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Sample records for leatherback turtle critical

  1. 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....

  2. Endangered species: where leatherback turtles meet fisheries.

    OpenAIRE

    Ferraroli , S.; Georges , J.-Y.; Gaspar , P.; Le Maho , Y.

    2004-01-01

    International audience; The dramatic worldwide decline in populations of the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) is largely due to the high mortality associated with their interaction with fisheries, so a reduction of this overlap is critical to their survival. The discovery of narrow migration corridors used by the leatherbacks in the Pacific Ocean raised the possibility of protecting the turtles by restricting fishing in these key areas. Here we use satellite tracking to show that the...

  3. Endangered species: where leatherback turtles meet fisheries.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-06-03

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

  4. Movement patterns for a critically endangered species, the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), linked to foraging success and population status.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    Foraging success for pelagic vertebrates may be revealed by horizontal and vertical movement patterns. We show markedly different patterns for leatherback turtles in the North Atlantic versus Eastern Pacific, which feed on gelatinous zooplankton that are only occasionally found in high densities. In the Atlantic, travel speed was characterized by two modes, indicative of high foraging success at low speeds (turtles. The most parsimonious explanation for these findings is that Eastern Pacific turtles rarely achieve high foraging success. This is the first support for foraging behaviour differences between populations of this critically endangered species and suggests that longer periods searching for prey may be hindering population recovery in the Pacific while aiding population maintenance in the Atlantic.

  5. 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...

  6. Movement patterns for a critically endangered species, the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea, linked to foraging success and population status.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helen Bailey

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

  7. Coastal leatherback turtles reveal conservation hotspot

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Nathan J.; Morreale, Stephen J.; Nel, Ronel; Paladino, Frank V.

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that the world’s largest reptile – the leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea – conducts flexible foraging migrations that can cover thousands of kilometres between nesting sites and distant foraging areas. The vast distances that may be travelled by migrating leatherback turtles have greatly complicated conservation efforts for this species worldwide. However, we demonstrate, using a combination of satellite telemetry and stable isotope analysis, that approximately half of the nesting leatherbacks from an important rookery in South Africa do not migrate to distant foraging areas, but rather, forage in the coastal waters of the nearby Mozambique Channel. Moreover, this coastal cohort appears to remain resident year-round in shallow waters (turtles Caretta caretta. The rare presence of a resident coastal aggregation of leatherback turtles not only presents a unique opportunity for conservation, but alongside the presence of loggerhead turtles and other endangered marine megafauna in the Mozambique Channel, highlights the importance of this area as a marine biodiversity hotspot. PMID:27886262

  8. Diel foraging behavior of gravid leatherback sea turtles in deep waters of the Caribbean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casey, James; Garner, Jeanne; Garner, Steve; Williard, Amanda Southwood

    2010-12-01

    It is generally assumed that leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), like other species of sea turtle, do not feed while offshore from nesting beaches, and rely instead on fat reserves to fuel reproductive activities. Recent studies, however, provide evidence that leatherbacks may forage during the internesting interval while offshore in the Western Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Bio-logging technology was used to investigate the foraging behavior of female leatherback turtles at St Croix, US Virgin Islands. Leatherback gastrointestinal tract temperatures (T(GT)) were analyzed for sudden fluctuations indicative of ingestions, and laboratory ingestion simulations were used to characterize temperature fluctuations associated with ingestion of prey versus seawater. Dive patterns associated with prey ingestion were characterized and the proportion of prey ingestion during the day (05:00-18:59 h) and night (19:00-04:59 h) were compared. A combined total of 111 prey ingestions for seven leatherback turtles were documented during the internesting interval. The number of prey ingestions ranged from six to 48 for individual turtles, and the majority (87.4%) of these events occurred during the daytime. Prey ingestions were most frequently associated with V-shaped dives, and the mean (±1 s.d.) maximum dive depth with prey ingestion ranged from 154±51 to 232±101 m for individual turtles. Although leatherbacks were found to opportunistically feed during the internesting interval, the low prey ingestion rates indicate that energy reserves acquired prior to the breeding season are critical for successful reproduction by leatherbacks from the St Croix, USVI nesting population.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  10. Persistent leatherback turtle migrations present opportunities for conservation.

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    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.

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

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    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

  12. Persistent Leatherback Turtle Migrations Present Opportunities for Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sale, Alessandro; Luschi, Paolo

    2009-01-01

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

  14. Fine-scale foraging ecology of leatherback turtles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bryan P Wallace

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Remote tracking of migratory species and statistical modeling of behaviors have enabled identification of areas that are of high ecological value to these widely distributed taxa. However, direct observations at fine spatio-temporal scales are often needed to correctly interpret behaviors. In this study, we combined GPS-derived locations and archival dive records (1 sec sampling rate with animal-borne video footage from foraging leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea in Nova Scotia, Canada (Northwest Atlantic Ocean to generate the most highly detailed description of natural leatherback behavior presented to date. Turtles traveled shorter distances at slower rates and increased diving rates in areas of high prey abundance, which resulted in higher prey capture rates. Increased foraging effort (e.g., dive rate, dive duration, prey handling time, number of bites was not associated with increased time at the surface breathing to replenish oxygen stores. Instead, leatherbacks generally performed short, shallow dives in the photic zone to or above the thermocline, where they disproportionately captured prey at bottoms of dives and during ascents. This foraging strategy supports visual prey detection, allows leatherbacks to exploit physically structured prey at relatively shallow depths (typically <30m, and increases time turtles spend in warmer water temperatures, thus optimizing net energy acquisition. Our results demonstrate that leatherbacks appear to be continuously foraging during daylight hours while in continental shelf waters of Nova Scotia, and that leatherback foraging behavior is driven by prey availability, not by whether or not a turtle is in a resource patch characterized by a particular size or prey density. Our study demonstrates the fundamental importance of obtaining field-based, direct observations of true behaviors at fine spatial and temporal scales to enhance our efforts to both study and manage migratory species.

  15. Maternal health status correlates with nest success of leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea from Florida.

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    Justin R Perrault

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  18. Resource requirements of the Pacific leatherback turtle population.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T Todd Jones

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

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    Kara L Dodge

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

  2. Leatherback sea turtle stewardship to attain local, regional, and global marine conservation and management

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    Randall Arauz; Todd Steiner

    2007-01-01

    The leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) is the largest marine reptile with one of the longest known ocean migrations in the world and an important part of marine biodiversity. It is also important to the economies of coastal communities in developing countries, especially in areas where eco-tourism has replaced unsustainable harvest and...

  3. Assessing abundance and foraging habitat affinities of western Pacific leatherback turtles in coastal waters of California, USA

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Aerial surveys were conducted during 3-29 September 2013 to determine distribution and abundance of endangered leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), and...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Maternal transfer of trace elements in leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) of French Guiana

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guirlet, Elodie; Das, Krishna; Girondot, Marc

    2008-01-01

    In sea turtles, parental investment is limited to the nutrients and energy invested in eggs that will support embryonic development. Leatherback females have the largest clutches with the biggest eggs of the sea turtles and the highest reproductive output in reptiles. The migration between foraging sites and nesting beaches also represents high energy expenditure. The toxicokinetic of pollutants in the tissues is thus expected to vary during those periods but there is a lack of information in reptiles. Concentrations of essential (Copper, Zinc, Selenium) and non-essentials elements (Cadmium, Lead, Mercury) were determined in blood (n = 78) and eggs (n = 76) of 46 free-ranging leatherback females collected in French Guiana. Maternal transfer to eggs and relationships between blood and eggs concentrations during the nesting season were investigated. All trace elements were detectable in both tissues. Levels of toxic metals were lower than essential elements likely due to the high pelagic nature of leatherbacks that seems to limit exposure to toxic elements. Significant relationships between blood and egg concentrations were observed for Se and Cd. Se could have an important role in embryonic development of leatherback turtles and Cd transfer could be linked to similar carrier proteins as Se. Finally, as multiple clutches were sampled from each female, trends in trace elements were investigated along the nesting season. No change was observed in eggs but changes were recorded in blood concentrations of Cu. Cu level decreased while blood Pb levels increased through the nesting season. The high demand on the body during the breeding season seems to affect blood Cu concentrations. Calcium requirement for egg production with concomitant Pb mobilization could explain the increase in blood Pb concentrations along the nesting season

  7. Maternal transfer of trace elements in leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) of French Guiana

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guirlet, Elodie [Laboratoire d' Ecologie, Systematique et Evolution, Batiment 362, Universite Paris Sud, 91405 Orsay Cedex (France)], E-mail: elodie.guirlet@u-psud.fr; Das, Krishna [Centre de recherche MARE, Laboratoire d' Oceanologie, Universite de Liege, B6, B-4000 Liege (Belgium)], E-mail: krishna.das@ulg.ac.be; Girondot, Marc [Laboratoire d' Ecologie, Systematique et Evolution, Batiment 362, Universite Paris Sud, 91405 Orsay Cedex (France); Departement Evolution et Systematique, Museum National d' Histoire Naturelle de Paris, 25 rue Cuvier, 75005 Paris (France)], E-mail: marc.girondot@u-psud.fr

    2008-07-30

    In sea turtles, parental investment is limited to the nutrients and energy invested in eggs that will support embryonic development. Leatherback females have the largest clutches with the biggest eggs of the sea turtles and the highest reproductive output in reptiles. The migration between foraging sites and nesting beaches also represents high energy expenditure. The toxicokinetic of pollutants in the tissues is thus expected to vary during those periods but there is a lack of information in reptiles. Concentrations of essential (Copper, Zinc, Selenium) and non-essentials elements (Cadmium, Lead, Mercury) were determined in blood (n = 78) and eggs (n = 76) of 46 free-ranging leatherback females collected in French Guiana. Maternal transfer to eggs and relationships between blood and eggs concentrations during the nesting season were investigated. All trace elements were detectable in both tissues. Levels of toxic metals were lower than essential elements likely due to the high pelagic nature of leatherbacks that seems to limit exposure to toxic elements. Significant relationships between blood and egg concentrations were observed for Se and Cd. Se could have an important role in embryonic development of leatherback turtles and Cd transfer could be linked to similar carrier proteins as Se. Finally, as multiple clutches were sampled from each female, trends in trace elements were investigated along the nesting season. No change was observed in eggs but changes were recorded in blood concentrations of Cu. Cu level decreased while blood Pb levels increased through the nesting season. The high demand on the body during the breeding season seems to affect blood Cu concentrations. Calcium requirement for egg production with concomitant Pb mobilization could explain the increase in blood Pb concentrations along the nesting season.

  8. Leatherback Isotopes

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — SWFSC is currently working on a project identifying global marine isotopes using leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) as the indicator species. We currently...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  10. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  14. 2011 Aerial survey of distribution and abundance of western Pacific leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) in coastal waters of Oregon and Washington

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Aerial surveys were conducted during 10 - 29 September 2011 to determine distribution and abundance of endangered leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) in...

  15. Beach erosion and nest site selection by the leatherback sea turtle Dermochelys coriacea (Testudines: Dermochelyidae and implications for management practices at Playa Gandoca, Costa Rica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew J Spanier

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea nest on dynamic, erosion-prone beaches. Erosive processes and resulting nest loss have long been presumed to be a hindrance to clutch survival. In order to better understand how leatherbacks cope with unstable nesting beaches, I investigated the role of beach erosion in leatherback nest site selection at Playa Gandoca, Costa Rica. I also examined the potential effect of nest relocation, a conservation strategy in place at Playa Gandoca to prevent nest loss to erosion, on the temperature of incubating clutches. I monitored changes in beach structure as a result of erosion at natural nest sites during the time the nest was laid, as well as in subsequent weeks. To investigate slope as a cue for nest site selection, I measured the slope of the beach where turtles ascended from the sea to nest, as well as the slopes at other random locations on the beach for comparison. I examined temperature differences between natural and relocated nest sites with thermocouples placed in the sand at depths typical of leatherback nests. Nests were distributed non-randomly in a clumped distribution along the length of the beach and laid at locations that were not undergoing erosion. The slope at nest sites was significantly different than at randomly chosen locations on the beach. The sand temperature at nest depths was significantly warmer at natural nest sites than at locations of relocated nests. The findings of this study suggest leatherbacks actively select nest sites that are not undergoing erosive processes, with slope potentially being used as a cue for site selection. The relocation of nests appears to be inadvertently cooling the nest environment. Due to the fact that leatherback clutches undergo temperaturedependent sex determination, the relocation of nests may be producing an unnatural male biasing of hatchlings. The results of this study suggest that the necessity of relocation practices, largely in place to

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Mercury and selenium ingestion rates of Atlantic leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea): a cause for concern in this species?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrault, Justin R

    2014-08-01

    Bodily accumulation of certain toxic elements can cause physiologic harm to marine organisms and be detrimental to their health and survival. The leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) is a broadly distributed marine reptile capable of consuming hundreds of kilograms of gelatinous zooplankton each day. Little is known about toxicants present in these prey items. Specifically, mercury is a known neurotoxin with no known essential function, while selenium detoxifies bodily mercury, but can be toxic at elevated concentrations. I collected 121 leatherback prey items (i.e., gelatinous zooplankton) from known leatherback foraging grounds and sampled the esophagus and stomach contents of stranded turtles. All samples were analyzed for total mercury and selenium. Additionally, two prey items and three liver samples were analyzed for methylmercury, the most toxic form of the element. Total mercury concentrations in prey items ranged from 0.2 to 17 ppb, while selenium concentrations ranged from concerning, especially since bodily mercury and selenium concentrations increase as organisms age. Because leatherbacks are long-lived and have large daily prey consumption rates, mercury and selenium loads may increase to physiologically harmful levels in this imperiled species. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. The Effects of Inter-annual Climate Variability on the Departures of Leatherback Marine Turtles from the California Current Ecosystem

    OpenAIRE

    Van Zerr, Vanessa E

    2013-01-01

    The Pacific Ocean is a highly variable environment, and changes in oceanographic conditions impact the distributions of many organisms. Inter-annual climate variability, especially the El Niño/Southern Oscillation, is known to have wide-ranging impacts on organisms in the California Current. Understanding the factors that drive changes in the spatial ecology of organisms, such as inter-annual climate variability, is essential in many cases for effective conservation. Leatherback marine turtle...

  19. Multidecadal trends in the nesting phenology of Pacific and Atlantic leatherback turtles are associated with population demography

    OpenAIRE

    Robinson, Nathan J.; Valentine, Sara E.; Santidrián Tomillo, Pilar; Saba, Vincent S.; Spotila, James R.; Paladino, Frank V.

    2013-01-01

    Knowledge of the mechanisms influencing phenology can provide insights into the adaptability of species to climate change. Here, we investigated the factors influencing multidecadal trends in the nesting phenology of the leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea at Playa Grande, Costa Rica, in the eastern Pacific Ocean and at Sandy Point, US Virgin Islands, in the western Atlantic Ocean. Between 1993 and 2013, the median nesting date (MND) at Playa Grande occurred later, at a rate of ~0.3 d yr-...

  20. Beach dynamics and nest distribution of the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea at Grande Riviere Beach,Trinidad &Tobago

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lori Lee Lum

    2005-05-01

    Full Text Available Grande Riviere Beach in Trinidad and Tobago is an important nesting site in the Caribbean for the Critically Endangered leatherback sea turtle,Dermochelys coriacea .Community members were concerned that beach erosion and seasonal river flooding were destroying many of the nests deposited annually and thought that a hatchery was a possible solution.Over the 2001 turtle nesting season,the Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA assessed the spatial and temporal distribution of nests using the Global Positioning System recorded to reference points,and beach dynamics using permanent bench mark profile stations,to determine areas of high risk and more stable areas for nesting.A total of 1449 leatherback nests were positioned.It was evident that at the start of the season in March,the majority of leatherback nests were deposited at the eastern section of the beach. After May,there was a continuing westward shift in nest distribution as the season progressed until August and beach erosion in the eastern section became predominant.The backshore remained relatively stable along the entire beach throughout the nesting season,and erosion was predominant in the foreshore at the eastern section of the beach,from the middle to the end of the season.Similar trends in accretion and erosion were observed in 2000.River flooding did not occur during the study period or in the previous year.With both high risk and more stable regions for turtle nesting available at Grande Riviere Beach,there was no compelling evidence to justify the need for a hatchery.La playa de Grande Riviere en Trinidad y Tobago es un sitio importante de anidación en el Caribe de la tortuga baula,Dermochelys coriacea ;una tortuga marina en peligro de extinción.Los residentes estaban preocupados de que la erosión de la playa y las inundaciones estacionales estaban destruyendo muchos de los nidos y pensaron que un criadero era una solución.Durante la temporada de anidación del 2001,el Instituto de

  1. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  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. The Gulf Stream frontal system: A key oceanographic feature in the habitat selection of the leatherback turtle?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambault, Philippine; Roquet, Fabien; Benhamou, Simon; Baudena, Alberto; Pauthenet, Etienne; de Thoisy, Benoît; Bonola, Marc; Dos Reis, Virginie; Crasson, Rodrigue; Brucker, Mathieu; Le Maho, Yvon; Chevallier, Damien

    2017-05-01

    Although some associations between the leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea and the Gulf Stream current have been previously suggested, no study has to date demonstrated strong affinities between leatherback movements and this particular frontal system using thorough oceanographic data in both the horizontal and vertical dimensions. The importance of the Gulf Stream frontal system in the selection of high residence time (HRT) areas by the North Atlantic leatherback turtle is assessed here for the first time using state-of-the-art ocean reanalysis products. Ten adult females from the Eastern French Guianese rookery were satellite tracked during post-nesting migration to relate (1) their horizontal movements to physical gradients (Sea Surface Temperature (SST), Sea Surface Height (SSH) and filaments) and biological variables (micronekton and chlorophyll a), and (2) their diving behaviour to vertical structures within the water column (mixed layer, thermocline, halocline and nutricline). All the turtles migrated northward towards the Gulf Stream north wall. Although their HRT areas were geographically remote (spread between 80-30 °W and 28-45 °N), all the turtles targeted similar habitats in terms of physical structures, i.e. strong gradients of SST, SSH and a deep mixed layer. This close association with the Gulf Stream frontal system highlights the first substantial synchronization ever observed in this species, as the HRTs were observed in close match with the autumn phytoplankton bloom. Turtles remained within the enriched mixed layer at depths of 38.5±7.9 m when diving in HRT areas, likely to have an easier access to their prey and maximize therefore the energy gain. These depths were shallow in comparison to those attained within the thermocline (82.4±5.6 m) while crossing the nutrient-poor subtropical gyre, probably to reach cooler temperatures and save energy during the transit. In a context of climate change, anticipating the evolution of such frontal

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K Alexandra Curtis

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

  7. 75 FR 41436 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife; Notice of 90-Day Finding on a Petition to Revise Critical...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-16

    ...-02] RIN 0648-XW94 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife; Notice of 90-Day Finding on a Petition to Revise Critical Habitat for the Endangered Leatherback Sea Turtle Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA... finding on a petition to revise critical habitat for the endangered leatherback sea turtle under the...

  8. 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...

  9. Nest site selection by individual leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea, Testudines: Dermochelyidae in Tortuguero, Caribbean coast of Costa Rica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noga Neeman

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Nest site selection for individual leatherback sea turtles, Dermochelys coriacea, is a matter of dispute. Some authors suggest that a female will tend to randomly scatter her nests to optimize clutch survival at a highly dynamic beach, while others suggest that some site fidelity exists. It is also possible that both strategies exist, depending on the characteristics of each nesting beach, with stable beaches leading to repeating nest site selections and unstable beaches leading to nest scattering. To determine the strategy of the Tortuguero population of D. coriacea, female site preference and repetition were determined by studying whether females repeat their nest zone choices between successive attempts and whether this leads to a correlation in hatching and emergence success of subsequent nests. Nesting data from 1997 to 2008 were used. Perpendicular to the coastline, open sand was preferred in general, regardless of initial choice. This shows a tendency to scatter nests and is consistent with the fact that all vertical zones had a high variability in hatching and emergence success. It is also consistent with nest success not being easily predictable, as shown by the lack of correlation in success of subsequent nesting attempts. Along the coastline, turtles showed a preference for the middle part of the studied section of beach, both at a population level and as a tendency to repeat their initial choice. Interestingly, this zone has the most artificial lights, which leads to slightly lower nest success (though not significantly so and hatchling disorientation. This finding merits further study for a possibly maladaptive trait and shows the need for increased control of artificial nesting on this beach.

