (Trachemys scripta), and red-bellied turtles (Pseudemys rubriventris). In the summer and fall of 2000, there were no differences in survival, home range, and temperature preference of 16 oil exposed/rehabilitated (OER) turtles, 18 possibly exposed (PE) turtles, and 32 non-exposed (NE) turtles as measured with temperature sensitive radio transmitters. Post-release mortality or transmitter loss was not correlated to oil exposure (OER=25%, PE=22%, NE=31%). There were no statistically significant differences in home range minimum convex polygon area, (0.28 o C±6.9 (female C. serpentina) to 22.3 o C±8.5 (female C. picta). Rehabilitation of oil exposed freshwater turtles is effective in restoring these animals to normal behavior in nature.(author)

  2. Determine sex ratios of green turtles along the U.S. West Coast through examinations of hormones

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — A testosterone (T) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was validated for use with green turtle plasma in order to determine the sex of juvenile turtles. We...

  3. Sea turtles sightings in North Carolina from 1987-02-01 to 2015-06-16 (NCEI Accession 0161174)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data contains sea turtle sightings reported to the NMFS Beaufort Laboratory sea turtle program by the general public as they were fishing, boating, etc. These...

  4. Sea turtle acoustic and radio telemetry data in the Atlantic Ocean from 2013-2014 (NCEI Accession 0160089)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains acoustic tag readings that were attached to sea turtles captured in various fishing gears. These sea turtles were either actively or passively...

  5. Complete mitochondrial DNA sequences of the green turtle and blue-tailed mole skink: statistical evidence for archosaurian affinity of turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumazawa, Y; Nishida, M

    1999-06-01

    Turtles have highly specialized morphological characteristics, and their phylogenetic position has been under intensive debate. Previous molecular studies have not established a consistent and statistically well supported conclusion on this issue. In order to address this, complete mitochondrial DNA sequences were determined for the green turtle and the blue-tailed mole skink. These genomes possess an organization of genes which is typical of most other vertebrates, such as placental mammals, a frog, and bony fishes, but distinct from organizations of alligators and snakes. Molecular evolutionary rates of mitochondrial protein sequences appear to vary considerably among major reptilian lineages, with relatively rapid rates for snake and crocodilian lineages but slow rates for turtle and lizard lineages. In spite of this rate heterogeneity, phylogenetic analyses using amino acid sequences of 12 mitochondrial proteins reliably established the Archosauria (birds and crocodilians) and Lepidosauria (lizards and snakes) clades postulated from previous morphological studies. The phylogenetic analyses further suggested that turtles are a sister group of the archosaurs, and this untraditional relationship was provided with strong statistical evidence by both the bootstrap and the Kishino-Hasegawa tests. This is the first statistically significant molecular phylogeny on the placement of turtles relative to the archosaurs and lepidosaurs. It is therefore likely that turtles originated from a Permian-Triassic archosauromorph ancestor with two pairs of temporal fenestrae behind the skull orbit that were subsequently lost. The traditional classification of turtles in the Anapsida may thus need to be reconsidered.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © The Author(s) 2014.

  7. Molecular Data for the Sea Turtle Population in Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sibelle Torres Vilaça

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available We report here a dataset comprising nine nuclear markers for the Brazilian population of Cheloniidae turtles: hawksbills (Eretmochelys imbricata, loggerheads (Caretta caretta, olive ridleys (Lepidochelys olivacea, and green turtles (Chelonia mydas. Because hybridization is a common phenomenon between the four Cheloniidae species nesting on the Brazilian coast, we also report molecular markers for the hybrids E. imbricata × C. caretta, C. caretta × L. olivacea, and E. imbricata × L. olivacea and for one hybrid E. imbricata × C. mydas and one between three species C. mydas × E. imbricata × C. caretta. The data was used in previous studies concerning (1 the description of frequent hybrids C. caretta × E. imbricata in Brazil, (2 the report of introgression in some of these hybrids, and (3 population genetics. As a next step for the study of these hybrids and their evolution, genome-wide studies will be performed in the Brazilian population of E. imbricata, C. caretta, and their hybrids.

  8. Global Analysis of Anthropogenic Debris Ingestion by Sea Turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  9. Evolutionary distinctiveness of the endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowen, B W; Meylan, A B; Avise, J C

    1991-08-22

    The endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempi) nests almost exclusively at a single locality in the western Gulf of Mexico, whereas the olive ridley (L. olivacea) nests globally in warm oceans. Morphological similarities between kempi and olivacea, and a geographical distribution that "...makes no sense at all under modern conditions of climate and geography", raise questions about the degree of evolutionary divergence between these taxa. Analysis of mitochondrial (mt) DNA restriction sites shows that Kemp's ridley is distinct from the olive ridley in matriarchal phylogeny, and that the two are sister taxa with respect to other marine turtles. Separation of olive and the Kemp's ridley lineages may date to formation of the Isthmus of Panama, whereas the global spread of the olive ridley lineage occurred recently. In contrast to recent examples in which molecular genetic assessments challenged systematic assignments underlying conservation programmes, our mtDNA data corroborate the taxonomy of an endangered form.

  10. On the homology of the shoulder girdle in turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. MORBIDITY AND MORTALITY OF WILD TURTLES AT A NORTH CAROLINA WILDLIFE CLINIC: A 10-YEAR RETROSPECTIVE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sack, Alexandra; Butler, Eric; Cowen, Peter; Lewbart, Gregory A

    2017-09-01

    The medical records from 1,847 wild turtle patients seen between 2005 and 2014 by the Turtle Rescue Team at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine were analyzed. Eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina; n = 947), yellow-bellied sliders (Trachemys scripta scripta; n = 301), cooters ( Pseudemys spp.; n = 235), common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina; n = 165), and eastern painted turtles (Chrysemys picta; n = 93) made up 94.3% of all patients. Patient admissions peaked in May when 25.6% (473/1,847) of all turtles were admitted. Cooters were the most-likely species to be gravid, and the loss of gravid females may put this population at increased risk for decline. The majority of wild turtles presented for anthropogenic causes, primarily vehicular trauma (63.2%; 1,168/1,847), which also had the greatest mortality at 57.8% (675/1,168) of any presenting complaint. Coelomic breach was the presenting injury with greatest risk of dying, increasing the risk of dying by 4.8 times. Other factors that were associated with increased mortality included head injuries, myiasis, and cranial or caudal midline injuries. Of all turtle species, eastern box turtles most commonly presented for nontraumatic conditions including aural abscesses (8.2%; 78/947), upper respiratory infections (6.3%; 60/947), and both conditions concurrently (2.5%; 14/947). While many turtles presented with little to no chance for survival in the wild, 47.6% were eventually released and that number increased to 62.0% released for those that survived 24 hr or longer after presentation. This study adds to the knowledge about the treatment of injured and diseased wild turtles in order to potentially ameliorate the overall impact of humans, especially as a result of vehicular trauma.

  12. The aquatic turtle assemblage inhabiting a highly altered landscape in southeast Missouri

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glorioso, Brad M.; Vaughn, Allison J.; Waddle, J. Hardin

    2010-01-01

    Turtles are linked to energetic food webs as both consumers of plants and animals and prey for many species. Turtle biomass in freshwater systems can be an order of magnitude greater than that of endotherms. Therefore, declines in freshwater turtle populations can change energy transfer in freshwater systems. Here we report on a mark–recapture study at a lake and adjacent borrow pit in a relict tract of bottomland hardwood forest in the Mississippi River floodplain in southeast Missouri, which was designed to gather baseline data, including sex ratio, size structure, and population size, density, and biomass, for the freshwater turtle population. Using a variety of capture methods, we captured seven species of freshwater turtles (snapping turtle Chelydra serpentina; red-eared slider Trachemys scripta; southern painted turtle Chrysemys dorsalis; river cooter Pseudemys concinna; false map turtle Graptemys pseudogeographica; eastern musk turtle Sternotherus odoratus; spiny softshell Apalone spinifera) comprising four families (Chelydridae, Emydidae, Kinosternidae, Trinoychidae). With the exception of red-eared sliders, nearly all individuals captured were adults. Most turtles were captured by baited hoop-nets, and this was the only capture method that caught all seven species. The unbaited fyke net was very successful in the borrow pit, but only captured four of the seven species. Basking traps and deep-water crawfish nets had minimal success. Red-eared sliders had the greatest population estimate (2,675), density (205/ha), and biomass (178 kg/ha). Two species exhibited a sex-ratio bias: snapping turtles C. serpentina in favor of males, and spiny softshells A. spinifera in favor of females.

  13. Spatial ecology and behavior of eastern box turtles on the hardwood ecosystem experiment: pre-treatment results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrea F. Currylow; Brian J. MacGowan; Rod N. Williams

    2013-01-01

    To understand better how eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina) are affected by forest management practices, we monitored movements of box turtles prior to silvicultural treatments within the Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment (HEE) in Indiana. During 2007 and 2008, we tracked 23-28 turtles on six units of the HEE. Estimated minimum convex...

  14. Changes of loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) dive behavior associated with tropical storm passage during the inter-nesting period

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wilson, Maria; Tucker, Anton D.; Beedholm, Kristian

    2017-01-01

    turtles in the Gulf of Mexico, which regularly has hurricanes and tropical storms during nesting season. We contrast the behavioral patterns and swimming energetics of these two turtles, the first tracked in calm weather and the second tracked before, during and after a tropical storm. Turtle 1 was highly...

  15. Habitat selection by green turtles in a spatially heterogeneous benthic landscape in Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 (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.

  16. 50 CFR 222.309 - Permits for listed species of sea turtles involving the Fish and Wildlife Service.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Permits for listed species of sea turtles... species of sea turtles involving the Fish and Wildlife Service. (a) This section establishes specific... survival of endangered or threatened species of sea turtles; zoological exhibition or educational purposes...

  17. Are Your Children Captured by Ninja Turtles? How To Turn What Children "Love" into What Is Appropriate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  18. Changes in a box turtle population during three decades

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. Sources of Vibrio mimicus contamination of turtle eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acuña, M T; Díaz, G; Bolaños, H; Barquero, C; Sánchez, O; Sánchez, L M; Mora, G; Chaves, A; Campos, E

    1999-01-01

    Vibrio mimicus contamination of sand increased significantly during the arrival of the olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) at Ostional anidation beach, Costa Rica. Statistical analysis supports that eggs are contaminated with V. mimicus by contact with the sand nest. V. mimicus was isolated from eggs of all nests tested, and ctxA+ strains were found in 31% of the nests, all of which were near the estuary.

  20. Recent hybrid origin of three rare chinese turtles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  1. Hierarchical state-space estimation of leatherback turtle navigation ability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joanna Mills Flemming

    Full Text Available Remotely sensed tracking technology has revealed remarkable migration patterns that were previously unknown; however, models to optimally use such data have developed more slowly. Here, we present a hierarchical Bayes state-space framework that allows us to combine tracking data from a collection of animals and make inferences at both individual and broader levels. We formulate models that allow the navigation ability of animals to be estimated and demonstrate how information can be combined over many animals to allow improved estimation. We also show how formal hypothesis testing regarding navigation ability can easily be accomplished in this framework. Using Argos satellite tracking data from 14 leatherback turtles, 7 males and 7 females, during their southward migration from Nova Scotia, Canada, we find that the circle of confusion (the radius around an animal's location within which it is unable to determine its location precisely is approximately 96 km. This estimate suggests that the turtles' navigation does not need to be highly accurate, especially if they are able to use more reliable cues as they near their destination. Moreover, for the 14 turtles examined, there is little evidence to suggest that male and female navigation abilities differ. Because of the minimal assumptions made about the movement process, our approach can be used to estimate and compare navigation ability for many migratory species that are able to carry electronic tracking devices.

  2. Turtle mimetic soft robot with two swimming gaits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Sung-Hyuk; Kim, Min-Soo; Rodrigue, Hugo; Lee, Jang-Yeob; Shim, Jae-Eul; Kim, Min-Cheol; Chu, Won-Shik; Ahn, Sung-Hoon

    2016-05-04

    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).

  3. Sensor network architecture for monitoring turtles on seashore

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvajal-Gámez, Blanca E.; Cruz, Victor; Díaz-Casco, Manuel A.; Franco, Andrea; Escobar, Carolina; Colin, Abilene; Carreto-Arellano, Chadwick

    2017-04-01

    In the last decade, advances in information and communication technologies have made it possible to diversify the use of sensor networks in different areas of knowledge (medicine, education, militia, urbanization, protection of the environment, etc.). At present, this type of tools is used to develop applications that allow the identification and monitoring of endangered animals in their natural habitat; however, there are still limitations because some of the devices used alter the behavior of the animals, as in the case of sea turtles. Research and monitoring of sea turtles is of vital importance in identifying possible threats and ensuring their preservation, the behavior of this species (migration, reproduction, and nesting) is highly related to environmental conditions. Because of this, behavioral changes information of this species can be used to monitor global climatic conditions. This work presents the design, development and implementation of an architecture for the monitoring and identification of the sea turtle using sensor networks. This will allow to obtain information for the different investigations with a greater accuracy than the conventional techniques, through non-invasive means for the species and its habitat. The proposed architecture contemplates the use of new technology devices, selfconfigurable, with low energy consumption, interconnection with various communication protocols and sustainable energy supply (solar, wind, etc.).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sale, Alessandro; Luschi, Paolo

    2009-11-07

    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.

  5. Warm-blooded isochore structure in Nile crocodile and turtle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  6. Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) have novel asymmetrical antibodies

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. Studies on transplantation of marine turtle nests at Karachi coast (Sindh), Pakistan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Firdous, F.

    2011-01-01

    Egg clutches of two species of marine turtles, namely Chelonia mydas and Lepidochelys olivacea, were collected during 1974 to 1997 and transplanted to the protected enclosures. The emerging hatching were released to the natural environment. The experiment helped to produce an average of 19495.5 hatch lings per year of green and 1174.5 per year of olive ridley turtles. (author)

  8. The Role of Taboos in the Protection and Recovery of Sea Turtles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    LoriKim Alexander

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Despite increased efforts from government agencies, scientists, and non-government organizations over the past few decades, anthropogenic sources of sea turtle mortality continue to threaten the survivorship of sea turtle species around the globe. More recent efforts to engage local people with community-based sea turtle conservation programs have been based primarily on economic incentives and less on cultural and social traditions. But there is growing evidence that informal institutions such as, taboos can be extremely effective at promoting wildlife conservation. Ghana is a culturally diverse country where local traditions have shown to improve protection for primates, crocodiles, and many bird species. This study explores the presence of a sea turtle taboo in fishing communities to demonstrate that traditional practices make residents more receptive to sea turtle conservation and more willing to follow government regulations. Fishers in the communities that are aware of the taboo are also more willing to adjust fishing methods to better protect sea turtles. The traditional taboo and national laws appear to be working synergistically to enhance sea turtle conservation in some regions of Ghana. This paper extends the argument that sea turtle conservation strategies succeed when the cultural and social traditions of local communities are integrated with management activities.

  9. Seasonal residency of loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta tracked from the Gulf of Manfredonia, south Adriatic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. CASALE

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available A detailed knowledge of sea turtle distribution in relation to anthropogenic threats is key to inform conservation measures. We satellite tracked five loggerhead turtles incidentally caught in the Gulf of Manfredonia, where a high turtle occurrence and high bycatch levels have been recently reported. Turtles were tracked for a period ranging from 27 to 367 days, with a minimum travel distance ranging from 151 to 4,300 km. With the caution due to the small sample size, results suggest that: (i the area may host residential loggerhead turtles at least in summer, while they probably move elsewhere in winter due to the low temperatures occurring in shallow waters, (ii turtles may have very small home ranges in the area, (iii turtle occurrence may be higher in shallow waters along the coast. Moreover (iv one turtle showed remarkable fidelity to the same spot after seasonal migration and constant migration paths. If confirmed and further detailed, such movement patterns may guide effective conservation strategies to reduce the impact of bycatch in the area.

  10. Protecting the Sacred Water Bundle: Educating about Fracking at Turtle Mountain Community College

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blue, Stacie

    2017-01-01

    Leaving the plains of North Dakota and entering the hills known as the Turtle Mountains, one becomes surrounded by a deciduous forest, spotted with deer stands, fishing holes, mosquito havens, and secret berry-picking spots. It is here that the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians (TMBCI) reservation is found. Located on the TMBCI reservation,…

  11. Background matching and camouflage efficiency predict population density in four-eyed turtle (Sacalia quadriocellata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  12. Impact of protective shark nets on sea turtles in KwaZulu-Natal ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Few hawksbills Eretmochelys imbricata and olive ridleys Lepidochelys olivacea were caught in the shark nets. Fewer sea turtles are caught by shark nets than by longlines and because the nesting populations of loggerheads, green turtles and leatherbacks are either stable or increasing in the South-West Indian Ocean, ...

  13. Developmental cardiovascular physiology of the olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crossley, Dane Alan; Crossley, Janna Lee; Smith, Camilla; Harfush, Martha; Sánchez-Sánchez, Hermilo; Garduño-Paz, Mónica Vanessa; Méndez-Sánchez, José Fernando

    2017-09-01

    Our understanding of reptilian cardiovascular development and regulation has increased substantially for two species the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) and the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) during the past two decades. However, what we know about cardiovascular maturation in many other species remains poorly understood or unknown. Embryonic sea turtles have been studied to understand the maturation of metabolic function, but these studies have not addressed the cardiovascular system. Although prior studies have been pivotal in characterizing development, and factors that influence it, the development of cardiovascular function, which supplies metabolic function, is unknown in sea turtles. During our investigation we focused on quantifying how cardiovascular morphological and functional parameters change, to provide basic knowledge of development in the olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea). Embryonic mass, as well as mass of the heart, lungs, liver, kidney, and brain increased during turtle embryo development. Although heart rate was constant during this developmental period, arterial pressure approximately doubled. Further, while embryonic olive ridley sea turtles lacked cholinergic tone on heart rate, there was a pronounced beta adrenergic tone on heart rate that decreased in strength at 90% of incubation. This beta adrenergic tone may be partially originating from the sympathetic nervous system at 90% of incubation, with the majority originating from circulating catecholamines. Data indicates that olive ridley sea turtles share traits of embryonic functional cardiovascular maturation with the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) but not the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina). Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Quantifying Nearshore Sea Turtle Densities: Applications of Unmanned Aerial Systems for Population Assessments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sykora-Bodie, Seth T; Bezy, Vanessa; Johnston, David W; Newton, Everette; Lohmann, Kenneth J

    2017-12-18

    Although sea turtles face significant pressure from human activities, some populations are recovering due to conservation programs, bans on the trade of turtle products, and reductions in bycatch. While these trends are encouraging, the status of many populations remains unknown and scientific monitoring is needed to inform conservation and management decisions. To address these gaps, this study presents methods for using unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to conduct population assessments. Using a fixed-wing UAS and a modified strip-transect method, we conducted aerial surveys along a three-kilometer track line at Ostional, Costa Rica during a mass-nesting event of olive ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea). We visually assessed images collected during six transects for sea turtle presence, resulting in 682 certain detections. A cumulative total of 1091 certain and probable turtles were detected in the collected imagery. Using these data, we calculate estimates of sea turtle density (km -2 ) in nearshore waters. After adjusting for both availability and perception biases, we developed a low-end estimate of 1299 ± 458 and a high-end estimate of 2086 ± 803 turtles per km -2 . This pilot study illustrates how UAS can be used to conduct robust, safe, and cost-effective population assessments of sea turtle populations in coastal marine ecosystems.

  15. Relational responding by eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina) in a series of color discrimination tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. Roaming characteristics and feeding practices of village dogs scavenging sea-turtle nests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ruiz Izaguirre, E.; Woersem, A.; Eilers, C.H.A.M.; Wieren, van S.E.; Bosch, G.; Zijpp, van der A.J.; Boer, de I.J.M.

    2015-01-01

    Village dogs are reported to prey on sea-turtle nests at various beaches worldwide. Sea-turtle species present in Mexico include six species, which are listed under the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List. It is however not clear why dogs scavenge and how they enter nesting

  17. 76 FR 29718 - Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries; American Samoa Longline Gear Modifications To Reduce Turtle...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-23

    ...-AY27 Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries; American Samoa Longline Gear Modifications To Reduce Turtle.... pelagic longline fishery based in American Samoa. The proposed action is intended to reduce interactions... turtles are fatal. To reduce these interactions, the Council proposes to amend the FEP to require longline...

  18. 76 FR 52888 - Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries; American Samoa Longline Gear Modifications To Reduce Turtle...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-24

    ... Modifications To Reduce Turtle Interactions AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic... longline hooks fish deeper than 100 meters (m) to reduce interactions with Pacific green sea turtles. This... are fatal. To reduce these interactions, the Council recommended in Amendment 5 that NMFS require...

  19. Post-breeding migration routes of marine turtles from Bonaire and Klein Bonaire, Caribbean Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Becking, L. E.; Christianen, M. J. A.; Nava, M. I.; Miller, N.; Willis, S.; van Dam, R. P.

    2016-01-01

    The management of small rookeries is key to conserving the regional genetic diversity of marine turtle populations and requires knowledge on population connectivity between breeding and foraging areas. To elucidate the geographic scope of the populations of marine turtles breeding at Bonaire and

  20. Specialization for underwater hearing by the tympanic middle ear of the turtle, Trachemys scripta elegans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen-Dalsgaard, J.; Brandt, Christian; Willis, K. L.

    2012-01-01

    Turtles, like other amphibious animals, face a trade-off between terrestrial and aquatic hearing. We used laser vibrometry and auditory brainstem responses to measure their sensitivity to vibration stimuli and to airborne versus underwater sound. Turtles are most sensitive to sound underwater...

  1. Evaluation of rebound tonometry in red-eared slider turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delgado, Cherlene; Mans, Christoph; McLellan, Gillian J; Bentley, Ellison; Sladky, Kurt K; Miller, Paul E

    2014-07-01

    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. Seventeen adult red-eared slider turtles. Intraocular pressure 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 with direct manometry in three ex vivo turtle eyes. TonoLab® correlated better with manometry at IOPs turtles was significantly lower (P turtles. 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®. © 2013 American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.

