WorldWideScience

Sample records for turtle shell tortoise

  1. The whole world put between to shells: The cosmic symbolism of tortoises and turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rappengluck, M.

    Since the Bronze Age turtles and tortoise were related to a cosmic symbolism by ancient cultures in different parts of the world, with a certain concentration in the northern hemisphere. The paper attempts to categorize aspects of the cosmic turtle symbolism, using mainly an ethnoastronomical approach, partly supported by archaeological evidences. As a result a set of concepts can be identified, which are related to cosmologic, cosmogonic, biological and psychological aspects.

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Giant fossil tortoise and freshwater chelid turtle remains from the middle Miocene, Quebrada Honda, Bolivia: Evidence for lower paleoelevations for the southern Altiplano

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cadena, Edwin A.; Anaya, Federico; Croft, Darin A.

    2015-12-01

    We describe the first Miocene turtle remains from Bolivia, which were collected from the late middle Miocene (13.18-13.03 Ma) of Quebrada Honda, southern Bolivia. This material includes a large scapula-acromion and fragmentary shell elements conferred to the genus Chelonoidis (Testudinidae), and a left xiphiplastron from a pleurodire or side-necked turtle, conferred to Acanthochelys (Chelidae). The occurrence of a giant tortoise and a freshwater turtle suggests that the paleoelevation of the region when the fossils were deposited was lower than has been estimated by stable isotope proxies, with a maximum elevation probably less than 1000 m. At a greater elevation, cool temperatures would have been beyond the tolerable physiological limits for these turtles and other giant ectotherm reptiles.

  6. Evidence of Fluconazole-Resistant Candida Species in Tortoises and Sea Turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brilhante, Raimunda Sâmia Nogueira; Rodrigues, Pedro Henrique de Aragão; de Alencar, Lucas Pereira; Riello, Giovanna Barbosa; Ribeiro, Joyce Fonteles; de Oliveira, Jonathas Sales; Castelo-Branco, Débora de Souza Collares Maia; Bandeira, Tereza de Jesus Pinheiro Gomes; Monteiro, André Jalles; Rocha, Marcos Fábio Gadelha; Cordeiro, Rossana de Aguiar; Moreira, José Luciano Bezerra; Sidrim, José Júlio Costa

    2015-12-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the antifungal susceptibility of Candida spp. recovered from tortoises (Chelonoidis spp.) and sea turtles (Chelonia mydas, Caretta caretta, Lepidochelys olivacea, Eretmochelys imbricata). For this purpose, material from the oral cavity and cloaca of 77 animals (60 tortoises and 17 sea turtles) was collected. The collected specimens were seeded on 2% Sabouraud dextrose agar with chloramphenicol, and the identification was carried out by morphological and biochemical methods. Sixty-six isolates were recovered from tortoises, out of which 27 were C. tropicalis, 27 C. famata, 7 C. albicans, 4 C. guilliermondii and 1 C. intermedia, whereas 12 strains were obtained from sea turtles, which were identified as Candida parapsilosis (n = 4), Candida guilliermondii (n = 4), Candida tropicalis (n = 2), Candida albicans (n = 1) and Candida intermedia (n = 1). The minimum inhibitory concentrations for amphotericin B, itraconazole and fluconazole ranged from 0.03125 to 0.5, 0.03125 to >16 and 0.125 to >64, respectively. Overall, 19 azole-resistant strains (14 C. tropicalis and 5 C. albicans) were found. Thus, this study shows that Testudines carry azole-resistant Candida spp.

  7. Fossorial Origin of the Turtle Shell.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-25

    The turtle shell is a complex structure that currently serves a largely protective function in this iconically slow-moving group [1]. Developmental [2, 3] and fossil [4-7] data indicate that one of the first steps toward the shelled body plan was broadening of the ribs (approximately 50 my before the completed shell [5]). Broadened ribs alone provide little protection [8] and confer significant locomotory [9, 10] and respiratory [9, 11] costs. They increase thoracic rigidity [8], which decreases speed of locomotion due to shortened stride length [10], and they inhibit effective costal ventilation [9, 11]. New fossil material of the oldest hypothesized stem turtle, Eunotosaurus africanus [12] (260 mya) [13, 14] from the Karoo Basin of South Africa, indicates the initiation of rib broadening was an adaptive response to fossoriality. Similar to extant fossorial taxa [8], the broad ribs of Eunotosaurus provide an intrinsically stable base on which to operate a powerful forelimb digging mechanism. Numerous fossorial correlates [15-17] are expressed throughout Eunotosaurus' skeleton. Most of these features are widely distributed along the turtle stem and into the crown clade, indicating the common ancestor of Eunotosaurus and modern turtles possessed a body plan significantly influenced by digging. The adaptations related to fossoriality likely facilitated movement of stem turtles into aquatic environments early in the groups' evolutionary history, and this ecology may have played an important role in stem turtles surviving the Permian/Triassic extinction event. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Turtles and culverts, and alternative energy development: an unreported but potentially significant mortality threat to the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovich, J.E.; Ennen, J.R.; Madrak, S.; Grover, B.

    2011-01-01

    Culverts are often used to increase the permeability of roaded landscapes for wildlife, including turtles. Although the benefits of culverts as safe passages for turtles are well documented, under some conditions culverts can entrap them and cause mortality. Here we report a culvert-related mortality in the federally threatened desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) at a wind energy facility in California and offer simple recommendations to mitigate the negative effects of culverts for wildlife in general.

  9. 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.

  10. Numerical Study of the Mechanical Response of Turtle Shell

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wei Zhang; Chengwei Wu; Chenzhao Zhang; Zhen Chen

    2012-01-01

    The turtle shell is an amazing structure optimized through the long-term evolution by nature.This paper reports the mechanical response of the shell (Red-ear turtle) to static and dynamic loads,respectively.It is found that the turtle shell under a compressive load yields the maximum vertical displacement at the rear end,but the vertical displacement at the front end is only half of that at the rear end.The maximum horizontal displacement of the shell also occurs at the rear end.It is believed that such a deformation pattern is helpful for protecting the turtle's internal organs and its head.The principal stress directions in the inside surface of the shell under a compressive load are almost the same as those of the biofiber distribution in the inside surface,which results in the strong bending resistance of the turtle shell.

  11. Biomechanics of turtle shells: how whole shells fail in compression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magwene, Paul M; Socha, John J

    2013-02-01

    Turtle shells are a form of armor that provides varying degrees of protection against predation. Although this function of the shell as armor is widely appreciated, the mechanical limits of protection and the modes of failure when subjected to breaking stresses have not been well explored. We studied the mechanical properties of whole shells and of isolated bony tissues and sutures in four species of turtles (Trachemys scripta, Malaclemys terrapin, Chrysemys picta, and Terrapene carolina) using a combination of structural and mechanical tests. Structural properties were evaluated by subjecting whole shells to compressive and point loads in order to quantify maximum load, work to failure, and relative shell deformations. The mechanical properties of bone and sutures from the plastral region of the shell were evaluated using three-point bending experiments. Analysis of whole shell structural properties suggests that small shells undergo relatively greater deformations before failure than do large shells and similar amounts of energy are required to induce failure under both point and compressive loads. Location of failures occurred far more often at sulci than at sutures (representing the margins of the epidermal scutes and the underlying bones, respectively), suggesting that the small grooves in the bone created by the sulci introduce zones of weakness in the shell. Values for bending strength, ultimate bending strain, Young's modulus, and energy absorption, calculated from the three-point bending data, indicate that sutures are relatively weaker than the surrounding bone, but are able to absorb similar amounts of energy due to higher ultimate strain values. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagashima, Hiroshi; Shibata, Masahiro; Taniguchi, Mari; Ueno, Shintaro; Kamezaki, Naoki; Sato, Noboru

    2014-07-01

    The turtle shell provides a fascinating model for the investigation of the evolutionary modifications of developmental mechanisms. Different conclusions have been put forth for its development, and it is suggested that one of the causes of the disagreement could be the differences in the species of the turtles used - the differences between hard-shelled turtles and soft-shelled turtles. To elucidate the cause of the difference, we compared the turtle shell development in the two groups of turtle. In the dorsal shell development, these two turtle groups shared the gene expression profile that is required for formation, and shared similar spatial organization of the anatomical elements during development. Thus, both turtles formed the dorsal shell through a folding of the lateral body wall, and the Wnt signaling pathway appears to have been involved in the development. The ventral portion of the shell, on the other hand, contains massive dermal bones. Although expression of HNK-1 epitope has suggested that the trunk neural crest contributed to the dermal bones in the hard-shelled turtles, it was not expressed in the initial anlage of the skeletons in either of the types of turtle. Hence, no evidence was found that would support a neural crest origin. © 2014 Anatomical Society.

  15. Trade in non-native, CITES-listed, wildlife in Asia, as exemplified by the trade in freshwater turtles and tortoises (Chelonidae) in Thailand

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nijman, V.; Shepherd, C.R.