  10. Atlantic leatherback migratory paths and temporary residence areas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabrina Fossette

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

  11. SWFSC/MMTD/CCE: Leatherback Use of Temperate Habitat (LUTH) 2008

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Leatherback Use of Temperate Habitat (LUTH) survey is an ecosystem assessment of temperate foraging habitats of endangered leatherback turtles off the coast of...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Critical Habitat :: NOAA Fisheries

    Science.gov (United States)

    occupied by the species at the time of listing, if they contain physical or biological features essential essential for conservation. Critical Habitat Maps NOTE: The critical habitat maps provided here are for Data Leatherback Turtle (U.S. West Coast) » Biological Report » Economic Report 2012 77 FR 4170 Go to

  15. MORTALIDAD EMBRIONARIA EN CUATRO NIDOS DE TORTUGA CARDÓN Dermochelys coriacea EN PLAYA SAN LUIS, SECTOR LOS CHIVOS, CUMANÁ, ESTADO I SUCRE EMBRYONIC MORTALITY IN FOUR NEST OF LEATHERBACK TURTLE Dermochelys coriacea IN SAN LUIS BEACH, SECTOR LOS CHIVOS, CUMANÁ, SUCRE STATE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Velásquez

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available We analyzed the reproductive characteristics of four nets of leatherback turtles ( Dermochelys coriacea which spawned in San Luis beach, sector Los Chivos, Cumaná, Sucre State. The turtles deposited a total of 312 eggs ( =78 per nest, of which 102 eggs showed no apparent development ( = 25.50, 13 were dead embryos ( = 3.25 and 155 were coral type eggs (without fecundation ( = 38.75. Among the dead embryos (13, 84.62% had reached the late embryonic state (EETT and the rest the medium state (EEM. The average hatching success was 65.94%, with a minimum value in a turtle that laid 77 eggs (46.75 % and the maximum (91.17 % in another who laid 72 eggs. There was a high correlation between the number of eggs without apparent development (HSDA and corals, with a highly significant relationship (r = 0.97 between weight and curved carapace length in embryos.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. Stable isotope tracking of endangered sea turtles: validation with satellite telemetry and δ15N analysis of amino acids.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey A Seminoff

    Full Text Available Effective conservation strategies for highly migratory species must incorporate information about long-distance movements and locations of high-use foraging areas. However, the inherent challenges of directly monitoring these factors call for creative research approaches and innovative application of existing tools. Highly migratory marine species, such as marine turtles, regularly travel hundreds or thousands of kilometers between breeding and feeding areas, but identification of migratory routes and habitat use patterns remains elusive. Here we use satellite telemetry in combination with compound-specific isotope analysis of amino acids to confirm that insights from bulk tissue stable isotope analysis can reveal divergent migratory strategies and within-population segregation of foraging groups of critically endangered leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea across the Pacific Ocean. Among the 78 turtles studied, we found a distinct dichotomy in δ(15N values of bulk skin, with distinct "low δ(15N" and "high δ(15N" groups. δ(15N analysis of amino acids confirmed that this disparity resulted from isotopic differences at the base of the food chain and not from differences in trophic position between the two groups. Satellite tracking of 13 individuals indicated that their bulk skin δ(15N value was linked to the particular foraging region of each turtle. These findings confirm that prevailing marine isoscapes of foraging areas can be reflected in the isotopic compositions of marine turtle body tissues sampled at nesting beaches. We use a Bayesian mixture model to show that between 82 and 100% of the 78 skin-sampled turtles could be assigned with confidence to either the eastern Pacific or western Pacific, with 33 to 66% of all turtles foraging in the eastern Pacific. Our forensic approach validates the use of stable isotopes to depict leatherback turtle movements over broad spatial ranges and is timely for establishing wise conservation

  20. Stable isotope tracking of endangered sea turtles: validation with satellite telemetry and δ15N analysis of amino acids.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    Effective conservation strategies for highly migratory species must incorporate information about long-distance movements and locations of high-use foraging areas. However, the inherent challenges of directly monitoring these factors call for creative research approaches and innovative application of existing tools. Highly migratory marine species, such as marine turtles, regularly travel hundreds or thousands of kilometers between breeding and feeding areas, but identification of migratory routes and habitat use patterns remains elusive. Here we use satellite telemetry in combination with compound-specific isotope analysis of amino acids to confirm that insights from bulk tissue stable isotope analysis can reveal divergent migratory strategies and within-population segregation of foraging groups of critically endangered leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) across the Pacific Ocean. Among the 78 turtles studied, we found a distinct dichotomy in δ(15)N values of bulk skin, with distinct "low δ(15)N" and "high δ(15)N" groups. δ(15)N analysis of amino acids confirmed that this disparity resulted from isotopic differences at the base of the food chain and not from differences in trophic position between the two groups. Satellite tracking of 13 individuals indicated that their bulk skin δ(15)N value was linked to the particular foraging region of each turtle. These findings confirm that prevailing marine isoscapes of foraging areas can be reflected in the isotopic compositions of marine turtle body tissues sampled at nesting beaches. We use a Bayesian mixture model to show that between 82 and 100% of the 78 skin-sampled turtles could be assigned with confidence to either the eastern Pacific or western Pacific, with 33 to 66% of all turtles foraging in the eastern Pacific. Our forensic approach validates the use of stable isotopes to depict leatherback turtle movements over broad spatial ranges and is timely for establishing wise conservation efforts in

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Critical Windows of Cardiovascular Susceptibility to Developmental Hypoxia in Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) Embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tate, Kevin B; Kohl, Zachary F; Eme, John; Rhen, Turk; Crossley, Dane A

    2015-01-01

    Environmental conditions fluctuate dramatically in some reptilian nests. However, critical windows of environmental sensitivity for cardiovascular development have not been identified. Continuous developmental hypoxia has been shown to alter cardiovascular form and function in embryonic snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina), and we used this species to identify critical periods during which hypoxia modifies the cardiovascular phenotype. We hypothesized that incubation in 10% O2 during specific developmental periods would have differential effects on the cardiovascular system versus overall somatic growth. Two critical windows were identified with 10% O2 from 50% to 70% of incubation, resulting in relative heart enlargement, either via preservation of or preferential growth of this tissue, while exposure to 10% O2 from 20% to 70% of incubation resulted in a reduction in arterial pressure. The deleterious or advantageous aspects of these embryonic phenotypes in posthatching snapping turtles have yet to be explored. However, identification of these critical windows has provided insight into how the developmental environment alters the phenotype of reptiles and will also be pivotal in understanding its impact on the fitness of egg-laying reptiles.

  4. Sea Turtle Bycatch Mitigation in U.S. Longline Fisheries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yonat Swimmer

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Capture of sea turtles in longline fisheries has been implicated in population declines of loggerhead (Caretta caretta and leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea turtles. Since 2004, United States (U.S. longline vessels targeting swordfish and tunas in the Pacific and regions in the Atlantic Ocean have operated under extensive fisheries regulations to reduce the capture and mortality of endangered and threatened sea turtles. We analyzed 20+ years of longline observer data from both ocean basins during periods before and after the regulations to assess the effectiveness of the regulations. Using generalized additive mixed models (GAMMs, we investigated relationships between the probability of expected turtle interactions and operational components such as fishing location, hook type, bait type, sea surface temperature, and use of light sticks. GAMMs identified a two to three-fold lower probability of expected capture of loggerhead and leatherback turtle bycatch in the Atlantic and Pacific when circle hooks are used (vs. J hook. Use of fish bait (vs. squid was also found to significantly reduce the capture probability of loggerheads in both ocean basins, and for leatherbacks in the Atlantic only. Capture probabilities are lowest when using a combination of circle hook and fish bait. Influences of light sticks, hook depth, geographic location, and sea surface temperature are discussed specific to species and regions. Results confirmed that in two U.S.-managed longline fisheries, rates of sea turtle bycatch significantly declined after the regulations. In the Atlantic (all regions, rates declined by 40 and 61% for leatherback and loggerhead turtles, respectively, after the regulations. Within the NED area alone, where additional restrictions include a large circle hook (18/0 and limited use of squid bait, rates declined by 64 and 55% for leatherback and loggerhead turtles, respectively. Gains were even more pronounced for the Pacific shallow set fishery

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-15

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

  6. Critical Beach Habitat for Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle Endangered Before Mid-Century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burstein, J. T.; Fletcher, C. H., III; Dominique Tavares, K.

    2017-12-01

    Many Hawaiian beaches provide critical habitat for the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia Mydas). However, sea level rise drives beaches and dunes to migrate landward where they may encounter roads and other types of developed lands. Where developed lands are threatened by coastal erosion, defined as a distance of 20 ft (6.1 m) by state rules, property owners are eligible to apply for an emergency permit. These have historically led to coastal armoring. Seawalls and revetments on chronically receding shorelines cause permanent beach loss by restricting sand supply to the beach in front of the sea wall, as well as to beaches adjacent to the restrictive structure (flanking). This study focuses on four primary beach habitats along the North Shore of Oahu, Hawai'i: Waimea, Haleiwa, Kawailoa, and Mokuleia. We utilize GIS techniques to apply spatial analysis of nesting and basking locations collected from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). We then estimate the number of homes and the length of shoreline threatened by coastal armoring for 0 m, 0.17 m, 0.32 m, 0.60 m, and 0.98 m of sea-level rise. We demonstrate that 0.17 m of sea level rise impacts 31% of all beach front homes, and 4.6 km of shoreline, or 21% of the total shoreline. An increase to 0.32 m of sea level rise impacts 42% of all beach front homes, and 5.8 km of shoreline, or 31% of the total shoreline. The upper bound of the most recent sea level rise projection by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC RCP 8.5) affirms that 0.17 m of sea level rise may be reached by 2030, and 0.32 m by 2050. This sea level projection is a "worst-case" under IPCC-AR5, however, Sweet et al. (2017) depicts this as an "Intermediate" scenario on the basis of faster than expected mass loss by Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets, and rapid heat uptake and thermal expansion by the world's oceans. We conclude that the impacts of sea level rise and reactive coastal armoring currently endanger critical

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Evidence of opposing fitness effects of parental heterozygosity and relatedness in a critically endangered marine turtle?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, K P; Jorgensen, T H; Jolliffe, K G; Richardson, D S

    2017-11-01

    How individual genetic variability relates to fitness is important in understanding evolution and the processes affecting populations of conservation concern. Heterozygosity-fitness correlations (HFCs) have been widely used to study this link in wild populations, where key parameters that affect both variability and fitness, such as inbreeding, can be difficult to measure. We used estimates of parental heterozygosity and genetic similarity ('relatedness') derived from 32 microsatellite markers to explore the relationship between genetic variability and fitness in a population of the critically endangered hawksbill turtle, Eretmochelys imbricata. We found no effect of maternal MLH (multilocus heterozygosity) on clutch size or egg success rate, and no single-locus effects. However, we found effects of paternal MLH and parental relatedness on egg success rate that interacted in a way that may result in both positive and negative effects of genetic variability. Multicollinearity in these tests was within safe limits, and null simulations suggested that the effect was not an artefact of using paternal genotypes reconstructed from large samples of offspring. Our results could imply a tension between inbreeding and outbreeding depression in this system, which is biologically feasible in turtles: female-biased natal philopatry may elevate inbreeding risk and local adaptation, and both processes may be disrupted by male-biased dispersal. Although this conclusion should be treated with caution due to a lack of significant identity disequilibrium, our study shows the importance of considering both positive and negative effects when assessing how variation in genetic variability affects fitness in wild systems. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Adaptive Patterns of Mitogenome Evolution Are Associated with the Loss of Shell Scutes in Turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escalona, Tibisay; Weadick, Cameron J; Antunes, Agostinho

    2017-10-01

    The mitochondrial genome encodes several protein components of the oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) pathway and is critical for aerobic respiration. These proteins have evolved adaptively in many taxa, but linking molecular-level patterns with higher-level attributes (e.g., morphology, physiology) remains a challenge. Turtles are a promising system for exploring mitochondrial genome evolution as different species face distinct respiratory challenges and employ multiple strategies for ensuring efficient respiration. One prominent adaptation to a highly aquatic lifestyle in turtles is the secondary loss of keratenized shell scutes (i.e., soft-shells), which is associated with enhanced swimming ability and, in some species, cutaneous respiration. We used codon models to examine patterns of selection on mitochondrial protein-coding genes along the three turtle lineages that independently evolved soft-shells. We found strong evidence for positive selection along the branches leading to the pig-nosed turtle (Carettochelys insculpta) and the softshells clade (Trionychidae), but only weak evidence for the leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) branch. Positively selected sites were found to be particularly prevalent in OXPHOS Complex I proteins, especially subunit ND2, along both positively selected lineages, consistent with convergent adaptive evolution. Structural analysis showed that many of the identified sites are within key regions or near residues involved in proton transport, indicating that positive selection may have precipitated substantial changes in mitochondrial function. Overall, our study provides evidence that physiological challenges associated with adaptation to a highly aquatic lifestyle have shaped the evolution of the turtle mitochondrial genome in a lineage-specific manner. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. A critical review of the Mediterranean sea turtle rescue network: a web looking for a weaver

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judith Ullmann

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available A key issue in conservation biology is recognizing and bridging the gap between scientific results and specific action. We examine sea turtles—charismatic yet endangered flagship species—in the Mediterranean, a sea with historically high levels of exploitation and 22 coastal nations. We take sea turtle rescue facilities as a visible measure for implemented conservation action. Our study yielded 34 confirmed sea turtle rescue centers, 8 first-aid stations, and 7 informal rescue institutions currently in operation. Juxtaposing these facilities to known sea turtle distribution and threat hotspots reveals a clear disconnect. Only 14 of the 22 coastal countries had centers, with clear gaps in the Middle East and Africa. Moreover, the information flow between centers is apparently limited. The populations of the two species nesting in the Mediterranean, the loggerhead Caretta caretta and the green turtle Chelonia mydas, are far below historical levels and face a range of anthropogenic threats at sea and on land. Sea turtle rescue centers are acknowledged to reduce mortality in bycatch hotspots, provide a wealth of scientific data, and raise public awareness. The proposal for a Mediterranean-wide rescue network as published by the Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas a decade ago has not materialized in its envisioned scope. We discuss the efficiency, gaps, and needs for a rescue network and call for establishing additional rescue centers and an accompanying common online database to connect existing centers. This would provide better information on the number and types of rescue facilities on a Mediterranean scale, improve communication between these facilities, enhance standardization of procedures, yield large-scale data on the number of treated turtles and their injuries, and thus provide valuable input for targeted conservation measures.

  14. The complete mitochondrial genome of the critically endangered Vietnamese three-striped box turtle (Testudines: Geoemydidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wei; Zhao, Jian; Shi, Yan; Xiao, Feng-Fang; Zhang, Xin-Cheng; Zhu, Xin-Ping

    2015-01-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome of the Vietnamese three-striped box turtle (Cuora cyclornata) was first determined in this study. It was a circular molecule of 16,594 bp in length, consisting of 37 genes typically found in other vertebrates. The AT content of the overall base composition of the whole mitogenome was 60.39%, while the control region was 70.23%. Two ETAS and 4 CSBs were identified, while a remarkable feature was found in the control region: a large number of (TTATTATA)10 direct tandem repeats followed by (TTATA)n (n=10, 8 and 1), which were spaced into three domains by (TA)n (n=1, 1 and 2). The sequence information could play an important role in the study of phylogenetic relationships in turtles and preservation of genetic resources for helping conservation of the endangered species.

  15. Species boundaries and phylogenetic relationships in the critically endangered Asian box turtle genus Cuora.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spinks, Phillip Q; Thomson, Robert C; Zhang, YaPing; Che, Jing; Wu, Yonghua; Shaffer, H Bradley

    2012-06-01

    Turtles are currently the most endangered major clade of vertebrates on earth, and Asian box turtles (Cuora) are in catastrophic decline. Effective management of this diverse turtle clade has been hampered by human-mediated, and perhaps natural hybridization, resulting in discordance between mitochondrial and nuclear markers and confusion regarding species boundaries and phylogenetic relationships among hypothesized species of Cuora. Here, we present analyses of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA data for all 12 currently hypothesized species to resolve both species boundaries and phylogenetic relationships. Our 15-gene, 40-individual nuclear data set was frequently in conflict with our mitochondrial data set; based on its general concordance with published morphological analyses and the strength of 15 independent estimates of evolutionary history, we interpret the nuclear data as representing the most reliable estimate of species boundaries and phylogeny of Cuora. Our results strongly reiterate the necessity of using multiple nuclear markers for phylogeny and species delimitation in these animals, including any form of DNA "barcoding", and point to Cuora as an important case study where reliance on mitochondrial DNA can lead to incorrect species identification. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter N Dudley

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

  18. 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.

  19. The status of marine turtles in Montserrat (Eastern Caribbean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin, C. S.

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available The status of marine turtles in Montserrat (Eastern Caribbean is reviewed following five years of monitoring (1999-2003. The mean number of nests recorded during the annual nesting season (June-October was 53 (± 24.9 SD; range: 13-43. In accordance with earlier reports, the nesting of hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata and green (Chelonia mydas turtles was confirmed on several beaches around the island. Only non-nesting emergences were documented for loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta and there was no evidence of nesting by leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea; however, it is possible that additional survey effort would reveal low density nesting by these species. Officially reported turtle capture data for 1993-2003 suggest that a mean of 0.9 turtle per year (±1.2 SD; range: 0-4 were landed island-wide, with all harvest having occurred during the annual open season (1 October to 31 May. Informed observers believe that the harvest is significantly under-reported and that fishermen avoid declaring their catch by butchering turtles at sea (both during and outside the open season. Of concern is the fact that breeding adults are potentially included in the harvest, and that the open season partially coincides with the breeding season. The present study has shown that although Montserrat is not a major nesting site for sea turtles, it remains important on a regional basis for the Eastern Caribbean.

  20. Marine tourism and the locations of protected turtles on Sukamade Beach, Meru Betiri National Park, East Java

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prihadi, D. J.; Shofiyullah, A.; Dhahiyat, Y.

    2018-04-01

    The research was conducted in Sukamade Beach, Meru Betiri National Park, East Java. The purpose of this research was to identify marine tourism activity and to determine the differences in the characteristics of turtle-nesting beaches towards the number and species of turtles that came to the beach. Data collection conducted in August-September 2014. The method used in this research was a survey method at 7 reseach stations to collect primary data (biophysical characteristics) and secondary data. The Primary data was collected by monitoring turtles, width and slope of the beach, temperature, pH, moisture, sand texture, and beach vegetation conditions at each station. The results of the research shows that marine tourisms always involve tourists who attend to see turtle nesting, when turtles arrive at the beach, and turtles return to the sea, how large the turtles and how they lay eggs on the beach, and the release of little turtles (tukik). The number of turtles that landed from station 1 to station 7 is as many as 311 individuals of three species. The most dominant species of turtles that arrived at the beach is green turtle (Chelonia mydas), followed by olive ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivaceae) and leatherbacks turtles (Dermochelys coriacea).

  1. 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…

  2. Detection of Salmonella enterica Serovar Montevideo and Newport in Free-ranging Sea Turtles and Beach Sand in the Caribbean and Persistence in Sand and Seawater Microcosms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ives, A-K; Antaki, E; Stewart, K; Francis, S; Jay-Russell, M T; Sithole, F; Kearney, M T; Griffin, M J; Soto, E

    2017-09-01

    Salmonellae are Gram-negative zoonotic bacteria that are frequently part of the normal reptilian gastrointestinal flora. The main objective of this project was to estimate the prevalence of non-typhoidal Salmonella enterica in the nesting and foraging populations of sea turtles on St. Kitts and in sand from known nesting beaches. Results suggest a higher prevalence of Salmonella in nesting leatherback sea turtles compared with foraging green and hawksbill sea turtles. Salmonella was cultured from 2/9 and identified by molecular diagnostic methods in 3/9 leatherback sea turtle samples. Salmonella DNA was detected in one hawksbill turtle, but viable isolates were not recovered from any hawksbill sea turtles. No Salmonella was detected in green sea turtles. In samples collected from nesting beaches, Salmonella was only recovered from a single dry sand sample. All recovered isolates were positive for the wzx gene, consistent with the O:7 serogroup. Further serotyping characterized serovars Montevideo and Newport present in cloacal and sand samples. Repetitive-element palindromic PCR (rep-PCR) fingerprint analysis and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis of the 2014 isolates from turtles and sand as well as archived Salmonella isolates recovered from leatherback sea turtles in 2012 and 2013, identified two distinct genotypes and four different pulsotypes, respectively. The genotyping and serotyping were directly correlated. To determine the persistence of representative strains of each serotype/genotype in these environments, laboratory-controlled microcosm studies were performed in water and sand (dry and wet) incubated at 25 or 35°C. Isolates persisted for at least 32 days in most microcosms, although there were significant decreases in culturable bacteria in several microcosms, with the greatest reduction in dry sand incubated at 35°C. This information provides a better understanding of the epizootiology of Salmonella in free-ranging marine reptiles and the potential

  3. Predaceous ants, beach replenishment, and nest placement by sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wetterer, James K; Wood, Lawrence D; Johnson, Chris; Krahe, Holly; Fitchett, Stephanie

    2007-10-01

    Ants known for attacking and killing hatchling birds and reptiles include the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren), tropical fire ant [Solenopsis geminata (Fabr.)], and little fire ant [Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger)]. We tested whether sea turtle nest placement influenced exposure to predaceous ants. In 2000 and 2001, we surveyed ants along a Florida beach where green turtles (Chelonia mydas L.), leatherbacks (Dermochelys coriacea Vandelli), and loggerheads (Caretta caretta L.) nest. Part of the beach was artificially replenished between our two surveys. As a result, mean beach width experienced by nesting turtles differed greatly between the two nesting seasons. We surveyed 1,548 sea turtle nests (2000: 909 nests; 2001: 639 nests) and found 22 ant species. S. invicta was by far the most common species (on 431 nests); S. geminata and W. auropunctata were uncommon (on 3 and 16 nests, respectively). In 2000, 62.5% of nests had ants present (35.9% with S. invicta), but in 2001, only 30.5% of the nests had ants present (16.4% with S. invicta). Turtle nests closer to dune vegetation had significantly greater exposure to ants. Differences in ant presence on turtle nests between years and among turtle species were closely related to differences in nest placement relative to dune vegetation. Beach replenishment significantly lowered exposure of nests to ants because on the wider beaches turtles nested farther from the dune vegetation. Selective pressures on nesting sea turtles are altered both by the presence of predaceous ants and the practice of beach replenishment.