  2. Notes on the status and incidental capture of marine turtles by the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    turtle by eight subsistence fishing communities in south west Madagascar. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with fishers from each community over a period of three weeks during March 2002. Turtles were captured as part of a seasonal, multi-species fishery using spear guns and shark gill nets.

  3. Addressing the Problem of Poorly Preserved Zoological Specimens: A Case Study with Turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  4. 75 FR 53925 - Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp and Summer Flounder Trawling Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-02

    ... mydas) turtles are listed as threatened, except for breeding populations of green turtles in Florida and..., must be larger. This prevents this style of cut from being used on smaller TED frames. In 2006, the... DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 223 [Docket No...

  5. Hepatocyte growth factor is crucial for development of the carapace in turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. How Do Hatcheries Influence Embryonic Development of Sea Turtle Eggs? Experimental Analysis and Isolation of Microorganisms in Leatherback Turtle Eggs

    OpenAIRE

    Patiño-Martínez, Juan; Molist, Adolfo; Quiñones, Liliana; Abella, Elena; Muriel, Roberto; Diéguez-Uribeondo, Javier

    2012-01-01

    Many conservation programs consider translocation of turtle nests to hatcheries as a useful technique. The repeated use of the same incubation substrate over several seasons in these hatcheries could, however, be harmful to embryos if pathogens were able to accumulate or if the physical and chemical characteristics of the incubation environment were altered. However, this hypothesis has yet to be tested. We conducted two field experiments to evaluate the effects of hatchery sand and eggshell ...

  7. Sea Turtle Conservation on Bonaire. Sea Turtle Club Bonaire 1996 Project Report

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Norde, D.J.; Rossum, van J.P.

    1997-01-01

    Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles (12°12’N, 68°77’W) is an island in the Caribbean sea, situated about 50 km east of Curacao and 80 km north of the South American continent (Venezuela). Its 288 2 km of land hold about 14,000 inhabitants. Bonaire has a strongly growing population, which is mostly due to

  8. Conjunctival flora of clinically normal and diseased turtles and tortoises.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Ianni, Francesco; Dodi, Pier Luigi; Cabassi, Clotilde Silvia; Pelizzone, Igor; Sala, Andrea; Cavirani, Sandro; Parmigiani, Enrico; Quintavalla, Fausto; Taddei, Simone

    2015-04-10

    In captive breed turtles and tortoises conjunctival disease is common. Our aim was to investigate the bacterial and fungal flora present in the eyes of healthy and pathological chelonians and to compare findings in turtles with those in tortoises. Samples were taken from the conjunctival sacs of 34, diseased and healthy, chelonians (18 tortoises and 16 turtles) and submitted to bacterial and fungal investigation. All samples showed bacterial growth. Thirteen animals (38%), harboured a single bacterial species as sole isolate and twenty-one animals (62%) harboured more than one species. Detection of multiple bacterial infection was clearly greater in tortoises compared to turtles. Most frequently isolated bacterial species were Bacillus spp. (13 isolates), Staphylococcus xylosus (10 isolates), Sphingomonas paucimobilis (6 isolates), Staphylococcus sciuri and Aeromonas hydrophila/caviae (each 5 isolates), Ochrobactrum anthropi (3 isolates), Citrobacter freundii, Enterobacter cloacae and Pseudomonas luteola (each 2 isolates). Only one isolate of Kocuria varians/rosea, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus auricularis, Staphylococcus haemolyticus, Staphylococcus lentus, Morganella morganii, Pasteurella multocida, Pasteurella pneumotropica/haemolytica, Proteus spp., Pseudomonas putida, Salmonella enterica ssp. arizonae, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia and Vibrio parahaemolyticus was evidenced. The presence in 8 animals of Mycoplasma spp. and in 1 animal with severe conjunctivitis of Chlamydia spp. was detected by PCR. Candida spp. was also isolated from two healthy animals. A clear predominance of Gram positive isolates in tortoises and Gram negative isolates in turtles was found. However, we cannot ascribe the observed difference to the diversity of animal species, as other factors, including especially different characteristics of the living environments, may play a role. Almost all bacterial species isolated may have clinical significance, mostly as opportunistic

  9. Leatherback sea turtle shell: A tough and flexible biological design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Irene H; Yang, Wen; Meyers, Marc A

    2015-12-01

    The leatherback sea turtle is unique among chelonians for having a soft skin which covers its osteoderms. The osteoderm is composed of bony plates that are interconnected with collagen fibers in a structure called suture. The soft dermis and suture geometry enable a significant amount of flexing of the junction between adjacent osteoderms. This design allows the body to contract better than a hard-shelled sea turtle as it dives to depths of over 1,000 m. The leatherback turtle has ridges along the carapace to enhance the hydrodynamic flow and provide a tailored stiffness. The osteoderms are of two types: flat and ridged. The structure of the two types of osteoderms is characterized and their mechanical properties are investigated with particular attention to the failure mechanisms. They both are bony structures with a porous core sandwiched between compact layers that form the outside and inside surfaces. The compressive strength is highly anisotropic by virtue of the interaction between loading orientation and arrangement of porous and compact components of osteoderms. The angle of interpenetration at the suture of osteoderms is analyzed and compared with analytical predictions. The sutures have a triangular shape with an angle of ∼30° which provides a balance between the tensile strength of the osteoderms and shear strength of the collagen fiber layer and is verified by Li-Ortiz-Boyce in a previous study. This is confirmed by an FEM analysis. A calculation is developed to quantify the flexibility of the carapace and plastron as a function of the angular displacement at the sutures, predicting the interdependence between geometrical parameters and flexibility. The leatherback turtle is a magnificent chelonian whose decreasing numbers have brought it to the brink of extinction in the Pacific Ocean. This first study of the structure of its shell provides important new insights that explain its amazing capacity for diving: depths of over 1,000 m have been recorded

  10. Marine debris ingestion by sea turtles (Testudines) on the Brazilian coast: an underestimated threat?

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Populations and home range relationships of the box turtle, Terrapene carolina (Linnaeus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  12. Vasoactivity of hydrogen sulfide in normoxic and anoxic turtles (Trachemys scripta)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stecyk, Jonathan A.W.; Jensen, Nini Skovgaard; Nilsson, Göran E.

    2010-01-01

    Systemic vascular resistance (Rsys) of freshwater turtles increases substantially during anoxia, but the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. We investigated whether hydrogen sulfide (H2S), an endogenously produced metabolite believed to be an O2 sensor/transducer of vasomotor tone......, contributes to the increased Rsys of anoxic red-eared slider turtles (Trachemys scripta). Vascular infusion of the H2S donor NaHS in anesthetized turtles at 21°C and fully recovered normoxic turtles at 5°C and 21°C revealed H2S to be a potent vasoconstrictor of the systemic circulation. Likewise, wire...... myography of isolated turtle mesenteric and pulmonary arteries demonstrated H2S to mediate an anoxia-induced constriction. Intriguingly, however, NaHS did not exert vasoconstrictory effects during anoxia (6 h at 21°C; 14 days at 5°C) when plasma H2S concentration, estimated from the colorimetric measurement...

  13. Development of the carapacial ridge: implications for the evolution of genetic networks in turtle shell development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. The amniote temporal roof and the diapsid origin of the turtle skull.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

    Fossils provide a glimpse into the architecturally complex origins of modern vertebrate body plans. One such origin that has been long debated is that of turtles. Although much attention has been directed toward the origin of the shell, the enigmatic evolution of the turtle skull and its anapsid temporal region has long clouded our understanding of reptile phylogeny. Two taxa, Eunotosaurus africanus and Pappochelys rosinae, were recently and independently described as long-anticipated stem turtles whose diapsid skulls would cement the evolutionary link between turtles and other modern reptile lineages. Detailed μCT analysis of the stratigraphically older and phylogenetically stemward of the two, Eunotosaurus, provides empirical insight into changing developmental trajectories that may have produced the anapsid cranial form of modern turtles and sets the stage for more comprehensive studies of early amniote cranial evolution. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  15. The integumental appendages of the turtle shell: an evo-devo perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moustakas-Verho, Jacqueline E; Cherepanov, Gennadii O

    2015-05-01

    The turtle shell is composed of dorsal armor (carapace) and ventral armor (plastron) covered by a keratinized epithelium. There are two epithelial appendages of the turtle shell: scutes (large epidermal shields separated by furrows and forming a unique mosaic) and tubercles (numerous small epidermal bumps located on the carapaces of some species). In our perspective, we take a synthetic, comparative approach to consider the homology and evolution of these integumental appendages. Scutes have been more intensively studied, as they are autapomorphic for turtles and can be diagnostic taxonomically. Their pattern of tessellation is stable phylogenetically, but labile in the individual. We discuss the history of developmental investigations of these structures and hypotheses of evolutionary and anomalous variation. In our estimation, the scutes of the turtle shell are an evolutionary novelty, whereas the tubercles found on the shells of some turtles are homologous to reptilian scales. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. To eat or not to eat? Debris selectivity by marine turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. Risk Analysis Reveals Global Hotspots for Marine Debris Ingestion by Sea Turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuyler, Q. A.; Wilcox, C.; Townsend, K.; Wedemeyer-Strombel, K.; Balazs, G.; van Sebille, E.; Hardesty, B. D.

    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 was 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.

  18. Phylogenomic analyses support the position of turtles as the sister group of birds and crocodiles (Archosauria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chiari Ylenia

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract 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

  19. Risk analysis reveals global hotspots for marine debris ingestion by sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Modeling Commercial Freshwater Turtle Production on US Farms for Pet and Meat Markets

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Modeling Commercial Freshwater Turtle Production on US Farms for Pet and Meat Markets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  2. Phylogenomic analyses support the position of turtles as the sister group of birds and crocodiles (Archosauria).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiari, Ylenia; Cahais, Vincent; Galtier, Nicolas; Delsuc, Frédéric

    2012-07-27

    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. 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. These results provide a phylogenetic framework

  3. Phylogenomic analyses support the position of turtles as the sister group of birds and crocodiles (Archosauria)

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  4. To Swim or Not to Swim: Potential Transmission of Balaenophilus manatorum (Copepoda: Harpacticoida) in Marine Turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domènech, Francesc; Tomás, Jesús; Crespo-Picazo, José Luis; García-Párraga, Daniel; Raga, Juan Antonio; Aznar, Francisco Javier

    2017-01-01

    Species of Balaenophilus are the only harpacticoid copepods that exhibit a widespread, obligate association with vertebrates, i.e., B. unisetus with whales and B. manatorum with marine turtles and manatees. In the western Mediterranean, juveniles of the loggerhead sea turtle, Caretta caretta are the only available hosts for B. manatorum, which has been found occurring at high prevalence (>80%) on them. A key question is how these epibionts are transmitted from host to host. We investigated this issue based on experiments with live specimens of B. manatorum that were cultured with turtle skin. Specimens were obtained from head-started hatchlings of C. caretta from the western Mediterranean. Hatched nauplii crawled only on rough substrates and lacked the ability to swim. Only copepodites IV and V, and adults, were able to perform directional swimming. Legs 2, 3 and 4 played a major role in swimming and were only well-developed in these stages. Nauplii reared in wells with turtle skin readily fed on this item. Late copepodites and adults also fed on turtle skin but did not consume other potential food items such as fish skin, baleen plates or planktonic algae. Evidences suggest that the transmission of B. manatorum should rely on hosts' bodily contacts and/or swimming of late developmental stages between spatially close hosts. The possibility of long-ranged dispersal is unlikely for two reasons. First, all developmental stages seem to depend on turtle skin as a food resource. Second, the average clutch size of ovigerous females was small (turtles that occur at very low densities (turtles·km-2) in the western Mediterranean. The high prevalence of B. manatorum in loggerhead turtles in this area raises the question whether these turtles have contacts, or tend to closely aggregate, more than is currently believed.

  5. To eat or not to eat? Debris selectivity by marine turtles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qamar Schuyler

    Full Text Available 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.

  6. Modeling Commercial Freshwater Turtle Production on US Farms for Pet and Meat Markets.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivana Mali

    Full Text Available 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.

  7. Nesting phenology of marine turtles: insights from a regional comparative analysis on green turtle (Chelonia mydas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mayeul Dalleau

    Full Text Available 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.

  8. Preliminary data on the occurrence of marine turtles in the Laje de Santos Marine State Park (SP, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Carolina Luchetta

    Full Text Available Abstract Although marine turtles have always been observed by divers, there are few scientific works on marine turtles in the Laje de Santos Marine State Park (PEMLS. Diurnal (bimonthly and nocturnal (biannual surveys were conducted between 2013 and 2015 for a more comprehensive study, totalizing 42 hours of diurnal observations and the capture of 41 turtles during nocturnal dives. During the diurnal surveys, visual observations were made from two land based sites (Paredão da Face Sul and Portinho. The numbers of heads (heads observed whether they are of the same turtle or not and turtles (individuals observed in groups were counted. The results showed the presence of marine turtles throughout the year. More turtles were observed from Paredão da Face Sul than from Portinho, the latter being a more sheltered point and a site preferred by divers. The nocturnal surveys consisted of the capture of turtles through scuba diving so they could be measured and weighed and tagged according to the guide-lines of the TAMAR project. Four nocturnal surveys were conducted and in the last survey three tagged turtles were captured, two of them having been tagged during this study. The measurements of these turtles indicated their growth during the study period.The present survey also highlighted the importance of the PEMLS as a feeding area for juvenile marine turtles.

  9. Intraspecific variation of the Green Turtle, Chelonia mydas (Cheloniidae), in the foraging area of Gorgona Natural National Park (Colombian Pacific)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sampson, Laura; Payan, Luis Fernando; Amorocho, Diego Fernando; Seminoff, Jeffrey A; Giraldo, Alan

    2014-01-01

    The size distribution and body condition of the two morphotypes of green turtle (Chelonia mydas) foraging in Gorgona Natural National Park (GNNP) in the Colombian Pacific was assessed from 2003 to 2012. Measurements of straight carapace length (SCL), curved carapace length (CCL), weight, and body condition of 1,023 turtles captured on the GNNP reefs were recorded. More black turtles (n = 747) than yellow turtles (n = 276) were captured, all of them juveniles. Black turtles were significantly larger and heavier than yellow turtles. The size of recruitment to the neritic zone was 40.0-49.9 cm SCL for both morphotypes, but there were more yellow than black turtles in this size class, indicating a difference in the recruitment pattern. The body condition index of yellow turtles was significantly higher than that of black turtles, which could indicate differences in resource use. Based on our results, we suggest that GNNP might function as a recruitment area for yellow turtles, which arrive at smaller sizes and as part of a coastal migratory route for black turtles, which arrive at larger sizes and maintain residence at this location for an unknown period of time.

  10. Biases and best approaches for assessing debris ingestion in sea turtles, with a case study in the Mediterranean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Toward consilience in reptile phylogeny: microRNAs support an archosaur, not a lepidosaur affinity for turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  12. Recent demographic history and present fine-scale structure in the Northwest Atlantic leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea turtle population.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erica Molfetti

    Full Text Available 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

  13. An Evaluation of Sea Turtle Populations and Survival Status on Vieques Island.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1982-06-22

    individual was seen and identified with certainty during I the 19S0-81 survey. 3 Neither species of Lepidochelys has ever been released from Vieques...though one individual of L. olivacea is known from Puerto Rico. 3 (Caldwell and Erdman 1969) I I II 3. STUDY PERSONNEL I Peter C.H. Pritchard, M.A

  14. Plasma levels of pollutants are much higher in loggerhead turtle populations from the Adriatic Sea than in those from open waters (Eastern Atlantic Ocean).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bucchia, Matteo; Camacho, María; Santos, Marcelo R D; Boada, Luis D; Roncada, Paola; Mateo, Rafael; Ortiz-Santaliestra, Manuel E; Rodríguez-Estival, Jaime; Zumbado, Manuel; Orós, Jorge; Henríquez-Hernández, Luis A; García-Álvarez, Natalia; Luzardo, Octavio P

    2015-08-01

    In this paper we determined the levels of 63 environmental contaminants, including organic (PCBs, organochlorine pesticides, and PAHs) and inorganic (As, Cd, Cu, Pb, Hg and Zn) compounds in the blood of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) from two comparable populations that inhabit distinct geographic areas: the Adriatic Sea (Mediterranean basin) and the Canary Islands (Eastern Atlantic Ocean). All animals were sampled at the end of a period of rehabilitation in centers of wildlife recovery, before being released back into the wild, so they can be considered to be in good health condition. The dual purpose of this paper is to provide reliable data on the current levels of contamination of this species in these geographic areas, and secondly to compare the results of both populations, as it has been reported that marine biota inhabiting the Mediterranean basin is exposed to much higher pollution levels than that which inhabit in other areas of the planet. According to our results it is found that current levels of contamination by organic compounds are considerably higher in Adriatic turtles than in the Atlantic ones (∑PCBs, 28.45 vs. 1.12ng/ml; ∑OCPs, 1.63 vs. 0.19ng/ml; ∑PAHs, 13.39 vs. 4.91ng/ml; pmercury (5.74 vs. 7.59μg/ml, p<0.01). The results of this study confirm that the concentrations are larger in turtles from the Mediterranean, probably related to the high degree of anthropogenic pressure in this basin, and thus they are more likely to suffer adverse effects related to contaminants. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Fecal bacterial communities of wild-captured and stranded green turtles (Chelonia mydas) on the Great Barrier Reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahasan, Md Shamim; Waltzek, Thomas B; Huerlimann, Roger; Ariel, Ellen

    2017-12-01

    Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) are endangered marine herbivores that break down food particles, primarily sea grasses, through microbial fermentation. However, the microbial community and its role in health and disease is still largely unexplored. In this study, we investigated and compared the fecal bacterial communities of eight wild-captured green turtles to four stranded turtles in the central Great Barrier Reef regions that include Bowen and Townsville. We used high-throughput sequencing analysis targeting the hypervariable V1-V3 regions of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene. At the phylum level, Firmicutes predominated among wild-captured green turtles, followed by Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria. In contrast, Proteobacteria (Gammaproteobacteria) was the most significantly dominant phylum among all stranded turtles, followed by Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes. In addition, Fusobacteria was also significantly abundant in stranded turtles. No significant differences were found between the wild-captured turtles in Bowen and Townsville. At the family level, the core bacterial community consisted of 25 families that were identified in both the wild-captured and stranded green turtles, while two unique sets of 14 families each were only found in stranded or wild-captured turtles. The predominance of Bacteroides in all groups indicates the importance of these bacteria in turtle gut health. In terms of bacterial diversity and richness, wild-captured green turtles showed a higher bacterial diversity and richness compared with stranded turtles. The marked differences in the bacterial communities between wild-captured and stranded turtles suggest the possible dysbiosis in stranded turtles in addition to potential causal agents. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  16. Tourists and turtles: Searching for a balance in Tortuguero, Costa Rica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meletis Zoe

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Tourism is seen as an important part of the turtle conservation ′toolbox′ that can be used to (1 raise awareness about sea turtles, (2 provide funding for conservation and management, and (3 create ′alternative livelihoods′ and revenues for communities who engage(d in direct consumption or sale of sea turtle products. With some exceptions, however, few studies of sea turtle tourism dedicate adequate attention to the wants, needs, and perceptions of tourists (exceptions include Wilson & Tisdell 2001; Smith 2002; Gray 2003; Meletis 2007; Ballantyne et al. 2009. In this paper, we focus on tourist perceptions of turtle tours in Tortuguero, Costa Rica, home to Tortuguero National Park (TNP; est. 1975 and among the oldest turtle tour systems in the world. In 2004, the tour system was changed to mitigate potential negative impacts of tourist activity on nesting turtles. Whereas tourists and their guides once walked the beach ′looking′ for nesting turtles, they now wait behind the beach and are radioed by TNP-affiliated ′turtle spotters′ when turtles are ′ready′ to be viewed. Impact mitigation was the primary motivation for this alteration to the tour system; resulting changes in the nature of the tour were not central considerations. Are the tourists enjoying the new tour format? Do they like/dislike the more passive waiting? Do the tourists know about, and understand the new tour system? In this paper, we address questions such as these, using a sample of 147 tourist surveys collected in 2008. We designed our survey to (1 add to the existing data on tourism in Tortuguero, (2 collect data on tourist perceptions of the (new tour system, and (3 gauge tourist awareness of the Turtle Spotter Program (TSP and the reasons for the new turtle tour system. The main purpose of this study was to collect data requested by interested stakeholders, and to consider the results with respect to implications for the future of turtle tour management

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  18. Western Pond Turtle Head-starting and Reintroduction; 2003-2004 Annual Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Leuven, Susan; Allen, Harriet; Slavin, Kate (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wildlife Management Program, Olympia, WA)

    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

  19. Global distribution of Chelonid fibropapilloma-associated herpesvirus among clinically healthy sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alfaro-Núñez, Alonzo; Frost Bertelsen, Mads; Bojesen, Anders Miki; Rasmussen, Isabel; Zepeda-Mendoza, Lisandra; Tange Olsen, Morten; Gilbert, Marcus Thomas Pius

    2014-10-25

    Fibropapillomatosis (FP) is a neoplastic disease characterized by cutaneous tumours that has been documented to infect all sea turtle species. Chelonid fibropapilloma-associated herpesvirus (CFPHV) is believed to be the aetiological agent of FP, based principally on consistent PCR-based detection of herpesvirus DNA sequences from FP tumours. We used a recently described PCR-based assay that targets 3 conserved CFPHV genes, to survey 208 green turtles (Chelonia mydas). This included both FP tumour exhibiting and clinically healthy individuals. An additional 129 globally distributed clinically healthy individual sea turtles; representing four other species were also screened. CFPHV DNA sequences were obtained from 37/37 (100%) FP exhibiting green turtles, and 45/300 (15%) clinically healthy animals spanning all five species. Although the frequency of infected individuals per turtle population varied considerably, most global populations contained at least one CFPHV positive individual, with the exception of various turtle species from the Arabian Gulf, Northern Indian Ocean and Puerto Rico. Haplotype analysis of the different gene markers clustered the CFPHV DNA sequences for two of the markers (UL18 and UL22) in turtles from Turks and Caicos separate to all others, regardless of host species or geographic origin. Presence of CFPHV DNA within globally distributed samples for all five species of sea turtle was confirmed. While 100% of the FP exhibiting green turtles yielded CFPHV sequences, surprisingly, so did 15% of the clinically healthy turtles. We hypothesize that turtle populations with zero (0%) CFPHV frequency may be attributed to possible environmental differences, diet and/or genetic resistance in these individuals. Our results provide first data on the prevalence of CFPHV among seemingly healthy turtles; a factor that may not be directly correlated to the disease incidence, but may suggest of a long-term co-evolutionary latent infection interaction between

  20. Ecology of juvenile hawksbills (Eretmochelys imbricata) at Buck Island Reef National Monument, US Virgin Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Kristen M.; Sartain-Iverson, Autumn R.; Hillis-Starr, Zandy; Phillips, Brendalee; Mayor, Philippe A.; Roberson, Kimberly; Pemberton, Roy A.; Allen, Jason B.; Lundgren, Ian; Musick, Susanna

    2013-01-01

    Surveys of juvenile hawksbills around Buck Island Reef National Monument, US Virgin Islands from 1994 to 1999 revealed distributional patterns and resulted in a total of 75 individual hawksbill captures from all years; turtles ranged from 23.2 to 77.7 cm curved carapace length (CCL; mean 42.1 ± 12.3 cm SD). Juveniles concentrated where Zoanthid cover was highest. Length of time between recaptures, or presumed minimum site residency, ranged from 59 to 1,396 days (mean 620.8 ± 402.4 days SD). Growth rates for 23 juveniles ranged from 0.0 to 9.5 cm year−1 (mean 4.1 ± 2.4 cm year−1SD). Annual mean growth rates were non-monotonic, with the largest mean growth rate occurring in the 30–39 cm CCL size class. Gastric lavages indicated that Zoanthids were the primary food source for hawksbills. These results contribute to our understanding of juvenile hawksbill ecology and serve as a baseline for future studies or inventories of hawksbills in the Caribbean.