    2007-01-01

    In 1973 the Convention in International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was called to life as to regulate the international wildlife trade, and to prevent species becoming (economically and biologically) extinct. The trade in freshwater turtles and tortoises in Asia is so

  16. Trade in non-native, CITES-listed, wildlife in Asia, as exemplified by the trade in freshwater turtles and tortoises (Chelonidae) in Thailand

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nijman, V.; Shepherd, C.R.

    2007-01-01

    In 1973 the Convention in International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was called to life as to regulate the international wildlife trade, and to prevent species becoming (economically and biologically) extinct. The trade in freshwater turtles and tortoises in Asia is so

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Killingley, John S.; Lutcavage, Molly

    1983-03-01

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

  18. Trade in non-native, CITES-listed, wildlife in Asia, as exemplified by the trade in freshwater turtles and tortoises (Chelonidae) in Thailand

    OpenAIRE

    Nijman, V; Shepherd, C.R.

    2007-01-01

    In 1973 the Convention in International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was called to life as to regulate the international wildlife trade, and to prevent species becoming (economically and biologically) extinct. The trade in freshwater turtles and tortoises in Asia is so huge that it threatens the survival of many species. In 2006 and 2007, during three surveys at Chatuchak market in Bangkok, Thailand, we recorded a significant trade in non-native CITES-listed fre...

  19. Lactate accumulation, glycogen depletion, and shell composition of hatchling turtles during simulated aquatic hibernation.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-07-01

    We submerged hatchling western painted turtles Chrysemys picta Schneider, snapping turtles Chelydra serpentina L. and map turtles Graptemys geographica Le Sueur in normoxic and anoxic water at 3 degrees C. Periodically, turtles were removed and whole-body [lactate] and [glycogen] were measured along with relative shell mass, shell water, and shell ash. We analyzed the shell for [Na+], [K+], total calcium, total magnesium, Pi and total CO2. All three species were able to tolerate long-term submergence in normoxic water without accumulating any lactate, indicating sufficient extrapulmonary O2 extraction to remain aerobic even after 150 days. Survival in anoxic water was 15 days in map turtles, 30 days in snapping turtles, and 40 days in painted turtles. Survival of hatchlings was only about one third the life of their adult conspecifics in anoxic water. Much of the decrease in survival was attributable to a dramatically lower shell-bone content (44% ash in adult painted turtles vs. 3% ash in hatchlings of all three species) and a smaller buffer content of bone (1.3 mmol g(-1) CO2 in adult painted turtles vs. 0.13-0.23 mmol g(-1) CO2 in hatchlings of the three species). The reduced survivability of turtle hatchlings in anoxic water requires that hatchlings either avoid aquatic hibernacula that may become severely hypoxic or anoxic (snapping turtles), or overwinter terrestrially (painted turtles and map turtles).

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. Investigation of shell disease in map turtles (Graptemys spp.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernandez-Divers, Stephen J; Hensel, Patrick; Gladden, Juliet; Hernandez-Divers, Sonia M; Buhlmann, Kurt A; Hagen, Chris; Sanchez, Susan; Latimer, Kenneth S; Ard, Mary; Camus, Alvin C

    2009-07-01

    Nineteen map turtles (Graptemys spp.) maintained under natural conditions were investigated because of chronic shell abnormalities. Animals were evaluated using a novel shell scoring system that divided the 54 scutes into six regions, with each region scored for lesion extent and severity, and summated to produce a total shell disease score (TSDS). Complete blood counts and various biochemistry analytes (total protein, albumin, globulin, urea, uric acid, 25-hydroxycholecalciferol, phosphorus, and ionized and total calcium) were measured. Under ketamine-medetomidine-morphine anesthesia, cytology tape strips and full thickness shell biopsies were collected aseptically for microbiologic, histologic (including scoring of biopsy quality), and ultrastructural evaluations. The TSDSs were low and ranged from 4 to 22 (median = 9) out of a possible score of 54. There were no correlations between TSDS and any hematologic or biochemistry parameter. The histologic quality of shell biopsies was good, and normal shell structure, by both light and electron microscopy, is described. Small clefts and pitting lesions were noted in 8/19 sections. There was no evidence of erosion, ulceration, inflammation, or infectious agents, but algae and diatoms were observed. Six biopsies yielded aerobic isolates (Chryseobacterium indologenes, Aeromonas hydrophila, Ralstonia pickettii, and Morganella morganii), whereas 11 shell samples grew various clostridial anerobes. No fungal organisms were cultured. Although the etiology of the lesions described remains unknown, the use of a scoring system in conjunction with full thickness biopsies is suggested to help standardize investigations into chelonian shell disease in the future.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Comparative shell buffering properties correlate with anoxia tolerance in freshwater turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Donald C; Taylor, Sarah E; Asare, Vivian S; Villarnovo, Dania; Gall, Jonathan M; Reese, Scott A

    2007-02-01

    Freshwater turtles as a group are more resistant to anoxia than other vertebrates, but some species, such as painted turtles, for reasons not fully understood, can remain anoxic at winter temperatures far longer than others. Because buffering of lactic acid by the shell of the painted turtle is crucial to its long-term anoxic survival, we have tested the hypothesis that previously described differences in anoxia tolerance of five species of North American freshwater turtles may be explained at least in part by differences in their shell composition and buffering capacity. All species tested have large mineralized shells. Shell comparisons included 1) total shell CO2 concentration, 2) volume of titrated acid required to hold incubating shell powder at pH 7.0 for 3 h (an indication of buffer release from shell), and 3) lactate concentration of shell samples incubated to equilibrium in a standard lactate solution. For each measurement, the more anoxia-tolerant species (painted turtle, Chrysemys picta; snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina) had higher values than the less anoxia-tolerant species (musk turtle, Sternotherus odoratus; map turtle, Graptemys geographica; red-eared slider, Trachemys scripta). We suggest that greater concentrations of accessible CO2 (as carbonate or bicarbonate) in the more tolerant species enable these species, when acidotic, to release more buffer into the extracellular fluid and to take up more lactic acid into their shells. We conclude that the interspecific differences in shell composition and buffering can contribute to, but cannot explain fully, the variations observed in anoxia tolerance among freshwater turtles.

  7. Morphometrics parallel genetics in a newly discovered and endangered taxon of Galapagos tortoise.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ylenia Chiari

    Full Text Available Galápagos tortoises represent the only surviving lineage of giant tortoises that exhibit two different types of shell morphology. The taxonomy of Galápagos tortoises was initially based mainly on diagnostic morphological characters of the shell, but has been clarified by molecular studies indicating that most islands harbor monophyletic lineages, with the exception of Isabela and Santa Cruz. On Santa Cruz there is strong genetic differentiation between the two tortoise populations (Cerro Fatal and La Reserva exhibiting domed shell morphology. Here we integrate nuclear microsatellite and mitochondrial data with statistical analyses of shell shape morphology to evaluate whether the genetic distinction and variability of the two domed tortoise populations is paralleled by differences in shell shape. Based on our results, morphometric analyses support the genetic distinction of the two populations and also reveal that the level of genetic variation is associated with morphological shell shape variation in both populations. The Cerro Fatal population possesses lower levels of morphological and genetic variation compared to the La Reserva population. Because the turtle shell is a complex heritable trait, our results suggest that, for the Cerro Fatal population, non-neutral loci have probably experienced a parallel decrease in variability as that observed for the genetic data.

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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......, to create three dimensional representations. Dual energy Computed Tomography provided good visual contrast between blood vessels and bony tissue inside the turtle shell due to differences in energy level from the two simultaneously acquired x-ray sources. However, inadequate resolution of the clinical...

  12. Optimization of Method to Extract Collagen from "Emperor" Tissue of Soft-shelled Turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamoto, Tetsushi; Uemura, Kentaro; Sawashi, Yuki; Mitamura, Kuniko; Taga, Atsushi

    2016-01-01

    Soft-shelled turtles (Pelodiscus sinensis) are widely distributed in some Asian countries, and parts of this turtle contain abundant collagen. In this study, we optimized a method for extracting collagen from the soft-shelled turtle. We used three types of solvent and four extraction conditions to determine an effective collagen extraction method, which was extraction at 37°C with acetic acid after hydrochloric acid pretreatment. Next, we extracted collagen from three regions in the soft-shelled turtle: muscle, skin, and an area of soft tissue in the periphery of the turtle shell known in Japan and China as the "emperor." We determined that emperor tissue yielded the highest concentration and purity of collagen. We then optimized the pretreatment method for extraction from emperor tissue by using formic acid instead of hydrochloric acid, and the amount of extracted collagen increased by approximately 1.3-fold. Finally, we identified the optimal solvent out of four types of organic acid for collagen extraction from emperor tissue; the amount of extracted collagen from emperor tissue increased approximately 3-fold when citric acid was used as the extraction solvent instead of acetic acid. Emperor tissue can regenerate; thus, it is possible to obtain collagen from the emperor repeatedly without killing the turtle. Our findings suggest that the emperor tissue of softshelled turtles may be a good source of collagen for pharmaceutical and cosmetic applications.