  4. Investigation of plastic debris ingestion by four species of sea turtles collected as bycatch in pelagic Pacific longline fisheries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clukey, Katharine E; Lepczyk, Christopher A; Balazs, George H; Work, Thierry M; Lynch, Jennifer M

    2017-07-15

    Ingestion of marine debris is an established threat to sea turtles. The amount, type, color and location of ingested plastics in the gastrointestinal tracts of 55 sea turtles from Pacific longline fisheries from 2012 to 2016 were quantified, and compared across species, turtle length, body condition, sex, capture location, season and year. Six approaches for quantifying amounts of ingested plastic strongly correlated with one another and included: number of pieces, mass, volume and surface area of plastics, ratio of plastic mass to body mass, and percentage of the mass of gut contents consisting of plastic. All olive ridley (n=37), 90% of green (n=10), 80% of loggerhead (n=5) and 0% of leatherback (n=3) turtles had ingested plastic; green turtles ingested significantly more than olive ridleys. Most debris was in the large intestines. No adverse health impacts (intestinal lesions, blockage, or poor body condition) due directly to plastic ingestion were noted. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-11-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1990-12-01

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

  8. Turtle Hearing Capability Based on ABR Signal assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raja Bidin Raja Hassan

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Sea turtles have existed for millions of years. International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN has reported that the Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata is classified as critically endangered. Turtle excluder device (TED deployment on shrimpnet fisheries is needed for turtle conservation.TED using sound technique is challenge method in fisheries development.The knowledge on turtle hearing capability is limited. The auditory brainstem response (ABR assessment is method to determine turtle hearing capability. Turtle hearing assessment is basis to design TED. The objective of this paper is to determine turtle hearing cability by analyze its ABR spectral.The subject is Hawksbill turtle with number 2 turtles ie: 3 and 2 years. The measurement was taken at Pusat Pengurusan Penyu (Turtle Management Centre Padang Kemunting Masjid Tanah Melaka Malaysia. The results shows that turtle 3 years have peak power frequencies 50.78, 101.6, 152.3, 304.7, 355.5, 457, and 507.8Hz respectively whereas the spectral amplitude is ranging 0.03-32.44% spectral. Turtle 2 years has peak power at 457Hz in whole stimulus frequencies while the spectral amplitude is ranging 0.01-2.5% spectral.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hsiang-Wen Huang

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Hsiang-Wen

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanny Arroyo-Arce

    2015-09-01

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

  12. Development of a quantitative PCR for rapid and sensitive diagnosis of an intranuclear coccidian parasite in Testudines (TINC), and detection in the critically endangered Arakan forest turtle (Heosemys depressa).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez, W Alexander; Gibbons, Paul M; Rivera, Sam; Archer, Linda L; Childress, April L; Wellehan, James F X

    2013-03-31

    The intranuclear coccidian parasite of Testudines (TINC) is responsible for significant disease in turtles and tortoises causing high mortality and affecting several threatened species. Diagnostic testing has been limited to relatively labor intensive and expensive pan-coccidial PCR and sequencing techniques. A qPCR assay targeting a specific and conserved region of TINC 18S rRNA was designed. The qPCR reaction was run on samples known to be TINC positive and the results were consistent and analytically specific. The assay was able to detect as little as 10 copies of target DNA in a sample. Testing of soil and invertebrates was negative and did not provide any further insights into life cycles. This assay was used to identify TINC in a novel host species, the critically endangered Arakan forest turtle (Heosemys depressa). Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

    Nascent fungal infections are currently considered as one of the main threats for biodiversity and ecosystem health, and have driven several animal species into critical risk of extinction. Sea turtles are one of the most endangered groups of animals and only seven species have survived to date. Here, we described two pathogenic species, i.e., Fusarium falciforme and Fusarium keratoplasticum, that are globally distributed in major turtle nesting areas for six sea turtle species and that are i...

  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. Marine debris and human impacts on sea turtles in southern Brazil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bugoni, Leandro; Krause, Ligia [Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Dept. de Zoologia, Porto Alegre, RS (Brazil); Petry, Maria Virginia [Universidade do Rio dos Sinos, Museu de Zoologia, Sao Leopoldo, RS (Brazil)

    2001-07-01

    Dead stranded sea turtles were recovered and examined to determine the impact of anthropogenic debris and fishery activities on sea turtles on the coast of Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil. Esophagus/stomach contents of 38 juvenile green Chelonia mydas, 10 adults and sub-adults loggerhead Caretta caretta, and two leatherback Dermochelys coriacea turtle (adult or sub-adult) included plastic bags as the main debris ingested, predominated by white and colorless pieces. The ingestion of anthropogenic debris accounted for the death of 13.2% of the green turtles examined. Signs of damage over the body and carapace indicated that fishing activities caused the death of 13.6% (3/22) of loggerheads and 1.5% (1/56) of green turtles. Therefore, it appears that direct and indirect effects of fishing activities may pose a threat to these species in Brazilian waters. Other sources of plastic debris should be investigated as well a the direct impact of fisheries, especially bottom trawl and gill nets, in order to establish effective conservation action. (Author)

  16. 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.

  17. Willingness to Pay for Marine Turtle Conservation in Asia: A Cross-Country Perspective

    OpenAIRE

    Jin Jiangjun; Rodelio Subade; Orapan Nabangchang; Truong Dang Thuy; Anabeth L. Indab

    2009-01-01

    Marine turtles are important, not only for their economic and intrinsic value, but because an adequate population of marine turtles is often an indicator of healthy marine ecosystem. Of the seven species of marine turtles, four are critically endangered, while two are in the next-highest risk category.

  18. Association between nighttime artificial light pollution and sea turtle nest density along Florida coast: A geospatial study using VIIRS remote sensing data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Zhiyong; Hu, Hongda; Huang, Yuxia

    2018-08-01

    Artificial lighting at night has becoming a new type of pollution posing an important anthropogenic environmental pressure on organisms. The objective of this research was to examine the potential association between nighttime artificial light pollution and nest densities of the three main sea turtle species along Florida beaches, including green turtles, loggerheads, and leatherbacks. Sea turtle survey data was obtained from the "Florida Statewide Nesting Beach Survey program". We used the new generation of satellite sensor "Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS)" (version 1 D/N Band) nighttime annual average radiance composite image data. We defined light pollution as artificial light brightness greater than 10% of the natural sky brightness above 45° of elevation (>1.14 × 10 -11 Wm -2 sr -1 ). We fitted a generalized linear model (GLM), a GLM with eigenvectors spatial filtering (GLM-ESF), and a generalized estimating equations (GEE) approach for each species to examine the potential correlation of nest density with light pollution. Our models are robust and reliable in terms of the ability to deal with data distribution and spatial autocorrelation (SA) issues violating model assumptions. All three models found that nest density is significantly negatively correlated with light pollution for each sea turtle species: the higher light pollution, the lower nest density. The two spatially extended models (GLM-ESF and GEE) show that light pollution influences nest density in a descending order from green turtles, to loggerheads, and then to leatherbacks. The research findings have an implication for sea turtle conservation policy and ordinance making. Near-coastal lights-out ordinances and other approaches to shield lights can protect sea turtles and their nests. The VIIRS DNB light data, having significant improvements over comparable data by its predecessor, the DMSP-OLS, shows promise for continued and improved research about ecological effects of

  19. Removal of nonnative slider turtles (Trachemys scripta) and effects on native Sonora mud turtles (Kinosternon sonoriense) at Montezuma Well, Yavapai County, Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drost, Charles A.; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Madrak, Sheila V.; Monatesti, A.J.

    2011-01-01

    The National Park Service (NPS) estimates that 234 national parks contain nonnative, invasive animal species that are of management concern (National Park Service, 2004). Understanding and controlling invasive species is thus an important priority within the NPS (National Park Service, 1996). The slider turtle (Trachemys scripta) is one such invasive species. Native to the Southeastern United States (Ernst and Lovich, 2009), as well as Mexico, Central America, and portions of South America (Ernst and Barbour, 1989), the slider turtle has become established throughout the continental United States and in other locations around the world (Burke and others, 2000). Slider turtle introductions have been suspected to be a threat to native turtles (Holland 1994; da Silva and Blasco, 1995), however, there has not been serious study of their effects until recently. Cadi and Joly (2003) found that slider turtles outcompeted European pond turtles (Emys orbicularis) for preferred basking sites under controlled experimental conditions, demonstrating for the first time direct competition for resources between a native and an exotic turtle species. Similarly, Spinks and others (2003) suggested that competition for basking sites between slider turtles and Pacific pond turtles (Actinemys marmorata) was partly responsible for the decline of Pacific pond turtles observed at their study site in California. They concluded that the impact of introduced slider turtles was 'almost certainly negative' for the western pond turtle. In the most recent critical study to assess the effects of introduced slider turtles on native turtles, Cadi and Joly (2004) demonstrated that European pond turtles that were kept under experimentally controlled conditions with slider turtles lost body weight and exhibited higher rates of mortality than in control groups of turtles comprised of the same species, demonstrating potential population-level effects on native species. Slider turtles are not native to

  20. 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

  1. 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)

  2. Comparing Acoustic Tag Attachments Designed for Mobile Tracking of Hatchling Sea Turtles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aimee L. Hoover

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The poorly understood movements of sea turtles during the “lost years” of their early life history have been characterized as a “passive drifter” stage. Biologging technology allows us to study patterns of dispersal, but the small body size of young life stages requires particular consideration that such tagging does not significantly impede animal movements. We tested the effect of instrument attachment methods for mobile acoustic tracking of hatchling sea turtles, including a design that would be suitable for leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea. We obtained 8-week-old hatchery-reared green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas (n = 12 individuals and examined the effect of attaching Vemco V5 acoustic tags. Each animal's swim speed, swimming depth, and stroke frequency were determined under three scenarios: control, direct Velcro® attachment to the carapace, and harness attachment, to determine if there was a significant difference amongst treatments. Turtle swimming speed was significantly slower during the middle period of the trial for the harness attachment compared with the control. No significant change in swim speed was observed when the tag was attached directly with Velcro®, and no significant change in dive depth was observed for either treatment compared to the control. Stroke frequency was significantly greater compared to the control at the end of the trial for the Velcro® attachment only, although there was no corresponding increase in swimming speed. This information can be used to design effective approaches for actively tracking free-ranging hatchling sea turtles to understand dispersal and survival of these vulnerable marine species.

  3. Turtles for tessellations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Feijs, L.M.G.; Hu, J.

    2013-01-01

    We developed an approach to creating vector graphics representations of tessellations for purposes of teaching creative programming and laser cutting. The approach is based on turtle graphics. The lines of the turtle’s trail define the tiles of the tessellation. The turtle is defined in an

  4. 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)

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert J Ossiboff

    Full Text Available 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.

  8. 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

  9. AMAPPS turtle data

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Satellite tags were deployed on 60 loggerhead turtles to assess dive behavior to improve estimates of abundance in aerial surveys

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. The Classroom Animal: Snapping Turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kramer, David C.

    1987-01-01

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

  15. Sea Turtle Radio Telemetry Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Radio transmitters attached to sea turtles captured in various fishing gear enabled us to track and measure surfacing time of each turtle. Determining location of...

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. 75 FR 79725 - Fall 2010 Semiannual Agenda of Regulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-20

    ... Leatherback Sea 0648-AX06 Turtle 265 Critical Habitat Designation for Cook Inlet Beluga Whale Under the... mackerel, Loligo squid, Illex squid, and butterfish (including gear impacts on Loligo squid egg EFH); and...

  19. 76 FR 40012 - Semiannual Agenda of Regulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-07

    ... Endangered Leatherback Sea Turtle. 100 Critical Habitat 0648-AX50 Designation for Cook Inlet Beluga Whale... mackerel, Loligo squid, Illex squid, and butterfish (including gear impacts on Loligo squid egg EFH); and...

  20. Strandings of cetaceans and sea turtles in the Alboran Sea and Strait of Gibraltar: a long–time glimpse of the north coast (Spain and the south coast (Morocco

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rojo–Nieto, E.

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available A total of 13 species of cetaceans and three species of marine turtles were found in this study. Data were collected by eight independent and self-regulated stranding networks, providing information about 1,198 marine mammal (10 odontocetii, three mysticetii and one phocidae and 574 sea turtle stranding events between 1991 and 2008. Trends in the strandings were analysed in relation to species composition and abundance, and their geographic and seasonal distribution. The most abundant species recorded were the striped dolphin and the loggerhead turtle. Some of the strandings, such as the humpback whale, harbour porpoise, hooded seal and olive ridley turtle, were considered ‘rare’ because their distribution did not match the pattern of the study. When the north and south coasts in the study area were compared, pilot whales stranded more frequently in the north, while delphinid species stranded more in the south coast, and loggerhead turtles stranded more frequently in the north while leatherback turtles stranded more in south coast.

  1. Turtle Watch: Community Engagement and Action

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Elaine; Baudains, Catherine

    2015-01-01

    Many threats face the freshwater turtle, Chelodina colliei, also known as the oblong turtle. A community education project, Turtle Watch, focused on this target species and enabled effective conservation action to be implemented. Turtle Watch was conducted in the Perth Metropolitan Area of Western Australia, as the oblong turtle inhabits the…

  2. Risk assessment reveals high exposure of sea turtles to marine debris in French Mediterranean and metropolitan Atlantic waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darmon, Gaëlle; Miaud, Claude; Claro, Françoise; Doremus, Ghislain; Galgani, François

    2017-07-01

    Debris impact on marine wildlife has become a major issue of concern. Mainy species have been identified as being threatened by collision, entanglement or ingestion of debris, generally plastics, which constitute the predominant part of the recorded marine debris. Assessing sensitive areas, where exposure to debris are high, is thus crucial, in particular for sea turtles which have been proposed as sentinels of debris levels for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and for the Unep-MedPol convention. Our objective here was to assess sea turtle exposure to marine debris in the 3 metropolitan French fronts. Using aerial surveys performed in the Channel, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean regions in winter and summer 2011-2012, we evaluated exposure areas and magnitude in terms of spatial overlap, encounter probability and density of surrounding debris at various spatial scales. Major overlapping areas appeared in the Atlantic and Mediterranean fronts, concerning mostly the leatherback and the loggerhead turtles respectively. The probability for individuals to be in contact with debris (around 90% of individuals within a radius of 2 km) and the density of debris surrounding individuals (up to 16 items with a radius of 2 km, 88 items within a radius of 10 km) were very high, whatever the considered spatial scale, especially in the Mediterranean region and during the summer season. The comparison of the observed mean debris density with random distribution suggested that turtles selected debris areas. This may occur if both debris and turtles drift to the same areas due to currents, if turtles meet debris accidentally by selecting high food concentration areas, and/or if turtles actively seek debris out, confounding them with their preys. Various factors such as species-specific foraging strategies or oceanic features which condition the passive diffusion of debris, and sea turtles in part, may explain spatio-temporal variations in sensitive areas. Further research

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. The current situation of inorganic elements in marine turtles: A general review and meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cortés-Gómez, Adriana A; Romero, Diego; Girondot, Marc

    2017-10-01

    Inorganic elements (Pb, Cd, Hg, Al, As, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Se and Zn) are present globally in aquatic systems and their potential transfer to marine turtles can be a serious threat to their health status. The environmental fate of these contaminants may be traced by the analysis of turtle tissues. Loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) are the most frequently investigated of all the sea turtle species with regards to inorganic elements, followed by Green turtles (Chelonia mydas); all the other species have considerably fewer studies. Literature shows that blood, liver, kidney and muscle are the tissues most frequently used for the quantification of inorganic elements, with Pb, Cd, Cu and Zn being the most studied elements. Chelonia mydas showed the highest concentrations of Cr in muscle (4.8 ± 0.12), Cu in liver (37 ± 7) and Mg in kidney (17 μg g -1 ww), Cr and Cu from the Gulf of Mexico and Mg from Japanese coasts; Lepidochelys olivacea presented the highest concentrations of Pb in blood (4.46 5) and Cd in kidney (150 ± 110 μg g -1 ww), both from the Mexican Pacific; Caretta caretta from the Mediterranean Egyptian coast had the highest report of Hg in blood (0.66 ± 0.13 μg g -1 ww); and Eretmochelys imbricata from Japan had the highest concentration of As in muscle (30 ± 13 13 μg g -1 ww). The meta-analysis allows us to examine some features that were not visible when data was analyzed alone. For instance, Leatherbacks show a unique pattern of concentration compared to other species. Additionally, contamination of different tissues shows some tendencies independent of the species with liver and kidney on one side and bone on the other being different from other tissues. This review provides a general perspective on the accumulation and distribution of these inorganic elements alongside existing information for the 7 sea turtle species. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. "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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. Sea Turtle Research Program Summary Report

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    1997-01-01

    The USACE Sea Turtle Research Program (STRP) was conducted to minimize the risk to sea turtle populations in channels along the southeast Atlantic region of the United States from hopper-dredging activities...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. Hematology and serum biochemistry comparison in wild and captive Central American river turtles (Dermatemys mawii) in Tabasco, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangel-Mendoza, Judith; Weber, Manuel; Zenteno-Ruiz, Claudia E; López-Luna, Marco A; Barba-Macías, Everardo

    2009-10-01

    Hematological and serum biochemistry analyses were determined on 51 Central American river turtles (Dermatemys mawii) during the dry and rainy seasons of 2006. Turtles came from two sites: Pantanos de Centla Biosphere Reserve and a turtle breeding farm, both located in Tabasco State, Mexico. Physical examination and body measures of animals were performed. Incidence and prevalence of hemoparasites were explored. Captive organisms were in poor physical condition while wild turtles were apparently healthy. There were differences in several hematological parameters related with the condition and the season. During the dry season captive turtles exhibited higher levels of uric acid and urea, as well as lower levels of glucose. Haemogregarina sp. was detected in 100% of the wild individuals, but not in captive individuals. Its incidence was greater during the rainy season. This is the first health assessment and hematology study of this critically endangered species.

  2. Turtle riders: remoras on marine turtles in Southwest Atlantic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan Sazima

    Full Text Available An overview is presented for a poorly documented relationship between reef vertebrates in Southwest Atlantic: remoras (Echeneidae associated with marine turtles. Two remora species (Echeneis naucrates and Remora remora and four turtle species (Caretta caretta, Chelonia mydas, Eretmochelys imbricata, and Dermochelys coriacea are here recorded in symbiotic associations in the SW Atlantic. Echeneis naucrates was recorded both on the coast and on oceanic islands, whereas R. remora was recorded only at oceanic islands and in the open sea. The remora-turtle association is usually regarded as an instance of phoresis (hitchhiking, albeit feeding by the fish is also involved in this symbiosis type. This association seems to be rare in SW Atlantic.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Meter, Robin J [School of Environmental Science, Engineering, and Policy and Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Drexel University, 3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (United States); Spotila, James R [School of Environmental Science, Engineering, and Policy and Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Drexel University, 3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (United States); Avery, Harold W [School of Environmental Science, Engineering, and Policy and Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Drexel University, 3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (United States)

    2006-08-15

    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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. First record of hybridization between green Chelonia mydas and hawksbill Eretmochelys imbricata sea turtles in the Southeast Pacific

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaleyla Kelez

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Hybridization among sea turtle species has been widely reported in the Atlantic Ocean, but their detection in the Pacific Ocean is limited to just two individual hybrid turtles, in the northern hemisphere. Herein, we report, for the first time in the southeast Pacific, the presence of a sea turtle hybrid between the green turtle Chelonia mydas and the hawksbill turtle Eretmochelys imbricata. This juvenile sea turtle was captured in northern Peru (4°13′S; 81°10′W on the 5th of January, 2014. The individual exhibited morphological characteristics of C. mydas such as dark green coloration, single pair of pre-frontal scales, four post-orbital scales, and mandibular median ridge, while the presence of two claws in each frontal flipper, and elongated snout resembled the features of E. imbricata. In addition to morphological evidence, we confirmed the hybrid status of this animal using genetic analysis of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome oxidase I, which revealed that the hybrid individual resulted from the cross between a female E. imbricata and a male C. mydas. Our report extends the geographical range of occurrence of hybrid sea turtles in the Pacific Ocean, and is a significant observation of interspecific breeding between one of the world’s most critically endangered populations of sea turtles, the east Pacific E. imbricata, and a relatively healthy population, the east Pacific C. mydas.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Agusa, Tetsuro; Takagi, Kozue [Center for Marine Environmental Studies (CMES), Ehime University, Bunkyo-cho 2-5, Matsuyama 790-8577 (Japan); Kubota, Reiji [Division of Environmental Chemistry, National Institute of Health Sciences, Kamiyoga 1-18-1, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 158-8501 (Japan); Anan, Yasumi [Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chiba University, Inohana 1-8-1, Chuo-ku, Chiba 260-8675 (Japan); Iwata, Hisato [Center for Marine Environmental Studies (CMES), Ehime University, Bunkyo-cho 2-5, Matsuyama 790-8577 (Japan); Tanabe, Shinsuke [Center for Marine Environmental Studies (CMES), Ehime University, Bunkyo-cho 2-5, Matsuyama 790-8577 (Japan)], E-mail: shinsuke@agr.ehime-u.ac.jp

    2008-05-15

    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.

  11. 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...

  12. Active dispersal in loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) during the 'lost years'.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briscoe, D K; Parker, D M; Balazs, G H; Kurita, M; Saito, T; Okamoto, H; Rice, M; Polovina, J J; Crowder, L B

    2016-06-15

    Highly migratory marine species can travel long distances and across entire ocean basins to reach foraging and breeding grounds, yet gaps persist in our knowledge of oceanic dispersal and habitat use. This is especially true for sea turtles, whose complex life history and lengthy pelagic stage present unique conservation challenges. Few studies have explored how these young at-sea turtles navigate their environment, but advancements in satellite technology and numerical models have shown that active and passive movements are used in relation to open ocean features. Here, we provide the first study, to the best of our knowledge, to simultaneously combine a high-resolution physical forcing ocean circulation model with long-term multi-year tracking data of young, trans-oceanic North Pacific loggerhead sea turtles during their 'lost years' at sea. From 2010 to 2014, we compare simulated trajectories of passive transport with empirical data of 1-3 year old turtles released off Japan (29.7-37.5 straight carapace length cm). After several years, the at-sea distribution of simulated current-driven trajectories significantly differed from that of the observed turtle tracks. These results underscore current theories on active dispersal by young oceanic-stage sea turtles and give further weight to hypotheses of juvenile foraging strategies for this species. Such information can also provide critical geographical information for spatially explicit conservation approaches to this endangered population. © 2016 The Author(s).