  1. Mistaken identity? Visual similarities of marine debris to natural prey items of sea turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  2. Anti-predator meshing may provide greater protection for sea turtle nests than predator removal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Connor, Julie M; Limpus, Colin J; Hofmeister, Kate M; Allen, Benjamin L; Burnett, Scott E

    2017-01-01

    The problem of how to protect sea turtle nests from terrestrial predators is of worldwide concern. On Queensland's southern Sunshine Coast, depredation of turtle nests by the introduced European red fox (Vulpes vulpes) has been recorded as the primary terrestrial cause of egg and hatchling mortality. We investigated the impact of foxes on the nests of the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) and occasional green turtle (Chelonia mydas) over ten nesting seasons. Meshing of nests with fox exclusion devices (FEDs) was undertaken in all years accompanied by lethal fox control in the first five-year period, but not in the second five-year period. Lethal fox control was undertaken in the study area from 2005 to February 2010, but foxes still breached 27% (range19-52%) of turtle nests. In the second five-year period, despite the absence of lethal fox control, the average percentage of nests breached was less than 3% (range 0-4%). Comparison of clutch depredation rates in the two five-year periods demonstrated that continuous nest meshing may be more effective than lethal fox control in mitigating the impact of foxes on turtle nests. In the absence of unlimited resources available for the eradication of exotic predators, the use of FEDs and the support and resourcing of a dedicated volunteer base can be considered an effective turtle conservation tool on some beaches.

  3. Anti-predator meshing may provide greater protection for sea turtle nests than predator removal.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie M O'Connor

    Full Text Available The problem of how to protect sea turtle nests from terrestrial predators is of worldwide concern. On Queensland's southern Sunshine Coast, depredation of turtle nests by the introduced European red fox (Vulpes vulpes has been recorded as the primary terrestrial cause of egg and hatchling mortality. We investigated the impact of foxes on the nests of the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta and occasional green turtle (Chelonia mydas over ten nesting seasons. Meshing of nests with fox exclusion devices (FEDs was undertaken in all years accompanied by lethal fox control in the first five-year period, but not in the second five-year period. Lethal fox control was undertaken in the study area from 2005 to February 2010, but foxes still breached 27% (range19-52% of turtle nests. In the second five-year period, despite the absence of lethal fox control, the average percentage of nests breached was less than 3% (range 0-4%. Comparison of clutch depredation rates in the two five-year periods demonstrated that continuous nest meshing may be more effective than lethal fox control in mitigating the impact of foxes on turtle nests. In the absence of unlimited resources available for the eradication of exotic predators, the use of FEDs and the support and resourcing of a dedicated volunteer base can be considered an effective turtle conservation tool on some beaches.

  4. Development of a Summarized Health Index (SHI for use in predicting survival in sea turtles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tsung-Hsien Li

    Full Text Available 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.

  5. Contamination in marine turtle (Dermochelys coriaca) egg shells of Playon de Mexiquillo, Michoacan, Mexico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vazquez, G.F.; Reyes, M.C.; Fenandez, G. [Cd. Universitaria (Mexico)] [and others

    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.

  6. Impact of gas emboli and hyperbaric treatment on respiratory function of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Portugues, Cyril; Crespo-Picazo, Jose Luis; García-Párraga, Daniel; Altimiras, Jordi; Lorenzo, Teresa; Borque-Espinosa, Alicia; Fahlman, Andreas

    2018-01-01

    Fisheries interactions are the most serious threats for sea turtle populations. Despite the existence of some rescue centres providing post-traumatic care and rehabilitation, adequate treatment is hampered by the lack of understanding of the problems incurred while turtles remain entrapped in fishing gears. Recently it was shown that bycaught loggerhead sea turtles ( Caretta caretta ) could experience formation of gas emboli (GE) and develop decompression sickness (DCS) after trawl and gillnet interaction. This condition could be reversed by hyperbaric O 2 treatment (HBOT). The goal of this study was to assess how GE alters respiratory function in bycaught turtles before recompression therapy and measure the improvement after this treatment. Specifically, we assessed the effect of DCS on breath duration, expiratory and inspiratory flow and tidal volume ( V T ), and the effectiveness of HBOT to improve these parameters. HBOT significantly increased respiratory flows by 32-45% while V T increased by 33-35% immediately after HBOT. Repeated lung function testing indicated a temporal increase in both respiratory flow and V T for all bycaught turtles, but the changes were smaller than those seen immediately following HBOT. The current study suggests that respiratory function is significantly compromised in bycaught turtles with GE and that HBOT effectively restores lung function. Lung function testing may provide a novel means to help diagnose the presence of GE, be used to assess treatment efficacy, and contribute to sea turtle conservation efforts.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. High levels of maternally transferred mercury disrupt magnetic responses of snapping turtle hatchlings (Chelydra serpentina).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landler, Lukas; Painter, Michael S; Coe, Brittney Hopkins; Youmans, Paul W; Hopkins, William A; Phillips, John B

    2017-09-01

    The Earth's magnetic field is involved in spatial behaviours ranging from long-distance migration to non-goal directed behaviours, such as spontaneous magnetic alignment (SMA). Mercury is a harmful pollutant most often generated from anthropogenic sources that can bio-accumulate in animal tissue over a lifetime. We compared SMA of hatchling snapping turtles from mothers captured at reference (i.e., low mercury) and mercury contaminated sites. Reference turtles showed radio frequency-dependent SMA along the north-south axis, consistent with previous studies of SMA, while turtles with high levels of maternally inherited mercury failed to show consistent magnetic alignment. In contrast, there was no difference between reference and mercury exposed turtles on standard performance measures. The magnetic field plays an important role in animal orientation behaviour and may also help to integrate spatial information from a variety of sensory modalities. As a consequence, mercury may compromise the performance of turtles in a wide variety of spatial tasks. Future research is needed to determine the threshold for mercury effects on snapping turtles, whether mercury exposure compromises spatial behaviour of adult turtles, and whether mercury has a direct effect on the magnetoreception mechanism(s) that mediate SMA or a more general effect on the nervous system. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Pathology of aural abscesses in free-living Eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina).

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  10. How Much Are Floridians Willing to Pay for Protecting Sea Turtles from Sea Level Rise?

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  11. Integrative demographic modeling reveals population level impacts of PCB toxicity to juvenile snapping turtles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Salice, Christopher J.; Rowe, Christopher L.; Eisenreich, Karen M.

    2014-01-01

    A significant challenge in ecotoxicology and risk assessment lies in placing observed contaminant effects in a meaningful ecological context. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have been shown to affect juvenile snapping turtle survival and growth but the ecological significance of these effects is difficult to discern without a formal, population-level assessment. We used a demographic matrix model to explore the potential population-level effects of PCBs on turtles. Our model showed that effects of PCBs on juvenile survival, growth and size at hatching could translate to negative effects at the population level despite the fact that these life cycle components do not typically contribute strongly to population level processes. This research points to the utility of using integrative demographic modeling approaches to better understand contaminant effects in wildlife. The results indicate that population-level effects are only evident after several years, suggesting that for long-lived species, detecting adverse contaminant effects could prove challenging. -- Highlights: • Previous studies have shown the PCBs can impact juvenile snapping turtles. • We used a demographic model of turtles to evaluate population-level PCB effects. • PCB effects on turtles may translate to negative population responses. • Long-term monitoring is needed to detect contaminant effects on natural turtle populations. • Demographic models can improve our understanding contaminant ecotoxicity. -- A demographic model was used to show that PCB induced effects on young snapping turtles can result in adverse effects at the population level

  12. Skeletal remodelling suggests the turtle's shell is not an evolutionary straitjacket.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  13. The origin and loss of periodic patterning in the turtle shell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moustakas-Verho, Jacqueline E; Zimm, Roland; Cebra-Thomas, Judith; Lempiäinen, Netta K; Kallonen, Aki; Mitchell, Katherine L; Hämäläinen, Keijo; Salazar-Ciudad, Isaac; Jernvall, Jukka; Gilbert, Scott F

    2014-08-01

    The origin of the turtle shell over 200 million years ago greatly modified the amniote body plan, and the morphological plasticity of the shell has promoted the adaptive radiation of turtles. The shell, comprising a dorsal carapace and a ventral plastron, is a layered structure formed by basal endochondral axial skeletal elements (ribs, vertebrae) and plates of bone, which are overlain by keratinous ectodermal scutes. Studies of turtle development have mostly focused on the bones of the shell; however, the genetic regulation of the epidermal scutes has not been investigated. Here, we show that scutes develop from an array of patterned placodes and that these placodes are absent from a soft-shelled turtle in which scutes were lost secondarily. Experimentally inhibiting Shh, Bmp or Fgf signaling results in the disruption of the placodal pattern. Finally, a computational model is used to show how two coupled reaction-diffusion systems reproduce both natural and abnormal variation in turtle scutes. Taken together, these placodal signaling centers are likely to represent developmental modules that are responsible for the evolution of scutes in turtles, and the regulation of these centers has allowed for the diversification of the turtle shell. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  14. Transferrin polymorphism in Amazon turtle (Podocnemis expansa) stocks

    OpenAIRE

    Teixeira, Aylton Saturnino; Jamieson, Alan; Raposo, José Carlos Paula; Vieira, Alvaro Alves

    1996-01-01

    The transferrin gene locus (Tf) was investigated in five populations of the Amazon turtle (Podocnemis expansa) sampled from five geographical areas in the Amazon region. This locus was polymorphic, showing three genotypes (Tfª Tfª, Tfª Tf b and Tf b Tf b), presumably encoded by two co-dominant alleles, Tfª and Tf b. All populations showed good genetic balance according to Hardy-Weinberg expectations, and may sustain the hypothesis of a single stock in the area investigated. The data are consi...

  15. Hexavalent chromium is cytotoxic and genotoxic to hawksbill sea turtle cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wise, Sandra S.; Xie, Hong; Fukuda, Tomokazu; Douglas Thompson, W.

    2014-01-01

    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 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 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

  16. Susceptibility of fish and turtles to three ranaviruses isolated from different ectothermic vertebrate classes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. Mass mortality of eastern box turtles with upper respiratory disease following atypical cold weather.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agha, Mickey; Price, Steven J; Nowakowski, A Justin; Augustine, Ben; Todd, Brian D

    2017-04-20

    Emerging infectious diseases cause population declines in many ectotherms, with outbreaks frequently punctuated by periods of mass mortality. It remains unclear, however, whether thermoregulation by ectotherms and variation in environmental temperature is associated with mortality risk and disease progression, especially in wild populations. Here, we examined environmental and body temperatures of free-ranging eastern box turtles Terrapene carolina during a mass die-off coincident with upper respiratory disease. We recorded deaths of 17 turtles that showed clinical signs of upper respiratory disease among 76 adult turtles encountered in Berea, Kentucky (USA), in 2014. Of the 17 mortalities, 11 occurred approximately 14 d after mean environmental temperature dropped 2.5 SD below the 3 mo mean. Partial genomic sequencing of the major capsid protein from 1 sick turtle identified a ranavirus isolate similar to frog virus 3. Turtles that lacked clinical signs of disease had significantly higher body temperatures (23°C) than sick turtles (21°C) during the mass mortality, but sick turtles that survived and recovered eventually warmed (measured by temperature loggers). Finally, there was a significant negative effect of daily environmental temperature deviation from the 3 mo mean on survival, suggesting that rapid decreases in environmental temperature were correlated with mortality. Our results point to a potential role for environmental temperature variation and body temperature in disease progression and mortality risk of eastern box turtles affected by upper respiratory disease. Given our findings, it is possible that colder or more variable environmental temperatures and an inability to effectively thermoregulate are associated with poorer disease outcomes in eastern box turtles.

  18. Hypothermic stunning of green sea turtles in a western Gulf of Mexico foraging habitat.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donna J Shaver

    Full Text Available Texas waters provide one of the most important developmental and foraging habitats for juvenile green turtles (Chelonia mydas in the western Gulf of Mexico, but hypothermic stunning is a significant threat and was the largest cause of green turtle strandings in Texas from 1980 through 2015; of the 8,107 green turtles found stranded, 4,529 (55.9% were victims of hypothermic stunning. Additionally, during this time, 203 hypothermic stunned green turtles were found incidentally captured due to power plant water intake entrapment. Overall, 63.9% of 4,529 hypothermic stunned turtles were found alive, and 92.0% of those survived rehabilitation and were released. Numbers of green turtles recorded as stranded and as affected by hypothermic stunning increased over time, and were most numerous from 2007 through 2015. Large hypothermic stunning events (with more than 450 turtles documented occurred during the winters of 2009-2010, 2010-2011, 2013-2014, and 2014-2015. Hypothermic stunning was documented between November and March, but peaked at various times depending on passage of severe weather systems. Hypothermic stunning occurred state-wide, but was most prevalent in South Texas, particularly the Laguna Madre. In the Laguna Madre, hypothermic stunning was associated with an abrupt drop in water temperatures strong northerly winds, and a threshold mean water temperature of 8.0°C predicted large turtle hypothermic stunning events. Knowledge of environmental parameters contributing to hypothermic stunning and the temporal and spatial distribution of turtles affected in the past, can aid with formulation of proactive, targeted search and rescue efforts that can ultimately save the lives of many affected individuals, and aid with recovery efforts for this bi-national stock. Such rescue efforts are required under the U.S. Endangered Species Act and respond to humanitarian concerns of the public.

  19. To Eat or Not to Eat? Debris Selectivity by Marine Turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  20. An Immunohistochemical Approach to Identify the Sex of Young Marine Turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tezak, Boris M; Guthrie, Kathleen; Wyneken, Jeanette

    2017-08-01

    Marine turtles exhibit temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD). During critical periods of embryonic development, the nest's thermal environment directs whether an embryo will develop as a male or female. At warmer sand temperatures, nests tend to produce female-biased sex ratios. The rapid increase of global temperature highlights the need for a clear assessment of its effects on sea turtle sex ratios. However, estimating hatchling sex ratios at rookeries remains imprecise due to the lack of sexual dimorphism in young marine turtles. We rely mainly upon laparoscopic procedures to verify hatchling sex; however, in some species, morphological sex can be ambiguous even at the histological level. Recent studies using immunohistochemical (IHC) techniques identified that embryonic snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) ovaries overexpressed a particular cold-induced RNA-binding protein in comparison to testes. This feature allows the identification of females vs. males. We modified this technique to successfully identify the sexes of loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) hatchlings, and independently confirmed the results by standard histological and laparoscopic methods that reliably identify sex in this species. We next tested the CIRBP IHC method on gonad samples from leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea). Leatherbacks display delayed gonad differentiation, when compared to other sea turtles, making hatchling gonads difficult to sex using standard H&E stain histology. The IHC approach was successful in both C. caretta and D. coriacea samples, offering a much-needed tool to establish baseline hatchling sex ratios, particularly for assessing impacts of climate change effects on leatherback turtle hatchlings and sea turtle demographics. Anat Rec, 300:1512-1518, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Hexavalent chromium is cytotoxic and genotoxic to hawksbill sea turtle cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wise, Sandra S., E-mail: sandra.wise@maine.edu [Wise Laboratory of Environmental and Genetic Toxicology, University of Southern Maine, Science Building, 96 Falmouth Street, Portland, ME 04103 (United States); Maine Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health, University of Southern Maine, Science Building, 96 Falmouth Street, Portland, ME 04103 (United States); Department of Applied Medical Science, University of Southern Maine, Science Building, 96 Falmouth Street, Portland, ME 04103 (United States); Xie, Hong, E-mail: hongxie@usm.maine.edu [Wise Laboratory of Environmental and Genetic Toxicology, University of Southern Maine, Science Building, 96 Falmouth Street, Portland, ME 04103 (United States); Maine Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health, University of Southern Maine, Science Building, 96 Falmouth Street, Portland, ME 04103 (United States); Department of Applied Medical Science, University of Southern Maine, Science Building, 96 Falmouth Street, Portland, ME 04103 (United States); Fukuda, Tomokazu, E-mail: tomofukuda009@gmail.com [Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences, Tohoku University, Laboratory of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Second Research Building, Rm 112, 1-1 Amamiyamachi, Aoba-ku, Sendai 981-8555 (Japan); Douglas Thompson, W., E-mail: dougt@usm.maine.edu [Maine Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health, University of Southern Maine, Science Building, 96 Falmouth Street, Portland, ME 04103 (United States); Department of Applied Medical Science, University of Southern Maine, Science Building, 96 Falmouth Street, Portland, ME 04103 (United States); 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.

  2. Asymmetry of righting reflexes in sea turtles and its behavioral correlates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Head-started Kemp’s ridley turtle (Lepidochelys kempii) nest recorded in Florida: Possible implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. The shell vasculature of Trachemys turtles investigated by modern 3D imaging techniques

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Kasper; Thygesen, Jesper; Nielsen, Tobias Wang

    of the turtle Trachemys scripta, we perfused terminally anaesthetised turtles with different contrast enhancing agents (Microfil [lead n/a]), barium sulphate [250 mg/kg], and iodine [15-250 mg/kg]), and the animals were then scanned by both single source as well as dual energy Computed Tomographic systems......, to create three dimensional representations. Dual energy Computed Tomography provided good visual contrast between blood vessels and bony tissue inside the turtle shell due to differences in energy level from the two simultaneously acquired x-ray sources. However, inadequate resolution of the clinical...

  5. The story of invasive algae, arginine, and turtle tumors does not make sense

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Epidemiologic determinants of aural abscessation in free-living eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina) in Virginia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. Response properties of motoneurones in a slice preparation of the turtle spinal cord

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hounsgaard, J.; Kiehn, O.; Mintz, I.

    1988-01-01

    1. Motoneurones in transverse sections of the turtle spinal cord were investigated in vitro with intracellular recording techniques. 2. Turtle motoneurones had a resting membrane potential of ‐60 to ‐80 mV, spike height of 90‐110 mV and were able to maintain rhythmic firing during depolarization......‐dependent inward rectification was selectively blocked by extracellular Cs+ at concentrations below 1 mM. 6. The results show that the response properties of spinal motoneurones of the turtle are closely similar to those known from mammals in vivo. The experiments confirm and extend the identification of the ionic...

  8. Identifying Critical Habitat for Australian Freshwater Turtles in a Large Regulated Floodplain: Implications for Environmental Water Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ocock, J. F.; Bino, G.; Wassens, S.; Spencer, J.; Thomas, R. F.; Kingsford, R. T.

    2018-03-01

    Freshwater turtles face many threats, including habitat loss and river regulation reducing occupancy and contributing to population decline. Limited knowledge of hydrological conditions required to maintain viable turtle populations in large floodplain wetlands hinders effective adaptive management of environmental water in regulated rivers. We surveyed three turtle species over 4 years across the Lower Murrumbidgee River floodplain, a large wetland complex with a long history of water resource development. Using site and floodplain metrics and generalized linear models, within a Bayesian Model Averaging framework, we quantified the main drivers affecting turtle abundance. We also used a hierarchical modeling approach, requiring large sample sizes, quantifying possible environmental effects while accounting for detection probabilities of the eastern long-necked turtle ( Chelodina longicollis). The three species varied in their responses to hydrological conditions and connectivity to the main river channel. Broad-shelled turtles ( Chelodina expansa) and Macquarie River turtles ( Emydura macquarii macquarii) had restricted distributions, centered on frequently inundated wetlands close to the river, whereas the eastern long-necked turtles were more widely distributed, indicating an ability to exploit variable habitats. We conclude that turtle communities would benefit from long-term management strategies that maintain a spatiotemporal mosaic of hydrological conditions. More specifically, we identified characteristics of refuge habitats and stress the importance of maintaining their integrity during dry periods. Neighboring habitats can be targeted during increased water availability years to enhance feeding and dispersal opportunities for freshwater turtles.