  13. Laser therapy in a soft-shelled turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis) for the treatment of skin and shell ulceration. A case report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraut, S; Fischer, D; Heuser, W; Lierz, M

    2013-01-01

    Skin and shell diseases in aquatic turtles are often associated with several underlying causes. The presented case report describes aetiology including differential diagnoses, diagnostic procedures and therapy of a soft-shelled turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis) suffering from a septicaemic ulcerative dermatitis. Central aspect hereby is the positive curing effect of laser therapy on skin and shell lesions.

  14. Lead bioaccumulation in emydid turtles of an urban lake and its relationship to shell disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, Brian E; Savitzky, Barbara A; Abdel-Fattah, Tarek

    2010-05-01

    Urban runoff contributes significant amounts of heavy metals into receiving waters in which turtles make up a large portion of the biodiversity. Turtles accumulate heavy metals in their body and shell bone, yet little is known about how it affects their health. Studies in vertebrates have shown bioaccumulation of lead to have several deleterious effects such as immunosuppression, impairment of skeletal calcification and competition with calcium ion uptake. This study surveys the bioaccumulation of lead in emydid turtles of an urban lake and investigates the differences based on species, sex, size and its possible relationship to shell disease. Shell disease was quantified and small sections of shell were collected from each specimen and analyzed for lead content using Graphite Furnace Atomic Adsorption Spectrometry. Significant differences of lead accumulation were found between species, yet not with sex or body size. Linear regression comparison of lead concentration and shell disease showed no positive correlation. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Geographic Distribution of the Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles of Colombia and their Representation in the Protected Area Network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    German Forero-Medina

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Colombia has a remarkable diversity of tortoises and freshwater turtles. However, a considerable portion of these species is threatened, and for others there is not enough information to make an adequate evaluation of their conservation status. This study is a first approximation to the quantitative evaluation of the geographic distribution of Colombia’s non-marine chelonians. Based on records of occurrence for each species, we evaluated the geographic distribution using statistical models (Maxent, hydrological basins, and the extent of occurrence and area of occupancy. Based on the presence data and the models, we studied the representation of each species in National Natural Parks (NNP, which correspond to the most rigorous conservation category of IUCN classification in Colombia, and other types of protected areas such as Private Reserves. We generated distribution models and estimated the area (km2 for 25 out of 27 species in the country. This information will be valuable for updating and evaluating the threat categories at the national level. The areas with the highest species richness correspond to the riverine ecosystems of the Amazon and Orinoco river basins and the Caribbean region, particularly the western Caribbean. This region is a top priority not only because of its richness butalso because of the presence of endemics and its high levelof threat. Only 56 % of the species have confirmed recordswithin National Parks. A greater portion could be present in these areas according to the statistical models, but only ten of those species would have more than 10 % of their ranges within a park’s boundary. Although the resulting models have certain limitations due to the nature of the data and analyses, they can be a starting point for research on the occurrence of turtles in NNP. Endemic species are poorly represented in protected areas, both in NNP and in other categories. Thus, protected areas that can assure the persistence of their

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

    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...

  19. Multi-scale hierarchy of Chelydra serpentina: microstructure and mechanical properties of turtle shell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balani, Kantesh; Patel, Riken R; Keshri, Anup K; Lahiri, Debrupa; Agarwal, Arvind

    2011-10-01

    Carapace, the protective shell of a freshwater snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina, shields them from ferocious attacks of their predators while maintaining light-weight and agility for a swim. The microstructure and mechanical properties of the turtle shell are very appealing to materials scientists and engineers for bio-mimicking, to obtain a multi-functional surface. In this study, we have elucidated the complex microstructure of a dry Chelydra serpentina's shell which is very similar to a multi-layered composite structure. The microstructure of a turtle shell's carapace elicits a sandwich structure of waxy top surface with a harder sub-surface layer serving as a shielding structure, followed by a lamellar carbonaceous layer serving as shock absorber, and the inner porous matrix serves as a load-bearing scaffold while acting as reservoir of retaining water and nutrients. The mechanical properties (elastic modulus and hardness) of various layers obtained via nanoindentation corroborate well with the functionality of each layer. Elastic modulus ranged between 0.47 and 22.15 GPa whereas hardness varied between 53.7 and 522.2 MPa depending on the microstructure of the carapace layer. Consequently, the modulus of each layer was represented into object oriented finite element (OOF2) modeling towards extracting the overall effective modulus of elasticity (~4.75 GPa) of a turtle's carapace. Stress distribution of complex layered structure was elicited with an applied strain of 1% in order to understand the load sharing of various composite layers in the turtle's carapace.

  20. Arsenic Species in Scute (Shell Plate) and Lung Tissues of Desert Tortoises

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, A. L.; Berry, K.; Jacobson, E. R.; Rytuba, J. J.

    2009-12-01

    The desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) is federally listed as a threatened species, and its numbers have been in decline for at least two decades. Portions of protected desert tortoise habitats coincide with anthropogenic features such as historic mines and military bases that are potential sources of ingested or inhaled arsenic. Previous studies of necropsied desert tortoise specimens collected from the Mojave Desert have shown a statistically significant link between elevated tissue levels of arsenic (As) and the occurrence of clinical disease states. Synchrotron-based, microbeam X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy (XAFS) and X-ray fluorescence mapping (XRF) were the primary techniques used to identify As species in these tissues. Specimens have been analyzed from a mining-impacted area (Kelly-Rand Mining district, Kern County), and from sites on or adjacent to military bases (National Training Center, Ft Irwin, and Edwards AFB). XRF maps showed that scute sections sliced perpendicular to the exposed surface contain one or more diffuse bands of As(III) coordinated by oxygen instead of sulfur. This As(III) species is identical in all individuals, suggesting that it represents metabolized As. In contrast, the exterior surface and edges of scute sections contained As-rich particles of varying oxidation state and species, suggesting an exogenous origin. Particles contained reduced As in sulfides (Cu sulfide or arsenide) and As(V) in ferric sulfates and/or ferric arsenates. XAFS spectra of many As(V)-rich particles were close visual matches to spectra of known arsenic-bearing minerals or phases such as scorodite, jarosite, and arsenic adsorbed to iron (hydr)oxides. At least one, and more commonly 3-5 exogeneous As-rich particles were found in the formalin-preserved lung tissue sections examined, suggesting that such particles were relatively common. Pentavalent As was observed in forms similar to those encountered on scute sections. As(III) was observed in

  1. KRAR: Nineteenth century turtle-shell masks from Mabuyag collected by Samuel McFarlane

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Philp, Jude

    2015-01-01

    .... The majority of items were krar, turtle-shell masks. This paper uses archival resources to present the circumstances of the transactions between McFarlane and European museums which purchased the krar from him in the late nineteenth century to answer...

  2. Prevalence and histopathology of shell disease in turtles from Lake Blackshear, Georgia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovich, J.E.; Gotte, S.W.; Ernst, C.H.; Harshbarger, J.; Laemmerzahl, A.F.

    1996-01-01

    Turtles in Lake Blackshear, Crisp County, Georgia (USA) were evaluated for shell disease during intensive trapping efforts on 8 and 9 May 1990. The disease was most prevalent in Pseudemys concinna (74%) and Trachemys scripta (35%). The degree of necrosis on the carapace was significantly positively correlated with the degree of necrosis on the plastron in T. scripta (rs = 0.50), but not in P. concinna (rs=0.06). Female T. scripta with lesions were significantly larger than females without lesions. Lesions were not detected on six other species of turtles. Some areas contained multicarinate osteoclasts that were destroying bone. No tumors were detected in soft tissue samples.

  3. Gravitational force as a determinant of turtle-shell growth and shape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wunder, C. C.; Dodge, C. H.; Walkup, G. A.; Clark, M. E.; Rice, J. O.; Edwards, M. T.

    1974-01-01

    Chronic low-gravity simulation (pedestal support, suspension by wires or foam, and/or clinostat tumbling) of 11 aquatic red-eared sliders, Pseudemys scripta elegans, and of nine box turtles, Terrapine carolina, resulted in continued but slower linear carapace growth. Decreased shell height was accompanied by drastic plastron infolding. Chronic centrifugation (1.4, 1.8, 2.8, 5, or 8.1 g) of 81 box turtles caused an eventual decrease (12% per g) in linear growth rate. No consistent decrease occurred with aquatic turtles centrifuged at below 6 g. Maximum growth of length and roundness appears near 5 g for aquatic environments and near 1 g in land environments. Present results suggest that some gravity is necessary for normal bone growth.