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Status of marine turtle rehabilitation in Queensland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flint, Jaylene; Flint, Mark; Limpus, Colin James; Mills, Paul

    2017-01-01

    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 stressors causing

  20. Status of marine turtle rehabilitation in Queensland

    OpenAIRE

    Jaylene Flint; Mark Flint; Colin James Limpus; Paul Mills

    2017-01-01

    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-...

  1. Status of marine turtle rehabilitation in Queensland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flint, Mark; Limpus, Colin James; Mills, Paul

    2017-01-01

    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 stressors causing

  2. Sea Turtles and Strategies for Language Skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tippins, Deborah; And Others

    1993-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. A thin-shelled reptile from the Late Triassic of North America and the origin of the turtle shell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joyce, Walter G; Lucas, Spencer G; Scheyer, Torsten M; Heckert, Andrew B; Hunt, Adrian P

    2009-02-07

    A new, thin-shelled fossil from the Upper Triassic (Revueltian: Norian) Chinle Group of New Mexico, Chinlechelys tenertesta, is one of the most primitive known unambiguous members of the turtle stem lineage. The thin-shelled nature of the new turtle combined with its likely terrestrial habitat preference hint at taphonomic filters that basal turtles had to overcome before entering the fossil record. Chinlechelys tenertesta possesses neck spines formed by multiple osteoderms, indicating that the earliest known turtles were covered with rows of dermal armour. More importantly, the primitive, vertically oriented dorsal ribs of the new turtle are only poorly associated with the overlying costal bones, indicating that these two structures are independent ossifications in basal turtles. These novel observations lend support to the hypothesis that the turtle shell was originally a complex composite in which dermal armour fused with the endoskeletal ribs and vertebrae of an ancestral lineage instead of forming de novo. The critical shell elements (i.e. costals and neurals) are thus not simple outgrowths of the bone of the endoskeletal elements as has been hypothesized from some embryological observations.

  7. Effect of thermal acclimation on thermal preference, resistance and locomotor performance of hatchling soft-shelled turtle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mei-Xian WU,Ling-Jun HU, Wei DANG, Hong-Liang LU, Wei-Guo DU

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The significant influence of thermal acclimation on physiological and behavioral performance has been documented in many ectothermic animals, but such studies are still limited in turtle species. We acclimated hatchling soft-shelled turtles Pelodiscus sinensis under three thermal conditions (10, 20 and 30 °C for 4 weeks, and then measured selected body temperature (Tsel, critical thermal minimum (CTMin and maximum (CTMax, and locomotor performance at different body temperatures. Thermal acclimation significantly affected thermal preference and resistance of P. sinensis hatchlings. Hatchling turtles acclimated to 10 °C selected relatively lower body temperatures and were less resistant to high temperatures than those acclimated to 20 °C and 30 °C. The turtles’ resistance to low temperatures increased with a decreasing acclimation temperature. The thermal resistance range (i.e. the difference between CTMax and CTMin, TRR was widest in turtles acclimated to 20 °C, and narrowest in those acclimated to 10 °C. The locomotor performance of turtles was affected by both body temperature and acclimation temperature. Hatchling turtles acclimated to relatively higher temperatures swam faster than did those acclimated to lower temperatures. Accordingly, hatchling turtles acclimated to a particular temperature may not enhance the performance at that temperature. Instead, hatchlings acclimated to relatively warm temperatures have a better performance, supporting the “hotter is better” hypothesis [Current Zoology 59 (6 : 718–724, 2013 ].

  8. Shared Epizoic Taxa and Differences in Diatom Community Structure Between Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas) from Distant Habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majewska, Roksana; de Vijver, Bart Van; Nasrolahi, Ali; Ehsanpour, Maryam; Afkhami, Majid; Bolaños, Federico; Iamunno, Franco; Santoro, Mario; De Stefano, Mario

    2017-11-01

    The first reports of diatoms growing on marine mammals date back to the early 1900s. However, only recently has direct evidence been provided for similar associations between diatoms and sea turtles. We present a comparison of diatom communities inhabiting carapaces of green turtles Chelonia mydas sampled at two remote sites located within the Indian (Iran) and Atlantic (Costa Rica) Ocean basins. Diatom observations and counts were carried out using scanning electron microscopy. Techniques involving critical point drying enabled observations of diatoms and other microepibionts still attached to sea turtle carapace and revealed specific aspects of the epizoic community structure. Species-poor, well-developed diatom communities were found on all examined sea turtles. Significant differences between the two host sea turtle populations were observed in terms of diatom abundance and their community structure (including growth form structure). A total of 12 and 22 diatom taxa were found from sea turtles in Iran and Costa Rica, respectively, and eight of these species belonging to Amphora, Chelonicola, Cocconeis, Navicula, Nitzschia and Poulinea genera were observed in samples from both locations. Potential mechanisms of diatom dispersal and the influence of the external environment, sea turtle behaviour, its life stage, and foraging and breeding habitats, as well as epibiotic bacterial flora on epizoic communities, are discussed.

  9. Hearing in the Juvenile Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas: A Comparison of Underwater and Aerial Hearing Using Auditory Evoked Potentials.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wendy E D Piniak

    Full Text Available Sea turtles spend much of their life in aquatic environments, but critical portions of their life cycle, such as nesting and hatching, occur in terrestrial environments, suggesting that it may be important for them to detect sounds in both air and water. In this study we compared underwater and aerial hearing sensitivities in five juvenile green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas by measuring auditory evoked potential responses to tone pip stimuli. Green sea turtles detected acoustic stimuli in both media, responding to underwater stimuli between 50 and 1600 Hz and aerial stimuli between 50 and 800 Hz, with maximum sensitivity between 200 and 400 Hz underwater and 300 and 400 Hz in air. When underwater and aerial hearing sensitivities were compared in terms of pressure, green sea turtle aerial sound pressure thresholds were lower than underwater thresholds, however they detected a wider range of frequencies underwater. When thresholds were compared in terms of sound intensity, green sea turtle sound intensity level thresholds were 2-39 dB lower underwater particularly at frequencies below 400 Hz. Acoustic stimuli may provide important environmental cues for sea turtles. Further research is needed to determine how sea turtles behaviorally and physiologically respond to sounds in their environment.

  10. 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.

  11. 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)

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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 ...

  15. 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.

  16. Modern turtle origins: the oldest known cryptodire.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaffney, E S; Hutchison, J H; Jenkins, F A; Meeker, L J

    1987-07-17

    The discovery of a turtle in the Early Jurassic(185 million years before present) Kayenta Formation of northeastern Arizona provides significant evidence about the origin of modern turtles. This new taxon possesses many of the primitive features expected in the hypothetical common ancestor of pleurodires and cryptodires, the two groups of modern turtles. It is identified as the oldest known cryptodire because of the presence of a distinctive cryptodiran jaw mechanism consisting of a trochlea over the otic chamber that redirects the line of action of the adductor muscle. Aquatic habits appear to have developed very early in turtle evolution. Kayentachelys extends the known record of cryptodires back at least 45 million years and documents a very early stage in the evolution of modern turtles.

  17. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schuyler, Qamar A.; Wilcox, Chris; Townsend, Kathy A.; Wedemeyer-Strombel, Kathryn R.; Balazs, George; van Sebille, Erik|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304831921; Hardesty, Britta Denise

    2016-01-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-08-01

    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.

  20. 77 FR 16554 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Receipt of Applications for Incidental Take...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-21

    ... nesting habitat of endangered and threatened sea turtle species in Sarasota County, Florida, for the... nesting habitat of the threatened loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), endangered leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), endangered green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), endangered hawksbill sea...

  1. 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...

  2. Understanding the biological invasion risk posed by the global wildlife trade: propagule pressure drives the introduction and establishment of Nearctic turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Díaz, Pablo; Ross, Joshua V; Ayres, César; Cassey, Phillip

    2015-03-01

    Biological invasions are a key component of human-induced global change. The continuing increase in global wildlife trade has raised concerns about the parallel increase in the number of new invasive species. However, the factors that link the wildlife trade to the biological invasion process are still poorly understood. Moreover, there are analytical challenges in researching the role of global wildlife trade in biological invasions, particularly issues related to the under-reporting of introduced and established populations in areas with reduced sampling effort. In this work, we use high-quality data on the international trade in Nearctic turtles (1999-2009) coupled with a statistical modelling framework, which explicitly accounts for detection, to investigate the factors that influence the introduction (release, or escape into the wild) of globally traded Nearctic turtles and the establishment success (self-sustaining exotic populations) of slider turtles (Trachemys scripta), the most frequently traded turtle species. We found that the introduction of a species was influenced by the total number of turtles exported to a jurisdiction and the age at maturity of the species, while the establishment success of slider turtles was best associated with the propagule number (number of release events), and the number of native turtles in the jurisdiction of introduction. These results indicate both a direct and indirect association between the wildlife trade and the introduction of turtles and establishment success of slider turtles, respectively. Our results highlight the existence of gaps in the number of globally recorded introduction events and established populations of slider turtles, although the expected bias is low. We emphasize the importance of researching independently the factors that affect the different stages of the invasion pathway. Critically, we observe that the number of traded individuals might not always be an adequate proxy for propagule pressure

  3. Calcium transport in turtle bladder

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sabatini, S.; Kurtzman, N.A.

    1987-01-01

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

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. 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).

  9. 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

  10. The amino acid sequence of snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) ribonuclease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beintema, Jacob; Broos, Jaap; Meulenberg, Janneke; Schüller, Cornelis

    1985-01-01

    Snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) ribonuclease was isolated from pancreatic tissue. Turtle ribonuclease binds much more weakly to the affinity chromatography matrix used than mammalian ribonucleases. The amino acid sequence was determined from overlapping peptides obtained from three different

  11. First Assessment of the Sex Ratio for an East Pacific Green Sea Turtle Foraging Aggregation: Validation and Application of a Testosterone ELISA.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camryn D Allen

    Full Text Available Determining sex ratios of endangered populations is important for wildlife management, particularly species subject to sex-specific threats or that exhibit temperature-dependent sex determination. Sea turtle sex is determined by incubation temperature and individuals lack external sex-based traits until sexual maturity. Previous research utilized serum/plasma testosterone radioimmunoassays (RIA to determine sex in immature/juvenile sea turtles. However, there has been a growing application of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA for wildlife endocrinology studies, but no study on sea turtles has compared the results of ELISA and RIA. This study provides the first sex ratio for a threatened East Pacific green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas foraging aggregation, a critical step for future management of this species. Here, we validate a testosterone ELISA and compare results between RIA and ELISA of duplicate samples. The ELISA demonstrated excellent correspondence with the RIA for providing testosterone concentrations for sex determination. Neither assay proved reliable for predicting the sex of reproductively active females with increased testosterone production. We then applied ELISA to examine the sex ratio of 69 green turtles foraging in San Diego Bay, California. Of 45 immature turtles sampled, sex could not be determined for three turtles because testosterone concentrations fell between the ranges for either sex (females: 4.1-113.1 pg/mL, males: 198.4-2,613.0 pg/mL and these turtles were not subsequently recaptured to enable sex determination; using a Bayesian model to predict probabilities of turtle sex we predicted all three 'unknowns' were female (> 0.86. Additionally, the model assigned all turtles with their correct sex (if determined at recapture with 100% accuracy. Results indicated a female bias (2.83F:1M among all turtles in the aggregation; when focusing only on putative immature turtles the sex ratio was 3.5F:1M. With appropriate

  12. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 turtl...

  14. 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...

  15. Corticosterone and thyroxine in cold-stunned Kemp's ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Kathleen E; Innis, Charles; Rolland, Rosalind M

    2012-09-01

    Kemp's ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii), a critically endangered species, frequently strand on the shores of Cape Cod (Massachusetts, USA) in late autumn in a state of "cold-stunning" exhibiting low body temperature and related clinical issues. Stranded turtles are transported to the New England Aquarium (Boston, Massachusetts, USA) for treatment and rehabilitation. This study tested the hypothesis that cold-stunned sea turtles might exhibit high corticosterone ("stress hormone") or low thyroxine (which is often affected by temperature), or both, and that monitoring of both hormones may be useful for assessing recovery. In a retrospective analysis, 87 archived plasma samples were assayed from 56 cold-stunned juvenile Kemp's ridley sea turtles for corticosterone and free thyroxine (fT4). Upon admission, mean corticosterone was the highest yet reported for a population of sea turtles (39.3 +/- 2.5 ng/ml; mean +/- standard error of the mean [SEM]) and fT4 was usually undetectable. On admission, corticosterone was negatively correlated with white blood cell count but was not correlated with blood glucose. There were no differences in either hormone between survivors and nonsurvivors on admission. After 18+ days in recovery, surviving turtles' corticosterone dropped significantly to levels typical of baseline in other species (0.9 +/- 1.0 ng/ml) while fT4 increased significantly (1.3 +/- 1.5 pg/ml). During recovery, corticosterone was positively correlated with blood glucose and was not correlated with white blood cell count. Turtles that showed persistent deficits in feeding, activity, or both during recovery had significantly lower fT4 than did turtles with no such deficits. The "high corticosterone, low fT4" endocrine profile seen on admission may be a useful marker of cold-stunning in this and other species. Further studies are necessary to determine whether low thyroid hormones play a causal role in deficits in feeding and activity during recovery

  16. The Influences of Soil Characteristics on Nest-Site Selection in Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Page, R.

    2017-12-01

    A variety of animals dig nests and lay their eggs in soil, leaving them to incubate and hatch without assistance from the parents. Nesting habitat is important for these organisms many of which exhibit temperature dependent sex determination (TSD) whereby the incubation temperature determines the sex of each hatchling. However, suitable nesting habitat may be limited due to anthropogenic activities and global temperature increases. Soil thermal properties are critical to these organisms and are positively correlated with water retention and soil carbon; carbon-rich soils result in higher incubation temperatures. We investigated nest-site selection in painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) inhabiting an anthropogenic pond in south central Pennsylvania. We surveyed for turtle nests and documented location, depth, width, temperature, canopy coverage, clutch size, and hatch success for a total of 31 turtle nests. To address the influence of soil carbon and particle size on nest selection, we analyzed samples collected from: 1) actual nests that were depredated, 2) false nests, incomplete nests aborted during digging prior to nest completion, and 3) randomized locations. Soil samples were separated into coarse, medium, and fine grain size fractions through a stack of sieves. Samples were combusted in a total carbon analyzer to measure weight percent organic carbon. We found that anthropogenic activity at this site has created homogenous, sandy, compacted soils at the uppermost layer that may limit females' access to appropriate nesting habitat. Turtle nesting activity was limited to a linear region north of the pond and was constrained by an impassable rail line. Relative to other studies, turtle nests were notably shallow (5.8±0.9 cm) and placed close to the pond. Compared to false nests and random locations, turtle-selected sites averaged greater coarse grains (35% compared to 20.24 and 20.57%) and less fine grains (47% compared to 59 and 59, respectively). Despite

  17. Non-destructive techniques for biomonitoring of spatial, temporal, and demographic patterns of mercury bioaccumulation and maternal transfer in turtles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hopkins, Brittney C.; Hepner, Mark J.; Hopkins, William A.

    2013-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a globally ubiquitous pollutant that has received much attention due to its toxicity to humans and wildlife. The development of non-destructive sampling techniques is a critical step for sustainable monitoring of Hg accumulation. We evaluated the efficacy of non-destructive sampling techniques and assessed spatial, temporal, and demographic factors that influence Hg bioaccumulation in turtles. We collected muscle, blood, nail, and eggs from snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) inhabiting an Hg contaminated river. As predicted, all Hg tissue concentrations strongly and positively correlated with each other. Additionally, we validated our mathematical models against two additional Hg contaminated locations and found that tissue relationships developed from the validation sites did not significantly differ from those generated from the original sampling site. The models provided herein will be useful for a wide array of systems where biomonitoring of Hg in turtles needs to be accomplished in a conservation-minded fashion. -- Highlights: ► Non-lethal sampling is critical for sustainable monitoring of mercury in wildlife. ► We evaluated the efficacy of non-lethal sampling techniques in turtles. ► We created mathematical models between egg, muscle, blood, and nail tissues. ► Mathematical tissue models were applicable to other mercury contaminated areas. ► Non-lethal techniques will be useful for monitoring contamination in other systems. -- We developed and validated mathematical models that will be useful for biomonitoring Hg accumulation in turtles in a conservation-minded fashion

  18. 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.

  19. 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,…

  20. 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...

  1. 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 ...

  2. 77 FR 27411 - Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp Trawling Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-05-10

    ... imbricata) turtles are listed as endangered. The loggerhead (Caretta caretta; Northwest Atlantic distinct... populations of green turtles in Florida and on the Pacific coast of Mexico, which are listed as endangered... regulations (50 CFR 223.206) are followed. The same conservation measures also apply to endangered sea turtles...

  3. 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 ...

  4. Movements and habitat-use of loggerhead sea turtles in the northern Gulf of Mexico during the reproductive period.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristen M Hart

    Full Text Available Nesting strategies and use of important in-water habitats for far-ranging marine turtles can be determined using satellite telemetry. Because of a lack of information on habitat-use by marine turtles in the northern Gulf of Mexico, we used satellite transmitters in 2010 through 2012 to track movements of 39 adult female breeding loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta tagged on nesting beaches at three sites in Florida and Alabama. During the nesting season, recaptured turtles emerged to nest 1 to 5 times, with mean distance between emergences of 27.5 km; however, several turtles nested on beaches separated by ~250 km within a single season. Mean total distances traveled throughout inter-nesting periods for all turtles was 1422.0 ± 930.8 km. In-water inter-nesting sites, delineated using 50% kernel density estimation (KDE, were located a mean distance of 33.0 km from land, in water with mean depth of -31.6 m; other in-water inter-nesting sites, delineated using minimum convex polygon (MCP approach, were located a mean 13.8 km from land and in water with a mean depth of -15.8 m. Mean size of in-water inter-nesting habitats were 61.9 km(2 (50% KDEs, n = 10 and 741.4 km(2 (MCPs, n = 30; these areas overlapped significantly with trawling and oil and gas extraction activities. Abundance estimates for this nesting subpopulation may be inaccurate in light of how much spread there is between nests of the same individual. Further, our results also have consequences for critical habitat designations for northern Gulf loggerheads, as protection of one nesting beach would not encompass the entire range used by turtles during breeding seasons.

  5. Movements and Habitat-Use of Loggerhead Sea Turtles in the Northern Gulf of Mexico during the Reproductive Period

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Kristen M.; Lamont, Margaret M.; Sartain, Autumn R.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Stephens, Brail S.

    2013-01-01

    Nesting strategies and use of important in-water habitats for far-ranging marine turtles can be determined using satellite telemetry. Because of a lack of information on habitat-use by marine turtles in the northern Gulf of Mexico, we used satellite transmitters in 2010 through 2012 to track movements of 39 adult female breeding loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) tagged on nesting beaches at three sites in Florida and Alabama. During the nesting season, recaptured turtles emerged to nest 1 to 5 times, with mean distance between emergences of 27.5 km; however, several turtles nested on beaches separated by ∼250 km within a single season. Mean total distances traveled throughout inter-nesting periods for all turtles was 1422.0±930.8 km. In-water inter-nesting sites, delineated using 50% kernel density estimation (KDE), were located a mean distance of 33.0 km from land, in water with mean depth of −31.6 m; other in-water inter-nesting sites, delineated using minimum convex polygon (MCP) approach, were located a mean 13.8 km from land and in water with a mean depth of −15.8 m. Mean size of in-water inter-nesting habitats were 61.9 km2 (50% KDEs, n = 10) and 741.4 km2 (MCPs, n = 30); these areas overlapped significantly with trawling and oil and gas extraction activities. Abundance estimates for this nesting subpopulation may be inaccurate in light of how much spread there is between nests of the same individual. Further, our results also have consequences for critical habitat designations for northern Gulf loggerheads, as protection of one nesting beach would not encompass the entire range used by turtles during breeding seasons. PMID:23843971

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Do roads reduce painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) populations?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorland, Alexandra; Rytwinski, Trina; Fahrig, Lenore

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Fatal trematodiasis in research turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, C A; Griffith, J W; Tenorio, P; Hytrek, S; Lang, C M

    1998-08-01

    During a 5-year period, 16 freshwater turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans and Chrysemys picta) that were purchased for research purposes died spontaneously. Clinical signs of disease included lethargy, constant swimming, swimming sideways, hemiplegia, and ulcerative lesions on the carapace. At necropsy, subcutaneous edema, hepatic necrosis, pancreatic necrosis, splenic necrosis, and intestinal parasites were identified. Histologically, trematode eggs were seen within the liver, brain, spleen, kidney, myocardium, lung, pancreas, testes, and bladder, and were associated with granulomatous reactions. The size and distribution of the eggs were consistent with Spirorchis sp. infection, although adults could not be found to confirm the species. Spirorchid flukes are 1 to 2 mm long and inhabit the heart and blood vessels where they produce eggs. Spirorchis parvus are capable of invading various tissues, including pancreas and the central nervous system. The pathogenicity of the flukes seems to be related to widespread deposition of the eggs, which may block small blood vessels within the intestines, causing necrosis and bacteremia. Antemortem diagnosis is made by direct examination of fecal smears for eggs. Postmortem diagnosis is accomplished by examination of tissues for adult parasites and microgranulomas associated with the fluke eggs. The parasite requires a snail intermediate host to complete its life cycle. Intramuscular or oral administration of praziquantel is reported to be an effective treatment.