  9. Survey of Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricate Health Condition in Terms of Parasites and Microbes in Alas Purwo National Park, Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qurrota A'yunin

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Indonesian waters have six types of turtles that can live, spawn and breed. Sea turtle conservation becomes an important and urgent program to be done in order to protect and save sea turtle population in Indonesia. One of the factors that most affect the turtle population is the cause of degradation of pathogenic factors. Alas Purwo National Park, East Java, there is some communities that have activities turtle conservation. Conservation is done by securing and protecting turtle eggs. Turtle eggs that have hatched are released into the sea once it is ready. This study aims was to determine the type of bacteria and fungi that infect hatchlings and environmental factors that influence. This research is descriptive method to Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricate is by way of random sampling. Sampling of microbes in sea turtle was conducted using cotton swab method and then microbes was cultured and indentified in laboratory. The results showed The kind of parasites and microbes which were indentified in hatching and adult Hawksbill sea turtles were fungus with genus Aspergillus sp., Geotrichum sp., Fusarium sp., and Gliocladium sp. ; bacteria are Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Enterobacter cloaceae; and parasite is Chelonibia testudinaria barnacles.  The parameter average value of water in pond indicated 28.1 – 29.2°C for temperature, 32 - 34 ‰ for salinity, 7.78 – 8.2 for pH, and 3.86 – 4.21 mg/L for DO.

  10. Avifauna: Turnover on Islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayr, E

    1965-12-17

    The percentage of endemic species of birds on islands increases with island area at a double logarithmic rate. This relation is apparently due to extinction, which is more rapid the smaller the island. The turnover resulting from extinction and replacement appears to be far more rapid than hitherto suspected.

  11. Diomede Islands, Bering Straight

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    The Diomede Islands consisting of the western island Big Diomede (also known as Imaqliq, Nunarbuk or Ratmanov Island), and the eastern island Little Diomede (also known as Krusenstern Island or Inaliq), are two rocky islands located in the middle of the Bering Strait between Russia and Alaska. The islands are separated by an international border and the International Date Line which is approximately 1.5 km from each island; you can look from Alaska into tomorrow in Russia. At the closest land approach between the United States, which controls Little Diomede, and Russia, which controls Big Diomede, they are 3 km apart. Little Diomede Island constitutes the Alaskan City of Diomede, while Big Diomede Island is Russia's easternmost point. The first European to reach the islands was the Russian explorer Semyon Dezhnev in 1648. The text of the 1867 treaty finalizing the sale of Alaska uses the islands to designate the border between the two nations. The image was acquired July 8, 2000, covers an area of 13.5 x 10.8 km, and is located at 65.8 degrees north latitude, 169 degrees west longitude. The U.S. science team is located at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The Terra mission is part of NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

  12. Tales of island tails

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groot, de Alma V.; Oost, Albert P.; Veeneklaas, Roos M.; Lammerts, Evert Jan; Duin, van Willem E.; Wesenbeeck, van Bregje K.

    2016-01-01

    The Frisian islands (Southern North Sea) have extensive island tails, i.e. the entire downdrift side of an island consisting of salt marshes, dunes, beaches and beach plains, and green beaches. Currently, large parts of these tails are ageing and losing dynamics, partly due to human influence.

  13. Growth and morphometrics of the box turtle, Terrapene c. carolina

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Schistosomus Reflexus Syndrome in Olive Ridley Sea Turtles ( Lepidochelys olivacea).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bárcenas-Ibarra, A; Rojas-Lleonart, I; Lozano-Guzmán, R I; García-Gasca, A

    2017-01-01

    The olive ridley sea turtle ( Lepidochelys olivacea), considered the most abundant sea turtle species, is listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List. The most important nesting areas are located in the Eastern Pacific, and congenital malformations have been previously reported in this species. The present study was conducted in a single population at El Verde beach, one of the most important nesting beaches for the species in the northwestern Mexican Pacific. The study was based on embryos that had been incubated in a controlled environment. Schistosomus reflexus syndrome (SRS) was observed in 124 of 20 257 olive ridley embryos (0.6%), comprising 124 of 400 (31%) cases of congenital malformations over a 7-month period. Affected embryos had malformations of the carapace, bridge, or plastron, resulting in exposure of the abdominal or thoracic viscera, as well as spinal malformation and abnormal positioning of limbs adjacent to the head with subsequent ankylosis. SRS phenotypes (although lethal) varied from mild to severe, although most cases were severe. SRS was mostly associated with congenital malformations in the neck (short neck, 80%), tail (anury, 38%), and flippers (different types of dysmelias, 53%). In most cases of severe SRS, ankyloses were present. Documenting these findings could be important to identify the cause of the developmental defects, and identification of the cause of the defects may be of significance to the population and to our efforts to manage this and other populations at risk.

  15. Calcium metabolism in olive ridley turtle eggs during embryonic development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahoo, G; Sahoo, R K; Mohanty-Hejmadi, P

    1998-09-01

    Analyses of calcium, magnesium, sulphur, potassium and phosphorus content of the eggshell, yolk-albumen and embryos of olive ridley turtle, Lepidochelys olivacea, have been carried out at various stages of embryonic development. Calcium is the major inorganic constituent in the egg (shell and yolk-albumen) and embryos. Other elements are present either in trace or in minute trace amounts. The egg contents (yolk and albumen) provide only 40% of the embryonic calcium requirement of the hatchling. The remaining 60% is provided by the eggshell. The eggshell also undergoes a similar reduction in its calcium content from laying to hatching. Elements other than calcium present in the yolk-albumen are sufficient for normal embryonic development. The movement of calcium from the eggshell to the embryo starts at about the 40th day of development at 29.5 degrees C. Birds, turtles and crocodiles use their eggshell as the secondary source of embryonic calcium requirement. This dependence on the eggshell varies in different groups which is highest in birds and lowest in crocodiles.

  16. Behaviour and physiology: the thermal strategy of leatherback turtles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian L Bostrom

    Full Text Available 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.

  17. ABC of multi-fractal spacetimes and fractional sea turtles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Calcagni, Gianluca [Instituto de Estructura de la Materia, CSIC, Madrid (Spain)

    2016-04-15

    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. (orig.)

  18. ABC of multi-fractal spacetimes and fractional sea turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. ABC of multi-fractal spacetimes and fractional sea turtles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Calcagni, Gianluca

    2016-01-01

    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. (orig.)

  20. Diet of the endangered big-headed turtle Platysternon megacephalum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yik-Hei Sung

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Populations of the big-headed turtle Platysternon megacephalum are declining at unprecedented rates across most of its distribution in Southeast Asia owing to unsustainable harvest for pet, food, and Chinese medicine markets. Research on Asian freshwater turtles becomes more challenging as populations decline and basic ecological information is needed to inform conservation efforts. We examined fecal samples collected from P. megacephalum in five streams in Hong Kong to quantify the diet, and we compared the germination success of ingested and uningested seeds. Fruits, primarily of Machilus spp., were most frequently consumed, followed by insects, plant matter, crabs and mollusks. The niche breadth of adults was wider than that of juveniles. Diet composition differed between sites, which may be attributable to the history of illegal trapping at some sites, which reduced the proportion of larger and older individuals. Digestion of Machilus spp. fruits by P. megacephalum enhanced germination success of seeds by about 30%. However, most digested seeds are likely defecated in water in this highly aquatic species, which limits the potential benefit to dispersal. The results of our study can be used by conservation-related captive breeding programs to ensure a more optimal diet is provided to captive P. megacephalum.

  1. Benthic substrate classification map: Gulf Islands National Seashore

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavoie, Dawn; Flocks, James; Twichell, Dave; Rose, Kate

    2013-01-01

    The 2005 hurricane season was devastating for the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Hurricane Katrina caused significant degradation of the barrier islands that compose the Gulf Islands National Seashore (GUIS). Because of the ability of coastal barrier islands to help mitigate hurricane damage to the mainland, restoring these habitats prior to the onset of future storms will help protect the islands themselves and the surrounding habitats. During Hurricane Katrina, coastal barrier islands reduced storm surge by approximately 10 percent and moderated wave heights (Wamsley and others, 2009). Islands protected the mainland by preventing ocean waves from maintaining their size as they approached the mainland. In addition to storm protection, it is advantageous to restore these islands to preserve the cultural heritage present there (for example, Fort Massachusetts) and because of the influence that these islands have on marine ecology. For example, these islands help maintain a salinity regime favorable to oysters in the Mississippi Sound and provide critical habitats for many migratory birds and endangered species such as sea turtles (Chelonia mydas, Caretta caretta, and Dermochelys coriacea), Gulf sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi), and piping plovers (Charadrius melodus) (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 2009a). As land manager for the GUIS, the National Park Service (NPS) has been working with the State of Mississippi and the Mobile District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide a set of recommendations to the Mississippi Coastal Improvements Program (MsCIP) that will guide restoration planning. The final set of recommendations includes directly renourishing both West Ship Island (to protect Fort Massachusetts) and East Ship Island (to restore the French Warehouse archaeological site); filling Camille Cut to recreate a continuous Ship Island; and restoring natural regional sediment transport processes by placing sand in the littoral zone just east of Petit Bois

  2. Applying new genetic approaches to improve quality of population assessment of leatherback turtles

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This project addresses gaps in life history information for sea turtles that have been long-standing needs for building accurate population models. The goal is to...

  3. Establish nesting beach origins for all turtles in CA via genetic techniques

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — To examine the stock origin and evaluate current life-history hypotheses of green turtles foraging in southern California, 780 bp of the mitochondrial (mtDNA)...

  4. 77 FR 37647 - Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp Trawling Requirements; Public Hearing Notification

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-22

    ... are physically accessible to people with disabilities; a Spanish language interpreter will be... fishing to use turtle excluder devices (TEDs) in their nets, which was published in the Federal Register...

  5. 77 FR 38266 - Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp Trawling Requirements; Public Hearing

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-27

    ... are physically accessible to people with disabilities; a Spanish language interpreter will be... fishing to use turtle excluder devices (TEDs) in their nets, which was published in the Federal Register...

  6. What Makes Them Pay? Values of Volunteer Tourists Working for Sea Turtle Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. Captive reared loggerhead sea turtles Hook and bait interaction trials From 2004-2007

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Hook and bait interaction feeding response data from experiments with captive reared loggerhead sea turtles ranging from 45 - 65 cm straight carapace length) were...

  8. Loggerhead sea turtle oral cavity morphometrics and size class from 2001 to 2004 (NCEI Accession 0164321)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains standard external morphometrics and internal oral cavity morphometrics from wild and captive reared loggerhead sea turtles in size classes...

  9. Relating tumor score to hematology in green turtles with fibropapillomatosis in Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Work, Thierry M.; Balazs, George 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.

  10. Monthly morphometric data on captive Kemps ridley sea turtles 1995-2013

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The database contains monthly measurements taken on captive reared sea turtles. Measurements include: straight carapace length nuchal notch to carapace tip, straight...

  11. Salinity tolerances and use of saline environments by freshwater turtles: implications of sea level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agha, Mickey; Ennen, Joshua R; Bower, Deborah S; Nowakowski, A Justin; Sweat, Sarah C; Todd, Brian D

    2018-03-25

    The projected rise in global mean sea levels places many freshwater turtle species at risk of saltwater intrusion into freshwater habitats. Freshwater turtles are disproportionately more threatened than other taxa; thus, understanding the role of salinity in determining their contemporary distribution and evolution should be a research priority. Freshwater turtles are a slowly evolving lineage; however, they can adapt physiologically or behaviourally to various levels of salinity and, therefore, temporarily occur in marine or brackish environments. Here, we provide the first comprehensive global review on freshwater turtle use and tolerance of brackish water ecosystems. We link together current knowledge of geographic occurrence, salinity tolerance, phylogenetic relationships, and physiological and behavioural mechanisms to generate a baseline understanding of the response of freshwater turtles to changing saline environments. We also review the potential origins of salinity tolerance in freshwater turtles. Finally, we integrate 2100 sea level rise (SLR) projections, species distribution maps, literature gathered on brackish water use, and a phylogeny to predict the exposure of freshwater turtles to projected SLR globally. From our synthesis of published literature and available data, we build a framework for spatial and phylogenetic conservation prioritization of coastal freshwater turtles. Based on our literature review, 70 species (∼30% of coastal freshwater turtle species) from 10 of the 11 freshwater turtle families have been reported in brackish water ecosystems. Most anecdotal records, observations, and descriptions do not imply long-term salinity tolerance among freshwater turtles. Rather, experiments show that some species exhibit potential for adaptation and plasticity in physiological, behavioural, and life-history traits that enable them to endure varying periods (e.g. days or months) and levels of saltwater exposure. Species that specialize on

  12. Monthly morphometric data on captive Kemps ridley sea turtles from 1998-2014 (NCEI Accession 0156880)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data contains monthly morphometric measurements on captive reared sea turtles at the Galveston, TX NOAA lab. Morphometric measurements are taken to track growth...

  13. Summary of satellite tagged sea turtles at NOAA Galveston 2002-2013

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The database contains a list of satellite tags affixed to sea turtles at the NOAA Galveston Laboratory. The information includes: species, date of tagging, and tag...

  14. First Care Area Logs for captive loggerhead and Kemps ridley sea turtles 2003-2014

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The database contains records pertaining to sick captive sea turtles, their daily behavior, medications, food offered, food consumed, and water quality.

  15. Summary of recreational hook and line caught sea turtles documented by the NOAA Galveston Laboratory

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The database is a summary of sea turtles that are hook and line captured by recreational anglers in the region covered by the NOAA Galveston Laboratory through its...

  16. Bacterial and viral pathogens detected in sea turtles stranded along the coast of Tuscany, Italy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Behavioral Response of Reef Fish and Green Sea Turtles to Midfrequency Sonar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons affect survival and development of common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) embryos and hatchlings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Meter, Robin J.; Spotila, James R.; Avery, Harold W.

    2006-01-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are toxic compounds found in the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We assessed the impact of PAHs and crude oil on snapping turtle development and behavior by exposing snapping turtle eggs from the Refuge and from three clean reference sites to individual PAHs or a crude oil mixture at stage 9 of embryonic development. Exposure to PAHs had a significant effect on survival rates in embryos from one clean reference site, but not in embryos from the other sites. There was a positive linear relationship between level of exposure to PAHs and severity of deformities in embryos collected from two of the clean reference sites. Neither righting response nor upper temperature tolerance (critical thermal maximum, CTM) of snapping turtle hatchlings with no or minor deformities was significantly affected by exposure to PAHs. - Exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons on the egg reduces survival of snapping turtle embryos and causes developmental abnormalities

  19. The use of spirometry to evaluate pulmonary function in olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) with positive buoyancy disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. 78 FR 58880 - Safety Zone; Catawba Island Club Wedding Event, Catawba Island Club, Catawba Island, OH

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-25

    ... DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2013-0840] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Catawba Island Club Wedding Event, Catawba Island Club, Catawba Island, OH ACTION... Zone; Catawba Island Club Wedding Event, Catawba Island Club, Catawba Island, OH. (a) Location. The...

  1. Review of potential impacts to sea turtles from underwater explosive removal of offshore structures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Viada, Stephen T.; Hammer, Richard M.; Racca, Roberto; Hannay, David; Thompson, M. John; Balcom, Brian J.; Phillips, Neal W.

    2008-01-01

    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

  2. Genetic studies of freshwater turtle and tortoises: a review of the past 70 years

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  3. Plastic Pollution at a Sea Turtle Conservation Area in NE Brazil: Contrasting Developed and Undeveloped Beaches.

    OpenAIRE

    SUL, J. A. I. do.; SANTOS, I. R.; FRIEDRICH, A. C.; MATTHIENSEN, A.; FILLMANN, G.

    2011-01-01

    Sea turtles are highly susceptible to plastic ingestion and entanglement. Beach debris were surveyed along the most important sea turtle nesting beaches in Brazil (Costa dos Coqueiros, Bahia State). No significant differences among developed and undeveloped beaches were observed in terms of total number of items. Local sources (tourism activities) represented 70% of debris on developed beaches, where cigarette butts, straws, paper fragments, soft plastic fragments, and food packaging...

  4. Environmental Warming and Feminization of One of the Largest Sea Turtle Populations in the World.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Michael P; Allen, Camryn D; Eguchi, Tomoharu; Bell, Ian P; LaCasella, Erin L; Hilton, William A; Hof, Christine A M; Dutton, Peter H

    2018-01-08

    Climate change affects species and ecosystems around the globe [1]. The impacts of rising temperature are particularly pertinent in species with temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD), where the sex of an individual is determined by incubation temperature during embryonic development [2]. In sea turtles, the proportion of female hatchlings increases with the incubation temperature. With average global temperature predicted to increase 2.6°C by 2100 [3], many sea turtle populations are in danger of high egg mortality and female-only offspring production. Unfortunately, determining the sex ratios of hatchlings at nesting beaches carries both logistical and ethical complications. However, sex ratio data obtained at foraging grounds provides information on the amalgamation of immature and adult turtles hatched from different nesting beaches over many years. Here, for the first time, we use genetic markers and a mixed-stock analysis (MSA), combined with sex determination through laparoscopy and endocrinology, to link male and female green turtles foraging in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) to the nesting beach from which they hatched. Our results show a moderate female sex bias (65%-69% female) in turtles originating from the cooler southern GBR nesting beaches, while turtles originating from warmer northern GBR nesting beaches were extremely female-biased (99.1% of juvenile, 99.8% of subadult, and 86.8% of adult-sized turtles). Combining our results with temperature data show that the northern GBR green turtle rookeries have been producing primarily females for more than two decades and that the complete feminization of this population is possible in the near future. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  5. Turtle functions downstream of Cut in differentially regulating class specific dendrite morphogenesis in Drosophila.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mikolaj J Sulkowski

    Full Text Available Dendritic morphology largely determines patterns of synaptic connectivity and electrochemical properties of a neuron. Neurons display a myriad diversity of dendritic geometries which serve as a basis for functional classification. Several types of molecules have recently been identified which regulate dendrite morphology by acting at the levels of transcriptional regulation, direct interactions with the cytoskeleton and organelles, and cell surface interactions. Although there has been substantial progress in understanding the molecular mechanisms of dendrite morphogenesis, the specification of class-specific dendritic arbors remains largely unexplained. Furthermore, the presence of numerous regulators suggests that they must work in concert. However, presently, few genetic pathways regulating dendrite development have been defined.The Drosophila gene turtle belongs to an evolutionarily conserved class of immunoglobulin superfamily members found in the nervous systems of diverse organisms. We demonstrate that Turtle is differentially expressed in Drosophila da neurons. Moreover, MARCM analyses reveal Turtle acts cell autonomously to exert class specific effects on dendritic growth and/or branching in da neuron subclasses. Using transgenic overexpression of different Turtle isoforms, we find context-dependent, isoform-specific effects on mediating dendritic branching in class II, III and IV da neurons. Finally, we demonstrate via chromatin immunoprecipitation, qPCR, and immunohistochemistry analyses that Turtle expression is positively regulated by the Cut homeodomain transcription factor and via genetic interaction studies that Turtle is downstream effector of Cut-mediated regulation of da neuron dendrite morphology.Our findings reveal that Turtle proteins differentially regulate the acquisition of class-specific dendrite morphologies. In addition, we have established a transcriptional regulatory interaction between Cut and Turtle, representing

  6. Using genes as characters and a parsimony analysis to explore the phylogenetic position of turtles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bin Lu

    Full Text Available The phylogenetic position of turtles within the vertebrate tree of life remains controversial. Conflicting conclusions from different studies are likely a consequence of systematic error in the tree construction process, rather than random error from small amounts of data. Using genomic data, we evaluate the phylogenetic position of turtles with both conventional concatenated data analysis and a "genes as characters" approach. Two datasets were constructed, one with seven species (human, opossum, zebra finch, chicken, green anole, Chinese pond turtle, and western clawed frog and 4584 orthologous genes, and the second with four additional species (soft-shelled turtle, Nile crocodile, royal python, and tuatara but only 1638 genes. Our concatenated data analysis strongly supported turtle as the sister-group to archosaurs (the archosaur hypothesis, similar to several recent genomic data based studies using similar methods. When using genes as characters and gene trees as character-state trees with equal weighting for each gene, however, our parsimony analysis suggested that turtles are possibly sister-group to diapsids, archosaurs, or lepidosaurs. None of these resolutions were strongly supported by bootstraps. Furthermore, our incongruence analysis clearly demonstrated that there is a large amount of inconsistency among genes and most of the conflict relates to the placement of turtles. We conclude that the uncertain placement of turtles is a reflection of the true state of nature. Concatenated data analysis of large and heterogeneous datasets likely suffers from systematic error and over-estimates of confidence as a consequence of a large number of characters. Using genes as characters offers an alternative for phylogenomic analysis. It has potential to reduce systematic error, such as data heterogeneity and long-branch attraction, and it can also avoid problems associated with computation time and model selection. Finally, treating genes as

  7. Plastic debris ingestion by sea turtle in Paraíba, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mascarenhas, Rita; Santos, Robson; Zeppelini, Douglas

    2004-08-01

    Coastal gill net entanglement and debris intake are important threats to the survival of sea turtles. Two sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea and Chelonia mydas) were found stranded along the coast of Paraíba. After necropsy, plastic debris were found in the stomach. The debris is described. This is the first record of this sort of problem for the Paraíba littoral.

  8. Videography reveals in-water behavior of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta at a foraging ground

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samir Harshad Patel

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Assessing sea turtle behavior at the foraging grounds has been primarily limited to the interpretation of remotely-sensed data. As a result, there is a general lack of detailed understanding regarding the habitat use of sea turtles during a phase that accounts for a majority of their lives. Thus, this study aimed to fill these data gaps by providing detailed information about the feeding habits, prey availability, buoyancy control and water column usage by 73 loggerhead turtles across 45.7 hours of video footage obtained from a remotely operated vehicle (ROV from 2008 – 2014. We developed an ethogram to account for 27 potential environmental and behavioral parameters. Turtles were filmed through the entire water column and we quantified the frequency of behaviors such as flipper beats, breaths, defecations, feedings and reactions to the ROV. We used the ROV’s depth sensor and visible cues (i.e. water surface or benthic zone in view to distinguish depth zones and assess the turtles’ use of the water column. We also quantified interactions with sympatric biota, including potential gelatinous and non-gelatinous prey species, fish (including sharks, marine mammals and other sea turtles. We discovered that turtles tended to remain within the near surface and surface zones of the water column through the majority of the footage. During benthic dives, turtles consistently exhibited negative buoyancy and some turtles exhibited a dichotomous foraging behavior, first foraging within the water column, then diving to the benthic environment. Videography allowed us to combine behavioral observations and habitat features that cannot be captured by traditional telemetry methods, resulting in a broader understanding of loggerheads’ ecological role in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic.