  4. Comparative Genomics Identifies Epidermal Proteins Associated with the Evolution of the Turtle Shell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holthaus, Karin Brigit; Strasser, Bettina; Sipos, Wolfgang; Schmidt, Heiko A; Mlitz, Veronika; Sukseree, Supawadee; Weissenbacher, Anton; Tschachler, Erwin; Alibardi, Lorenzo; Eckhart, Leopold

    2016-03-01

    The evolution of reptiles, birds, and mammals was associated with the origin of unique integumentary structures. Studies on lizards, chicken, and humans have suggested that the evolution of major structural proteins of the outermost, cornified layers of the epidermis was driven by the diversification of a gene cluster called Epidermal Differentiation Complex (EDC). Turtles have evolved unique defense mechanisms that depend on mechanically resilient modifications of the epidermis. To investigate whether the evolution of the integument in these reptiles was associated with specific adaptations of the sequences and expression patterns of EDC-related genes, we utilized newly available genome sequences to determine the epidermal differentiation gene complement of turtles. The EDC of the western painted turtle (Chrysemys picta bellii) comprises more than 100 genes, including at least 48 genes that encode proteins referred to as beta-keratins or corneous beta-proteins. Several EDC proteins have evolved cysteine/proline contents beyond 50% of total amino acid residues. Comparative genomics suggests that distinct subfamilies of EDC genes have been expanded and partly translocated to loci outside of the EDC in turtles. Gene expression analysis in the European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis) showed that EDC genes are differentially expressed in the skin of the various body sites and that a subset of beta-keratin genes within the EDC as well as those located outside of the EDC are expressed predominantly in the shell. Our findings give strong support to the hypothesis that the evolutionary innovation of the turtle shell involved specific molecular adaptations of epidermal differentiation. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  5. Molecular phylogenetics of emydine turtles: taxonomic revision and the evolution of shell kinesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feldman, Chris R; Parham, James Ford

    2002-03-01

    The 10 extant species of emydine turtles represent an array of morphological and ecological forms recognizable and popular among scientists and hobbyists. Nevertheless, the phylogenetic affinities of most emydines remain contentious. Here, we examine the evolutionary relationships of emydine turtles using 2092 bp of DNA encoding the mitochondrial genes cyt b, ND4, and adjacent tRNAs. These data contain 339 parsimony informative characters that we use to erect hypotheses of relationships for the Emydinae. Both maximum parsimony and maximum likelihood methods yield a monophyletic Emydinae in which all but three nodes are well resolved. Emys orbicularis, Emydoidea blandingii, and Clemmys marmorata form a monophyletic clade, as do the species of Terrapene. Clemmys muhlenbergii and Clemmys insculpta form a third monophyletic group that may be sister to all other emydines. Clemmys guttata is problematic and probably related to Terrapene. Based on this phylogeny, and previous molecular work on the group, we suggest the following taxonomic revisions: (1) Clemmys should be restricted to a single species, C. guttata. (2) Calemys should be resurrected for C. muhlenbergii and C. insculpta. (3) Emys should be expanded to include three species: E. orbicularis, E. blandingii, and E. marmorata. Furthermore, our analyses show that neither kinetic-shelled nor akinetic-shelled emydines form monophyletic groups. Therefore, shell kinesis was either independently gained in Emys and Terrapene or secondarily lost in E. marmorata and C. guttata. Parsimony, paleontological evidence, and the multiple origins of shell kinesis in related turtle lineages (especially geoemydines) support the independent origin of plastral kinesis.

  6. 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

    2017-06-06

    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.

  7. [Determination of underivatized glycine and proline in vinegar turtle shell by HPLC-ELSD].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xinyu; Tan, Xiaomei; Gao, Mingze; Peng, Jinlong

    2011-08-01

    To establish a method to determine the underivatized glycine (Gly) and proline (Pro) in vinegar turtle shell. An HPLC-ELSD method was conducted on a Prevail C18 column (4.6 mm x 250 mm, 5 microm) with the mobile phase of acetonitrile and 0.7% trifluoroacetic acid solution (containing 5.0 mmol x L(-1) heptafluorobutyric acid), and elution time was 15 min. The calibration curves were showed good linearity within the concentration range of 0.14-0.6 g x L(-1). The average recoveries were 101.2% and 102.5%, and RSD were 1.9% and 2.5%, respectively. Since this method needs neither the special amino acid analyzer nor derivation of amino acid., it is efficient, simple and accurate., which could be used for quality control of vinegar turtle shell.

  8. Use of Chlorella for the Treatment of the Soft-shelled Turtle Processing Wastewater

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yong-jun Zhang

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The capability of Chlorella vulgaris to remove nitrogen in the form of ammonium ions from the soft-shelled turtle processing wastewater in a local agricultural products limited company (in Hangzhou, China was studied. The soft-shelled turtle processing wastewater was found to include high concentrations of nitrogen (107.63±4.84 mg/L in the form of ammonium (NH4+ with the small amounts of nitrite (0.32±0.04 mg/L on annual average at pH 6.7 and to be suitable for growing Chlorella vulgaris. When Chlorella vulgaris was cultivated in a batch mode, a majority of the nitrogen concentration was dramatically removed after a lag-phase period. The total biomass weight gained during the entire cultivation period balanced out well with the nitrogen removed from the culture medium. These results indicate that Chlorella vulgaris has potential to remove nitrogen (i.e., ammonium ion and nitrite at a reasonable uptake rate from wastewater while being cultivated using the soft-shelled turtle processing wastewater.

  9. Morphological and mechanical changes in juvenile red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans) shells during ontogeny.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fish, Jennifer F; Stayton, Charles T

    2014-04-01

    Turtles experience numerous modifications in the morphological, physiological, and mechanical characteristics of their shells through ontogeny. Although a general picture is available of the nature of these modifications, few quantitative studies have been conducted on changes in turtle shell shape through ontogeny, and none on changes in strength or rigidity. This study investigates the morphological and mechanical changes that juvenile Trachemys scripta elegans undergo as they increase in size. Morphology and shell rigidity were quantified in a sample of 36 alcohol-preserved juvenile Trachemys scripta elegans. Morphometric information was used to create finite element models of all specimens. These models were used to assess the mechanical behavior of the shells under various loading conditions. Overall, we find that turtles experience complementary changes in size, shape, deformability, and relative strength as they grow. As turtles age their shells become larger, more elongate, relatively flatter, and more rigid. These changes are associated with decreases in relative (size independent) strength, even though the shells of larger turtles are stronger in an absolute sense. Decreased deformability is primarily due to changes in the size of the animals. Residual variation in deformability cannot be explained by changes in shell shape. This variation is more likely due to changes in the degree of connectedness of the skeletal elements in the turtle's shells, along with changes in the thickness and degree of mineralization of shell bone. We suggest that the mechanical implications of shell size, shape, and deformability may have a large impact on survivorship and development in members of this species as they mature. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Biomechanics on the half shell: functional performance influences patterns of morphological variation in the emydid turtle carapace.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stayton, C Tristan

    2011-09-01

    This study uses the carapace of emydid turtles to address hypothesized differences between terrestrial and aquatic species. Geometric morphometrics are used to quantify shell shape, and performance is estimated for two shell functions: shell strength and hydrodynamics. Aquatic turtle shells differ in shape from terrestrial turtle shells and are characterized by lower frontal areas and presumably lower drag. Terrestrial turtle shells are stronger than those of aquatic turtles; many-to-one mapping of morphology to function does not entirely mitigate a functional trade-off between mechanical strength and hydrodynamic performance. Furthermore, areas of morphospace characterized by exceptionally poor performance in either of the functions are not occupied by any emydid species. Though aquatic and terrestrial species show no significant differences in the rate of morphological evolution, aquatic species show a higher lineage density, indicative of a greater amount of convergence in their evolutionary history. The techniques employed in this study, including the modeling of theoretical shapes to assess performance in unoccupied areas of morphospace, suggest a framework for future studies of morphological variation. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  11. Enzyme polymorphism in Indian freshwater soft shell turtle Lissemys punctata

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Singh Rohilla

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Genetic diversity among four geographically isolated populations of an Indian freshwater turtle, Lissemys punctata, was studied using seven metabolically important isozyme/allozymes as genetic markers. A total of twenty-three alleles at fourteen protein-coding loci were identified, six of these loci were monomorphic and the remaining eight were polymorphic. The result suggests that the geographic populations of L. punctata sampled can be characterized by a total genetic diversity of 0.180 (mean HT with an average of 1.64 alleles per locus. The average proportion of polymorphic loci per population was estimated to be 1.75. The UPGMA tree of genetic relationship indicated significant differentiation among populations. The results also showed that the geographical and genetic distances are not correlated in these populations of L. punctata.