  12. Helminth communities of the exotic introduced turtle, Trachemys scripta elegans in southwestern Spain: Transmission from native turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hidalgo-Vila, J; Díaz-Paniagua, C; Ribas, A; Florencio, M; Pérez-Santigosa, N; Casanova, J C

    2009-06-01

    We report the prevalence and diversity of helminth parasites found in native turtles Mauremys leprosa and Emys orbicularis from three localities in southwestern Spain and we describe the helminth communities of exotic turtles Trachemys scripta elegans coexisting in the wild with both native turtle species. Five nematodes species were identified, of which Serpinema microcephalus was the only species common between two localities, although infection parameters were different between them. This is the first report of cross transmission of S. microcephalus and Falcaustra donanaensis from native to exotic turtles and the first report of genus Physaloptera in turtles of the Palearctic Region. Continuous releasing of exotic pet turtles in wildlife ecosystems increases the risk of parasite introductions and, consequently, potential transmission to native species, and highlights the impending need for regulation of pet turtle trade in Europe.

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

    Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) populations have experienced global decline because of a history of intense commercial exploitation for shell and stuffed taxidermied whole animals, and harvest for eggs and meat. Improved understanding of genetic diversity and phylogeography is needed to aid conservation. In this study, we analyzed the most geographically comprehensive sample of hawksbill turtles from the Indo-Pacific Ocean, sequencing 766 bp of the mitochondrial control region from 13 locations (plus Aldabra, n = 4) spanning over 13500 km. Our analysis of 492 samples revealed 52 haplotypes distributed in 5 divergent clades. Diversification times differed between the Indo-Pacific and Atlantic lineages and appear to be related to the sea-level changes that occurred during the Last Glacial Maximum. We found signals of demographic expansion only for turtles from the Persian Gulf region, which can be tied to a more recent colonization event. Our analyses revealed evidence of transoceanic migration, including connections between feeding grounds from the Atlantic Ocean and Indo-Pacific rookeries. Hawksbill turtles appear to have a complex pattern of phylogeography, showing a weak isolation by distance and evidence of multiple colonization events. Our novel dataset will allow mixed-stock analyses of hawksbill turtle feeding grounds in the Indo-Pacific by providing baseline data needed for conservation efforts in the region. Eight management units are proposed in our study for the Indo-Pacific region that can be incorporated in conservation plans of this critically endangered species. © The American Genetic Association. 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Are we working towards global research priorities for management and conservation of sea turtles?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rees, A.F.; Alfaro-Shigueto, J.; Barata, P.C.R.; Bjorndal, K.A.; Bolten, A.B.; Bourjea, J.; Broderick, A.C.; Campbell, L.M.; Cardona, L.; Carreras, C.; Casale, P.; Ceriani, S.A.; Dutton, P.H.; Eguchi, T.; Formia, A.; Fuentes, M.M.P.B.; Fuller, W.J.; Girondot, M.; Godfrey, M.H.; Hamann, M.; Hart, Kristen M.; Hays, G.C.; Hochscheid, S.; Kaska, Y.; Jensen, M.P.; Mangel, J.C.; Mortimer, J.A.; Naro-Maciel, E.; Ng, C.K.Y.; Nichols, W.J.; Phillott, A.D.; Reina, R.D.; Revuelta, O.; Schofield, G.; Seminoff, J.A.; Shanker, K.; Tomás, J.; van de Merwe, J.P.; Van Houtan, K.S.; Vander Zanden, H.B.; Wallace, B.P.; Wedemeyer-Strombel, K.R.; Work, Thierry M.; Godley, B.J.

    2016-01-01

    In 2010, an international group of 35 sea turtle researchers refined an initial list of more than 200 research questions into 20 metaquestions that were considered key for management and conservation of sea turtles. These were classified under 5 categories: reproductive biology, biogeography, population ecology, threats and conservation strategies. To obtain a picture of how research is being focused towards these key questions, we undertook a systematic review of the peer-reviewed literature (2014 and 2015) attributing papers to the original 20 questions. In total, we reviewed 605 articles in full and from these 355 (59%) were judged to substantively address the 20 key questions, with others focusing on basic science and monitoring. Progress to answering the 20 questions was not uniform, and there were biases regarding focal turtle species, geographic scope and publication outlet. Whilst it offers some meaningful indications as to effort, quantifying peer-reviewed literature output is obviously not the only, and possibly not the best, metric for understanding progress towards informing key conservation and management goals. Along with the literature review, an international group based on the original project consortium was assigned to critically summarise recent progress towards answering each of the 20 questions. We found that significant research is being expended towards global priorities for management and conservation of sea turtles. Although highly variable, there has been significant progress in all the key questions identified in 2010. Undertaking this critical review has highlighted that it may be timely to undertake one or more new prioritizing exercises. For this to have maximal benefit we make a range of recommendations for its execution. These include a far greater engagement with social sciences, widening the pool of contributors and focussing the questions, perhaps disaggregating ecology and conservation.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Small-scale fisheries bycatch jeopardizes endangered Pacific loggerhead turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peckham, S Hoyt; Maldonado Diaz, David; Walli, Andreas; Ruiz, Georgita; Crowder, Larry B; Nichols, Wallace J

    2007-10-17

    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 partnership with small

  8. 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.

  9. Ocular fibropapillomas of green turtles (Chelonia mydas).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, D E; Ginn, P E; Miller, T R; Bramson, L; Jacobson, E R

    1994-05-01

    Histologic evaluation of four eyes from three stranded juvenile green turtles (Chelonia mydas) from Florida, USA revealed ocular fibropapillomas composed of an overlying hyperplastic epithelium, various amounts of a thickened, well vascularized, collagenous stroma, and a moderate-to-dense population of reactive fibroblasts. The histologic morphology of the ocular fibropapillomas varied depending on whether the eyelid, conjunctiva, limbus, or cornea was the primary site of tumor origin. Fibropapillomas arising from the limbus, conjunctiva, or eyelid tended to be polyploid or pedunculated with a high degree of arborization. They often filled the conjunctival fornices and extended externally to be ulcerated on the distal aspects. Corneal fibropapillomas were more sessile and multinodular with less arborization. Some corneal tumors consisted primarily of a broad fibrovascular stroma and mild epithelial hyperplasia, whereas others had a markedly hyperplastic epithelium supported by stalks of fibrovascular stromal tissue. In green turtles ocular fibropapillomas may be locally invasive and associated with severe blindness and systemic debilitation.

  10. 77 FR 474 - 2012 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-05

    ... listed as endangered or threatened. All sea turtles found in U.S. waters are listed as either endangered... (Dermochelys coriacea), and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) sea turtles are listed as endangered. Loggerhead... ridley turtles away from the nesting beach, NMFS considers these turtles endangered wherever they occur...

  11. 78 FR 77428 - 2014 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-23

    ... listed as endangered or threatened. All sea turtles found in U.S. waters are listed as either endangered... imbricata) sea turtles are listed as endangered. Loggerhead (Caretta caretta; Northwest Atlantic distinct... and olive ridley turtles away from the nesting beach, NMFS considers these turtles endangered wherever...

  12. 77 FR 75999 - 2013 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-26

    ... to implement programs to conserve marine life listed as endangered or threatened. All sea turtles... (Dermochelys coriacea), and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) sea turtles are listed as endangered. Loggerhead... turtles endangered wherever they occur in U.S. waters. While some sea turtle populations have shown signs...

  13. Biomarkers reveal sea turtles remained in oiled areas following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vander Zanden, Hannah B.; Bolten, Alan B.; Tucker, Anton D.; Hart, Kristen M.; Lamont, Margaret M.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Reich, Kimberly J.; Addison, David S.; Mansfield, Katherine L.; Phillips, Katrina F.; Pajuelo, Mariela; Bjorndal, Karen A.

    2016-01-01

    Assessments of large-scale disasters, such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, are problematic because while measurements of post-disturbance conditions are common, measurements of pre-disturbance baselines are only rarely available. Without adequate observations of pre-disaster organismal and environmental conditions, it is impossible to assess the impact of such catastrophes on animal populations and ecological communities. Here, we use long-term biological tissue records to provide pre-disaster data for a vulnerable marine organism. Keratin samples from the carapace of loggerhead sea turtles record the foraging history for up to 18 years, allowing us to evaluate the effect of the oil spill on sea turtle foraging patterns. Samples were collected from 76 satellite-tracked adult loggerheads in 2011 and 2012, approximately one to two years after the spill. Of the 10 individuals that foraged in areas exposed to surface oil, none demonstrated significant changes in foraging patterns post spill. The observed long-term fidelity to foraging sites indicates that loggerheads in the northern Gulf of Mexico likely remained in established foraging sites, regardless of the introduction of oil and chemical dispersants. More research is needed to address potential long-term health consequences to turtles in this region. Mobile marine organisms present challenges for researchers to monitor effects of environmental disasters, both spatially and temporally. We demonstrate that biological tissues can reveal long-term histories of animal behavior and provide critical pre-disaster baselines following an anthropogenic disturbance or natural disaster.

  14. 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 ...

  15. Snapping turtles, a biological screen for PCB's

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Olafsson, P.G.; Bryan, A.M.; Bush, B.; Stone, W.

    1983-01-01

    Snapping turtles are capable of storing extremely high concentration of organochlorine compounds in their fat without any apparent detrimental effect. This tolerance, to high bioconcentration, permits a wide gradation between the extremes in pollution levels and facilitates the detection of extremely toxic substances present in trace amounts. Consequently snapping turtles provide an excellent biological screen for these compounds.

  16. 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...

  17. 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

  18. 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...

  19. 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, ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathan J Robinson

    Full Text Available 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Effectiveness of Chain Link Turtle Fence and Culverts in Reducing Turtle Mortality and Providing Connectivity along U.S. Hwy 83, Valentine National Wildlife Refuge, Nebraska, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-12-01

    We evaluated the effectiveness of existing turtle fences through collecting and analyzing turtle mortality data along U.S. Hwy 83, in and around Valentine National Wildlife Refuge, Nebraska, USA. We also investigated the level of connectivity for tur...

  6. 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.

  7. The role of turtles as coral reef macroherbivores

    KAUST Repository

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

    2012-01-01

    Herbivory is widely accepted as a vital function on coral reefs. To date, the majority of studies examining herbivory in coral reef environments have focused on the roles of fishes and/or urchins, with relatively few studies considering the potential role of macroherbivores in reef processes. Here, we introduce evidence that highlights the potential role of marine turtles as herbivores on coral reefs. While conducting experimental habitat manipulations to assess the roles of herbivorous reef fishes we observed green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) showing responses that were remarkably similar to those of herbivorous fishes. Reducing the sediment load of the epilithic algal matrix on a coral reef resulted in a forty-fold increase in grazing by green turtles. Hawksbill turtles were also observed to browse transplanted thalli of the macroalga Sargassum swartzii in a coral reef environment. These responses not only show strong parallels to herbivorous reef fishes, but also highlight that marine turtles actively, and intentionally, remove algae from coral reefs. When considering the size and potential historical abundance of marine turtles we suggest that these potentially valuable herbivores may have been lost from many coral reefs before their true importance was understood. © 2012 Goatley et al.

  8. The role of turtles as coral reef macroherbivores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher H R Goatley

    Full Text Available 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.

  9. Marine turtles use geomagnetic cues during open-sea homing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luschi, Paolo; Benhamou, Simon; Girard, Charlotte; Ciccione, Stephane; Roos, David; Sudre, Joël; Benvenuti, Silvano

    2007-01-23

    Marine turtles are renowned long-distance navigators, able to reach remote targets in the oceanic environment; yet the sensory cues and navigational mechanisms they employ remain unclear [1, 3]. Recent arena experiments indicated an involvement of magnetic cues in juvenile turtles' homing ability after simulated displacements [4, 5], but the actual role of geomagnetic information in guiding turtles navigating in their natural environment has remained beyond the reach of experimental investigations. In the present experiment, twenty satellite-tracked green turtles (Chelonia mydas) were transported to four open-sea release sites 100-120 km from their nesting beach on Mayotte island in the Mozambique Channel; 13 of them had magnets attached to their head either during the outward journey or during the homing trip. All but one turtle safely returned to Mayotte to complete their egg-laying cycle, albeit with indirect routes, and showed a general inability to take into account the deflecting action of ocean currents as estimated through remote-sensing oceanographic measurements [7]. Magnetically treated turtles displayed a significant lengthening of their homing paths with respect to controls, either when treated during transportation or when treated during homing. These findings represent the first field evidence for the involvement of geomagnetic cues in sea-turtle navigation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodwin, Andrew E; Merry, Gwenn E

    2011-05-09

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

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldwin, H. A.

    1972-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Cutaneous fibroma in a captive common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzales-Viera, O; Bauer, G; Bauer, A; Aguiar, L S; Brito, L T; Catão-Dias, J L

    2012-11-01

    An adult female common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) had a mass on the plantar surface of the right forelimb that was removed surgically. Microscopical examination revealed many spindle cells with mild anisocytosis and anisokaryosis and a surrounding collagenous stroma. There were no mitoses. Immunohistochemistry showed that the spindle cells expressed vimentin, but not desmin. A diagnosis of cutaneous fibroma was made. Tumours are reported uncommonly in chelonian species. Cutaneous fibroma has been diagnosed in an alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii), but not previously in a common snapping turtle. Crown Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Impacts of plastic ingestion on post-hatchling loggerhead turtles off South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, Peter G; Cole, Georgina; Spiby, Kevin; Nel, Ronel; Osborne, Alexis; Perold, Vonica

    2016-06-15

    Twenty-four of 40 (60%) loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta post-hatchlings (carapaceTurtles selected for white (38%) and blue (19%) items, but translucent items (23%) were under-represented compared to beach mesodebris. Ingested loads did not decrease up to 52days in captivity, indicating long retention times. Plastic killed 11 turtles by blocking their digestive tracts or bladders, and contributed to the deaths of five other turtles. Our results indicate that the amount and diversity of plastic ingested by post-hatchling loggerhead turtles off South Africa have increased over the last four decades, and now kill some turtles. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. 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 ...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. Western Pond Turtle Observations - Region 1 [ds313

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — This dataset was developed in an effort to compile Western Pond Turtle (Clemmys marmorata) observations in CDFG Region 1. Steve Burton (CDFG Staff Environmental...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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. PMID:28192469

  6. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

    Harvesting pressure on Asian freshwater turtles is severe, and dramatic population declines of these turtles are being driven by unsustainable collection for food markets, pet trade, and traditional Chinese medicine. Populations of big-headed turtle (Platysternon megacephalum) have declined substantially across its distribution, particularly in China, because of overcollection. To understand the effects of chronic harvesting pressure on big-headed turtle populations, we examined the effects of illegal harvesting on the demography of populations in Hong Kong, where some populations still exist. We used mark-recapture methods to compare demographic characteristics between sites with harvesting histories and one site in a fully protected area. Sites with a history of illegal turtle harvesting were characterized by the absence of large adults and skewed ratios of juveniles to adults, which may have negative implications for the long-term viability of populations. These sites also had lower densities of adults and smaller adult body sizes than the protected site. Given that populations throughout most of the species' range are heavily harvested and individuals are increasingly difficult to find in mainland China, the illegal collection of turtles from populations in Hong Kong may increase over time. Long-term monitoring of populations is essential to track effects of illegal collection, and increased patrolling is needed to help control illegal harvesting of populations, particularly in national parks. Because few, if any, other completely protected populations remain in the region, our data on an unharvested population of big-headed turtles serve as an important reference for assessing the negative consequences of harvesting on populations of stream turtles. Evidencia Demográfica de la Captura Ilegal de una Tortuga Asiática en Peligro. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 77 FR 34334 - Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries; Revised Limits on Sea Turtle Interactions in the Hawaii...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-11

    ... Interactions in the Hawaii Shallow-Set Longline Fishery AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS... occur between the Hawaii-based shallow-set pelagic longline fishery and leatherback and loggerhead sea... Fisheries, NMFS PIR, 808-944-2248. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Hawaii-based shallow-set pelagic longline...

  11. 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...

  12. 77 FR 60637 - Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries; Revised Limits on Sea Turtle Interactions in the Hawaii...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-10-04

    ..., effect on the loggerhead sea turtle population. This meets the regulatory definition of an action that is...: Hawaii's sea turtles and monk seals are important for tourism, because people enjoy diving and swimming...

  13. 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...

  14. LEGACY - Photographs resulting from experiment remote camera viewing of sea turtles and habitats

    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 to voluminous, complex...

  15. Time in tortoiseshell: a bomb radiocarbon-validated chronology in sea turtle scutes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Houtan, Kyle S; Andrews, Allen H; Jones, T Todd; Murakawa, Shawn K K; Hagemann, Molly E

    2016-01-13

    Some of the most basic questions of sea turtle life history are also the most elusive. Many uncertainties surround lifespan, growth rates, maturity and spatial structure, yet these are critical factors in assessing population status. Here we examine the keratinized hard tissues of the hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) carapace and use bomb radiocarbon dating to estimate growth and maturity. Scutes have an established dietary record, yet the large keratin deposits of hawksbills evoke a reliable chronology. We sectioned, polished and imaged posterior marginal scutes from 36 individual hawksbills representing all life stages, several Pacific populations and spanning eight decades. We counted the apparent growth lines, microsampled along growth contours and calibrated Δ(14)C values to reference coral series. We fit von Bertalanffy growth function (VBGF) models to the results, producing a range of age estimates for each turtle. We find Hawaii hawksbills deposit eight growth lines annually (range 5-14), with model ensembles producing a somatic growth parameter (k) of 0.13 (range 0.1-0.2) and first breeding at 29 years (range 23-36). Recent bomb radiocarbon values also suggest declining trophic status. Together, our results may reflect long-term changes in the benthic community structure of Hawaii reefs, and possibly shed light on the critical population status for Hawaii hawksbills. © 2016 The Author(s).

  16. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

    Ingestion of artificial debris is considered as a significant stress for wildlife including sea turtles. To investigate how turtles react to artificial debris under natural conditions, we deployed animal-borne video cameras on loggerhead and green turtles in addition to feces and gut contents analyses from 2007 to 2015. Frequency of occurrences of artificial debris in feces and gut contents collected from loggerhead turtles were 35.7% (10/28) and 84.6% (11/13), respectively. Artificial debris...

  18. South African red data book - Reptiles and Amphibians

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mclachlan, GR

    1978-02-01

    Full Text Available Data sheets are provided for 46 threatened South African reptiles and amphibians, two being endangered (leatherback turtle, geometric tortoise) ten vulnerable (loggerhead turtle, Nile crocodile, veld monitor, water monitor, giant girdled lizard...

  19. 77 FR 31062 - Programs To Reduce Incidental Capture of Sea Turtles in Shrimp Fisheries; Certifications Pursuant...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-05-24

    ... DEPARTMENT OF STATE [Public Notice 7894] Programs To Reduce Incidental Capture of Sea Turtles in... programs to reduce the incidental capture of sea turtles in their shrimp fisheries comparable to the... other countries and one economy do not pose a threat of the incidental taking of sea turtles protected...

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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....

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 75 FR 81201 - 2011 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle Observer Requirement

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-27

    ... implement programs to conserve marine life listed as endangered or threatened. All sea turtles found in U.S... endangered wherever they occur in U.S. waters. While some sea turtle populations have shown signs of recovery... attempting to engage in any such conduct), including incidental take, of endangered sea turtles. Pursuant to...

  6. 76 FR 37050 - Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for Sea Turtle Conservation and Recovery...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-06-24

    ... requirements are proposed to protect threatened and endangered sea turtles in the western Atlantic Ocean and... Pacific coast of Mexico, which are listed as endangered. Sea turtles are incidentally taken, and some are... variety of regulatory measures to reduce the bycatch of threatened and endangered sea turtles in the...

  7. 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.…

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-11-01

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

  16. Conservation genomics of the endangered Burmese roofed turtle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Çilingir, F Gözde; Rheindt, Frank E; Garg, Kritika M; Platt, Kalyar; Platt, Steven G; Bickford, David P

    2017-12-01

    The Burmese roofed turtle (Batagur trivittata) is one of the world's most endangered turtles. Only one wild population remains in Myanmar. There are thought to be 12 breeding turtles in the wild. Conservation efforts for the species have raised >700 captive turtles since 2002, predominantly from eggs collected in the wild. We collected tissue samples from 445 individuals (approximately 40% of the turtles' remaining global population), applied double-digest restriction-site associated DNA sequencing (ddRAD-Seq), and obtained approximately 1500 unlinked genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms. Individuals fell into 5 distinct genetic clusters, 4 of which represented full-sib families. We inferred a low effective population size (≤10 individuals) but did not detect signs of severe inbreeding, possibly because the population bottleneck occurred recently. Two groups of 30 individuals from the captive pool that were the most genetically diverse were reintroduced to the wild, leading to an increase in the number of fertile eggs (n = 27) in the wild. Another 25 individuals, selected based on the same criteria, were transferred to the Singapore Zoo as an assurance colony. Our study demonstrates that the research-to-application gap in conservation can be bridged through application of cutting-edge genomic methods. © 2017 Society for Conservation Biology.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. ARSENIC, CADMIUM, CHROMIUM, LEAD, MERCURY, AND SELENIUM LEVELS IN BLOOD OF FOUR SPECIES OF TURTLES FROM THE AMAZON IN BRAZIL

    OpenAIRE

    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 (Po...

  1. Use of Electronic Tag Data and Associated Analytical Tools to Identify and Predict Habitat Utilization of Marine Mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-30

    B. P. Wallace, J. R. Spotila, F. V. Paladino, R. Piedra , S. A. Eckert, B. A. Block (2008). Persistent Leatherback Turtle Migrations Present...Swithenbank, P. Gaspar, B. P. Wallace, J. R. Spotila, F. V. Paladino, R. Piedra , S. A. Eckert, B. A. Block (2008). Persistent Leatherback Turtle Migrations

  2. 77 FR 24686 - Endangered Species; File No. 15634

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-25

    ... DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XA714 Endangered... Ballance, Ph.D.] has been issued a permit to take leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) for... permit to take leatherback sea turtles had been submitted by the above-named organization. The requested...