  9. Timing of organogenesis support basal position of turtles in the amniote tree of life

    OpenAIRE

    Werneburg, Ingmar; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Background The phylogenetic position of turtles is the most disputed aspect in the reconstruction of the land vertebrate tree of life. This controversy has arisen after many different kinds and revisions of investigations of molecular and morphological data. Three main hypotheses of living sister-groups of turtles have resulted from them: all reptiles, crocodiles + birds or squamates + tuatara. Although embryology has played a major role in morphological studies of vertebrate phyloge...

  10. Thinking Outside the Box Turtle: Public Perceptions of an Imperiled Species

    OpenAIRE

    Hartel, Colleen M; Carlton, Stuart; Prokopy, Linda S

    2013-01-01

    Eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina) experience negative impacts from human activities. Collection for the pet trade or mortalities caused by lawn mowers and vehicles are detrimental to populations, which have experienced rapid decline in Indiana. Understanding perceptions and attitudes held about species can help outreach. This study aims to observe how perceptions and fear response differ between a) genders, b) contact with box turtles, and c) conservation group membership. Mai...

  11. Mass poisoning after consumption of a hawksbill turtle, Federated States of Micronesia, 2010

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boris Pavlin

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  12. The integumental appendages of the turtle shell: An evo-devo perspective

    OpenAIRE

    Moustakas-Verho, Jacqueline; Cherepanov, Gennadii

    2015-01-01

    The turtle shell is composed of dorsal armor (carapace) and ventral armor (plastron) covered by a keratinized epithelium. There are two epithelial appendages of the turtle shell: scutes (large epidermal shields separated by furrows and forming a unique mosaic) and tubercles (numerous small epidermal bumps located on the carapaces of some species). In our perspective, we take a synthetic, comparative approach to consider the homology and evolution of these integumental appendages. Scutes have ...

  13. Using Genes as Characters and a Parsimony Analysis to Explore the Phylogenetic Position of Turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Bin; Yang, Weizhao; Dai, Qiang; Fu, Jinzhong

    2013-01-01

    The phylogenetic position of turtles within the vertebrate tree of life remains controversial. Conflicting conclusions from different studies are likely a consequence of systematic error in the tree construction process, rather than random error from small amounts of data. Using genomic data, we evaluate the phylogenetic position of turtles with both conventional concatenated data analysis and a “genes as characters” approach. Two datasets were constructed, one with seven species (human, opossum, zebra finch, chicken, green anole, Chinese pond turtle, and western clawed frog) and 4584 orthologous genes, and the second with four additional species (soft-shelled turtle, Nile crocodile, royal python, and tuatara) but only 1638 genes. Our concatenated data analysis strongly supported turtle as the sister-group to archosaurs (the archosaur hypothesis), similar to several recent genomic data based studies using similar methods. When using genes as characters and gene trees as character-state trees with equal weighting for each gene, however, our parsimony analysis suggested that turtles are possibly sister-group to diapsids, archosaurs, or lepidosaurs. None of these resolutions were strongly supported by bootstraps. Furthermore, our incongruence analysis clearly demonstrated that there is a large amount of inconsistency among genes and most of the conflict relates to the placement of turtles. We conclude that the uncertain placement of turtles is a reflection of the true state of nature. Concatenated data analysis of large and heterogeneous datasets likely suffers from systematic error and over-estimates of confidence as a consequence of a large number of characters. Using genes as characters offers an alternative for phylogenomic analysis. It has potential to reduce systematic error, such as data heterogeneity and long-branch attraction, and it can also avoid problems associated with computation time and model selection. Finally, treating genes as characters

  14. Skeletal remodelling suggests the turtle's shell is not an evolutionary straitjacket

    OpenAIRE

    Cordero, Gerardo Antonio; Quinteros, Kevin

    2015-01-01

    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 compre...

  15. Chain of commercialization of Podocnemis spp. turtles (Testudines: Podocnemididae) in the Purus River, Amazon basin, Brazil: current status and perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pantoja-Lima, Jackson; Aride, Paulo H R; de Oliveira, Adriano T; Félix-Silva, Daniely; Pezzuti, Juarez C B; Rebêlo, George H

    2014-01-27

    Consumption of turtles by natives and settlers in the Amazon and Orinoco has been widely studied in scientific communities. Accepted cultural customs and the local dietary and monetary needs need to be taken into account in conservation programs, and when implementing federal laws related to consumption and fishing methods. This study was conducted around the Purus River, a region known for the consumption and illegal trade of turtles. The objective of this study was to quantify the illegal turtle trade in Tapauá and to understand its effect on the local economy. This study was conducted in the municipality of Tapauá in the state of Amazonas, Brazil. To estimate turtle consumption, interviews were conducted over 2 consecutive years (2006 and 2007) in urban areas and isolated communities. The experimental design was randomized with respect to type of household. To study the turtle fishery and trade chain, we used snowball sampling methodology. During our study period, 100% of respondents reported consuming at least three species of turtles (Podocnemis spp.). Our estimates indicate that about 34 tons of animals are consumed annually in Tapauá along the margins of a major fishing river in the Amazon. At least five components related to the chain of commercialization of turtles on the Purus River are identified: Indigenous Apurinã and (2) residents of bordering villages (communities); (3) of local smugglers buy and sell turtles to the community in exchange for manufactured goods, and (4) regional smugglers buy in Tapauá, Lábrea, and Beruri to sell in Manaus and Manacapuru; Finally, (5) there are professional fishermen. We quantify the full impact of turtle consumption and advocate the conservation of the region's turtle populations. The Brazilian government should initiate a new turtle consumption management program which involves the opinions of consumers. With these measures the conservation of freshwater turtles in the Brazilian Amazon, is possible.

  16. Experimental feeding of Hydrilla verticillata colonized by stigonematales cyanobacteria induces vacuolar myelinopathy in painted turtles (Chrysemys picta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercurio, Albert D; Hernandez, Sonia M; Maerz, John C; Yabsley, Michael J; Ellis, Angela E; Coleman, Amanda L; Shelnutt, Leslie M; Fischer, John R; Wilde, Susan B

    2014-01-01

    Vacuolar myelinopathy (VM) is a neurologic disease primarily found in birds that occurs when wildlife ingest submerged aquatic vegetation colonized by an uncharacterized toxin-producing cyanobacterium (hereafter "UCB" for "uncharacterized cyanobacterium"). Turtles are among the closest extant relatives of birds and many species directly and/or indirectly consume aquatic vegetation. However, it is unknown whether turtles can develop VM. We conducted a feeding trial to determine whether painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) would develop VM after feeding on Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata), colonized by the UCB (Hydrilla is the most common "host" of UCB). We hypothesized turtles fed Hydrilla colonized by the UCB would exhibit neurologic impairment and vacuolation of nervous tissues, whereas turtles fed Hydrilla free of the UCB would not. The ability of Hydrilla colonized by the UCB to cause VM (hereafter, "toxicity") was verified by feeding it to domestic chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus) or necropsy of field collected American coots (Fulica americana) captured at the site of Hydrilla collections. We randomly assigned ten wild-caught turtles into toxic or non-toxic Hydrilla feeding groups and delivered the diets for up to 97 days. Between days 82 and 89, all turtles fed toxic Hydrilla displayed physical and/or neurologic impairment. Histologic examination of the brain and spinal cord revealed vacuolations in all treatment turtles. None of the control turtles exhibited neurologic impairment or had detectable brain or spinal cord vacuolations. This is the first evidence that freshwater turtles can become neurologically impaired and develop vacuolations after consuming toxic Hydrilla colonized with the UCB. The southeastern United States, where outbreaks of VM occur regularly and where vegetation colonized by the UCB is common, is also a global hotspot of freshwater turtle diversity. Our results suggest that further investigations into the effect of the putative UCB toxin

  17. Patterns and inferred processes associated with sea turtle strandings in Paraíba State, Northeast Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Poli, C.; Lopez, LCS.; Mesquita, DO; Saska, C.; Mascarenhas, R.

    2014-01-01

    This study analysed sea turtle strandings on the coast of Paraíba State, Northeastern Brazil, from August 2009 to July 2010. A total of 124 strandings were recorded in this period: green turtle Chelonia mydas (n = 106), hawksbill Eretmochelys imbricata (n = 15), olive ridley Lepidochelys olivacea (n = 2) and loggerhead Caretta caretta (n = 1). Of all turtles for which the Curved Carapace Length (CCL) was measured (n = 122), only 12 individuals (9.7%) were adults. Twenty individuals had synthe...

  18. The Gulf of Manfredonia: a new neritic foraging area for loggerhead sea turtles in the Adriatic Sea

    OpenAIRE

    Paolo Casale; Giovanni Simone; Ciro Conoscitore; Michele Conoscitore; Pasquale Salvemini

    2012-01-01

    The Adriatic Sea is an important foraging area for the loggerhead sea turtle, Caretta caretta, but neritic habitats for this species along the Italian coast were identified in the northern shallow area only. The Gulf of Manfredonia is a relatively wide shallow area in the south-west Adriatic and its features and preliminary information make it a potential foraging ground for turtles. In order to assess sea turtle occurrence in the area, we monitored seven bottom trawlers based in the port of ...

  19. Experimental feeding of Hydrilla verticillata colonized by stigonematales cyanobacteria induces vacuolar myelinopathy in painted turtles (Chrysemys picta.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Albert D Mercurio

    Full Text Available Vacuolar myelinopathy (VM is a neurologic disease primarily found in birds that occurs when wildlife ingest submerged aquatic vegetation colonized by an uncharacterized toxin-producing cyanobacterium (hereafter "UCB" for "uncharacterized cyanobacterium". Turtles are among the closest extant relatives of birds and many species directly and/or indirectly consume aquatic vegetation. However, it is unknown whether turtles can develop VM. We conducted a feeding trial to determine whether painted turtles (Chrysemys picta would develop VM after feeding on Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata, colonized by the UCB (Hydrilla is the most common "host" of UCB. We hypothesized turtles fed Hydrilla colonized by the UCB would exhibit neurologic impairment and vacuolation of nervous tissues, whereas turtles fed Hydrilla free of the UCB would not. The ability of Hydrilla colonized by the UCB to cause VM (hereafter, "toxicity" was verified by feeding it to domestic chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus or necropsy of field collected American coots (Fulica americana captured at the site of Hydrilla collections. We randomly assigned ten wild-caught turtles into toxic or non-toxic Hydrilla feeding groups and delivered the diets for up to 97 days. Between days 82 and 89, all turtles fed toxic Hydrilla displayed physical and/or neurologic impairment. Histologic examination of the brain and spinal cord revealed vacuolations in all treatment turtles. None of the control turtles exhibited neurologic impairment or had detectable brain or spinal cord vacuolations. This is the first evidence that freshwater turtles can become neurologically impaired and develop vacuolations after consuming toxic Hydrilla colonized with the UCB. The southeastern United States, where outbreaks of VM occur regularly and where vegetation colonized by the UCB is common, is also a global hotspot of freshwater turtle diversity. Our results suggest that further investigations into the effect of the

  20. Bite traces in a turtle carapace fragment from the middle Danian (Lower Paleocene) bryozoan limestone, Faxe, Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Milan, Jesper; Lindow, Bent Erik Kramer; Lauridsen, Bodil Wesenberg

    2011-01-01

    A fragment of a turtle carapace from the Middle Danian bryozoan limestone at the Faxe quarry, eastern Denmark, is identified as a partial costal plate from the carapace of a chelonioid turtle. The fragment bears traces of three separate acts of predation or scavenging. Two circular bite traces...... either alone or in a row of three, are either from sharks or fish. This is the first record of turtles from the Danian bryozoan limestone exposed in Faxe....

  1. Molecular identification of fungal isolates and hatching success of green turtle (Chelonia mydas) nests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Candan, Esra Deniz

    2018-02-26

    The aim of this study is to investigate the fungal diversity of green turtle nests and to examine phylogenetic relationships among these isolates. During the nesting season, samples of intra-nest sand and failed eggs were collected from 25% of the surviving nests in Sugözü Beaches, which are amongst the most important nesting beaches for endangered green turtles in the Mediterranean. Twenty-three fungi were identified by molecular techniques. Fungal isolates belonged to genera Aspergillus, Emericella, Rhizopus, Actinomucor and Apophysomyces with two undescribed species. Aspergillus variecolor, Aspergillus quadrilinieatus, Aspergillus tubingensis, Rhizopus oryzae, Actinomucor elegans and Apophysomyces variabilis were firstly detected in all sea turtle nests within this study. Our results demonstrate that 36.4% of the nests had fungal contamination. Also hatching success of the nests contaminated by fungi were significantly lower than the uncontaminated nests (P = 0.029). Also, this may represent a threat to marine turtles and a risk for the health of conservation workers. This study is the first molecular phylogenetic study associated with sea turtle nests in the eastern Mediterranean coast and contributes to the wider body of literature on fungal invasion of sea turtle nests with firstly isolated species. These findings are important for improving potential conservation measures for the nest sites.

  2. The cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of particulate and soluble hexavalent chromium in leatherback sea turtle lung cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Speer, Rachel M; Wise, Catherine F; Young, Jamie L; Aboueissa, AbouEl-Makarim; Martin Bras, Mark; Barandiaran, Mike; Bermúdez, Erick; Márquez-D'Acunti, Lirio; Wise, John Pierce

    2018-05-01

    Hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] is a marine pollution of concern as recent studies show it has a global distribution, with some regions showing high Cr concentrations in marine animal tissue, and it is extensively used. Leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) are an endangered marine species that may experience prolonged exposures to environmental contaminants including Cr(VI). Human activities have led to global Cr(VI) contamination of the marine environment. While Cr(VI) has been identified as a known human carcinogen, the health effects in marine species are poorly understood. In this study, we assessed the cytotoxic and genotoxic effects of particulate and soluble Cr(VI) in leatherback sea turtle lung cells. Both particulate and soluble Cr(VI) induced a concentration-dependent increase in cytotoxicity. Next, using a chromosome aberration assay, we assessed the genotoxic effects of Cr(VI) in leatherback sea turtle lung cells. Particulate and soluble Cr(VI) induced a concentration-dependent increase in clastogenicity in leatherback sea turtle lung cells. These data indicate that Cr(VI) may be a health concern for leatherback sea turtles and other long-lived marine species. Additionally, these data provide foundational support to use leatherback sea turtles as a valuable model species for monitoring the health effects of Cr(VI) in the environment and possibly as an indicator species to assess environmental human exposures and effects. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Distribution and Feeding Behavior of Omorgus suberosus (Coleoptera: Trogidae) in Lepidochelys olivacea Turtle Nests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baena, Martha L; Escobar, Federico; Halffter, Gonzalo; García-Chávez, Juan H

    2015-01-01

    Omorgus suberosus (Fabricius, 1775) has been identified as a potential predator of the eggs of the turtle Lepidochelys olivacea (Eschscholtz, 1829) on one of the main turtle nesting beaches in the world, La Escobilla in Oaxaca, Mexico. This study presents an analysis of the spatio-temporal distribution of the beetle on this beach (in areas of high and low density of L. olivacea nests over two arrival seasons) and an evaluation, under laboratory conditions, of the probability of damage to the turtle eggs by this beetle. O. suberosus adults and larvae exhibited an aggregated pattern at both turtle nest densities; however, aggregation was greater in areas of low nest density, where we found the highest proportion of damaged eggs. Also, there were fluctuations in the temporal distribution of the adult beetles following the arrival of the turtles on the beach. Under laboratory conditions, the beetles quickly damaged both dead eggs and a mixture of live and dead eggs, but were found to consume live eggs more slowly. This suggests that O. suberosus may be recycling organic material; however, its consumption of live eggs may be sufficient in some cases to interrupt the incubation period of the turtle. We intend to apply these results when making decisions regarding the L. olivacea nests on La Escobilla Beach, one of the most important sites for the conservation of this species.

  4. Thermal biology of eastern box turtles in a longleaf pine system managed with prescribed fire.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roe, John H; Wild, Kristoffer H; Hall, Carlisha A

    2017-10-01

    Fire can influence the microclimate of forest habitats by removing understory vegetation and surface debris. Temperature is often higher in recently burned forests owing to increased light penetration through the open understory. Because physiological processes are sensitive to temperature in ectotherms, we expected fire-maintained forests to improve the suitability of the thermal environment for turtles, and for turtles to seasonally associate with the most thermally-optimal habitats. Using a laboratory thermal gradient, we determined the thermal preference range (T set ) of eastern box turtles, Terrapene carolina, to be 27-31°C. Physical models simulating the body temperatures experienced by turtles in the field revealed that surface environments in a fire-maintained longleaf pine forest were 3°C warmer than adjacent unburned mixed hardwood/pine forests, but the fire-maintained forest was never of superior thermal quality owing to wider T e fluctuations above T set and exposure to extreme and potentially lethal temperatures. Radiotracked turtles using fire-managed longleaf pine forests maintained shell temperatures (T s ) approximately 2°C above those at a nearby unburned forest, but we observed only moderate seasonal changes in habitat use which were inconsistent with thermoregulatory behavior. We conclude that turtles were not responding strongly to the thermal heterogeneity generated by fire in our system, and that other aspects of the environment are likely more important in shaping habitat associations. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Use of Particle Tracking to Determine Optimal Release Dates and Locations for Rehabilitated Neonate Sea Turtles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalie A. Robson

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Sea turtles found stranded on beaches are often rehabilitated before being released back into the wild. The location and date of release is largely selected on an informal basis, which may not maximize the chance of survival. As oceanic conditions have a large influence on the movements of neonate sea turtles, this study aimed to identify the best locations and months to release rehabilitated sea turtles that would assist in their transport by ocean currents to the habitat and thermal conditions required for their survival. A particle tracking model, forced by ocean surface velocity fields, was used to simulate the dispersal pathways of millions of passively drifting particles released from different locations in Western Australia. The particles represented rehabilitated, neonate turtles requiring oceanic habitats [green (Chelonia mydas, hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata and loggerheads (Caretta caretta] and flatback turtles (Natator depressus which require neritic habitats. The results clearly identified regions and months where ocean currents were more favorable for transport to suitable habitats. Tantabiddi, near Exmouth on the north-west coast, was consistently the best location for release for the oceanic species, with dominant offshore-directed currents and a very narrow continental shelf reducing the time taken for particles to be transported into deep water. In contrast, release locations with more enclosed geography, wide continental shelves, and/or proximity to cooler ocean temperatures were less successful. Our results produced a decision support system for the release of neonate marine turtles in Western Australia and our particle tracking approach has global transferability.

  6. Economic Incentives, Perceptions and Compliance with Marine Turtle Egg Harvesting Regulation in Nicaragua

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Róger Madrigal-Ballestero

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available La Flor Wildlife Refuge and nearby beaches on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua are important nesting sites for various species of endangered marine turtles. However, illegal harvesting of turtle eggs threatens the survival of marine turtles. In this study, we analysed the different motivations of local villagers for complying with a ban on harvesting marine turtle eggs in a context, in which government authorities do not have the means to fully enforce existing regulations. We also analysed the effectiveness and the participation of locals in an incipient performance-based nest conservation payment programme to protect turtle eggs. The analysis of survey-based data from 180 households living in Ostional, the largest village near La Flor Wildlife Refuge, indicates remarkable socio-economic differences between harvesters and non-harvesters. Our findings suggest that harvesters are associated mainly with a lack of income from other activities and the absence of productive assets, such as land for cattle and/or agriculture. In addition, the lack of legitimacy of prevailing institutions (i.e., actual regulations also seems to perpetuate illegal harvesting. The performance-based payments programme is an effective option for protecting nests on isolated beaches, however, it is not clear if it changes harvesting behaviour overall. Normative motivations to protect the turtles are important determinants of participation in this programme, although the financial reward is also an important incentive, particularly since most participants who are egg harvesters depend on this activity as their main source of income.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  8. Toward consilience in reptile phylogeny: miRNAs support an archosaur, not lepidosaur, affinity for turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Field, Daniel J; Gauthier, Jacques A; King, Benjamin L; Pisani, Davide; Lyson, Tyler R; Peterson, Kevin J

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the phylogenetic position 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 the vast majority of gene sequence analyses support turtles as being inside Diapsida, and usually as sister to crown Archosauria (birds and crocodilians). 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 hypothesis with an expanded miRNA presence/absence dataset, and employ more rigorous criteria for miRNA annotation. Significantly, we find no support for a turtle + lepidosaur sister-relationship; instead, we recover strong support for turtles sharing a more recent common ancestor with archosaurs. We further test this result by analyzing a super-alignment of precursor miRNA sequences for every miRNA inferred to have been present in the most recent common ancestor of tetrapods. This analysis yields a topology that is fully congruent with our presence/absence analysis; our results are therefore in accordance with most gene sequence studies, providing strong, consilient molecular evidence from diverse independent datasets regarding the phylogenetic position of turtles. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Distribution and Feeding Behavior of Omorgus suberosus (Coleoptera: Trogidae in Lepidochelys olivacea Turtle Nests.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martha L Baena

    Full Text Available Omorgus suberosus (Fabricius, 1775 has been identified as a potential predator of the eggs of the turtle Lepidochelys olivacea (Eschscholtz, 1829 on one of the main turtle nesting beaches in the world, La Escobilla in Oaxaca, Mexico. This study presents an analysis of the spatio-temporal distribution of the beetle on this beach (in areas of high and low density of L. olivacea nests over two arrival seasons and an evaluation, under laboratory conditions, of the probability of damage to the turtle eggs by this beetle. O. suberosus adults and larvae exhibited an aggregated pattern at both turtle nest densities; however, aggregation was greater in areas of low nest density, where we found the highest proportion of damaged eggs. Also, there were fluctuations in the temporal distribution of the adult beetles following the arrival of the turtles on the beach. Under laboratory conditions, the beetles quickly damaged both dead eggs and a mixture of live and dead eggs, but were found to consume live eggs more slowly. This suggests that O. suberosus may be recycling organic material; however, its consumption of live eggs may be sufficient in some cases to interrupt the incubation period of the turtle. We intend to apply these results when making decisions regarding the L. olivacea nests on La Escobilla Beach, one of the most important sites for the conservation of this species.