  12. Case Report:White-spot disease of Chinese soft-shelled turtles (Trionyx sinens) caused by Paecilomyces lilacinus

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiao-liang LI; Chu-long ZHANG; Wei-huan FANG; Fu-cheng LIN

    2008-01-01

    Chinese soft-shelled turtles (Trionyx sinens) in culture farms using an artificial warming system in Zhejiang, China,often show typical signs of white-spot disease such as white spots on their bodies, skin lesions, anorexia and eventually death. The sick turtles were mostly 5~80 g in weight. A suspected fungai pathogen was isolated from the sick turtles and verified as Pae-cilomyces lilacinus by sequence analysis of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) of its ribosomal DNA (rDNA). Detailed mor-phological examinations were also conducted to confirm the white-spot disease.

  13. Anatomical, radiographical and computed tomographic study of the limbs skeleton of the Euphrates soft shell turtle (Rafetus euphraticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asadi Ahranjani, Behnaz; Shojaei, Bahador; Tootian, Zahra; Masoudifard, Madjid; Rostami, Amir

    2016-01-01

    Euphrates turtle is the only soft shell turtle of Iran, and unfortunately is in danger of extinction due to multiple reasons. Imaging techniques, in addition to their importance in diagnosis of injuries to animals, have been used as non-invasive methods to provide normal anatomic views. A few studies have been conducted to understand body structure of the Euphrates turtle. Since there is only general information about the anatomy of turtle limbs, the normal skeleton of the Euphrates limbs was studied. For this purpose four adult Euphrates turtles were used. Digital radiographic examination was performed by computed radiographic (CR) in dorsoventral (DV) and lateral (L) positions. Spiral CT-scanning was done and 3D images of the bones were reconstructed for anatomical evaluation. For skeletal preparation, the skeleton was cleaned by a combination of boiling and mealworm methods and limbs' bones were examined anatomically. In the present study, simultaneous anatomic, radiographic and CT studies of bones in individual turtles made us possible to describe bones anatomically and provided comparable and complementary conditions to represent the abilities of the radiography and CT for better understanding of the anatomy. Arrangement and the number of carpal and tarsal bones are used in turtles' classification. Among the studied species, Euphrates turtle carpal and tarsal bones show the most similarities to the Apolone spinifera.

  14. The Agassiz’s desert tortoise genome provides a resource for the conservation of a threatened species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tollis, Marc; DeNardo, Dale F.; Cornelius, John A.; Dolby, Greer A.; Edwards, Taylor; Henen, Brian T.; Karl, Alice E.; Murphy, Robert W.

    2017-01-01

    Agassiz’s desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) is a long-lived species native to the Mojave Desert and is listed as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act. To aid conservation efforts for preserving the genetic diversity of this species, we generated a whole genome reference sequence with an annotation based on deep transcriptome sequences of adult skeletal muscle, lung, brain, and blood. The draft genome assembly for G. agassizii has a scaffold N50 length of 252 kbp and a total length of 2.4 Gbp. Genome annotation reveals 20,172 protein-coding genes in the G. agassizii assembly, and that gene structure is more similar to chicken than other turtles. We provide a series of comparative analyses demonstrating (1) that turtles are among the slowest-evolving genome-enabled reptiles, (2) amino acid changes in genes controlling desert tortoise traits such as shell development, longevity and osmoregulation, and (3) fixed variants across the Gopherus species complex in genes related to desert adaptations, including circadian rhythm and innate immune response. This G. agassizii genome reference and annotation is the first such resource for any tortoise, and will serve as a foundation for future analysis of the genetic basis of adaptations to the desert environment, allow for investigation into genomic factors affecting tortoise health, disease and longevity, and serve as a valuable resource for additional studies in this species complex. PMID:28562605

  15. 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 ].

  16. Residual yolk energetics and postnatal shell growth in Smooth Softshell Turtles, Apalone mutica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Dyke, James U; Plummer, Michael V; Beaupre, Steven J

    2011-01-01

    We examined functions of residual yolk (RY) in hatchling Smooth Softshell Turtles (Apalone mutica). Removal of RY did not affect survival, shell growth, or resting metabolic rates of turtles for 40 d after hatching. Our estimates of metabolic rate suggest that RY can fuel maintenance and activity metabolism for approximately 25 days. A. mutica absorb more than 1g of water in the first 2 weeks of life, which appears to be the basis of post-hatch shell expansion rather than yolk-provisioned growth. Post-hatch growth may be limited by the magnitude of RY remaining at hatching, but RY protein and lipid proportions do not differ from those of freshly-laid eggs. In addition, A. mutica did not use RY to fuel nest emergence. Our results suggest that RY does not fulfill several hypothetical functions in A. mutica, including postnatal growth, catabolic fuel for nest emergence, and long-term nutritional sustenance for maintenance, activity, or hibernation. Instead, A. mutica appear to absorb most yolk prior to hatching, and are left with a minimum of RY. Variation in RY mass with incubation regime in other species suggests that mothers may overprovision their eggs to ensure successful development across a diversity of possible incubation conditions. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Unusual shell anatomy and osteohistology in a new Late Cretaceous panchelid turtle from northwestern Patagonia, Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo S. De La Fuente

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Rionegrochelys caldieroi de la Fuente, Maniel, and Jannello gen. et sp. nov. is a Late Cretaceous turtle from Rio Negro Province, Argentina. The holotype and the referred specimens of this new species show an unusual shell morphology and microanatomy. The proportion between the carapace and plastron and the peculiar morphology of the shell such as the heart shaped carapace, a very deep nuchal notch, peripheral bones 2–11 with strongly gutter, the first vertebral scute twice as wide as long and subrectangular in shape, the posterior margin of vertebral scute 5 is three lobe shaped, and the unexpected osteohistology characterized by a massive structure, with higher compactness (80.6% than other chelids, suggests beyond doubt that this turtle may be considered a new taxon. A semi-aquatic habitat with tendency towards terrestrial environments is inferred for Rionegrochelys caldieroi similar to that of the extant pelomedusid Pelomedusa subrufa among the extant pleurodires. Rionegrochelys caldieroi is recovered as a stem chelid. This new species seems to be closely related to Bonapartemys bajobarrealis and the clade formed by Lomalatachelys neuquina plus Mendozachelys wichmanni.

  18. The evolutionary origin of the turtle shell and its dependence on the axial arrest of the embryonic rib cage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirasawa, Tatsuya; Pascual-Anaya, Juan; Kamezaki, Naoki; Taniguchi, Mari; Mine, Kanako; Kuratani, Shigeru

    2015-05-01

    Turtles are characterized by their possession of a shell with dorsal and ventral moieties: the carapace and the plastron, respectively. In this review, we try to provide answers to the question of the evolutionary origin of the carapace, by revising morphological, developmental, and paleontological comparative analyses. The turtle carapace is formed through modification of the thoracic ribs and vertebrae, which undergo extensive ossification to form a solid bony structure. Except for peripheral dermal elements, there are no signs of exoskeletal components ontogenetically added to the costal and neural bones, and thus the carapace is predominantly of endoskeletal nature. Due to the axial arrest of turtle rib growth, the axial part of the embryo expands laterally and the shoulder girdle becomes encapsulated in the rib cage, together with the inward folding of the lateral body wall in the late phase of embryogenesis. Along the line of this folding develops a ridge called the carapacial ridge (CR), a turtle-specific embryonic structure. The CR functions in the marginal growth of the carapacial primordium, in which Wnt signaling pathway might play a crucial role. Both paleontological and genomic evidence suggest that the axial arrest is the first step toward acquisition of the turtle body plan, which is estimated to have taken place after the divergence of a clade including turtles from archosaurs. The developmental relationship between the CR and the axial arrest remains a central issue to be solved in future. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Evolutionary developmental perspective for the origin of turtles: the folding theory for the shell based on the developmental nature of the carapacial ridge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuratani, Shigeru; Kuraku, Shigehiro; Nagashima, Hiroshi

    2011-01-01

    The body plan of the turtle represents an example of evolutionary novelty for acquisition of the shell. Unlike similar armors in other vertebrate groups, the turtle shell involves the developmental repatterning of the axial skeleton and exhibits an unusual topography of musculoskeletal elements. Thus, the turtle provides an ideal case study for understanding changes in the developmental program associated with the morphological evolution of vertebrates. In this article, the evolution of the turtle-specific body plan is reviewed and discussed. The key to understanding shell patterning lies in the modification of the ribs, for which the carapacial ridge (CR), a turtle-specific embryonic anlage, is assumed to be responsible. The growth of the ribs is arrested in the axial part of the body, allowing dorsal and lateral oriented growth to encapsulate the scapula. Although the CR does not appear to induce this axial arrest per se, it has been shown to support the fan-shaped patterning of the ribs, which occurs concomitant with marginal growth of the carapace along the line of the turtle-specific folding that takes place in the lateral body wall. During the process of the folding, some trunk muscles maintain their ancestral connectivities, whereas the limb muscles establish new attachments specific to the turtle. The turtle body plan can thus be explained with our knowledge of vertebrate anatomy and developmental biology, consistent with the evolutionary origin of the turtle suggested by the recently discovered fossil species, Odontochelys. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Sperm storage and spermatozoa interaction with epithelial cells in oviduct of Chinese soft-shelled turtle, Pelodiscus sinensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Shaofan; Zhang, Linli; Le, Yuan; Waqas, Yasir; Chen, Wei; Zhang, Qian; Ullah, Shakeeb; Liu, Tengfei; Hu, Lisi; Li, Quanfu; Yang, Ping