  3. 77 FR 15997 - Endangered Species; File No. 15672

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-19

    ... DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XB083 Endangered... permit to take leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) for purposes of scientific research... request for a scientific research permit to take leatherback sea turtles had been submitted by the above...

  4. 77 FR 1671 - Endangered Species; File No. 16194

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-11

    ... DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XA925 Endangered... olivacea), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), and unidentified hardshell sea turtles for the purposes of..., leatherback, Kemp's ridley, olive ridley, and unidentified hardshell sea turtles had been submitted by the...

  5. 78 FR 38952 - Endangered Species; File No. 17506

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-28

    ... DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XC518 Endangered...), Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), and leatherback (Dermochelys coriaceae) sea turtles for purposes..., Kemp's ridley, and leatherback sea turtles had been submitted by the above-named individual. The...

  6. How the turtle forms its shell: a paracrine hypothesis of carapace formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cebra-Thomas, Judith; Tan, Fraser; Sistla, Seeta; Estes, Eileen; Bender, Gunes; Kim, Christine; Riccio, Paul; Gilbert, Scott F

    2005-11-15

    We propose a two-step model for the evolutionary origin of the turtle shell. We show here that the carapacial ridge (CR) is critical for the entry of the ribs into the dorsal dermis. Moreover, we demonstrate that the maintenance of the CR and its ability to attract the migrating rib precursor cells depend upon fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling. Inhibitors of FGF allow the CR to degenerate, with the consequent migration of ribs along the ventral body wall. Beads containing FGF10 can rearrange rib migration in the chick, suggesting that the CR FGF10 plays an important role in attracting the rib rudiments. The co-ordinated growth of the carapacial plate and the ribs may be a positive feedback loop (similar to that of the limbs) caused by the induction of Fgf8 in the distal tips of the ribs by the FGF10-secreting mesenchyme of the CR. Once in the dermis, the ribs undergo endochrondral ossification. We provide evidence that the ribs act as signaling centers for the dermal ossification and that this ossification is due to bone morphogenetic proteins secreted by the rib. Thus, once the ribs are within the dermis, the ossification of the dermis is not difficult to achieve. This relatively rapid means of carapace formation would allow for the appearance of turtles in the fossil record without obvious intermediates. Copyright 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. [Herpesvirus detection in clinically healthy West African mud turtles (Pelusioscastaneus)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marschang, R E; Heckers, K O; Heynol, V; Weider, K; Behncke, H

    2015-01-01

    First description of a herpesvirus in West African mud turtles. A herpesvirus was detected in two clinically healthy West African mud turtles (Pelusios castaneus) by PCR during a quarantine exam. The animals had been imported from Togo, West Africa to Germany for the pet trade. Analysis of a portion of the genome of the detected virus showed that it is a previously unknown virus related to other chelonid herpesviruses. The virus was named pelomedusid herpesvirus 1. This case highlights the importance of testing for infectious agents during quarantine, even in clinically healthy animals.

  14. RDF 1.1 Turtle : terse RDF triple language

    OpenAIRE

    World Wide Web Consortium

    2014-01-01

    RDF es un lenguaje de objetivo general para la representación de la información en la Web. Este documento define una sintaxis textual para RDF llamada Turtle que permite a un grafo RDF ser completamente escrito en un formulario de texto compacto y natural, con las abreviaturas para los patrones y tipos de datos de uso común. Turtle ofrece niveles de compatibilidad con el formato N-Triples, así como la sintaxis de patrón triple de la Recomendación SPARQL del W3C.

  15. Helminth fauna of a turtle species introduced in Japan, the red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oi, M; Araki, J; Matsumoto, J; Nogami, S

    2012-10-01

    The red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans) was intentionally introduced from the United States to Japan as a pet in the 1950s and has become established throughout much of the country. We examined red-eared slider turtles from two localities in Japan for foreign parasitic helminths. Consequently, a total of seven species of helminths were found: two monogeneans (Neopolystoma exhamatum and Polystomoides japonicum), three digeneans (Spirorchisartericola, Spi.elegans and Telorchis clemmydis) and two nematodes (Serpinema microcephalum and Falcaustra wardi). Of these, three helminths are alien to Japan-Spi.artericola, Spi. elegans and F. wardi-which represent the first report of their presence in the red-eared slider turtle from Japan. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Transcriptomic responses to environmental temperature by turtles with temperature-dependent and genotypic sex determination assessed by RNAseq inform the genetic architecture of embryonic gonadal development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radhakrishnan, Srihari; Literman, Robert; Neuwald, Jennifer; Severin, Andrew; Valenzuela, Nicole

    2017-01-01

    Vertebrate sexual fate is decided primarily by the individual's genotype (GSD), by the environmental temperature during development (TSD), or both. Turtles exhibit TSD and GSD, making them ideal to study the evolution of sex determination. Here we analyze temperature-specific gonadal transcriptomes (RNA-sequencing validated by qPCR) of painted turtles (Chrysemys picta TSD) before and during the thermosensitive period, and at equivalent stages in soft-shell turtles (Apalone spinifera-GSD), to test whether TSD's and GSD's transcriptional circuitry is identical but deployed differently between mechanisms. Our data show that most elements of the mammalian urogenital network are active during turtle gonadogenesis, but their transcription is generally more thermoresponsive in TSD than GSD, and concordant with their sex-specific function in mammals [e.g., upregulation of Amh, Ar, Esr1, Fog2, Gata4, Igf1r, Insr, and Lhx9 at male-producing temperature, and of β-catenin, Foxl2, Aromatase (Cyp19a1), Fst, Nf-kb, Crabp2 at female-producing temperature in Chrysemys]. Notably, antagonistic elements in gonadogenesis (e.g., β-catenin and Insr) were thermosensitive only in TSD early-embryos. Cirbp showed warm-temperature upregulation in both turtles disputing its purported key TSD role. Genes that may convert thermal inputs into sex-specific development (e.g., signaling and hormonal pathways, RNA-binding and heat-shock) were differentially regulated. Jak-Stat, Nf-κB, retinoic-acid, Wnt, and Mapk-signaling (not Akt and Ras-signaling) potentially mediate TSD thermosensitivity. Numerous species-specific ncRNAs (including Xist) were differentially-expressed, mostly upregulated at colder temperatures, as were unannotated loci that constitute novel TSD candidates. Cirbp showed warm-temperature upregulation in both turtles. Consistent transcription between turtles and alligator revealed putatively-critical reptilian TSD elements for male (Sf1, Amh, Amhr2) and female (Crabp2 and Hspb1

  17. Transcriptomic responses to environmental temperature by turtles with temperature-dependent and genotypic sex determination assessed by RNAseq inform the genetic architecture of embryonic gonadal development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Srihari Radhakrishnan

    Full Text Available Vertebrate sexual fate is decided primarily by the individual's genotype (GSD, by the environmental temperature during development (TSD, or both. Turtles exhibit TSD and GSD, making them ideal to study the evolution of sex determination. Here we analyze temperature-specific gonadal transcriptomes (RNA-sequencing validated by qPCR of painted turtles (Chrysemys picta TSD before and during the thermosensitive period, and at equivalent stages in soft-shell turtles (Apalone spinifera-GSD, to test whether TSD's and GSD's transcriptional circuitry is identical but deployed differently between mechanisms. Our data show that most elements of the mammalian urogenital network are active during turtle gonadogenesis, but their transcription is generally more thermoresponsive in TSD than GSD, and concordant with their sex-specific function in mammals [e.g., upregulation of Amh, Ar, Esr1, Fog2, Gata4, Igf1r, Insr, and Lhx9 at male-producing temperature, and of β-catenin, Foxl2, Aromatase (Cyp19a1, Fst, Nf-kb, Crabp2 at female-producing temperature in Chrysemys]. Notably, antagonistic elements in gonadogenesis (e.g., β-catenin and Insr were thermosensitive only in TSD early-embryos. Cirbp showed warm-temperature upregulation in both turtles disputing its purported key TSD role. Genes that may convert thermal inputs into sex-specific development (e.g., signaling and hormonal pathways, RNA-binding and heat-shock were differentially regulated. Jak-Stat, Nf-κB, retinoic-acid, Wnt, and Mapk-signaling (not Akt and Ras-signaling potentially mediate TSD thermosensitivity. Numerous species-specific ncRNAs (including Xist were differentially-expressed, mostly upregulated at colder temperatures, as were unannotated loci that constitute novel TSD candidates. Cirbp showed warm-temperature upregulation in both turtles. Consistent transcription between turtles and alligator revealed putatively-critical reptilian TSD elements for male (Sf1, Amh, Amhr2 and female (Crabp2 and

  18. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bell, Barbara [Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Drexel University, 3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (United States); Spotila, James R [Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Drexel University, 3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (United States); Congdon, Justin [Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, University of Georgia, Drawer E., Aiken, SC (United States)

    2006-08-15

    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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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).

  3. 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

  4. 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 ...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Unusual behaviour of an immature loggerhead turtle released in the Alboran Sea

    OpenAIRE

    Bellido, J. J.; Báez, J. C.; Castillo, J. J.; Martín, J. J.; Mons, J. L.; Real, R.

    2010-01-01

    A juvenile loggerhead turtle with buoyancy problems was captured in the Alboran Sea (Mediterranean Sea, south of Spain) and released 14 months later after healing. Six days after the release, the turtle was seen swimming 42 km from the point of release, displaying unusual behaviour. We re-captured and released it again, 95 nautical miles offshore, near the Alboran Island. Ten days later the turtle arrived at the beach close to where it had been maintained in captivity. We discuss these findin...

  18. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Becking, L.E.; Christianen, M.J.A.; Nava, M.I.; Miller, N.; Willis, S.; Dam, Van, 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 Klein Bonaire (Caribbean Netherlands) we examined the post-breeding migratory behavior of 5 female loggerheads Caretta caretta, 4 female green turtles Chelonia mydas, and 2 male and 13 female hawksbil...

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  5. Health implications associated with exposure to farmed and wild sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warwick, Clifford; Arena, Phillip C; Steedman, Catrina

    2013-01-01

    Exposure to sea turtles may be increasing with expanding tourism, although reports of problems arising from interaction with free-living animals appear of negligible human health and safety concern. Exposure both to wild-caught and captive-housed sea turtles, including consumption of turtle products, raises several health concerns for the public, including: microbiological (bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi), macrobiological (macroparasites), and organic and inorganic toxic contaminants (biotoxins, organochlorines and heavy metals). We conducted a review of sea turtle associated human disease and its causative agents as well as a case study of the commercial sea turtle facility known as the Cayman Turtle Farm (which receives approximately 240,000 visitors annually) including the use of water sampling and laboratory microbial analysis which identified Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Aeromonas spp., Vibrio spp. and Salmonella spp. Our assessment is that pathogens and toxic contaminants may be loosely categorized to represent the following levels of potential risk: viruses and fungi = very low; protozoan parasites = very low to low; metazoan parasites, bacteria and environmental toxic contaminants = low or moderate to high; and biotoxin contaminant = moderate to very high. Farmed turtles and their consumable products may constitute a significant reservoir of potential human pathogen and toxin contamination. Greater awareness among health-care professionals regarding both potential pathogens and toxic contaminants from sea turtles, as well as key signs and symptoms of sea turtle-related human disease, is important for the prevention and control of salient disease.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Saba, V S; Spotila, J R [Drexel Univ., Philadelphia, PA (United States). School of Environmental Science, Engineering and Policy

    2003-11-01

    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, (0.28turtles is effective in restoring these animals to normal behavior in nature.(author)

  7. 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)

  8. Immunological evaluation of captive green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) with ulcerative dermatitis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Fernando Alberto; Estrada-Parra, Sergio; Romero-Rojas, Andrés; Gonzalez-Ballesteros, Erik; Work, Thierry M.; Villaseñor-Gaona, Hector; Estrada-Garcia, Iris

    2013-01-01

    Ulcerative dermatitis (UD) is common in captive sea turtles and manifests as skin erosions and ulcers associated with gram-negative bacteria. This study compared clinically healthy and UD-affected captive turtles by evaluating hematology, histopathology, immunoglobulin levels, and delayed-type hypersensitivity assay. Turtles with UD had significantly lower weight, reduced delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) responses, and higher heterophil:lymphocyte ratios. This study is the first to assay DTH in green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and suggests that UD is associated with immunosuppression.

  9. 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.

  10. Use of Dry Tortugas National Park by threatened and endangered marine turtles: Chapter 5

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Kristin M.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Sartain-Iverson, Autumn R.

    2012-01-01

    Satellite and acoustic tracking results for green turtles, hawksbills, and loggerheads have revealed patterns in the proportion of time that tagged turtles spend within various zones of the park, including the RNA. Green turtles primarily utilize the shallow areas in the northern portion of the park. Hawksbills were mostly observed near Garden Key and loggerheads were observed throughout DRTO. Our record of turtle captures, recaptures, and sightings over the last 4 years serves as a baseline database for understanding the size classes of each species present in the park, as well as species-specific habitats in DRTO waters.

  11. The Use of Green Turtles in Bali, When Conservation Meets Culture

    OpenAIRE

    Westerlaken, Rodney

    2016-01-01

    The use of green turtles in ceremonies, as delicacy or for the use of the shell has been a vast problem in history and recent years on Bali. The number of turtles living in the waters surrounding Bali is decreasing and the illegal trade is vivid.   Several projects are fighting for conservation of turtles and the Parisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia (the highest Hindu council) issued a decree against the use of turtles in ceremonies, but illegal trade remains. On April 7, 2016 40 green ...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. Stranding and incidental catch of sea turtles in the coastal Tumbes, Peru

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos A. Rosales

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Strandings and incidental catches of four sea turtles species (Chelonia mydas, Lepidochelys olivacea, Dermochelys coriacea and Eretmochelys imbricata were registered in Tumbes Region since August 2007 to August 2009. These registers (52.6% of strandings and 47.4% of incidental catches occurred during all year; most frequently in Punta Picos (50.5%, Canoas (20.0% and Baja de Punta Mero (14.7%. The most registered species were C. mydas (64.2% and L. olivacea (30.5%; their sizes did not present significant differences between areas and climatic seasons. The higher percentage of C. mydas, L. olivacea and D. coriacea were considered sub-adults, including the only specimen of E. imbricata. The incidental catches were made with gillnets of different mesh sizes, but 8 inches mesh was most frequently. A high proportions of specimens were died with signs of drowning (22.2% this was due to the prolonged time of soak time of gillnet (approximately 12 hours. No significant differences in CPUE were found between climatic seasons and no seasonal pattern was evident. Lesions in 14% of stranded specimens were caused possibly by human attacks or by collisions with fishing boats. 77.8% of incidental catch specimens were sacrificed for the commercialization of his meat, and sometimes of his shell, this shows the lack of awareness of conservation. These observations indicate that the coast of Tumbes is an important foraging area and development of sub-adult specimens of sea turtles; so it is recomend to develop monitoring, awareness and critical areas protection programs to foment the conservation of these organisms in the Eastern Pacific.

  16. 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.

  17. The role of geomagnetic cues in green turtle open sea navigation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon Benhamou

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

  18. 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...

  19. 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…

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. Husbandry and propagation of the Chinese big-headed turtle (Platysternon megacephalum) at the Wildlife Conservation Society's Prospect Park Zoo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shelmidine, Nichole; Murphy, Brittany; Massarone, Katelyn

    2016-01-01

    Turtles worldwide are facing increasing pressures on their wild populations and many are listed as endangered or critically endangered. Chinese big-headed turtles (Platysternon megacephalum) are currently listed on IUCN's Red List as endangered and on Cites Appendix II. As part of the Wildlife Conservation Society's initiative on turtle and tortoise conservation, this species became a focus for propagation at Prospect Park Zoo (PPZ) in 2008. PPZ successfully bred and obtained eggs, with successful hatchings in 2013 and 2014. The staff fluctuated water and ambient temperatures along with photoperiod in order to simulate seasonal changes. Each May, the female was placed in the male's enclosure daily for at least 15 min for breeding. Once two confirmed copulations were observed, breeding introductions were discontinued. The female laid her eggs in July and August, and clutch sizes ranged from 5 to 6 eggs. Eggs were successfully incubated in a RCOM Juragon reptile incubator at 23.3°C with 90-95% humidity. The eggs hatched after an average incubation period of 102 days (98-105 days, n = 9). Hatchlings had a mean body mass of 8.84 g (8.11-10 g) and average carapace length × width of 36.17 × 32.20 mm. This article aims to share the team's experiences working with this species as well as build upon previous publications and successes. Our hope is that with continued efforts to increase our knowledgebase a future viable, sustainable North American captive population will become a reality for this species. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Homology of the enigmatic nuchal bone reveals novel reorganization of the shoulder girdle in the evolution of the turtle shell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyson, Tyler R; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S; Bever, Gabe S; Joyce, Walter G; de Queiroz, Kevin; Abzhanov, Arhat; Gauthier, Jacques A

    2013-01-01

    The turtle shell represents a unique modification of the ancestral tetrapod body plan. The homologies of its approximately 50 bones have been the subject of debate for more than 200 years. Although most of those homologies are now firmly established, the evolutionary origin of the dorsal median nuchal bone of the carapace remains unresolved. We propose a novel hypothesis in which the nuchal is derived from the paired, laterally positioned cleithra-dorsal elements of the ancestral tetrapod pectoral girdle that are otherwise retained among extant tetrapods only in frogs. This hypothesis is supported by origin of the nuchal as paired, mesenchymal condensations likely derived from the neural crest followed by a unique two-stage pattern of ossification. Further support is drawn from the establishment of the nuchal as part of a highly conserved "muscle scaffold" wherein the cleithrum (and its evolutionary derivatives) serves as the origin of the Musculus trapezius. Identification of the nuchal as fused cleithra is congruent with its general spatial relationships to other elements of the shoulder girdle in the adult morphology of extant turtles, and it is further supported by patterns of connectivity and transformations documented by critical fossils from the turtle stem group. The cleithral derivation of the nuchal implies an anatomical reorganization of the pectoral girdle in which the dermal portion of the girdle was transformed from a continuous lateral-ventral arc into separate dorsal and ventral components. This transformation involved the reduction and eventual loss of the scapular rami of the clavicles along with the dorsal and superficial migration of the cleithra, which then fused with one another and became incorporated into the carapace. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Magic turtle dans le canton du Jura: concept marketing

    OpenAIRE

    Hauser, Magali; Perruchoud-Massy, Marie-Françoise

    2012-01-01

    Depuis juin 2009, Saint-Ursanne/Clos du Doubs est une région pilote du Projet Enjoy Switzerland/ASM ayant pour but d’intervenir sur le développement et la sensibilisation du tourisme dans la région. En parallèle, la Maison du Tourisme, entreprise proposant principalement des offres touristiques dans la région, a ouvert ses portes l’année dernière. Ces deux entités ont travaillé ensemble afin de développer une nouvelle offre touristique intitulée « Magic turtle ». Le Magic turtle, pensé par de...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Plastic and marine turtles: a review and call for research

    OpenAIRE

    Nelms, SE; Duncan, EM; Broderick, AC; Galloway, TSG; Godfrey, MH; Hamann, M; Lindeque, PK; Godley, BJ

    2016-01-01

    Plastic debris is now ubiquitous in the marine environment affecting a wide range of taxa, from microscopic zooplankton to large vertebrates. Its persistence and dispersal throughout marine ecosystems has meant that sensitivity toward the scale of threat is growing, particularly for species of conservation concern, such as marine turtles. Their use of a variety of habitats, migratory behaviour, and complex life histories leave them subject to a host of anthropogenic stressors, including expos...

  8. Turtle Graphics implementation using a graphical dataflow programming approach

    OpenAIRE

    Lovejoy, Robert Steven

    1992-01-01

    Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited This thesis expands the concepts of object-oriented programming to implement a visual dataflow programming language. The main thrust of this research is to develop a functional prototype language, based upon the Turtle Graphics tool provided by LOGO programming language, for children to develop both their problem solving skills as well as their general programming skills. The language developed for this thesis was implemented in the...

  9. 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.

  10. 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).

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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)

  15. 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…

  16. Haematological values of post-laying Arrau turtle (Podocnemis expansa) in the Orinoco River, Venezuela

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rossini, Mario; Blanco, P.A.; Marin, E.

    2012-01-01

    The Arrau turtle (Podocnemis expansa) is an endangered species, as a result of long-lasting, unsustainable exploitation. To obtain reference haematological values from the wild Podocnemis expansa during postlaying, 20 turtles were captured in the Orinoco River. Blood was obtained from the dorsal ...

  17. 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.; Dam, Van 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

  18. The Turtle Went To War. Northern Cheyenne Folk Tales. Indian Culture Series.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tall Bull, Henry; Weist, Tom

    The book takes its title from the first of nine Northern Cheyenne folk tales, illustrated by Indian children in grades 2-8. The stories are: "The Turtle Went to War" about a turtle who makes war on the Indians and takes two scalps; "The Cat", explaining why cats eat first and wash later; "The Frog and the Watersnake",…

  19. Radial glia in the proliferative ventricular zone of the embryonic and adult turtle, Trachemys scripta elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clinton, Brian K; Cunningham, Christopher L; Kriegstein, Arnold R; Noctor, Stephen C; Martínez-Cerdeño, Verónica

    2014-01-01

    To better understand the role of radial glial (RG) cells in the evolution of the mammalian cerebral cortex, we investigated the role of RG cells in the dorsal cortex and dorsal ventricular ridge of the turtle, Trachemys scripta elegans. Unlike mammals, the glial architecture of adult reptile consists mainly of ependymoradial glia, which share features with mammalian RG cells, and which may contribute to neurogenesis that continues throughout the lifespan of the turtle. To evaluate the morphology and proliferative capacity of ependymoradial glia (here referred to as RG cells) in the dorsal cortex of embryonic and adult turtle, we adapted the cortical electroporation technique, commonly used in rodents, to the turtle telencephalon. Here, we demonstrate the morphological and functional characteristics of RG cells in the developing turtle dorsal cortex. We show that cell division occurs both at the ventricle and away from the ventricle, that RG cells undergo division at the ventricle during neurogenic stages of development, and that mitotic Tbr2+ precursor cells, a hallmark of the mammalian SVZ, are present in the turtle cortex. In the adult turtle, we show that RG cells encompass a morphologically heterogeneous population, particularly in the subpallium where proliferation is most prevalent. One RG subtype is similar to RG cells in the developing mammalian cortex, while 2 other RG subtypes appear to be distinct from those seen in mammal. We propose that the different subtypes of RG cells in the adult turtle perform distinct functions.