  10. First satellite tracks of neonate sea turtles redefine the ‘lost years’ oceanic niche

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mansfield, Katherine L.; Wyneken, Jeanette; Porter, Warren P.; Luo, Jiangang

    2014-01-01

    Few at-sea behavioural data exist for oceanic-stage neonate sea turtles, a life-stage commonly referred to as the sea turtle ‘lost years’. Historically, the long-term tracking of small, fast-growing organisms in the open ocean was logistically or technologically impossible. Here, we provide the first long-term satellite tracks of neonate sea turtles. Loggerheads (Caretta caretta) were remotely tracked in the Atlantic Ocean using small solar-powered satellite transmitters. We show that oceanic-stage turtles (i) rarely travel in Continental Shelf waters, (ii) frequently depart the currents associated with the North Atlantic Subtropical Gyre, (iii) travel quickly when in Gyre currents, and (iv) select sea surface habitats that are likely to provide a thermal benefit or refuge to young sea turtles, supporting growth, foraging and survival. Our satellite tracks help define Atlantic loggerhead nursery grounds and early loggerhead habitat use, allowing us to re-examine sea turtle ‘lost years’ paradigms. PMID:24598420

  11. Deepwater Horizon oil spill impacts on sea turtles could span the Atlantic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putman, Nathan F; Abreu-Grobois, F Alberto; Iturbe-Darkistade, Iñaky; Putman, Emily M; Richards, Paul M; Verley, Philippe

    2015-12-01

    We investigated the extent that the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill potentially affected oceanic-stage sea turtles from populations across the Atlantic. Within an ocean-circulation model, particles were backtracked from the Gulf of Mexico spill site to determine the probability of young turtles arriving in this area from major nesting beaches. The abundance of turtles in the vicinity of the oil spill was derived by forward-tracking particles from focal beaches and integrating population size, oceanic-stage duration and stage-specific survival rates. Simulations indicated that 321 401 (66 199-397 864) green (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) turtles were likely within the spill site. These predictions compared favourably with estimates from in-water observations recently made available to the public (though our initial predictions for Kemp's ridley were substantially lower than in-water estimates, better agreement was obtained with modifications to mimic behaviour of young Kemp's ridley turtles in the northern Gulf). Simulations predicted 75.2% (71.9-76.3%) of turtles came from Mexico, 14.8% (11-18%) from Costa Rica, 5.9% (4.8-7.9%) from countries in northern South America, 3.4% (2.4-3.5%) from the United States and 1.6% (0.6-2.0%) from West African countries. Thus, the spill's impacts may extend far beyond the current focus on the northern Gulf of Mexico. © 2015 The Authors.

  12. Age and growth determination by skeletochronology in loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta from the Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paolo Casale

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Skeletochronology was applied to humerus bones to assess the age and growth rates of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta in the Mediterranean Sea. Fifty-five dead turtles with curved carapace lengths (CCL ranging from 24 to 86.5 cm were collected from the central Mediterranean. Sections of humeri were histologically processed to analyze annual growth marks. Two approaches were used to estimate the somatic growth in the form of a von Bertalanffy growth function. The first approach was based on calculating the total number of growth marks, which corresponds to the age of turtles at death. The second approach estimates the carapace length at old growth marks in order to provide the growth rate of each turtle. The observed individual growth rates ranged from 1.4 to 6.2 cm yr–1, and showed both elevated inter- and intra-individual variability possibly related to the environmental variability experienced by turtles during their lifetime. Both approaches gave similar results and suggest that Mediterranean loggerhead turtles take 14.9 to 28.5 years to reach a CCL of 66.5 to 84.7 cm. This size corresponds to the average size of nesting females found in the most important Mediterranean nesting sites and can be considered the approximate size at maturity.

  13. The dawn of chelonian research: turtles between comparative anatomy and embryology in the 19th century.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacCord, Kate; Caniglia, Guido; Moustakas-Verho, Jacqueline E; Burke, Ann C

    2015-05-01

    Many evo-devo studies of the turtle's shell draw hypotheses and support from historical sources. The groundbreaking works of Cuvier, Geoffroy St. Hilaire, Carus, Rathke, Owen, and others are being revived in modern research, and their centuries-old understanding of the turtle's shell reconsidered. In the works of these eminent biologists of the 19th century, comparative anatomy and embryology of turtle morphology set the stage for future studies in developmental biology, histology, and paleontology. Given the impact that these works still make on modern research, it is important to develop a thorough appreciation of previous authors, regarding how they arrived at their conclusions (i.e., what counted as evidence?), whether there was debate amongst these authors about shell development (i.e., what counted as an adequate explanation?), and even why these men, some of the most powerful and influential thinkers and anatomists of their day, were concerned with turtles. By tracing and exposing the context and content of turtle shell studies in history, our aim is to inform modern debates about the evolution and development of the turtle's shell. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Sensory Evolution and Ecology of Early Turtles Revealed by Digital Endocranial Reconstructions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephan Lautenschlager

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available In the past few years, new fossil finds and novel methodological approaches have prompted intensive discussions about the phylogenetic affinities of turtles and rekindled the debate on their ecological origin, with very distinct scenarios, such as fossoriality and aquatic habitat occupation, proposed for the earliest stem-turtles. While research has focused largely on the origin of the anapsid skull and unique postcranial anatomy, little is known about the endocranial anatomy of turtles. Here, we provide 3D digital reconstructions and comparative descriptions of the brain, nasal cavity, neurovascular structures and endosseous labyrinth of Proganochelys quenstedti, one of the earliest stem-turtles, as well as other turtle taxa. Our results demonstrate that P. quenstedti retained a simple tube-like brain morphology with poorly differentiated regions and mediocre hearing and vision, but a well-developed olfactory sense. Endocast shape analysis indicates that an increase in size and regionalization of the brain took place in the course of turtle evolution, achieving an endocast diversity comparable to other amniote groups. Based on the new evidence presented herein, we further conclude that P. quenstedti was a highly terrestrial, but most likely not fossorial, taxon.

  15. The Ozobranchus leech is a candidate mechanical vector for the fibropapilloma-associated turtle herpesvirus found latently infecting skin tumors on Hawaiian green turtles (Chelonia mydas)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Greenblatt, Rebecca J.; Work, Thierry M.; Balazs, George H.; Sutton, Claudia A.; Casey, Rufina N.; Casey, James W.

    2004-01-01

    Fibropapillomatosis (FP) of marine turtles is a neoplastic disease of ecological concern. A fibropapilloma-associated turtle herpesvirus (FPTHV) is consistently present, usually at loads exceeding one virus copy per tumor cell. DNA from an array of parasites of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) was examined with quantitative PCR (qPCR) to determine whether any carried viral loads are sufficient to implicate them as vectors for FPTHV. Marine leeches (Ozobranchus spp.) were found to carry high viral DNA loads; some samples approached 10 million copies per leech. Isopycnic sucrose density gradient/qPCR analysis confirmed that some of these copies were associated with particles of the density of enveloped viruses. The data implicate the marine leech Ozobranchus as a mechanical vector for FPTHV. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis of FPTHV gene expression indicated that most of the FPTHV copies in a fibropapilloma have restricted DNA polymerase expression, suggestive of latent infection

  16. Tracing the Co-evolutionary History of the Chelonid Fibropapilloma-associated Herpesvirus and Its Host Sea Turtles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alfaro Nuñez, Luis Alonso

    of the CFPHV among these species. Singleplex and nested PCR, Sanger sequencing and qPCR techniques were used to achieve these goal. Moreover, by using next generation sequencing we obtained a large number of full turtle mitochondrial genomes and a few entire CFPHV genomes were obtained from various samples....... Finally, large quantities of nuclear DNA data was generated by shotgun sequencing across two species of marine turtles. The most remarkable findings indicate that 100% of the FP exhibiting green turtles yielded CFPHV DNA sequences, unexpectedly, so did 15% of the clinically healthy turtles, presumably...

  17. Flea market finds and global exports: Four multistate outbreaks of human Salmonella infections linked to small turtles, United States-2015.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gambino-Shirley, K; Stevenson, L; Concepción-Acevedo, J; Trees, E; Wagner, D; Whitlock, L; Roberts, J; Garrett, N; Van Duyne, S; McAllister, G; Schick, B; Schlater, L; Peralta, V; Reporter, R; Li, L; Waechter, H; Gomez, T; Fernández Ordenes, J; Ulloa, S; Ragimbeau, C; Mossong, J; Nichols, M

    2018-03-25

    Zoonotic transmission of Salmonella infections causes an estimated 11% of salmonellosis annually in the United States. This report describes the epidemiologic, traceback and laboratory investigations conducted in the United States as part of four multistate outbreaks of Salmonella infections linked to small turtles. Salmonella isolates indistinguishable from the outbreak strains were isolated from a total of 143 ill people in the United States, pet turtles, and pond water samples collected from turtle farm A, as well as ill people from Chile and Luxembourg. Almost half (45%) of infections occurred in children aged <5 years, underscoring the importance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation to keep pet turtles and other reptiles out of homes and childcare settings with young children. Although only 43% of the ill people who reported turtle exposure provided purchase information, most small turtles were purchased from flea markets or street vendors, which made it difficult to locate the vendor, trace the turtles to a farm of origin, provide education and enforce the United States federal ban on the sale and distribution of small turtles. These outbreaks highlight the importance of improving public awareness and education about the risk of Salmonella from small turtles not only in the United States but also worldwide. © 2018 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  18. The fate of a middle Danian (Lower Paleocene) turtle from the bryozoan limestone of Faxe Quarry, Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Milàn, Jesper; Lindow, Bent Erik Kramer; Lauridsen, Bodil Wesenberg

    A piece of turtle carapace from the Middle Danian bryozoan limestone at the Faxe quarry, eastern Denmark, is identified as a partial coastal plate from the carapace of a chelonioid turtle. In addition to being the first record of turtles from the Middle Danian of Denmark, the fragment bears...... evidence of a dramatic taphonomic history comprising traces of three separate acts of predation and/or scavenging. Two circular bite traces measuring 4mm in diameter and situated 2.5cm apart have fractured the carapace and are interpreted as crocodylian predation traces, probably fatal to the turtle...

  19. Paradise Islands? Island States and Environmental Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sverker C. Jagers

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Island states have been shown to outperform continental states on a number of large-scale coordination-related outcomes, such as levels of democracy and institutional quality. The argument developed and tested in this article contends that the same kind of logic may apply to islands’ environmental performance, too. However, the empirical analysis shows mixed results. Among the 105 environmental outcomes that we analyzed, being an island only has a positive impact on 20 of them. For example, island states tend to outcompete continental states with respect to several indicators related to water quality but not in aspects related to biodiversity, protected areas, or environmental regulations. In addition, the causal factors previously suggested to make islands outperform continental states in terms of coordination have weak explanatory power in predicting islands’ environmental performance. We conclude the paper by discussing how these interesting findings can be further explored.

  20. Western Pond Turtle Head-starting and Reintroduction; 2002-2003 Progress Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Leuven, Susan; Allen, Harriet; Slavin, Kate (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wildlife Management Program, Olympia, WA)

    2004-02-01

    This report covers the results of the western pond turtle head-starting and reintroduction project for the period of June 2002-September 2003. Wild hatchling western pond turtles from the Columbia River Gorge were reared at the Woodland Park and Oregon Zoos in 2002 and 2003 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. In 2002, 27 females from the two Columbia Gorge populations were equipped with transmitters and monitored until they nested. Four more females carrying old transmitters were also monitored; only one of these transmitters lasted through the nesting season. In 2003, 30 females were monitored. Twenty-three of the females monitored in 2002 nested and produced 84 hatchlings. The hatchlings were collected in fall 2002 and reared in captivity at the Woodland Park and Oregon zoos in the head-start program. Twenty-seven of the turtles monitored in 2003 nested. Six of the turtles nested twice, producing a total of 33 nests. The nests will be checked in September and October 2003 for hatchlings. Of 121 head-started juvenile western pond turtles collected in the Columbia Gorge during the 2001 nesting season, 119 were released at three sites in the Columbia Gorge in 2002, and 2 held over for additional growth. Of 86 turtles reared in the head-start program at the Woodland Park and Oregon Zoos fall 2002 through summer 2003, 67 were released at sites in the Columbia Gorge in summer of 2003, and 15 held over for more growth. Fifty-nine juveniles were released at Pierce National Wildlife Refuge in July 2002, and 51 released there in July 2003. Sixteen of those released in 2002 and 16 released in 2003 were instrumented with radio transmitters and monitored for varying amounts of time for survival and habitat use between the time of

  1. A new xinjiangchelyid turtle from the Middle Jurassic of Xinjiang, China and the evolution of the basipterygoid process in Mesozoic turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Most turtles from the Middle and Late Jurassic of Asia are referred to the newly defined clade Xinjiangchelyidae, a group of mostly shell-based, generalized, small to mid-sized aquatic froms that are widely considered to represent the stem lineage of Cryptodira. Xinjiangchelyids provide us with great insights into the plesiomorphic anatomy of crown-cryptodires, the most diverse group of living turtles, and they are particularly relevant for understanding the origin and early divergence of the primary clades of extant turtles. Results Exceptionally complete new xinjiangchelyid material from the ?Qigu Formation of the Turpan Basin (Xinjiang Autonomous Province, China) provides new insights into the anatomy of this group and is assigned to Xinjiangchelys wusu n. sp. A phylogenetic analysis places Xinjiangchelys wusu n. sp. in a monophyletic polytomy with other xinjiangchelyids, including Xinjiangchelys junggarensis, X. radiplicatoides, X. levensis and X. latiens. However, the analysis supports the unorthodox, though tentative placement of xinjiangchelyids and sinemydids outside of crown-group Testudines. A particularly interesting new observation is that the skull of this xinjiangchelyid retains such primitive features as a reduced interpterygoid vacuity and basipterygoid processes. Conclusions The homology of basipterygoid processes is confidently demonstrated based on a comprehensive review of the basicranial anatomy of Mesozoic turtles and a new nomenclatural system is introduced for the carotid canal system of turtles. The loss of the basipterygoid process and the bony enclosure of the carotid circulation system occurred a number of times independently during turtle evolution suggesting that the reinforcement of the basicranial region was essential for developing a rigid skull, thus paralleling the evolution of other amniote groups with massive skulls. PMID:24053145

  2. A new xinjiangchelyid turtle from the Middle Jurassic of Xinjiang, China and the evolution of the basipterygoid process in Mesozoic turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabi, Márton; Zhou, Chang-Fu; Wings, Oliver; Ge, Sun; Joyce, Walter G

    2013-09-22

    Most turtles from the Middle and Late Jurassic of Asia are referred to the newly defined clade Xinjiangchelyidae, a group of mostly shell-based, generalized, small to mid-sized aquatic froms that are widely considered to represent the stem lineage of Cryptodira. Xinjiangchelyids provide us with great insights into the plesiomorphic anatomy of crown-cryptodires, the most diverse group of living turtles, and they are particularly relevant for understanding the origin and early divergence of the primary clades of extant turtles. Exceptionally complete new xinjiangchelyid material from the ?Qigu Formation of the Turpan Basin (Xinjiang Autonomous Province, China) provides new insights into the anatomy of this group and is assigned to Xinjiangchelys wusu n. sp. A phylogenetic analysis places Xinjiangchelys wusu n. sp. in a monophyletic polytomy with other xinjiangchelyids, including Xinjiangchelys junggarensis, X. radiplicatoides, X. levensis and X. latiens. However, the analysis supports the unorthodox, though tentative placement of xinjiangchelyids and sinemydids outside of crown-group Testudines. A particularly interesting new observation is that the skull of this xinjiangchelyid retains such primitive features as a reduced interpterygoid vacuity and basipterygoid processes. The homology of basipterygoid processes is confidently demonstrated based on a comprehensive review of the basicranial anatomy of Mesozoic turtles and a new nomenclatural system is introduced for the carotid canal system of turtles. The loss of the basipterygoid process and the bony enclosure of the carotid circulation system occurred a number of times independently during turtle evolution suggesting that the reinforcement of the basicranial region was essential for developing a rigid skull, thus paralleling the evolution of other amniote groups with massive skulls.

  3. Deepwater Horizon MC252 sea turtle data from the Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA) containing synoptic surveys, turtle telemetry, workplan sample observations and tagging, density grids, direct capture, and probabilities of exposure, and related sea turtle data collected between 1989-11-15 and 2013-11-12 during the DWH response in the Northern Gulf of Mexico (NCEI Accession 0163813)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This Archival Information Package (AIP) contains Environmental Resource Management Application (ERMA) GIS layers that include turtle survey overflight observations,...

  4. Calculated secondary yields for proton broadband using DECAY TURTLE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sondgeroth, A.

    1995-02-01

    The calculations for the yields were done by Al Sondgeroth and Anthony Malensek. The authors used the DECAY deck called PBSEC E.DAT from the CMS DECKS library. After obtaining the run modes and calibration modes from the liaison physicist, they made individual decay runs, using DECAY TURTLE from the CMS libraries and a production spectrum subroutine which was modified by Anthony, for each particle and decay mode for all particle types coming out of the target box. Results were weighted according to branching ratios for particles with more than one decay mode. The production spectra were produced assuming beryllium as the target. The optional deuterium target available to broadband will produce slightly higher yields. It should be noted that they did not include pion yields from klong decays because they could not simulate three body decays. Pions from klongs would add a very small fraction to the total yield

  5. Heavy metal residues in tissues of marine turtles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Storelli, M.M.; Marcotrigiano, G.O.

    2003-01-01

    Heavy metal concentrations in the tissues of marine turtles are presented. The most frequently monitored elements are mercury, cadmium and lead; and the tissues mainly analysed in nearly all the stranded individuals are muscle, liver and kidney. The highest mercury and cadmium levels were found in liver and kidney respectively; the majority of the lead burden existed in bones and carapace, while arsenic was present mainly in muscle tissue. Mercury occurred quite completely as methylmercury in muscle, whereas in liver the main form was the inorganic one. Arsenic was exclusively present in the metallorganic form either in muscle tissue or in liver. Metals in the eggs were mainly present in the yolk. Significantly higher concentration of mercury, copper, zinc and iron were found in yolk than albumen, while shell contained highest levels of manganese and copper. The load of trace metals in these animals strictly correlated with the species seems to depend on their different food behaviour

  6. Simulation of PEP-II Accelerator Backgrounds Using TURTLE

    CERN Document Server

    Barlow, Roger J; Kozanecki, Witold; Majewski, Stephanie; Roudeau, Patrick; Stocchi, Achille

    2005-01-01

    We present studies of accelerator-induced backgrounds in the BaBar detector at the SLAC B-Factory, carried out using a modified version ofthe DECAY TURTLE simulation package. Lost-particle backgrounds in PEP-II are dominated by a combination of beam-gas bremstrahlung, beam-gas Coulomb scattering, radiative-Bhabha events and beam-beam blow-up. The radiation damage and detector occupancy caused by the associated electromagnetic shower debris can limit the usable luminosity. In order to understand and mitigate such backgrounds, we have performed a full programme of beam-gas and luminosity-background simulations, that include the effects of the detector solenoidal field, detailed modelling of limiting apertures in both collider rings, and optimization of the betatron collimation scheme in the presence of large transverse tails.

  7. MODELLING FINE SCALE MOVEMENT CORRIDORS FOR THE TRICARINATE HILL TURTLE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Mondal

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Habitat loss and the destruction of habitat connectivity can lead to species extinction by isolation of population. Identifying important habitat corridors to enhance habitat connectivity is imperative for species conservation by preserving dispersal pattern to maintain genetic diversity. Circuit theory is a novel tool to model habitat connectivity as it considers habitat as an electronic circuit board and species movement as a certain amount of current moving around through different resistors in the circuit. Most studies involving circuit theory have been carried out at small scales on large ranging animals like wolves or pumas, and more recently on tigers. This calls for a study that tests circuit theory at a large scale to model micro-scale habitat connectivity. The present study on a small South-Asian geoemydid, the Tricarinate Hill-turtle (Melanochelys tricarinata, focuses on habitat connectivity at a very fine scale. The Tricarinate has a small body size (carapace length: 127–175 mm and home range (8000–15000 m2, with very specific habitat requirements and movement patterns. We used very high resolution Worldview satellite data and extensive field observations to derive a model of landscape permeability at 1 : 2,000 scale to suit the target species. Circuit theory was applied to model potential corridors between core habitat patches for the Tricarinate Hill-turtle. The modelled corridors were validated by extensive ground tracking data collected using thread spool technique and found to be functional. Therefore, circuit theory is a promising tool for accurately identifying corridors, to aid in habitat studies of small species.