    2015-08-01

    Spermatozoa are known to be stored within the female genital tract after mating in various species to optimize timing of reproductive events such as copulation, fertilization, and ovulation. The mechanism supporting long-term sperm storage is still unclear in turtles. The aim of this study was to investigate the interaction between the spermatozoa and oviduct in Chinese soft-shelled turtle by light and electron microscopy to reveal the potential cytological mechanism of long-term sperm storage. Spermatozoa were stored in isthmus, uterine, and vagina of the oviduct throughout the year, indicating long-term sperm storage in vivo. Sperm heads were always embedded among the cilia and even intercalated into the apical hollowness of the ciliated cells in the oviduct mucosal epithelium. The stored spermatozoa could also gather in the gland conduit. There was no lysosome distribution around the hollowness of the ciliated cell, suggesting that the ciliated cells of the oviduct can support the spermatozoa instead of phagocytosing them in the oviduct. Immune cells were sparse in the epithelium and lamina propria of oviduct, although few were found inside the blood vessel of mucosa, which may be an indication of immune tolerance during sperm storage in the oviduct of the soft-shelled turtle. These characteristics developed in the turtle benefited spermatozoa survival for a long time as extraneous cells in the oviduct of this species. These findings would help to improve the understanding of reproductive regularity and develop strategies of species conservation in the turtle. The Chinese soft-shelled turtle may be a potential model for uncovering the mechanism behind the sperm storage phenomenon.

  1. Conserved and divergent expression patterns of markers of axial development in reptilian embryos: Chinese soft-shell turtle and Madagascar ground gecko

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Yoshida, Michio; Kajikawa, Eriko; Kurokawa, Daisuke; Noro, Miyuki; Iwai, Tatsuhiro; Yonemura, Shigenobu; Kobayashi, Kensaku; Kiyonari, Hiroshi; Aizawa, Shinichi

    2016-01-01

    ... between mouse and chick embryos. To assess the conservation and divergence of these mechanisms, this study examined gene expression patterns during the axis formation process in Chinese soft-shell turtle and Madagascar ground gecko...

  2. Anti-hepatic fibrosis effects of a novel turtle shell decoction by inhibiting hepatic stellate cell proliferation and blocking TGF-β1/Smad signaling pathway in rats

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Bai, Ganping; Yan, Guohe; Wang, Guojian; Wan, Ping; Zhang, Ronghua

    2016-01-01

    .... Turtle shell pill (TSP) is a common traditional Chinese medicine used for preventing and treating HF and early hepatic cirrhosis, but its side-effects and the shortage of ingredients limit its clinical application...

  3. Dietary Probiotics Affect Gastrointestinal Microbiota, Histological Structure and Shell Mineralization in Turtles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mateusz Rawski

    Full Text Available Probiotics are widely used in nutrition, and their mode of action is intensively studied in mammals and birds; however, it is almost unknown in reptiles. In the present study, Trachemys scripta scripta and Sternotherus odoratus were used to assess the effects of dietary probiotics on chelonian gastrointestinal tract microecology. In the first, 20-week experiment, 40 young T. s. scripta were randomly distributed to four experimental groups: 1st, (CON--with no additives; 2nd, (SSPA with Bacillus subtilis PB6; 3rd, (MSP--with multiple strain probiotic; and 4th, (SSPB with Bacillus subtilis C-3102. The first study has shown that SSPA and MSP decreased the numbers of total bacteria, Enterobacteriace, Staphylococcus sp. and Streptococcus sp. excreted to water and increased the villous height and mucosa thickness in duodenum. SSPB improved the duodenal microstructure; however, it also increased numbers of kanamycin and vancomycin resistant bacteria, Staphylococcus sp. and Streptococcus sp., in water. In the second, 52-week experiment, 30 S. odoratus were randomly assigned to three dietary treatments. CON, SSPA and MSP groups. The MSP preparation increased the body weight gain, crude ash, Ca and P share in the turtles' shells. Both probiotics affected duodenal histomorphology. SSPA decreased the villous height, while MSP increased the villous height and mucosa thickness, and decreased the crypt depth. SSPA decreased the concentrations of bacteria excreted to water. In the case of intestinal microbiota, bacteria suppressing effects were observed in the case of both probiotics. MSP increased the number of Bifidobacterium sp. and Lactobacillus sp./Enteroccoccus sp., and decreased the number of Clostridium perfringens and Campylobacter sp. in the small intestine. In the large intestine it lowered, amongst others, Bacteroides-Pervotella cluster, Clostridium leptum subgroup and Clostridium perfringens numbers. The above-mentioned results suggest that

  4. Dietary Probiotics Affect Gastrointestinal Microbiota, Histological Structure and Shell Mineralization in Turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rawski, Mateusz; Kierończyk, Bartosz; Długosz, Jakub; Świątkiewicz, Sylwester; Józefiak, Damian

    2016-01-01

    Probiotics are widely used in nutrition, and their mode of action is intensively studied in mammals and birds; however, it is almost unknown in reptiles. In the present study, Trachemys scripta scripta and Sternotherus odoratus were used to assess the effects of dietary probiotics on chelonian gastrointestinal tract microecology. In the first, 20-week experiment, 40 young T. s. scripta were randomly distributed to four experimental groups: 1st, (CON)--with no additives; 2nd, (SSPA) with Bacillus subtilis PB6; 3rd, (MSP)--with multiple strain probiotic; and 4th, (SSPB) with Bacillus subtilis C-3102. The first study has shown that SSPA and MSP decreased the numbers of total bacteria, Enterobacteriace, Staphylococcus sp. and Streptococcus sp. excreted to water and increased the villous height and mucosa thickness in duodenum. SSPB improved the duodenal microstructure; however, it also increased numbers of kanamycin and vancomycin resistant bacteria, Staphylococcus sp. and Streptococcus sp., in water. In the second, 52-week experiment, 30 S. odoratus were randomly assigned to three dietary treatments. CON, SSPA and MSP groups. The MSP preparation increased the body weight gain, crude ash, Ca and P share in the turtles' shells. Both probiotics affected duodenal histomorphology. SSPA decreased the villous height, while MSP increased the villous height and mucosa thickness, and decreased the crypt depth. SSPA decreased the concentrations of bacteria excreted to water. In the case of intestinal microbiota, bacteria suppressing effects were observed in the case of both probiotics. MSP increased the number of Bifidobacterium sp. and Lactobacillus sp./Enteroccoccus sp., and decreased the number of Clostridium perfringens and Campylobacter sp. in the small intestine. In the large intestine it lowered, amongst others, Bacteroides-Pervotella cluster, Clostridium leptum subgroup and Clostridium perfringens numbers. The above-mentioned results suggest that probiotics are useful in

  5. Characterization and functional analysis of toll-like receptor 4 in Chinese soft-shelled turtle Pelodiscus sinensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Yingshan; Liang, Quan; Li, Weifen; Gu, Yuanxing; Liao, Xun; Fang, Weihuan; Li, Xiaoliang

    2016-10-01

    Mammalian Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) recognizes lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in initiating the innate immune responses. Early studies indicate that turtles are more resistant to LPS challenge than mammals. It remains unknown if turtles express TLR4 and why they are more resistant to LPS. In this study, TLR4 gene from Chinese soft-shelled turtle, Pelodiscus sinensis, was cloned and characterized. The full length cDNA of turtle TLR4 (tTLR4) consists of 3396 base pairs with an 2499-bp open reading frame, encoding 833 amino acids. Phylogenetic and syntenic analyses suggest that tTLR4 is to be orthologous to human TLR4. Its mRNA expression was up-regulated in spleen and blood of turtles upon Aeromonas hydrophila infection. Stimulation of turtle peripheral blood monocytes with LPS significantly upregulated tTLR4 mRNA and inflammation-related gene expression, such as Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). In tTLR4-expressing HEK293 cells, higher concentration of LPS exposure could enhance the activity of the NF-κB promoter, but not the INF-β promoter. Such activity required co-expression of turtle myeloid differentiation factor 2 (tMD2) and cluster of differentiation 14 (tCD14). These results provide evidence for a functional TLR4 in reptiles and, together with the syntenic analysis, support the idea that the TLR4 receptor for LPS recognition may have arisen after reptiles.