  20. Movements and diving behavior of internesting green turtles along Pacific Costa Rica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanco, Gabriela S; Morreale, Stephen J; Seminoff, Jeffrey A; Paladino, Frank V; Piedra, Rotney; Spotila, James R

    2013-09-01

    Using satellite transmitters, we determined the internesting movements, spatial ecology and diving behavior of East Pacific green turtles (Chelonia mydas) nesting on Nombre de Jesús and Zapotillal beaches along the Pacific coast of northwestern Costa Rica. Kernel density analysis indicated that turtles spent most of their time in a particularly small area in the vicinity of the nesting beaches (50% utilization distribution was an area of 3 km(2) ). Minimum daily distance traveled during a 12 day internesting period was 4.6 ± 3.5 km. Dives were short and primarily occupied the upper 10 m of the water column. Turtles spent most of their time resting at the surface and conducting U-dives (ranging from 60 to 81% of the total tracking time involved in those activities). Turtles showed a strong diel pattern, U-dives mainly took place during the day and turtles spent a large amount of time resting at the surface at night. The lack of long-distance movements demonstrated that this area was heavily utilized by turtles during the nesting season and, therefore, was a crucial location for conservation of this highly endangered green turtle population. The unique behavior of these turtles in resting at the surface at night might make them particularly vulnerable to fishing activities near the nesting beaches. © 2012 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd, ISZS and IOZ/CAS.

  1. 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,…

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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, an...

  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. Public Awareness Program and Development of Education Toolkit for Green Sea Turtle Conservation in Sarawak, Malaysia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassan, Ruhana; Yahya, Nurhartini Kamalia; Ong, Leh Mui; Kheng, Lim Kian; Abidin, Zulkalnain Zainal; Ayob, Anuar; Jainal, Aslina Mohd

    2017-01-01

    Nobody knows exactly what happened during "the lost years" of the turtles in the wild, thus a green turtle headstarting project was carried out at Pantai Pandan, Lundu, Sarawak, Malaysia from June 2014 until December 2015 to shed some lights on the growth of hatchlings during a small part of their "lost years". As a consequent,…

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Unusual behaviour of an immature loggerhead turtle released in the Alboran Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bellido, J. J.

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available A juvenile loggerhead turtle with buoyancy problems was captured in the Alboran Sea (Mediterranean Sea, south of Spain and released 14 months later after healing. Six days after the release, the turtle was seen swimming 42 km from the point of release, displaying unusual behaviour. We re-captured and released it again, 95 nautical miles offshore, near the Alboran Island. Ten days later the turtle arrived at the beach close to where it had been maintained in captivity. We discuss these findings in the context of behavioural alteration and habituation in released sea turtles. Capture-mark-recapture studies of sea turtles should be approached with caution as manipulated animals may modify their usual behaviour.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    Many freshwater turtles are extremely tolerant to the lack of oxygen and can survive the winter submerged in anoxic mud in ice-covered lakes. The pronounced anoxia-tolerance resides with a considerable depression of cellular metabolism and the ability to use the shell to buffer the acidosis arising...... from anaerobic metabolism (1). Infusion of microspheres has shown that the shell receives almost half of the cardiac output in turtles made anoxic at low temperatures (2). However, the vasculature of the turtle shell remains to be described. To visualise the vasculature within the carapace and plastron...... 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...

  11. 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...

  12. Body size distribution demonstrates flexible habitat shift of green turtle (Chelonia mydas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryota Hayashi

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Green turtles (Chelonia mydas, listed as Endangered on the IUCN redlist, have a broad migration area and undergo a habitat shift from the pelagic (hatchling to neritic (growth zones. We studied habitat utilisation of the coastal feeding grounds around Okinawajima Island, Japan, in 103 green turtles. The western and eastern turtle aggregations off Okinawa had homogeneous genetic compositions, but different body size distributions. The western coastal feeding ground supported larger individuals than the eastern coastal feeding ground. Thus, green turtles appear to prefer different feeding grounds during their growth, and have a flexible habitat shift including a secondary habitat shift from east to west around Okinawajima Island after they are recruited to the coastal habitats. This study suggests maintaining coastal habitat diversity is important for green turtle conservation.

  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. Captive sea turtle rearing inventory, feeding, and water chemistry in sea turtle rearing tanks at NOAA Galveston 1995 to 2015 (NCEI Accession 0156869)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The database contains Excel and CSV spreadsheets monitoring captive Sea Turtle rearing program. Daily feeding logs as well as water chemistry were recorded.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  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. 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 results are likely

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

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    Francesc Domènech

    Full Text Available 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 (< 70 eggs for free-living phases to successfully contact turtles that occur at very low densities (< 0.6 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Plastic ingestion in oceanic-stage loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) off the North Atlantic subtropical gyre.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pham, Christopher K; Rodríguez, Yasmina; Dauphin, Axelle; Carriço, Rita; Frias, João P G L; Vandeperre, Frederic; Otero, Vanessa; Santos, Marco R; Martins, Helen R; Bolten, Alan B; Bjorndal, Karen A

    2017-08-15

    Juvenile oceanic-stage sea turtles are particularly vulnerable to the increasing quantity of plastic coming into the oceans. In this study, we analysed the gastrointestinal tracts of 24 juvenile oceanic-stage loggerheads (Caretta caretta) collected off the North Atlantic subtropical gyre, in the Azores region, a key feeding ground for juvenile loggerheads. Twenty individuals were found to have ingested marine debris (83%), composed exclusively of plastic items (primarily polyethylene and polypropylene) identified by μ-Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy. Large microplastics (1-5mm) represented 25% of the total number of debris and were found in 58% of the individuals sampled. Average number of items was 15.83±6.09 (±SE) per individual, corresponding to a mean dry mass of 1.07±0.41g. The results of this study demonstrate that plastic pollution acts as another stressor for this critical life stage of loggerhead turtles in the North Atlantic. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Purification and properties of the glutathione S-transferases from the anoxia-tolerant turtle, Trachemys scripta elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willmore, William G; Storey, Kenneth B

    2005-07-01

    Glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) play critical roles in detoxification, response to oxidative stress, regeneration of S-thiolated proteins, and catalysis of reactions in nondetoxification metabolic pathways. Liver GSTs were purified from the anoxia-tolerant turtle, Trachemys scripta elegans. Purification separated a homodimeric (subunit relative molecular mass =34 kDa) and a heterodimeric (subunit relative molecular mass = 32.6 and 36.8 kDa) form of GST. The enzymes were purified 23-69-fold and 156-174-fold for homodimeric and heterodimeric GSTs, respectively. Kinetic data gathered using a variety of substrates and inhibitors suggested that both homodimeric and heterodimeric GSTs were of the alpha class although they showed significant differences in substrate affinities and responses to inhibitors. For example, homodimeric GST showed activity with known alpha class substrates, cumene hydroperoxide and p-nitrobenzylchloride, whereas heterodimeric GST showed no activity with cumene hydroperoxide. The specific activity of liver GSTs with chlorodinitrobenzene (CDNB) as the substrate was reduced by 2.6- and 8.7-fold for homodimeric and heterodimeric GSTs isolated from liver of anoxic turtles as compared with aerobic controls, suggesting an anoxia-responsive stable modification of the protein that may alter its function during natural anaerobiosis.

  8. 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.

  9. Potential adverse health effects of persistent organic pollutants on sea turtles: evidences from a cross-sectional study on Cape Verde loggerhead sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camacho, María; Luzardo, Octavio P; Boada, Luis D; López Jurado, Luis F; Medina, María; Zumbado, Manuel; Orós, Jorge

    2013-08-01

    The Cape Verde nesting population of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) is the third largest population of this species in the world. For conservation purposes, it is essential to determine how these reptiles respond to different types of anthropogenic contaminants. We evaluated the presence of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the plasma of adult nesting loggerheads from Boa Vista Island, Cape Verde, and studied the effects of the contaminants on the health status of the turtles using hematological and biochemical parameters. All turtles had detectable levels of non-dioxin like PCBs, whereas dioxin-like congeners (DL-PCBs) were detected in only 30% of the turtles. Packed cell volume decreased with higher concentrations of PCBs, which suggests that PCB exposure could result in anemia in sea turtles. In addition, a negative association between some OCPs and white blood cells (WBC) and thrombocyte estimate was noted. The DDT-metabolite, p,p'-DDE was negatively correlated with the Na/K ratio and, additionally, a number of correlations between certain PAHs and electrolyte balances were found, which suggest that exposure to these environmental contaminants could affect the kidneys and salt glands in sea turtles. Additionally, several correlations were observed between these environmental pollutants (OCPs and PAHs) and enzyme activity (GGT, ALT, ALP and amylase) and serum protein levels, pointing to the possibility that these contaminants could induce adverse metabolic effects in sea turtles. Our results indicate that anthropogenic pollutants are present in the Cape Verde loggerhead turtle nesting population and could exert negative effects on several health parameters. Because of the importance of this loggerhead nesting population, protective regulations at national and international levels as well as international action are necessary for assuring the conservation of this population

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

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    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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Endogenous and exogenous ice-nucleating agents constrain supercooling in the hatchling painted turtle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costanzo, Jon P; Baker, Patrick J; Dinkelacker, Stephen A; Lee, Richard E

    2003-02-01

    Hatchlings of the painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) commonly hibernate in their shallow, natal nests. Survival at temperatures below the limit of freeze tolerance (approximately -4 degrees C) apparently depends on their ability to remain supercooled, and, whereas previous studies have reported that supercooling capacity improves markedly with cold acclimation, the mechanistic basis for this change is incompletely understood. We report that the crystallization temperature (T(c)) of recently hatched (summer) turtles acclimated to 22 degrees C and reared on a substratum of vermiculite or nesting soil was approximately 5 degrees C higher than the T(c) determined for turtles acclimated to 4 degrees C and tested in winter. This increase in supercooling capacity coincided with elimination of substratum (and, in fewer cases, eggshell) that the hatchlings had ingested; however, this association was not necessarily causal because turtles reared on a paper-covered substratum did not ingest exogenous matter but nevertheless showed a similar increase in supercooling capacity. Our results for turtles reared on paper revealed that seasonal development of supercooling capacity fundamentally requires elimination of ice-nucleating agents (INA) of endogenous origin: summer turtles, but not winter turtles, produced feces (perhaps derived from residual yolk) that expressed ice-nucleating activity. Ingestion of vermiculite or eggshell, which had modest ice-nucleating activity, had no effect on the T(c), whereas ingestion of nesting soil, which contained two classes of potent INA, markedly reduced the supercooling capacity of summer turtles. This effect persisted long after the turtles had purged their guts of soil particles, because the T(c) of winter turtles reared on nesting soil (mean +/- S.E.M.=-11.6+/-1.4 degrees C) was approximately 6 degrees C higher than the T(c) of winter turtles reared on vermiculite or paper. Experiments in which winter turtles were fed INA commonly found in

  15. 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.

  16. Effects of environmental contaminants on snapping turtles of a tidal wetland

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Albers, P H; Sileo, L; Mulhern, B M

    1986-01-01

    Snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) were collected from a brackish-water and a nearly freshwater area in the contaminated Hackensack Meadowlands of New Jersey and an uncontaminated freshwater area in Maryland to determine the effects of environmental contaminants on a resident wetland species. No turtles were observed or caught in Meadowlands at two trapping sites that were the most heavily contaminated by metals. Snapping turtles from the brackish-water area had an unusually low lipid content of body fat and reduced growth compared to turtles from the freshwater areas in New Jersey and Maryland. Despite the serious metal contamination of the Hackensack Meadowlands, the metal content of kidneys and livers from New Jersey turtles was low and not greatly different from that of the Maryland turtles. Organochlorine pesticide concentrations in body fat were generally low at all three study areas. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) concentrations in fat were highest in male turtles from the New Jersey brackish-water area. Analysis of blood for amino-levulinic acid dehydratase, albumin, glucose, hemoglobin, osmolatility, packed cell volume, total protein, triglycerides, and uric acid failed to reveal any differences among groups that would indicated physiological impairment related to contaminants.

  17. 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.

  18. Effects of environmental contaminants on snapping turtles of a tidal wetland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albers, P.H.; Sileo, L.; Mulhern, B.M.

    1986-01-01

    Snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) were collected from a brackish-water and a nearly freshwater area in the contaminated Hackensack Meadowlands of New Jersey and an uncontaminated freshwater area in Maryland to determine the effects of environmental contaminants on a resident wetland species. No turtles were observed or caught in the Meadowlands at two trapping sites that were the most heavily contaminated by metals. Snapping turtles from the brackish-water area had an unusually low lipid content of body fat and reduced growth compared to turtles from the fresh-water areas in New Jersey and Maryland. Despite the serious metal contamination of the Hackensack Meadowlands, the metal content of kidneys and livers from New Jersey turtles was low and not greatly different from that of the Maryland turtles. Organochlorine pesticide concentrations in body fat were generally low at all three study areas. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) concentrations in fat were highest in male turtles from the New Jersey brackish-water area. Analysis of blood for amino-levulinic acid dehydratase, albumin, glucose, hemoglobin, osmolality, packed cell volume, total protein, triglycerides, and uric acid failed to reveal any differences among groups that would indicate physiological impairment related to contaminants.

  19. 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.

  20. Toxicological effects of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) on freshwater turtles in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ming-Ch'eng Adams, Clare Isabel; Baker, Joel E; Kjellerup, Birthe V

    2016-07-01

    Prediction of vertebrate health effects originating from persistent organic pollutants (POPs) such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) has remained a challenge for decades thus making the identification of bioindicators difficult. POPs are predominantly present in soil and sediment, where they adhere to particles due to their hydrophobic characteristics. Animals inhabiting soil and sediment can be exposed to PCBs via dermal exposure while others may obtain PCBs through contaminated trophic interaction. Freshwater turtles can serve as bioindicators due to their strong site fidelity, longevity and varied diet. Previous research observed the health effects of PCBs on turtles such as decreased bone mass, changed sexual development and decreased immune responses through studying both contaminated sites along with laboratory experimentation. Higher deformity rates in juveniles, increased mortality and slower growth have also been observed. Toxicological effects of PCBs vary between species of freshwater turtles and depend on the concertation and configuration of PCB congeners. Evaluation of ecotoxicological effects of PCBs in non-endangered turtles could provide important knowledge about the health effects of endangered turtle species thus inform the design of remediation strategies. In this review, the PCB presence in freshwater turtle habitats and the ecotoxicological effects were investigated with the aim of utilizing the health status to identify areas of focus for freshwater turtle conservation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

  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. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Alternative leech vectors for frog and turtle trypanosomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siddall, M E; Desser, S S

    1992-06-01

    Trypanosoma pipientis infections were achieved by exposing laboratory-raised bullfrog tadpoles (Rana catesbeiana) to the leech Desserobdella picta that had fed on infected frogs. Likewise, a laboratory-raised snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) was infected with Trypanosoma chrysemydis following exposure to infected Placobdella ornata. Transmission of the trypanosomes by these leeches constitutes new vector records for the parasites. The biology of D. picta and P. ornata suggests that they are more important in transmitting these flagellates than the species of leech previously reported as vectors.

  8. 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.

  9. Embryonic hypoxia programmes postprandial cardiovascular function in adult common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wearing, Oliver H; Conner, Justin; Nelson, Derek; Crossley, Janna; Crossley, Dane A

    2017-07-15

    Reduced oxygen availability (hypoxia) is a potent stressor during embryonic development, altering the trajectory of trait maturation and organismal phenotype. We previously documented that chronic embryonic hypoxia has a lasting impact on the metabolic response to feeding in juvenile snapping turtles ( Chelydra serpentina ). Turtles exposed to hypoxia as embryos [10% O 2 (H10)] exhibited an earlier and increased peak postprandial oxygen consumption rate, compared with control turtles [21% O 2 (N21)]. In the current study, we measured central blood flow patterns to determine whether the elevated postprandial metabolic response in H10 turtles is linked to lasting impacts on convective transport. Five years after hatching, turtles were instrumented to quantify systemic ([Formula: see text]) and pulmonary ([Formula: see text]) blood flows and heart rate ( f H ) before and after a ∼5% body mass meal. In adult N21 and H10 turtles, f H was increased significantly by feeding. Although total stroke volume ( V S,tot ) remained at fasted values, this tachycardia contributed to an elevation in total cardiac output ([Formula: see text]). However, there was a postprandial reduction in a net left-right (L-R) shunt in N21 snapping turtles only. Relative to N21 turtles, H10 animals exhibited higher [Formula: see text] due to increased blood flow through the right systemic outflow vessels of the heart. This effect of hypoxic embryonic development, reducing a net L-R cardiac shunt, may support the increased postprandial metabolic rate we previously reported in H10 turtles, and is further demonstration of adult reptile cardiovascular physiology being programmed by embryonic hypoxia. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Using expert opinion surveys to rank threats to endangered species: a case study with sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donlan, C Josh; Wingfield, Dana K; Crowder, Larry B; Wilcox, Chris

    2010-12-01

    Little is known about how specific anthropogenic hazards affect the biology of organisms. Quantifying the effect of regional hazards is particularly challenging for species such as sea turtles because they are migratory, difficult to study, long lived, and face multiple anthropogenic threats. Expert elicitation, a technique used to synthesize opinions of experts while assessing uncertainty around those views, has been in use for several decades in the social science and risk assessment sectors. We conducted an internet-based survey to quantify expert opinion on the relative magnitude of anthropogenic hazards to sea turtle populations at the regional level. Fisheries bycatch and coastal development were most often ranked as the top hazards to sea turtle species in a geographic region. Nest predation and direct take followed as the second and third greatest threats, respectively. Survey results suggest most experts believe sea turtles are threatened by multiple factors, including substantial at-sea threats such as fisheries bycatch. Resources invested by the sea turtle community, however, appear biased toward terrestrial-based impacts. Results from the survey are useful for conservation planning because they provide estimates of relative impacts of hazards on sea turtles and a measure of consensus on the magnitude of those impacts among researchers and practitioners. Our survey results also revealed patterns of expert bias, which we controlled for in our analysis. Respondents with no experience with respect to a sea turtle species tended to rank hazards affecting that sea turtle species higher than respondents with experience. A more-striking pattern was with hazard-based expertise: the more experience a respondent had with a specific hazard, the higher the respondent scored the impact of that hazard on sea turtle populations. Bias-controlled expert opinion surveys focused on threatened species and their hazards can help guide and expedite species recovery plans.

  16. Effects of ultraviolet radiation on 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 synthesis in red-eared slider turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acierno, Mark J; Mitchell, Mark A; Roundtree, Marlana K; Zachariah, Trevor T

    2006-12-01

    To determine whether there are increased concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitaminn D(3) in red-eared slider turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans) after exposure to UV radiation. 12 yearling turtles recently removed from aestivation. Turtles were randomly allocated to 2 groups (6 turtles/group). An initial blood sample was collected from all turtles for measurement of 25-hydroxyvitamin D(3) concentrations. Turtles of 1 group were then provided no supplemental lighting, whereas turtles of the other group were exposed to full-spectrum coil bulbs at a distance of 22.86 cm. The UV-A and UV-B radiation generated by the supplemental lighting was measured by use of a radiometer-photometer at weekly intervals. Measurements were collected 2.54 and 22.86 cm from the bulb surface. The study was continued for a 4-week period. At the end of the study, a second blood sample was collected from all turtles for measurement of 25-hydroxyvitamin D(3). Mean +/- SD 25-hydroxyvitamin D(3) concentrations differed significantly between turtles provided supplemental UV radiation (71.7 +/- 46.9 nmol/L) and those not provided UV radiation (31.4 +/- 13.2 nmol/L). Appropriate husbandry recommendations for raising and maintaining red-eared slider turtles should include use of sunlight that is unobstructed by UV-B filtering material or provision of an artificial source of UV-B radiation.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. Plastic ingestion by sea turtles in Paraíba State, Northeast Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Camila Poli; Daniel Oliveira Mesquita; Cinthia Saska; Rita Mascarenhas

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Currently, plastics are recognized as a major pollutant of the marine environment, representing a serious threat to ocean wildlife. Here, we examined the occurrence and effects of plastic ingestion by sea turtles found stranded along the coast of Paraíba State, Brazil from August 2009 to July 2010. Ninety-eight digestive tracts were examined, with plastic found in 20 (20.4%). Sixty five percent (n = 13) of turtles with plastic in the digestive tract were green turtles (Chelonia mydas...