  8. Small-scale fisheries bycatch jeopardizes endangered Pacific loggerhead turtles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S Hoyt Peckham

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Although bycatch of industrial-scale fisheries can cause declines in migratory megafauna including seabirds, marine mammals, and sea turtles, the impacts of small-scale fisheries have been largely overlooked. Small-scale fisheries occur in coastal waters worldwide, employing over 99% of the world's 51 million fishers. New telemetry data reveal that migratory megafauna frequent coastal habitats well within the range of small-scale fisheries, potentially producing high bycatch. These fisheries occur primarily in developing nations, and their documentation and management are limited or non-existent, precluding evaluation of their impacts on non-target megafauna.30 North Pacific loggerhead turtles that we satellite-tracked from 1996-2005 ranged oceanwide, but juveniles spent 70% of their time at a high use area coincident with small-scale fisheries in Baja California Sur, Mexico (BCS. We assessed loggerhead bycatch mortality in this area by partnering with local fishers to 1 observe two small-scale fleets that operated closest to the high use area and 2 through shoreline surveys for discarded carcasses. Minimum annual bycatch mortality in just these two fleets at the high use area exceeded 1000 loggerheads year(-1, rivaling that of oceanwide industrial-scale fisheries, and threatening the persistence of this critically endangered population. As a result of fisher participation in this study and a bycatch awareness campaign, a consortium of local fishers and other citizens are working to eliminate their bycatch and to establish a national loggerhead refuge.Because of the overlap of ubiquitous small-scale fisheries with newly documented high-use areas in coastal waters worldwide, our case study suggests that small-scale fisheries may be among the greatest current threats to non-target megafauna. Future research is urgently needed to quantify small-scale fisheries bycatch worldwide. Localizing coastal high use areas and mitigating bycatch in

  9. Emergence of Serotonergic Neurons After Spinal Cord Injury in Turtles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriela Fabbiani

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Plasticity of neural circuits takes many forms and plays a fundamental role in regulating behavior to changing demands while maintaining stability. For example, during spinal cord development neurotransmitter identity in neurons is dynamically adjusted in response to changes in the activity of spinal networks. It is reasonable to speculate that this type of plasticity might occur also in mature spinal circuits in response to injury. Because serotonergic signaling has a central role in spinal cord functions, we hypothesized that spinal cord injury (SCI in the fresh water turtle Trachemys scripta elegans may trigger homeostatic changes in serotonergic innervation. To test this possibility we performed immunohistochemistry for serotonin (5-HT and key molecules involved in the determination of the serotonergic phenotype before and after SCI. We found that as expected, in the acute phase after injury the dense serotonergic innervation was strongly reduced. However, 30 days after SCI the population of serotonergic cells (5-HT+ increased in segments caudal to the lesion site. These cells expressed the neuronal marker HuC/D and the transcription factor Nkx6.1. The new serotonergic neurons did not incorporate the thymidine analog 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (BrdU and did not express the proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA indicating that novel serotonergic neurons were not newborn but post-mitotic cells that have changed their neurochemical identity. Switching towards a serotonergic neurotransmitter phenotype may be a spinal cord homeostatic mechanism to compensate for the loss of descending serotonergic neuromodulation, thereby helping the outstanding functional recovery displayed by turtles. The 5-HT1A receptor agonist (±-8-Hydroxy-2-dipropylaminotetralin hydrobromide (8-OH-DPAT blocked the increase in 5-HT+ cells suggesting 5-HT1A receptors may trigger the respecification process.

  10. Modelling Fine Scale Movement Corridors for the Tricarinate Hill Turtle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mondal, I.; Kumar, R. S.; Habib, B.; Talukdar, G.

    2016-06-01

    Habitat loss and the destruction of habitat connectivity can lead to species extinction by isolation of population. Identifying important habitat corridors to enhance habitat connectivity is imperative for species conservation by preserving dispersal pattern to maintain genetic diversity. Circuit theory is a novel tool to model habitat connectivity as it considers habitat as an electronic circuit board and species movement as a certain amount of current moving around through different resistors in the circuit. Most studies involving circuit theory have been carried out at small scales on large ranging animals like wolves or pumas, and more recently on tigers. This calls for a study that tests circuit theory at a large scale to model micro-scale habitat connectivity. The present study on a small South-Asian geoemydid, the Tricarinate Hill-turtle (Melanochelys tricarinata), focuses on habitat connectivity at a very fine scale. The Tricarinate has a small body size (carapace length: 127-175 mm) and home range (8000-15000 m2), with very specific habitat requirements and movement patterns. We used very high resolution Worldview satellite data and extensive field observations to derive a model of landscape permeability at 1 : 2,000 scale to suit the target species. Circuit theory was applied to model potential corridors between core habitat patches for the Tricarinate Hill-turtle. The modelled corridors were validated by extensive ground tracking data collected using thread spool technique and found to be functional. Therefore, circuit theory is a promising tool for accurately identifying corridors, to aid in habitat studies of small species.

  11. Egg components, egg size, and hatchling size in leatherback turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Bryan P; Sotherland, Paul R; Tomillo, Pilar Santidrian; Bouchard, Sarah S; Reina, Richard D; Spotila, James R; Paladino, Frank V

    2006-12-01

    Relationships between egg size, egg components, and neonate size have been investigated across a wide range of oviparous taxa. Differences in egg traits among taxa reflect not only phylogenetic differences, but also interactions between biotic (i.e., maternal resource allocation) and abiotic (i.e. nest environment conditions) factors. We examined relationships between egg mass, egg composition, and hatchling size in leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) because of the unique egg and reproductive characteristics of this species and of sea turtles in general. Albumen comprised 63.0%+/-2.8% (mean+/-S.D.) of egg mass and explained most of the variation in egg mass, whereas yolk comprised only 33.0%+/-2.7%. Additionally, leatherback albumen dry mass was approximately 16% of albumen wet mass. Whereas hatchling mass increased significantly with egg mass (n = 218 clutches), hatchling mass increased by only approximately 2 g for each 10 g increase in egg mass and was approximately 10-20 g greater than yolk mass. Taken together, our results indicate that albumen might play a particularly significant role in leatherback embryonic development, and that leatherback eggs are both capable of water uptake from the nest substrate and also possess a large reservoir of water in the albumen. Relationships between egg mass and egg components, such as variation in egg mass being largely explained by variation in albumen mass and egg mass containing a relatively high proportion of albumen solids, are more similar to bird eggs than to eggs of other non-avian reptiles. However, hatchling mass correlates more with yolk mass than with albumen mass, unlike patterns observed in bird eggs of similar composition.

  12. Free-living turtles are a reservoir for Salmonella but not for Campylobacter.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clara Marin

    Full Text Available Different studies have reported the prevalence of Salmonella in turtles and its role in reptile-associated salmonellosis in humans, but there is a lack of scientific literature related with the epidemiology of Campylobacter in turtles. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of Campylobacter and Salmonella in free-living native (Emys orbicularis, n=83 and exotic (Trachemysscripta elegans, n=117 turtles from 11 natural ponds in Eastern Spain. In addition, different types of samples (cloacal swabs, intestinal content and water from Turtle containers were compared. Regardless of the turtle species, natural ponds where individuals were captured and the type of sample taken, Campylobacter was not detected. Salmonella was isolated in similar proportions in native (8.0 ± 3.1% and exotic (15.0 ± 3.3% turtles (p=0.189. The prevalence of Salmonella positive turtles was associated with the natural ponds where animals were captured. Captured turtles from 8 of the 11 natural ponds were positive, ranged between 3.0 ± 3.1% and 60.0 ± 11.0%. Serotyping revealed 8 different serovars among four Salmonella enterica subspecies: S. enterica subsp. enterica (n = 21, S. enterica subsp. salamae (n = 2, S. enterica subsp. diarizonae (n = 3, and S. enterica subsp. houtenae (n = 1. Two serovars were predominant: S. Thompson (n=16 and S. typhimurium (n=3. In addition, there was an effect of sample type on Salmonella detection. The highest isolation of Salmonella was obtained from intestinal content samples (12.0 ± 3.0%, while lower percentages were found for water from the containers and cloacal swabs (8.0 ± 2.5% and 3.0 ± 1.5%, respectively. Our results imply that free-living turtles are a risk factor for Salmonella transmission, but do not seem to be a reservoir for Campylobacter. We therefore rule out turtles as a risk factor for human campylobacteriosis. Nevertheless, further studies should be undertaken in other countries to confirm these results.

  13. Western Pond Turtle Head-starting and Reintroduction, 2005-2006 Annual Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Leuven, Susan; Allen, Harriet; Slavens, Kate (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wildlife Management Program, Olympia, WA)

    2006-11-01

    This report covers the results of the western pond turtle head-starting and reintroduction project for the period of October 2005-September 2006. Wild hatchling western pond turtles from the Columbia River Gorge were reared at the Woodland Park and Oregon zoos in 2005 and 2006 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. Twenty-six turtles were placed at the Woodland Park Zoo and 62 at the Oregon Zoo in fall 2005. These turtles joined two that were held back from release in summer 2005 due to their small size. All 90 juvenile turtles were released at three sites in the Columbia Gorge in 2006. Twenty-eight juvenile turtles were released at the Klickitat ponds, 22 at the Klickitat lake, 21 at the Skamania site, and 19 at Pierce National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). This brought the total number of head-start turtles released since 1991 to 944; 285 for the Klickitat ponds, 158 for the Klickitat lake, 227 for the Skamania pond complex, and 274 at Pierce NWR. In 2006, 20 females from the Klickitat population were equipped with transmitters and monitored for nesting activity. Fifteen nests were located and protected; these produced 55 hatchlings. The hatchlings were collected in September and transported to the Oregon and Woodland Park zoos for rearing in the head-start program. One wild hatchling captured in spring 2006 was placed in the head-start program to attain more growth in captivity. During the 2006 field season trapping effort, 414 western pond turtles were captured in the Columbia Gorge, including 374 previously head-started turtles. These recaptures, together with confirmed nesting by head-start females and visual resightings, indicate the program is succeeding in boosting juvenile recruitment to increase the populations

  14. Assessment of ground transportation stress in juvenile Kemp’s ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii)

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  15. Survey of ophthalmic anterior segment findings and intraocular pressure in 95 North American box turtles (Terrapene spp.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espinheira Gomes, Filipe; Brandão, João; Sumner, Julia; Kearney, Michael; Freitas, Inês; Johnson, James; Cutler, Daniel; Nevarez, Javier

    2016-03-01

    To describe the ophthalmic biomicroscopy findings and intraocular pressures (IOP) in a captive population of box turtles and to determine whether a relationship exists between body morphometrics or health status and IOP. Hundred and three box turtles (69 Gulf coast, 24 three-toed, one ornate, one eastern, and eight unidentified) were triaged into three different color-coded groups: green (healthy), yellow (abnormal physical examination with no need for immediate care), and red (immediate care required). Both eyes were evaluated by rebound tonometry and slit-lamp biomicroscopy. Body weight and morphometric data were recorded. Intraocular pressures measurements were available for 190 eyes, slit-lamp biomicroscopy was available for 170 eyes, and morphometric data were available for 81 turtles. IOP in Gulf coast turtles (138 eyes) was 6.7 ± 1.4 mmHg OU. IOP in three-toed turtles (48 eyes) was 8.3 ± 1.5 mmHg OU, which was significantly higher than in Gulf coast turtles (P turtles only. There was a mild negative correlation between morphometrics and IOP in Gulf coast and three-toed turtles. Fifteen of 87 turtles had unilateral corneal or lenticular opacities; 3/87 had bilateral corneal or lenticular disease; and 3/87 had adnexal abnormalities. Different subspecies of box turtles have different normal intraocular pressures as measured by rebound tonometry, which was influenced by the animals' health status in one subspecies. Some morphometric parameters were found to be associated with IOP. Box turtles are often affected with ophthalmic abnormalities of unknown clinical significance. © 2015 American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.

  16. Tanzania - Mafia Island Airport

    Data.gov (United States)

    Millennium Challenge Corporation — The evaluation design and subsequent data gathering activities will address the following key research questions: a) Has the Mafia Island Airport Upgrade Project...

  17. Determine age-at-recruitment for green turtles into neritic habitats along the U.S. West Coast using stable isotope analysis

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — A total of 19 green turtle humeri were sampled for stable isotope analysis during 2013-2014. Turtle body size ranged from 51-95cm CCL, and all turtles had been...

  18. Isolation, Characterization, and Antibiotic Resistance of Vibrio spp. in Sea Turtles from Northwestern Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan A. eZavala-Norzagaray

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The aerobic oral and cloacal bacterial microbiota and their antimicrobial resistance were characterized for 64 apparently healthy sea turtles captured at their foraging grounds in Ojo de Liebre Lagoon (OLL, Baja California Sur, Mexico (Pacific Ocean and the lagoon system of Navachiste (LSN and Marine Area of Influence (MAI, Guasave, Sinaloa (Gulf of California. A total of 34 black turtles (Chelonia mydas agassizii were sampled in OLL and eight black turtles and 22 olive ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea were sampled in LSN and MAI, respectively from January to December 2012. We isolated 13 different species of Gram-negative bacteria. The most frequently isolated bacteria were Vibrio alginolyticus in 39/64 (60%, V. parahaemolyticus in 17/64 (26% and V. cholerae in 6/64 (9%,. However, V. cholerae was isolated only from turtles captured from the Gulf of California (MAI. Among V. parahaemolyticus strains, six O serogroups and eight serovars were identified from which 5/17 (29.4% belonged to the pathogenic strains (tdh+ gene and 2/17 (11.7% had the pandemic clone (tdh+ and toxRS/new+. Among V. cholerae strains, all were identified as non-O1/non-O139, and in 4/6 (66% the accessory cholera enterotoxin gene (ace was identified but without virulence gene zot, ctxA and ctxB. Of the isolated V. parahaemolyticus, V. cholerae and V. alginolyticus strains, 94.1%, 33.4% and 100% demonstrated resistance to at least one commonly prescribed antibiotic (primarily to ampicillin, respectively. In conclusion, the presence of several potential (toxigenic human pathogens in sea turtles may represent transmission of environmental microbes and a high-risk of food-borne disease. Therefore, based on the fact that it is illegal and unhealthy, we discourage the consumption of sea turtle meat or eggs in northwestern Mexico.

  19. Isolation, characterization, and antibiotic resistance of Vibrio spp. in sea turtles from Northwestern Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zavala-Norzagaray, Alan A; Aguirre, A Alonso; Velazquez-Roman, Jorge; Flores-Villaseñor, Héctor; León-Sicairos, Nidia; Ley-Quiñonez, C P; Hernández-Díaz, Lucio De Jesús; Canizalez-Roman, Adrian

    2015-01-01

    The aerobic oral and cloacal bacterial microbiota and their antimicrobial resistance were characterized for 64 apparently healthy sea turtles captured at their foraging grounds in Ojo de Liebre Lagoon (OLL), Baja California Sur (BCS), Mexico (Pacific Ocean) and the lagoon system of Navachiste (LSN) and Marine Area of Influence (MAI), Guasave, Sinaloa (Gulf of California). A total of 34 black turtles (Chelonia mydas agassizii) were sampled in OLL and eight black turtles and 22 olive ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) were sampled in LSN and MAI, respectively from January to December 2012. We isolated 13 different species of Gram-negative bacteria. The most frequently isolated bacteria were Vibrio alginolyticus in 39/64 (60%), V. parahaemolyticus in 17/64 (26%), and V. cholerae in 6/64 (9%). However, V. cholerae was isolated only from turtles captured from the Gulf of California (MAI). Among V. parahaemolyticus strains, six O serogroups and eight serovars were identified from which 5/17 (29.4%) belonged to the pathogenic strains (tdh (+) gene) and 2/17 (11.7%) had the pandemic clone (tdh (+) and toxRS/new (+)). Among V. cholerae strains, all were identified as non-O1/non-O139, and in 4/6 (66%) the accessory cholera enterotoxin gene (ace) was identified but without virulence gene zot, ctxA, and ctxB. Of the isolated V. parahaemolyticus, V. cholerae, and V. alginolyticus strains, 94.1, 33.4, and 100% demonstrated resistance to at least one commonly prescribed antibiotic (primarily to ampicillin), respectively. In conclusion, the presence of several potential (toxigenic) human pathogens in sea turtles may represent transmission of environmental microbes and a high-risk of food-borne disease. Therefore, based on the fact that it is illegal and unhealthy, we discourage the consumption of sea turtle meat or eggs in northwestern Mexico.

  20. The head and neck anatomy of sea turtles (Cryptodira: Chelonioidea and skull shape in Testudines.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc E H Jones

    Full Text Available Sea turtles (Chelonoidea are a charismatic group of marine reptiles that occupy a range of important ecological roles. However, the diversity and evolution of their feeding anatomy remain incompletely known.Using computed tomography and classical comparative anatomy we describe the cranial anatomy in two sea turtles, the loggerhead (Caretta caretta and Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii, for a better understanding of sea turtle functional anatomy and morphological variation. In both taxa the temporal region of the skull is enclosed by bone and the jaw joint structure and muscle arrangement indicate that palinal jaw movement is possible. The tongue is relatively small, and the hyoid apparatus is not as conspicuous as in some freshwater aquatic turtles. We find several similarities between the muscles of C. caretta and L. kempii, but comparison with other turtles suggests only one of these characters may be derived: connection of the m. adductor mandibulae internus into the Pars intramandibularis via the Zwischensehne. The large fleshy origin of the m. adductor mandibulae externus Pars superficialis from the jugal seems to be a characteristic feature of sea turtles.In C. caretta and L. kempii the ability to suction feed does not seem to be as well developed as that found in some freshwater aquatic turtles. Instead both have skulls suited to forceful biting. This is consistent with the observation that both taxa tend to feed on relatively slow moving but sometimes armoured prey. The broad fleshy origin of the m. adductor mandibulae externus Pars superficialis may be linked to thecheek region being almost fully enclosed in bone but the relationship is complex.

  1. The Head and Neck Anatomy of Sea Turtles (Cryptodira: Chelonioidea) and Skull Shape in Testudines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Marc E. H.; Werneburg, Ingmar; Curtis, Neil; Penrose, Rod; O’Higgins, Paul; Fagan, Michael J.; Evans, Susan E.

    2012-01-01

    Background Sea turtles (Chelonoidea) are a charismatic group of marine reptiles that occupy a range of important ecological roles. However, the diversity and evolution of their feeding anatomy remain incompletely known. Methodology/Principal Findings Using computed tomography and classical comparative anatomy we describe the cranial anatomy in two sea turtles, the loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and Kemp’s ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), for a better understanding of sea turtle functional anatomy and morphological variation. In both taxa the temporal region of the skull is enclosed by bone and the jaw joint structure and muscle arrangement indicate that palinal jaw movement is possible. The tongue is relatively small, and the hyoid apparatus is not as conspicuous as in some freshwater aquatic turtles. We find several similarities between the muscles of C. caretta and L. kempii, but comparison with other turtles suggests only one of these characters may be derived: connection of the m. adductor mandibulae internus into the Pars intramandibularis via the Zwischensehne. The large fleshy origin of the m. adductor mandibulae externus Pars superficialis from the jugal seems to be a characteristic feature of sea turtles. Conclusions/Significance In C. caretta and L. kempii the ability to suction feed does not seem to be as well developed as that found in some freshwater aquatic turtles. Instead both have skulls suited to forceful biting. This is consistent with the observation that both taxa tend to feed on relatively slow moving but sometimes armoured prey. The broad fleshy origin of the m. adductor mandibulae externus Pars superficialis may be linked to thecheek region being almost fully enclosed in bone but the relationship is complex. PMID:23144831

  2. Salinity tolerances of two Australian freshwater turtles,Chelodina expansaandEmydura macquarii(Testudinata: Chelidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bower, Deborah S; Scheltinga, David M; Clulow, Simon; Clulow, John; Franklin, Craig E; Georges, Arthur

    2016-01-01

    Freshwater biota experience physiological challenges in regions affected by salinization, but often the effects on particular species are poorly understood. Freshwater turtles are of particular concern as they appear to have limited ability to cope with environmental conditions that are hyperosmotic to their body fluids. Here, we determined the physiological responses of two Australian freshwater chelid turtles, Emydura macquarii and Chelodina expansa , exposed to freshwater (0‰) and brackish water (15‰, representing a hyperosmotic environment). Brackish water is common in the Murray-Darling River Basin within the natural range of these species in Australia during periods of drought, yet it is unknown how well these species tolerate saline conditions. We hypothesized that these turtles would be unable to maintain homeostasis in the 15‰ water treatment and would suffer osmotic loss of water, increased ionic concentrations and a decrease in body mass. Results revealed that these turtles had elevated plasma concentrations of sodium, chloride, urea and uric acid in the plasma. Plasma ionic concentrations increased proportionally more in E. macquarii than in C. expansa . Individuals of both species reduced feeding in 15‰ water, indicating that behaviour may provide an additional means for freshwater turtles to limit ion/solute influx when in hyperosmotic environments. This osmoregulatory behaviour may allow for persistence of turtles in regions affected by salinization; however, growth rates and body condition may be affected in the long term. Although we demonstrate that these turtles have mechanisms to survive temporarily in saline waters, it is likely that sustained salinization of waterways will exceed their short- to medium-term capacity to survive increased salt levels, making salinization a potentially key threatening process for these freshwater reptiles.

  3. Pleated turtle escapes the box--shape changes in Dermochelys coriacea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davenport, John; Plot, Virginie; Georges, Jean-Yves; Doyle, Thomas K; James, Michael C

    2011-10-15

    Typical chelonians have a rigid carapace and plastron that form a box-like structure that constrains several aspects of their physiology and ecology. The leatherback sea turtle, Dermochelys coriacea, has a flexible bony carapace strengthened by seven longitudinal ridges, whereas the plastron is reduced to an elliptical outer bony structure, so that the ventrum has no bony support. Measurements of the shell were made on adult female leatherbacks studied on the feeding grounds of waters off Nova Scotia (NS) and on breeding beaches of French Guiana (FG) to examine whether foraging and/or breeding turtles alter carapace size and/or shape. NS turtles exhibited greater mass and girth for a given curved carapace length (CCL) than FG turtles. Girth:CCL ratios rose during the feeding season, indicating increased girth. Measurements were made of the direct (straight) and surface (curved) distances between the medial longitudinal ridge and first right-hand longitudinal ridge (at 50% CCL). In NS turtles, the ratio of straight to curved inter-ridge distances was significantly higher than in FG turtles, indicating distension of the upper surfaces of the NS turtles between the ridges. FG females laid 11 clutches in the breeding season; although CCL and curved carapace width remained stable, girth declined between each nesting episode, indicating loss of mass. Straight to curved inter-ridge distance ratios did not change significantly during the breeding season, indicating loss of dorsal blubber before the onset of breeding. The results demonstrate substantial alterations in size and shape of female D. coriacea over periods of weeks to months in response to alterations in nutritional and reproductive status.

  4. A quantitative analysis of the state of knowledge of turtles of the United States and Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Ennen, Joshua R.