  6. The ontogeny of the shell in side-necked turtles, with emphasis on the homologies of costal and neural bones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheyer, Torsten M; Brüllmann, Benjamin; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R

    2008-08-01

    Although we are starting to understand the molecular basis of shell development based on the study of cryptodires, basic comparative ontogenetic data for the other major clade of living turtle, the pleurodires, are largely missing. Herein, the developmental and phylogenetic relation between the bony shell and endoskeleton of Pleurodira are examined by studying histological serial sections of nine specimens of three different species, including an ontogenetic series of Emydura subglobosa. Emphasis is given to the portion of the carapace in which ribs and vertebral spinous processes become part of the carapace. Central questions are how neurals and costals are formed in pleurodiran turtles, whether costals and neurals are of endoskeletal or exoskeletal origin, and what ontogenetic factors relate to neural reduction of some Pleurodira. The neurals and costals do not develop as independent ossification centers, but they are initial outgrowths of the periosteal collar of endoskeletal ribs and neural arches. Slightly later in development, the ossification of both shell elements continues without a distinct periosteum but by metaplastically ossifying precondensed soft-tissue integumentary structures. Through ontogeny, ribs of the turtles studied are closely associated with the hypaxial intercostalis musculature while epaxial interspinalis musculature connects the neural arches. We here propose an alternative structural hypothesis for the neural reduction and, ultimately, the complete loss of the neural series. The complete reduction of neurals in Emydura spp. may be linked to heterochrony, accompanied by a restricted influence of epaxial musculature and epidermal-dermal interaction in shell bone formation. (c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  7. Surface protection in bio-shields via a functional soft skin layer: Lessons from the turtle shell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shelef, Yaniv; Bar-On, Benny

    2017-01-12

    The turtle shell is a functional bio-shielding element, which has evolved naturally to provide protection against predator attacks that involve biting and clawing. The near-surface architecture of the turtle shell includes a soft bi-layer skin coating - rather than a hard exterior - which functions as a first line of defense against surface damage. This architecture represents a novel type of bio-shielding configuration, namely, an inverse structural-mechanical design, rather than the hard-coated bio-shielding elements identified so far. In the current study, we used experimentally based structural modeling and FE simulations to analyze the mechanical significance of this unconventional protection architecture in terms of resistance to surface damage upon extensive indentations. We found that the functional bi-layer skin of the turtle shell, which provides graded (soft-softer-hard) mechanical characteristics to the bio-shield exterior, serves as a bumper-buffer mechanism. This material-level adaptation protects the inner core from the highly localized indentation loads via stress delocalization and extensive near-surface plasticity. The newly revealed functional bi-layer coating architecture can potentially be adapted, using synthetic materials, to considerably enhance the surface load-bearing capabilities of various engineering configurations.

  8. De-novo characterization of the soft-shelled turtle Pelodiscus sinensis transcriptome using Illumina RNA-Seq technology

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wei WANG; Cai-yan LI; Chu-tian GE; Lei LEI; You-ling GAO; Guo-ying QIAN

    2013-01-01

    The soft-shelled turtle Pelodiscus sinensis is a high-profile turtle species because of its nutritional and medicinal value in Asian countries.However,little is known about the genes that are involved in formation of their nutritional quality traits,especially the molecular mechanisms responsible for unsaturated fatty acid and collagen biosynthesis.In the present study,the transcriptomes from six tissues from Pelodiscus sinensis were sequenced using an Illumina paired-end sequencing platform.We obtained more than 47 million sequencing reads and 73954 unigenes with an average size of 754 bp by de-novo assembly.In total,55.19% of the unigenes (40 814) had significant similarity with proteins in the National Center of Biotechnology Information (NCBI) non-redundant protein database and Swiss-Prot database (E-value <10-5).Of these annotated unigenes,9156 and 11 947 unigenes were assigned to 52 gene ontology categories (GO) and 25 clusters of orthologous groups (COG),respectively.In total,26496 (35.83%)unigenes were assigned to 242 pathways using the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway database (KEGG).In addition,we found a number of highly expressed genes involved in the regulation of P.sinensis unsaturated fatty acid biosynthesis and collagen formation,including desaturases,growth factors,transcription factors,and extracellular matrix components.Our data represent the most comprehensive sequence resource available for the Chinese soft-shelled turtle and could provide a basis for new research on this turtle as well as the molecular genetics and functional genomics of other terrapins.To our knowledge,we report for the first time,the large-scale RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) of terrapin animals and would enrich the knowledge of turtles for future research.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements....62 Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements. (a) Definition. As used in this section the term “turtles” includes all animals commonly known as turtles, tortoises, terrapins, and all other animals...

  10. Variation in osteocytes morphology vs bone type in turtle shell and their exceptional preservation from the Jurassic to the present.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cadena, Edwin A; Schweitzer, Mary H

    2012-09-01

    Here we describe variations in osteocytes derived from each of the three bone layers that comprise the turtle shell. We examine osteocytes in bone from four extant turtle species to form a morphological 'baseline', and then compare these with morphologies of osteocytes preserved in Cenozoic and Mesozoic fossils. Two different morphotypes of osteocytes are recognized: flattened-oblate osteocytes (FO osteocytes), which are particularly abundant in the internal cortex and lamellae of secondary osteons in cancellous bone, and stellate osteocytes (SO osteocytes), principally present in the interstitial lamellae between secondary osteons and external cortex. We show that the morphology of osteocytes in each of the three bone layers is conserved through ontogeny. We also demonstrate that these morphological variations are phylogenetically independent, as well as independent of the bone origin (intramembranous or endochondral). Preservation of microstructures consistent with osteocytes in the morphology in Cenozoic and Mesozoic fossil turtle bones appears to be common, and occurs in diverse diagenetic environments including marine, freshwater, and terrestrial deposits. These data have potential to illuminate aspects of turtle biology and evolution previously unapproachable, such as estimates of genome size of extinct species, differences in metabolic rates among different bones from a single individual, and potential function of osteocytes as capsules for preservation of ancient biomolecules.

  11. Lymphocyte migration in the micro-channel of splenic sheathed capillaries in Chinese soft-shelled turtles, Pelodiscus sinensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qian; Ullah, Shakeeb; Liu, Yi; Yang, Ping; Chen, Bing; Waqas, Yasir; Bao, Huijun; Hu, Lisi; Li, Quanfu; Chen, Qiusheng

    2016-01-01

    The structural characteristics of the splenic sheathed capillary were investigated using light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). This study mainly focused on lymphocyte migration to the splenic white pulp via micro-channels in Chinese soft-shelled turtles, Pelodiscus sinensis. The results showed that the sheathed capillaries in the turtle spleen were high endothelial venule (HEV)-like vessels. These capillaries consist of micro-channels that facilitate lymphocyte migration to the splenic white pulp. The micro-channel is a dynamic structure comprising processes of endothelial cells, supporting cells, and ellipsoid-associated cells (EACs), which provides a microenvironment for lymphocyte migration. The pattern of lymphocyte migration in the micro-channel of the turtle spleen includes the following steps: (i) lymphocyte first adheres to the endothelium of the sheathed capillary, passes through the endothelial cells, and traverses through the basement membrane of the sheathed capillary; (ii) it then enters into the ellipsoid combined with supporting cells and EACs; and (iii) lymphocyte migrates from the ellipsoid to the periellipsoidal lymphatic sheath (PELS) via the micro-channel. This study provides morphological evidence for lymphocyte migration in the micro-channels of turtle spleens and also an insight into the mechanism of lymphocyte homing to the splenic white pulp of reptiles.

  12. Mycoplasma agassizii in Morafka's desert tortoise (Gopherus morafkai) in Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, Kristin H.; Brown, Mary B.; Vaughn, Mercy; Gowan, Timothy A.; Hasskamp, Mary Ann; Torres, Ma. Cristina Melendez

    2015-01-01

    We conducted health evaluations of 69 wild and 22 captive Morafka's desert tortoises (Gopherus morafkai) in Mexico between 2005 and 2008. The wild tortoises were from 11 sites in the states of Sonora and Sinaloa, and the captive tortoises were from the state-managed Centro Ecológico de Sonora Zoo in Hermosillo and a private residence in the town of Alamos. We tested 88 tortoises for mycoplasmal upper respiratory tract disease (URTD) using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for specific antibody and by culture and PCR for detection of Mycoplasma agassizii and Mycoplasma testudineum. Fifteen of 22 captive tortoises had one or more positive diagnostic test results for M. agassizii whereas no wild tortoises had positive tests. Tortoises with positive tests also had significantly more moderate and severe clinical signs of mycoplasmosis on beaks and nares compared to tortoises with negative tests. Captive tortoises also exhibited significantly more clinical signs of illness than did wild tortoises, including lethargy and moderate to severe ocular signs. The severity of trauma and diseases of the shell and integument did not differ significantly among tortoises by site; however, clinical signs of moderate to severe trauma and disease were more prevalent in older tortoises. Similar to research findings for other species in the genus Gopherusin the US, we found that URTD is an important disease in captive tortoises. If they escape or are released by intention or accident to the wild, captive tortoises are likely to pose risks to healthy, naïve wild populations.