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Software for improved field surveys of nesting marine turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anastácio, R; Gonzalez, J M; Slater, K; Pereira, M J

    2017-09-07

    Field data are still recorded on paper in many worldwide beach surveys of nesting marine turtles. The data must be subsequently transferred into an electronic database, and this can introduce errors in the dataset. To minimize such errors, the "Turtles" software was developed and piloted to record field data by one software user accompanying one Tortuguero in Akumal beaches, Quintana Roo, Mexico, from June 1 st to July 31 st during the night patrols. Comparisons were made between exported data from the software with the paper forms entered into a database (henceforth traditional). Preliminary assessment indicated that the software user tended to record a greater amount of metrics (i.e., an average of 18.3 fields ± 5.4 sd vs. 8.6 fields ± 2.1 sd recorded by the traditional method). The traditional method introduce three types of "errors" into a dataset: missing values in relevant fields (40.1%), different answers for the same value (9.8%), and inconsistent data (0.9%). Only 5.8% of these (missing values) were found with the software methodology. Although only tested by a single user, the software may suggest increased efficacy and warrants further examination to accurately assess the merit of replacing traditional methods of data recording for beach monitoring programmes.

  4. 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.)

  5. Disappearance of endangered turtles within China's nature reserves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Shi-Ping; Shi, Hai-Tao; Jiang, Ai-Wu; Fong, Jonathan J; Gaillard, Daniel; Wang, Ji-Chao

    2017-03-06

    China ranks first among Northern hemisphere countries for species richness, but approximately 43% of its species are threatened [1], with harvesting being the major threat to vertebrates [2]. To protect its biodiversity, China has established about 2,700 nature reserves covering 1.46 million km 2 ( about 15% of China's territory, a percentage higher than the world average [3]). With increasing habitat destruction and harvesting, nature reserves are the final refugia for threatened species. However, many Chinese nature reserves are poorly managed, leaving them vulnerable to poaching and other human encroachment [4]. In this study, we conducted a 12-year (2002-2013) case study on turtles to illustrate the damaging impacts China's nature reserves have on wildlife conservation. We discovered that poaching occurred in all of the 56 reserves surveyed, resulting in dramatically reduced turtle populations. In a majority of the reserves, the reserve staff themselves were involved in poaching. Although nature reserves were created to protect plants and animals, they have become part of the problem due to weak enforcement of rules. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Multiple paternity in the cultured yellow pond turtles (Mauremys mutica).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xin-Cheng; Zhao, Jian; Li, Wei; Wei, Cheng-Qing; Zhu, Xin-Ping

    2017-08-01

    As a result of hunting and habitat loss, wild populations of the yellow pond turtle, Mauremys mutica, are decreasing. The International Union for Conservation of Nature considers M. mutica to be an endangered species. All studied freshwater turtles have polyandrous mating with multiple paternity. To survey the mating strategies of M. mutica, 1year's genetic data of parents and all offspring in an artificially captive population were analyzed. Two groups of multiplex PCR containing 16 microsatellite loci were used to analyze the paternity of 302 hatchlings from 132 parents and from 159 clutches. The genetic data indicated that multiple paternity is rare in M. mutica, occurring in only seven of 138 clutches. Although the frequency of multiple paternity was only 5.07%, results of the present research indicate that M. mutica has a polyandrous mating system. In the breeding season, the successive clutches of 34 females each had the same paternity as the previous clutches. It was observed that four males (f85, f58, f87, and f76) had more than 20 offspring each, totaling 99 and representing 32.78% of all offspring. This finding implies that paternity is competitive in this artificially captive population and might bias the genetic diversity of the offspring. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. 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.)

  8. 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.

  9. Author Details

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Sapsford, CW. Vol 13, No 1 (1978) - Articles Anatomical Evidence for Intracardiac Blood Shunting in Marine Turtles Abstract PDF · Vol 13, No 1 (1978) - Articles Body Temperature of the Loggerhead Sea Turtle Caretta Caretta and the Leatherback Sea Turtle Dermochelys Coriacea During Nesting Abstract PDF. ISSN: 2224- ...

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Protection of marine birds and turtles at St Brandon's Rock, Indian Ocean, requires conservation of the entire atoll. SW Evans, N Cole, H Kylin, NS Choong Kwet Yive, V Tatayah, J Merven, H Bouwman ...

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. A novel, bounding gait in swimming turtles: implications for aquatic locomotor diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayerl, Christopher J; Blob, Richard W

    2017-10-15

    Turtles are an iconic lineage in studies of animal locomotion, typifying the use of slow, alternating footfalls during walking. Alternating movements of contralateral limbs are also typical during swimming gaits for most freshwater turtles. Here, we report a novel gait in turtles, in which the pleurodire Emydura subglobosa swims using a bounding gait that coordinates bilateral protraction of both forelimbs with bilateral retraction of both hindlimbs. Use of this bounding gait is correlated with increased limb excursion and decreased stride frequency, but not increased velocity when compared with standard swimming strokes. Bounding by E. subglobosa provides a second example of a non-mammalian lineage that can use bounding gaits, and may give insight into the evolution of aquatic flapping. Parallels in limb muscle fascicle properties between bounding turtles and crocodylids suggest a possible musculoskeletal mechanism underlying the use of bounding gaits in particular lineages. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  17. Use of coral reefs by hawksbill turtles in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Ongoing mark-recapture and satellite tagging are being conducted to understand how public use of reefs impacts hawksbill turtle habitat use and relative abundance

  18. Hemoglobin isoform differentiation and allosteric regulation of oxygen binding in the turtle, Trachemys scripta

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Damsgaard, Christian; Storz, Jay F.; Hoffmann, Federico G.

    2013-01-01

    When freshwater turtles acclimatize to winter hibernation, there is a gradual transition from aerobic to anaerobic metabolism, which may require adjustments of blood O2 transport before turtles become anoxic. Here, we report the effects of protons, anionic cofactors, and temperature on the O2......-binding properties of isolated hemoglobin (Hb) isoforms, HbA and HbD, in the turtle Trachemys scripta. We determined the primary structures of the constituent subunits of the two Hb isoforms, and we related the measured functional properties to differences in O2 affinity between untreated hemolysates from...... turtles that were acclimated to normoxia and anoxia. Our data show that HbD has a consistently higher O2 affinity compared with HbA, whereas Bohr and temperature effects, as well as thiol reactivity, are similar. Although sequence data show amino acid substitutions at two known β-chain ATP-binding site...

  19. Summary of sea turtle strandings documented by NOAA Galveston 1995-Present

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The database contains records pertaining to all sea turtles recovered by the NOAA Galveston Laboratory as the local representative of the Southeast Fisheries Science...

  20. 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.

  1. Serotonin‐induced bistability of turtle motoneurones caused by a nifedipine‐sensitive calcium plateau potential

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hounsgaard, J.; Kiehn, O.

    1989-01-01

    1. The effect of serotonin on the firing properties of motoneurones was studied in transverse sections of the adult turtle spinal cord in vitro with intracellular recording techniques. 2. In normal medium, turtle motoneurones adapt from an initial high frequency to a low steady firing during...... of the frequency jump was shortened as the amplitude of the activation pulse was increased. From a positive holding potential the after‐depolarization exceeded spike threshold and its duration increased with an increase in steady bias current. The effect of serotonin on turtle motoneurones could be blocked....... It is concluded that serotonin induces a Ca2+‐dependent and nifedipine‐sensitive plateau potential in turtle motoneurones primarily by reducing a K+‐current responsible for the slow after‐hyperpolarization....

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. 77 FR 38266 - Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp Trawling Requirements; Public Hearing

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-27

    ... withdraw the alternative tow time restriction and require all skimmer trawls, pusher-head trawls, and wing nets (butterfly trawls) rigged for fishing to use turtle excluder devices (TEDs) in their nets, which...

  5. 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...

  6. 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)...

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Msx genes are expressed in the carapacial ridge of turtle shell: a study of the European pond turtle, Emys orbicularis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincent, Christine; Bontoux, Martine; Le Douarin, Nicole M; Pieau, Claude; Monsoro-Burq, Anne-Hélène

    2003-09-01

    The turtle shell forms by extensive ossification of dermis ventrally and dorsally. The carapacial ridge (CR) controls early dorsal shell formation and is thought to play a similar role in shell growth as the apical ectodermal ridge during limb development. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying carapace development are still unknown. Msx genes are involved in the development of limb mesenchyme and of various skeletal structures. In particular, precocious Msx expression is recorded in skeletal precursors that develop close to the ectoderm, such as vertebral spinous processes or skull. Here, we have studied the embryonic expression of Msx genes in the European pond turtle, Emys orbicularis. The overall Msx expression in head, limb, and trunk is similar to what is observed in other vertebrates. We have focused on the CR area and pre-skeletal shell condensations. The CR expresses Msx genes transiently, in a pattern similar to that of fgf10. In the future carapace domain, the dermis located dorsal to the spinal cord expresses Msx genes, as in other vertebrates, but we did not see expansion of this expression in the dermis located more laterally, on top of the dermomyotomes. In the ventral plastron, although the dermal osseous condensations form in the embryonic Msx-positive somatopleura, we did not observe enhanced Msx expression around these elements. These observations may indicate that common mechanisms participate in limb bud and CR early development, but that pre-differentiation steps differ between shell and other skeletal structures and involve other gene activities than that of Msx genes.

  11. The physiology of overwintering in a turtle that occupies multiple habitats, the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reese, Scott A; Jackson, Donald C; Ultsch, Gordon R

    2002-01-01

    Common snapping turtles, Chelydra serpentina (Linnaeus), were submerged in anoxic and normoxic water at 3 degrees C. Periodic blood samples were taken, and PO(2), PCO(2), pH, [Na(+)], [K(+)], [Cl(-)], total Ca, total Mg, [lactate], [glucose], hematocrit, and osmolality were measured; weight gain was determined; and plasma [HCO(3)(-)] was calculated. Submergence in normoxic water caused a decrease in PCO(2) from 10.8 to 6.9 mmHg after 125 d, partially compensating a slight increase in lactate and allowing the turtles to maintain a constant pH. Submergence in anoxic water caused a rapid increase in lactate from 1.8 to 168.1 mmol/L after 100 d. Associated with the increased lactate were decreases in pH from 8.057 to 7.132 and in [HCO(3)(-)] from 51.5 to 4.9 mmol/L and increases in total Ca from 2.0 to 36.6 mmol/L, in total Mg from 1.8 to 12.1 mmol/L, and in [K(+)] from 3.08 to 8.45 mmol/L. We suggest that C. serpentina is tolerant of anoxic submergence and therefore is able to exploit habitats unavailable to some other species in northern latitudes.

  12. Effects of brevetoxin exposure on the immune system of loggerhead sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, Catherine J; Leggett, Stephanie R; Carter, Barbara J; Colle, Clarence

    2010-05-10

    Blooms of the toxic dinoflagellate, Karenia brevis, occur almost annually off the Florida coast. These blooms, commonly called "red tides", produce a group of neurotoxins collectively termed brevetoxins. Many species of sealife, including sea turtles, are severely impacted by brevetoxin exposure. Effects of brevetoxins on immune cells were investigated in rescued loggerhead sea turtles, Caretta caretta, as well as through in vitro experiments using peripheral blood leukocytes (PBL) collected from captive sea turtles. In rescued animals, plasma brevetoxin concentrations were measured using a competitive ELISA. Plasma lysozyme activity was measured using a turbidity assay. Lysozyme activity correlated positively with plasma brevetoxin concentrations. Differential expression of genes affected by brevetoxin exposure was determined using two separate suppression subtractive hybridization experiments. In one experiment, genes from PBL collected from sea turtles rescued from red tide toxin exposure were compared to genes from PBL collected from healthy captive loggerhead sea turtles. In the second experiment, PBL from healthy captive loggerhead sea turtles were exposed to brevetoxin (500 ng PbTx-2/ml) in vitro for 18 h and compared to unexposed PBL. Results from the subtraction hybridization experiment conducted with red tide rescued sea turtle PBL indicated that genes involved in oxidative stress or xenobiotic metabolism were up-regulated. Using quantitative real-time PCR, a greater than 2-fold increase in superoxide dismutase and thioredoxin and greater than 10-fold increase in expression of thiopurine S-methyltransferase were observed. Results from the in vitro subtraction hybridization experiment indicated that genes coding for cytochrome c oxidases were the major up-regulated genes. Using quantitative real-time PCR, a greater than 8-fold increase in expression of beta-tubulin and greater than 3-fold increase in expression of ubiquinol were observed. Brevetoxin

  13. Comparing Acoustic Tag Attachments Designed for Mobile Tracking of Hatchling Sea Turtles

    OpenAIRE

    Hoover, Aimee L.; Shillinger, George L.; Swiggs, Jennifer; Bailey, Helen

    2017-01-01

    The poorly understood movements of sea turtles during the “lost years” of their early life history have been characterized as a “passive drifter” stage. Biologging technology allows us to study patterns of dispersal, but the small body size of young life stages requires particular consideration that such tagging does not significantly impede animal movements. We tested the effect of instrument attachment methods for mobile acoustic tracking of hatchling sea turtles, including a design that wo...

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Nitric oxide increases myocardial efficiency in the hypoxia-tolerant turtle Trachemys scripta

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Misfeldt, Mikkel; Fago, Angela; Gesser, Hans

    2009-01-01

    Nitric oxide (NO) may influence cardiac mechanical performance relative to O2 consumption by depressing respiration rate and by affecting the excitation-contraction coupling. Such effects of NO should be particularly important during hypoxia in species such as the hypoxia-tolerant turtle Trachemys....... This effect was particularly pronounced under O2 deficiency and may therefore contribute towards preserving cardiac function and to the overall excellent hypoxic tolerance of the turtle...

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. 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 < 45 mmHg than TonoVet® (linear regression slopes of 0.89 and 0.30, respectively). Mean (±SD) IOP in unrestrained conscious turtles was significantly lower (P < 0.01) with TonoLab® (10.02 ± 0.66 mmHg) than with TonoVet® (11.32 ± 1.57 mmHg). Manual neck restraint caused a significant increase in IOP (+6.31 ± 5.59 mmHg), while manual rostral head restraint did not. Both chemical restraint protocols significantly reduced IOP (DKM: −1.0 ± 0.76 mmHg; DK: −1.79 ± 1.17) compared with measurements in conscious unrestrained 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.

  20. Herpesvirus in a captive Australian Krefft's river turtle (Emydura macquarii krefftii).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowan, M L; Raidal, S R; Peters, A

    2015-01-01

    A mature, captive Krefft's river turtle (Emydura macquarii krefftii) was presented with severe proliferative and ulcerative lesions of the skin and shell. The areas were biopsied and histopathological examination demonstrated orthokeratotic hyperkeratosis with keratinocytes containing eosinophilic intranuclear inclusions. Molecular diagnostics confirmed the presence of a herpesvirus in the affected tissues. This is the first recorded case of herpesvirus infection in an Australian freshwater turtle species. © 2015 Australian Veterinary Association.

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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

  3. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tammy M. Summers

    2018-01-01

    beyond 34.4°C and 33.8°C, respectively, and (ii embryonic death increases in nests with mean temperatures beyond 31.1°C. On Saipan, 32% of nesters were poached, reducing the annual population growth rate from 11.4 to 7.4%. This study provides the first comprehensive assessment of a nesting green turtle population in the Mariana Archipelago, as well as Micronesia, providing baseline data for the endangered CWP population. Our reproductive demographic data, abundance trends, and anthropogenic threat impact analyses are critical for endangered species management, including assessments of population status and fisheries impacts.

  5. CriticalEd

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjellberg, Caspar Mølholt; Meredith, David

    2014-01-01

    . Since the comments are not input sequentially, with regard to position, but in arbitrary order, this list must be sorted by copy/pasting the rows into place—an error-prone and time-consuming process. Scholars who produce critical editions typically use off-the-shelf music notation software......The best text method is commonly applied among music scholars engaged in producing critical editions. In this method, a comment list is compiled, consisting of variant readings and editorial emendations. This list is maintained by inserting the comments into a document as the changes are made......, consisting of a Sibelius plug-in, a cross-platform application, called CriticalEd, and a REST-based solution, which handles data storage/retrieval. A prototype has been tested at the Danish Centre for Music Publication, and the results suggest that the system could greatly improve the efficiency...

  6. Nesting Habitat Suitability for Olive Ridley Turtles (Lepidochelys Olivacea) at the Gahirmatha Rookery, Odisha Coast of India

    OpenAIRE

    Satyaranjan BEHERA; Basudev TRIPATHY; Kupuswamy SIVAKUMAR; Binod Chandra CHOUDHURY; Chandrasekhar KAR

    2013-01-01

    The changes in the beach dynamics at Gahirmatha sea turtle rookery along Odisha coast of India have forced the olive ridley turtles to nests in a non-conducive environment. In the recent past, non-availability of nesting beach due to erosion was hypothesized to be one of the major reasons for non-occurrence of arribada at Gahirmatha. This paper reviews the current status of nesting habitat for olive ridley turtles at Gahirmatha and suggests onshore and offshore developmental activities close ...

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. A model of loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta habitat and movement in the oceanic North Pacific.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie Abecassis

    Full Text Available Habitat preferences for juvenile loggerhead turtles in the North Pacific were investigated with data from two several-year long tagging programs, using 224 satellite transmitters deployed on wild and captive-reared turtles. Animals ranged between 23 and 81 cm in straight carapace length. Tracks were used to investigate changes in temperature preferences and speed of the animals with size. Average sea surface temperatures along the tracks ranged from 18 to 23 °C. Bigger turtles generally experienced larger temperature ranges and were encountered in warmer surface waters. Seasonal differences between small and big turtles suggest that the larger ones dive deeper than the mixed layer and subsequently target warmer surface waters to rewarm. Average swimming speeds were under 1 km/h and increased with size for turtles bigger than 30 cm. However, when expressed in body lengths per second (bl s(-1, smaller turtles showed much higher swimming speeds (>1 bl s (-1 than bigger ones (0.5 bl s(-1. Temperature and speed values at size estimated from the tracks were used to parameterize a habitat-based Eulerian model to predict areas of highest probability of presence in the North Pacific. The model-generated habitat index generally matched the tracks closely, capturing the north-south movements of tracked animals, but the model failed to replicate observed east-west movements, suggesting temperature and foraging preferences are not the only factors driving large-scale loggerhead movements. Model outputs could inform potential bycatch reduction strategies.

  10. 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.

  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. Potential Noncutaneous Sites of Chelonid Herpesvirus 5 Persistence and Shedding in Green Sea Turtles Chelonia mydas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Page-Karjian, Annie; Gottdenker, Nicole L; Whitfield, Jordyn; Herbst, Lawrence; Norton, Terry M; Ritchie, Branson

    2017-09-01

    Chelonid herpesvirus 5 (ChHV5), the likely etiologic agent of sea turtle fibropapillomatosis (FP), is predicted to be unevenly distributed within an infected turtle, in which productive virus replication and virion shedding occurs in cutaneous tumor keratinocytes. In this study, we measured and compared ChHV5 DNA quantities in tumors, skin, urine, major organs, and nervous tissue samples from green turtles Chelonia mydas. These samples were taken from the carcasses of 10 juvenile green turtles with and without clinical signs of FP that stranded in Florida during 2014. Quantitative PCR for ChHV5 UL30 was used to identify ChHV5 DNA in tumors, skin, heart, kidney, nerves, and urine sampled from five out of five FP-positive and three out of five FP-free turtles. The most frequently co-occurring sites were cutaneous tumor and kidney (n = 4). Novel data presented here include the identification of ChHV5 DNA in kidney, heart, and nerve samples from three FP-free turtles. These data support candidate nontumored anatomic sites of ChHV5 DNA localization and mobilization during two different disease states that may be involved in the ChHV5 infection cycle. Received September 8, 2016; accepted April 17, 2017.

  13. 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.

  14. Brevetoxin exposure in sea turtles in south Texas (USA) during Karenia brevis red tide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Jennifer Shelby; Shaver, Donna J; Stacy, Brian A; Flewelling, Leanne J; Broadwater, Margaret H; Wang, Zhihong

    2018-01-31

    Five green (Chelonia mydas) and 11 Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) sea turtles found dead, or that died soon after stranding, on the southern Texas (USA) coast during 2 Karenia brevis blooms (October 2015, September-October 2016) were tested for exposure to brevetoxins (PbTx). Tissues (liver, kidney) and digesta (stomach and intestinal contents) were analyzed by ELISA. Three green turtles found alive during the 2015 event and 2 Kemp's ridley turtles found alive during the 2016 event exhibited signs of PbTx exposure, including lethargy and/or convulsions of the head and neck. PbTx were detected in 1 or more tissues or digesta in all 16 stranded turtles. Detected PbTx concentrations ranged from 2 to >2000 ng g-1. Necropsy examination and results of PbTx analysis indicated that 10 of the Kemp's ridleys and 2 of the green turtles died from brevetoxicosis via ingestion. This is the first documentation of sea turtle mortality in Texas attributed to brevetoxicosis.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Seasonal change in the capacity for supercooling by neonatal painted turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Packard, G C; Packard, M J; McDaniel, L L

    2001-05-01

    Hatchlings of the North American painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) typically spend their first winter of life inside the shallow, subterranean nest where they completed incubation the preceding summer. This facet of their natural history commonly causes neonates in northerly populations to be exposed in mid-winter to ice and cold, which many animals survive by remaining unfrozen and supercooled. We measured the limit of supercooling in samples of turtles taken shortly after hatching and in other samples after 2 months of acclimation (or acclimatization) to a reduced temperature in the laboratory or field. Animals initially had only a limited capacity for supercooling, but they acquired an ability to undergo deeper supercooling during the course of acclimation. The gut of most turtles was packed with particles of soil and eggshell shortly after hatching, but not after acclimation. Thus, the relatively high limit of supercooling for turtles in the days immediately after hatching may have resulted from the ingestion of soil (and associated nucleating agents) by the animals as they were freeing themselves from their eggshell, whereas the relatively low limit of supercooling attained by acclimated turtles may have resulted from their purging their gut of its contents. Parallels may, therefore, exist between the natural-history strategy expressed by hatchling painted turtles and that expressed by numerous terrestrial arthropods that withstand the cold of winter by sustaining a state of supercooling.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.