    2013-01-01

    The “information age” ushered in an explosion of knowledge and access to knowledge that continues to revolutionize society. Knowledge about turtles, as measured by number of published papers, has been growing at an exponential rate since the early 1970s, a phenomenon mirrored in all scientific disciplines. Although knowledge about turtles, as measured by number of citations for papers in scientific journals, has been growing rapidly, this taxonomic group remains highly imperiled suggesting that knowledge is not always successfully translated into effective conservation of turtles. We reviewed the body of literature on turtles of the United States and Canada and found that: 1) the number of citations is biased toward large-bodied species, 2) the number of citations is biased toward wide-ranging species, and 3) conservation status has little effect on the accumulation of knowledge for a species, especially after removing the effects of body size or range size. The dispersion of knowledge, measured by Shannon Weiner diversity and evenness indices across species, was identical from 1994 to 2009 suggesting that poorly studied species remained poorly-studied species while well-studied species remained well studied. Several species listed as threatened or endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (e.g., Pseudemys alabamensis, Sternotherus depressus, and Graptemys oculifera) remain poorly studied with the estimated number of citations for each ranging from only 13-24. The low number of citations for these species could best be explained by their restricted distribution and/or their smaller size. Despite the exponential increase in knowledge of turtles in the United States and Canada, no species of turtle listed under the Endangered Species Act has ever been delisted for reason of recovery. Therefore, increased knowledge does not necessarily contribute appreciably to recovery of threatened turtles.

  5. Allometry of sexual size dimorphism in turtles: a comparison of mass and length data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regis, Koy W; Meik, Jesse M

    2017-01-01

    The macroevolutionary pattern of Rensch's Rule (positive allometry of sexual size dimorphism) has had mixed support in turtles. Using the largest carapace length dataset and only large-scale body mass dataset assembled for this group, we determine (a) whether turtles conform to Rensch's Rule at the order, suborder, and family levels, and (b) whether inferences regarding allometry of sexual size dimorphism differ based on choice of body size metric used for analyses. We compiled databases of mean body mass and carapace length for males and females for as many populations and species of turtles as possible. We then determined scaling relationships between males and females for average body mass and straight carapace length using traditional and phylogenetic comparative methods. We also used regression analyses to evalutate sex-specific differences in the variance explained by carapace length on body mass. Using traditional (non-phylogenetic) analyses, body mass supports Rensch's Rule, whereas straight carapace length supports isometry. Using phylogenetic independent contrasts, both body mass and straight carapace length support Rensch's Rule with strong congruence between metrics. At the family level, support for Rensch's Rule is more frequent when mass is used and in phylogenetic comparative analyses. Turtles do not differ in slopes of sex-specific mass-to-length regressions and more variance in body size within each sex is explained by mass than by carapace length. Turtles display Rensch's Rule overall and within families of Cryptodires, but not within Pleurodire families. Mass and length are strongly congruent with respect to Rensch's Rule across turtles, and discrepancies are observed mostly at the family level (the level where Rensch's Rule is most often evaluated). At macroevolutionary scales, the purported advantages of length measurements over weight are not supported in turtles.

  6. Isolation, characterization, and antibiotic resistance of Vibrio spp. in sea turtles from Northwestern Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zavala-Norzagaray, Alan A.; Aguirre, A. Alonso; Velazquez-Roman, Jorge; Flores-Villaseñor, Héctor; León-Sicairos, Nidia; Ley-Quiñonez, C. P.; Hernández-Díaz, Lucio De Jesús; Canizalez-Roman, Adrian

    2015-01-01

    The aerobic oral and cloacal bacterial microbiota and their antimicrobial resistance were characterized for 64 apparently healthy sea turtles captured at their foraging grounds in Ojo de Liebre Lagoon (OLL), Baja California Sur (BCS), Mexico (Pacific Ocean) and the lagoon system of Navachiste (LSN) and Marine Area of Influence (MAI), Guasave, Sinaloa (Gulf of California). A total of 34 black turtles (Chelonia mydas agassizii) were sampled in OLL and eight black turtles and 22 olive ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) were sampled in LSN and MAI, respectively from January to December 2012. We isolated 13 different species of Gram-negative bacteria. The most frequently isolated bacteria were Vibrio alginolyticus in 39/64 (60%), V. parahaemolyticus in 17/64 (26%), and V. cholerae in 6/64 (9%). However, V. cholerae was isolated only from turtles captured from the Gulf of California (MAI). Among V. parahaemolyticus strains, six O serogroups and eight serovars were identified from which 5/17 (29.4%) belonged to the pathogenic strains (tdh+ gene) and 2/17 (11.7%) had the pandemic clone (tdh+ and toxRS/new+). Among V. cholerae strains, all were identified as non-O1/non-O139, and in 4/6 (66%) the accessory cholera enterotoxin gene (ace) was identified but without virulence gene zot, ctxA, and ctxB. Of the isolated V. parahaemolyticus, V. cholerae, and V. alginolyticus strains, 94.1, 33.4, and 100% demonstrated resistance to at least one commonly prescribed antibiotic (primarily to ampicillin), respectively. In conclusion, the presence of several potential (toxigenic) human pathogens in sea turtles may represent transmission of environmental microbes and a high-risk of food-borne disease. Therefore, based on the fact that it is illegal and unhealthy, we discourage the consumption of sea turtle meat or eggs in northwestern Mexico. PMID:26161078

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. In vitro biology of fibropapilloma-associated turtle herpesvirus and host cells in Hawaiian green turtles (Chelonia mydas)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Work, Thierry M.; Dagenais, Julie; Balazs, George H.; Schumacher, Joanne; Lewis, Teresa D.; Leong, Jo-Ann C.; Casey, Rufina N.; Casey, James W.

    2009-01-01

    Fibropapillomatosis (FP) of green turtles has a global distribution and causes debilitating tumours of the skin and internal organs in several species of marine turtles. FP is associated with a presently non-cultivable alphaherpesvirus Chelonid fibropapilloma-associated herpesvirus (CFPHV). Our aims were to employ quantitative PCR targeted to pol DNA of CFPHV to determine (i) if DNA sequesters by tumour size and/or cell type, (ii) whether subculturing of cells is a viable strategy for isolating CFPHV and (iii) whether CFPHV can be induced to a lytic growth cycle in vitro using chemical modulators of replication (CMRs), temperature variation or co-cultivation. Additional objectives included determining whether non-tumour and tumour cells behave differently in vitro and confirming the phenotype of cultured cells using cell-type-specific antigens. CFPHV pol DNA was preferentially concentrated in dermal fibroblasts of skin tumours and the amount of viral DNA per cell was independent of tumour size. Copy number of CFPHV pol DNA per cell rapidly decreased with cell doubling of tumour-derived fibroblasts in culture. Attempts to induce viral replication in known CFPHV-DNA-positive cells using temperature or CMR failed. No significant differences were seen in in vitro morphology or growth characteristics of fibroblasts from tumour cells and paired normal skin, nor from CFPHV pol-DNA-positive intestinal tumour cells. Tumour cells were confirmed as fibroblasts or keratinocytes by positive staining with anti-vimentin and anti-pancytokeratin antibodies, respectively. CFPHV continues to be refractory to in vitro cultivation.

  9. Spatial distribution and diet of Cephalopholis fulva (Ephinephelidae at Trindade Island, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flavio do Nascimento Coelho

    Full Text Available In this study we analyze the population structure and diet of the coney Cephalopholis fulva at Trindade Island, Brazil, through direct observation with SCUBA diving in 11 reef sites around the Island, up to 50 m deep. Diet was based on 77 individuals collected with speargun. Mean population density and biomass were estimated at 29 individuals/100 m² and 13 kg/100 m², respectively. This species is regularly distributed along the costal environments of the Trindade Island, with no significant differences in densities and biomass detected among the different collection habitats (reef crest, reef slope, and reef plateau. However, significantly higher densities were observed micro-habitats with greater structural complexity, which may offer more shelter and food to C. fulva. Four food item groups were identified from the gut contents of C. fulva: Annelida, Crustacea, Teleostei, and Testudinata. It is the first record of predation of the green turtle Chelonia mydas hatchlings by the coney. Trindade Island seems to present the densest concentration of C. fulva in all Brazilian and Caribbean ecosystems inhabited by this species. Scarcity of competitors, predators, and fishing pressure may explain the high densities observed in the Island.

  10. Analysis of epibiont data in relation with the Debilitated Turtle Syndrome of sea turtles in Chelonia mydas and Lepidochelys olivacea from Concepción coast, Chile

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    Italo Fernández

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Epibionts on the surface of the skin and shell of a specimen of Chelonia mydas and three Lepidochelys olivacea found floating on the coast of Concepción, Chile, between June 2010 and December 2012, were analyzed. These epibionts were analyzed during the clinical inspection and the tissue changes related to its settlement, with filamentous algae around, were observed. Subsequently, the epibionts were identified by morphological observation. The knowledge about theses epibionts in Chile is reviewed and the potential occurrence of Debilitated Turtle Syndrome (DTS in these turtles is discussed. The presence of sea turtles in the Chilean coast is considered a casual event, so there is little information on this issue. We propose it is necessary to carry out more studies on the association between turtles and epibionts because their identification, colonizing reptiles’ surface may give relevant information to a better understanding of different diseases, including DTS, that affect these marine reptiles and facilitates the development of strategies intended to recover their populations.

  11. TURTLE with MAD input (Trace Unlimited Rays Through Lumped Elements) -- A computer program for simulating charged particle beam transport systems and DECAY TURTLE including decay calculations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carey, D.C.

    1999-12-09

    TURTLE is a computer program useful for determining many characteristics of a particle beam once an initial design has been achieved, Charged particle beams are usually designed by adjusting various beam line parameters to obtain desired values of certain elements of a transfer or beam matrix. Such beam line parameters may describe certain magnetic fields and their gradients, lengths and shapes of magnets, spacings between magnetic elements, or the initial beam accepted into the system. For such purposes one typically employs a matrix multiplication and fitting program such as TRANSPORT. TURTLE is designed to be used after TRANSPORT. For convenience of the user, the input formats of the two programs have been made compatible. The use of TURTLE should be restricted to beams with small phase space. The lumped element approximation, described below, precludes the inclusion of the effect of conventional local geometric aberrations (due to large phase space) or fourth and higher order. A reading of the discussion below will indicate clearly the exact uses and limitations of the approach taken in TURTLE.

  12. TURTLE with MAD input (Trace Unlimited Rays Through Lumped Elements) -- A computer program for simulating charged particle beam transport systems and DECAY TURTLE including decay calculations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carey, D.C.

    1999-01-01

    TURTLE is a computer program useful for determining many characteristics of a particle beam once an initial design has been achieved, Charged particle beams are usually designed by adjusting various beam line parameters to obtain desired values of certain elements of a transfer or beam matrix. Such beam line parameters may describe certain magnetic fields and their gradients, lengths and shapes of magnets, spacings between magnetic elements, or the initial beam accepted into the system. For such purposes one typically employs a matrix multiplication and fitting program such as TRANSPORT. TURTLE is designed to be used after TRANSPORT. For convenience of the user, the input formats of the two programs have been made compatible. The use of TURTLE should be restricted to beams with small phase space. The lumped element approximation, described below, precludes the inclusion of the effect of conventional local geometric aberrations (due to large phase space) or fourth and higher order. A reading of the discussion below will indicate clearly the exact uses and limitations of the approach taken in TURTLE

  13. Characterization of the bacterial microflora of the tympanic cavity of eastern box turtles with and without aural abscesses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joyner, Priscilla H; Brown, Justin D; Holladay, Steven; Sleeman, Jonathan M

    2006-10-01

    Aerobic bacterial cultures of the tympanic cavity of the middle ear were performed in eight eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina) with aural abscesses and 15 eastern box turtles without aural abscesses (controls) that were admitted to The Wildlife Center of Virginia, Virginia, USA during 2003. Twenty-two bacterial isolates were identified from 17 turtles including 10 gram-negative and 12 gram-positive bacteria. Ten of 15 control animals had bacterial growth, resulting in identification of 13 bacteria, including six gram-negative and seven gram-positive agents. Seven of eight turtles with aural abscesses had bacterial growth, and 10 isolates were identified, including four gram-negative and six gram-positive organisms. The most frequently isolated bacteria from control animals were Micrococcus luteus (n = 3) and Pantoea agglomerans (n = 2). Morganella morganii (n = 2) was the only species isolated from the tympanic cavity of more than one turtle with aural abscesses. Staphylococcus epidermidis (n = 2) was the only species isolated from both groups. A trend toward greater bacterial growth in tympanic cavities of affected turtles compared with turtles without aural abscesses was noted. No single bacterial agent was responsible for aural abscesses in free-ranging eastern box turtles in this study, an observation consistent with the hypothesis that aerobic bacteria are not primary pathogens, but secondary opportunistic invaders of environmental origin.

  14. Select metal and metalloid surveillance of free-ranging Eastern box turtles from Illinois and Tennessee (Terrapene carolina carolina).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allender, Matthew C; Dreslik, Michael J; Patel, Bishap; Luber, Elizabeth L; Byrd, John; Phillips, Christopher A; Scott, John W

    2015-08-01

    The Eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina) is a primarily terrestrial chelonian distributed across the eastern US. It has been proposed as a biomonitor due to its longevity, small home range, and reliance on the environment to meet its metabolic needs. Plasma samples from 273 free-ranging box turtles from populations in Tennessee and Illinois in 2011 and 2012 were evaluated for presence of heavy metals and to characterize hematologic variables. Lead (Pb), arsenic (As), zinc (Zn), chromium (Cr), selenium (Se), and copper (Cu) were detected, while cadmium (Cd) and silver (Ag) were not. There were no differences in any metal detected among age class or sex. However, Cr and Pb were higher in turtles from Tennessee, while As, Zn, Se, and Cu were higher in turtles from Illinois. Seasonal differences in metal concentrations were observed for Cr, Zn, and As. Health of turtles was assessed using hematologic variables. Packed cell volume was positively correlated with Cu, Se, and Pb in Tennessee. Total solids, a measure of plasma proteins, in Tennessee turtles were positively correlated with Cu and Zn. White blood cell count, a measure of inflammation, in Tennessee turtles was negatively correlated with Cu and As, and positively correlated with Pb. Metals are a threat to human health and the health of an ecosystem, and the Eastern Box Turtle can serve as a monitor of these contaminants. Differences established in this study can serve as baseline for future studies of these or related populations.

  15. Mitochondrial DNA reveals regional and interregional importance of the central Mediterranean African shelf for loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta

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    Paolo Casale

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available The wide north African continental shelf in the central Mediterranean is known to be one of the few important areas in the basin for loggerhead turtles in the neritic stage. In order to assess the origin of these turtles, sequences of the mtDNA control region were obtained from 70 turtles caught by bottom trawlers in the area, and compared with known sequences from turtles from Mediterranean and Atlantic nesting sites. Five haplotypes were identified (Haplotype diversity = 0.262; nucleotide diversity = 5.4×10-3. Specific haplotypes indicate contributions from distant rookeries such as Turkey and the Atlantic, which shows that Atlantic turtles entering the Mediterranean while in the oceanic phase use at least one Mediterranean continental shelf as a neritic foraging ground. A new haplotype and another one previously found only in foraging areas, highlight the genetic information gaps for nesting sites, which undermine powerful mixed stock analyses. Despite these limitations, the results reveal the regional importance of the study area as a neritic foraging ground for turtles that are probably from most of the Mediterranean nesting aggregates. Therefore, reducing turtle mortality resulting from the high fishing effort in the area should be regarded as key for Mediterranean turtle conservation and is also possibly important for Atlantic populations.

  16. Novel Bio-Logging Tool for Studying Fine-Scale Behaviors of Marine Turtles in Response to Sound

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    Reny B. Tyson

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Increases in the spatial scale and intensity of activities that produce marine anthropogenic sound highlight the importance of understanding the impacts and effects of sound on threatened species such as marine turtles. Marine turtles detect and behaviorally respond to low-frequency sounds, however few studies have directly examined their behavioral responses to specific types or intensities of anthropogenic or natural sounds. Recent advances in the development of bio-logging tools, which combine acoustic and fine-scale movement measurements, have allowed for evaluations of animal responses to sound. Here, we describe these tools and present a case study demonstrating the potential application of a newly developed technology (ROTAG, Loggerhead Instruments, Inc. to examine behavioral responses of freely swimming marine turtles to sound. The ROTAG incorporates a three-axis accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer to record the turtle's pitch, roll, and heading; a pressure sensor to record turtle depth; a hydrophone to record the turtle's received underwater acoustic sound field; a temperature gauge; and two VHF radio telemetry transmitters and antennas for tag and turtle tracking. Tags can be programmed to automatically release via a timed corrodible link several hours or days after deployment. We describe an example of the data collected with these tags and present a case study of a successful ROTAG deployment on a juvenile green turtle (Chelonia mydas in the Paranaguá Estuary Complex, Brazil. The tag was deployed for 221 min, during which several vessels passed closely (<2 km by the turtle. The concurrent movement and acoustic data collected by the ROTAG were examined during these times to determine if the turtle responded to these anthropogenic sound sources. While fine-scale behavioral responses were not apparent (second-by-second, the turtle did appear to perform dives during which it remained still on or near the sea floor during several

  17. Demographics of an ornate box turtle population experiencing minimal human-induced disturbances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Converse, S.J.; Iverson, J.B.; Savidge, J.A.

    2005-01-01

    Human-induced disturbances may threaten the viability of many turtle populations, including populations of North American box turtles. Evaluation of the potential impacts of these disturbances can be aided by long-term studies of populations subject to minimal human activity. In such a population of ornate box turtles (Terrapene ornata ornata) in western Nebraska, we examined survival rates and population growth rates from 1981-2000 based on mark-recapture data. The average annual apparent survival rate of adult males was 0.883 (SE = 0.021) and of adult females was 0.932 (SE = 0.014). Minimum winter temperature was the best of five climate variables as a predictor of adult survival. Survival rates were highest in years with low minimum winter temperatures, suggesting that global warming may result in declining survival. We estimated an average adult population growth rate (????) of 1.006 (SE = 0.065), with an estimated temporal process variance (????2) of 0.029 (95% CI = 0.005-0.176). Stochastic simulations suggest that this mean and temporal process variance would result in a 58% probability of a population decrease over a 20-year period. This research provides evidence that, unless unknown density-dependent mechanisms are operating in the adult age class, significant human disturbances, such as commercial harvest or turtle mortality on roads, represent a potential risk to box turtle populations. ?? 2005 by the Ecological Society of America.

  18. The metabolic consequences of repeated anoxic stress in the western painted turtle, Chrysemys picta bellii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, Daniel E; Jackson, Donald C

    2017-01-01

    The painted turtle is known for its extreme tolerance to anoxia, but it is unknown whether previous experience with anoxic stress might alter physiological performance during or following a test bout of anoxia. Repeatedly subjecting 25°C-acclimated painted turtles to 2h of anoxic stress every other day for 19days (10 submergence bouts total) caused resting levels of liver glycogen to decrease by 17% and liver citrate synthase (CS) and cytochrome oxidase (COX) activities to increase by 33% and 112%, respectively. When the repeatedly submerged turtles were studied during a subsequent anoxic stress test, liver COX and CS activities decreased during anoxia to the same levels of naïve turtles, which were unchanged, and remained there throughout metabolic recovery. There were no effects of the repeated anoxia treatment on any of the other measured variables, which included lactate dehydrogenase and phosphofructokinase activities in liver, skeletal muscle, and ventricle, blood acid-base status, hemoglobin, hematocrit and plasma ion (Na, K, Ca, Mg, Cl) and metabolite concentrations (lactate, glucose, free-fatty acids), before, during, or after the anoxic stress test. We conclude that although painted turtles can show a physiological reaction to repeated anoxic stress, the changes appear to have no measurable effect on anaerobic physiological performance or ability to recover from anoxia. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. An Analysis of Sea Turtle Demographics along Maryland Shores, 1990-2015

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhoades, C.; Driscoll, C.; Weschler, A.; Crawford, M.

    2016-02-01

    The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding Program was established in the fall of 1990, and responded to their first documented sea turtle stranding in the summer of 1991. Over this twenty-five year period, 575 dead strandings of sea turtles have been documented. This research project analyzes all sea turtle case files from the initiation of this program for the following parameters in order to associate stranding trends; species, location (Atlantic Ocean v. Chesapeake Bay), seasonality, length, relative age, condition code, and sex. Further understanding these protected species will assist in conserving their coastal ecosystem and securing these species a sustainable future. Along with the parameters previously discussed, this study will also consider the factors contributing to the animal's death, if determined. These potential causes incorporate natural causes such as disease, and also detail instances of human interaction, including: dredge takes, commercial or recreational fishing interaction, power plant entrainment, propeller and boat strikes. A total of approximately 17% of the dead stranded sea turtles Maryland Department of Natural Resources responded to were found to have some proven aspect of human interaction. Lastly, in order to further investigate for human interaction stomach contents were analyzed for plastics or other forms of marine debris. This project will contribute to MD DNR and NOAA's mission, goals, and objectives by further understanding these protected species in order to conserve their coastal ecosystem and secure these species a sustainable future.

  20. Establishment risk from pet-trade freshwater turtles in the European Union

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kopecký O.

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The pet-turtle market has grown in recent years and become an important pathway for the introduction of alien species in Europe. The import of Trachemys scripta elegans has been banned by European Commission Regulation due to its species’ expanding territory and negative impact on native species. Since the demand from hobby breeders persists, however, blocking imports of this popular subspecies opens up the possibility for the introduction of other potentially invasive turtles. We determined those turtle species most common in the pet trade within the Czech Republic, which is the most important producer, importer and exporter of ornamental aquatic animals in the EU. The determination of establishment risk for the EU as a whole was then individually evaluated for turtle species based on known establishment models. Chelydra serpentina, Apalone spinifera, Apalone mutica, and Sternotherus odoratus were considered most problematic, because these species have serious establishment risk and are imported to the EU in substantial numbers. Also localities in the EU were identified where probability is highest for establishment of non-native turtles.