  13. Vogesella lacus sp. nov., isolated from a soft-shell turtle culture pond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chou, Jui-Hsing; Chou, Yi-Ju; Arun, A B; Young, Chiu-Chung; Chen, Chaolun Allen; Wang, Jih-Terng; Chen, Wen-Ming

    2009-10-01

    A non-pigmented, Gram-negative, aerobic, rod-shaped bacterium, strain GR13(T), was isolated using nutrient agar from a water sample from a pond used for the culture of soft-shell turtles (Trionyx sinensis), Pingtung County, Taiwan. 16S rRNA gene sequence studies indicated that the novel strain formed a monophyletic branch at the periphery of the evolutionary radiation occupied by the genus Vogesella. Its closest neighbours were Vogesella indigofera ATCC 19706(T) and Vogesella perlucida DS-28(T) (both with 97.4 % gene sequence similarity). The novel isolate could be distinguished from these species by several phenotypic characteristics. The predominant fatty acids were summed feature 3 (C(16 : 1)omega7c and/or C(15 : 0) iso 2-OH; 60 %), C(16 : 0) (13.6 %) and C(18 : 1)omega7c (12.5 %). The DNA G+C content of strain GR13(T) was 63 mol%. The DNA-DNA hybridization values for the novel strain with V. indigofera and V. perlucida were <25 %. On the basis of the 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis and the chemotaxonomic and physiological data, it is concluded that strain GR13(T) represents a novel species in the genus Vogesella, for which the name Vogesella lacus sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is GR13(T) (=BCRC 17836(T)=LMG 24504(T)).

  14. 中华鳖血清中抗体含量的研究%Study on Concentration of Serum Antibody of Soft-shelled Turtle

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    简纪常

    2001-01-01

    The concentration of serum antibody of the soft-shelled turtle was measured using SRID. The concentrations of non-immune serum and immune serum antibodies were about 9.623 mg/mL and 17.097 mg/mL respectively. The later was about two folds as much as the former. This showed that the level of serum antibody of turtle would increase quickly and keep higher level when it is stimulated with antigen.

  15. Effects of ration level and feeding frequency on digestibility in juvenile soft-shelled turtle, Pelodiscus sinensis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LEI Si-jia

    2006-01-01

    The effects of ration level and feeding frequency on digestibility in juvenile soft-shelled turtle, Pelodiscus sinensis,were investigated. Four ration levels 1.5%, 2.5%, 4.0% and satiation (6.0% BW/d) were used. Apparent digestibility (AD) of dry matter (DMAD), protein (PAD) and protein real digestibility (PRD) were significantly affected by ration level, but not by feeding frequency when the ration level was similar. However, the feeding frequency affected the AD, DMAD, PAD and PRD significantly when the turtles were fed to satiation. The relationship between fecal protein content (Y) and protein intake (X) can be expressed as a quadric equation: Y=-0.1742+0.1476X-0.0003X2 (r2=0.876, n=27, F=93.92, P<0.01).

  16. Beta-keratins of turtle shell are glycine-proline-tyrosine rich proteins similar to those of crocodilians and birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalla Valle, Luisa; Nardi, Alessia; Toni, Mattia; Emera, Deena; Alibardi, Lorenzo

    2009-02-01

    This study presents, for the first time, sequences of five beta-keratin cDNAs from turtle epidermis obtained by means of 5'- and 3'-rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) analyses. The deduced amino acid sequences correspond to distinct glycine-proline-serine-tyrosine rich proteins containing 122-174 amino acids. In situ hybridization shows that beta-keratin mRNAs are expressed in cells of the differentiating beta-layers of the shell scutes. Southern blotting analysis reveals that turtle beta-keratins belong to a well-conserved multigene family. This result was confirmed by the amplification and sequencing of 13 genomic fragments corresponding to beta-keratin genes. Like snake, crocodile and avian beta-keratin genes, turtle beta-keratins contain an intron that interrupts the 5'-untranslated region. The length of the intron is variable, ranging from 0.35 to 1.00 kb. One of the sequences obtained from genomic amplifications corresponds to one of the five sequences obtained from cDNA cloning; thus, sequences of a total of 17 turtle beta-keratins were determined in the present study. The predicted molecular weight of the 17 different deduced proteins range from 11.9 to 17.0 kDa with a predicted isoelectric point of 6.8-8.4; therefore, they are neutral to basic proteins. A central region rich in proline and with beta-strand conformation shows high conservation with other reptilian and avian beta-keratins, and it is likely involved in their polymerization. Glycine repeat regions, often containing tyrosine, are localized toward the C-terminus. Phylogenetic analysis shows that turtle beta-keratins are more similar to crocodilian and avian beta-keratins than to those of lizards and snakes.

  17. Differences in neurogenesis differentiate between core and shell regions of auditory nuclei in the turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis): evolutionary implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Shao-Ju; Xi, Chao; Zhang, Xin-Wen; Zuo, Ming-Xue

    2007-01-01

    There is a clear core-versus-shell distinction in cytoarchitecture, electrophysiological properties and neural connections in the mesencephalic and diencephalic auditory nuclei of amniotes. Determining whether the embryogenesis of auditory nuclei shows a similar organization is helpful for further understanding the constituent organization and evolution of auditory nuclei. Therefore in the present study, we injected [(3)H]-thymidine into turtle embryos (Pelodiscus sinensis) at various stages of development. Upon hatching, [(3)H]-thymidine labeling was examined in both the core and shell auditory regions in the midbrain, diencephalon and dorsal ventricular ridge. Met-enkephalin and substance P immunohistochemistry was used to distinguish the core and shell regions. In the mesencephalic auditory nucleus, the occurrence of heavily labeled neurons in the nucleus centralis of the torus semicircularis reached its peak at embryonic day 9, one day later than the surrounding shell. In the diencephalic auditory nucleus, the production of heavily labeled neurons in the central region of the reuniens (Re) was highest at embryonic day (E) 8, one day later than that in the shell region of reuniens. In the region of the dorsal ventricular ridge that received inputs from the central region of Re, the appearance of heavily labeled neurons also reached a peak one day later than that in the area receiving inputs from the shell region of reuniens. Thus, there is a core-versus-shell organization of neuronal generation in reptilian auditory areas. Copyright (c) 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  18. Effects of brown fish meal replacement with fermented soybean meal on growth performance, feed efficiency and enzyme activities of Chinese soft-shelled turtle, Pelodiscus sinensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Yurong; Ai, Qinghui; Mai, Kangsen; Zhang, Wenbing; Zhang, Yanjiao; Xu, Wei

    2012-06-01

    A 120-day feeding experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of partial replacement of brown fish meal (BFM) by fermented soybean meal (FSBM) in diets of Chinese soft-shelled turtle ( Pelodiscus sinensis). The turtles (initial mean body weight, (115.52 ± 1.05) g) were fed with three experimental diets, in which 0%, 4.72% and 9.44% BFM protein was replaced by 0%, 3% and 6% FSBM, respectively. Results showed that the feeding rate (FR), specific growth rate (SGR) and feed efficiency ratio (FER) of turtles fed with the diet containing 3% FSBM were not significantly different from the control group (0% FSBM) ( P > 0.05). However, FR, SGR and FER of turtles fed with the diet containing 6% FSBM were significantly lower than those of the control group ( P 0.05). However, the uric acid concentration in turtles fed with the diet containing 3% or 6% FSBM was significantly lower than that in the control group ( P 0.05). The results suggested that FSBM could replace 4.72% BFM protein in turtle diets without exerting adverse effects on turtle growth, feed utilization and measured immune parameters.

  19. Molecular cloning of the cDNA encoding follicle-stimulating hormone beta subunit of the Chinese soft-shell turtle Pelodiscus sinensis, and its gene expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chien, Jung-Tsun; Shen, San-Tai; Lin, Yao-Sung; Yu, John Yuh-Lin

    2005-04-01

    Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is a member of the pituitary glycoprotein hormone family. These hormones are composed of two dissimilar subunits, alpha and beta. Very little information is available regarding the nucleotide and amino acid sequence of FSHbeta in reptilian species. For better understanding of the phylogenetic diversity and evolution of FSH molecule, we have isolated and sequenced the complementary DNA (cDNA) encoding the Chinese soft-shell turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis, Family of Trionychidae) FSHbeta precursor molecule by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and rapid amplification of cDNA end (RACE) methods. The cloned Chinese soft-shell turtle FSHbeta cDNA consists of 602-bp nucleotides, including 34-bp nucleotides of the 5'-untranslated region (UTR), 396-bp of the open reading frame, and 3'-UTR of 206-bp nucleotides. It encodes a 131-amino acid precursor molecule of FSHbeta subunit with a signal peptide of 20 amino acids followed by a mature protein of 111 amino acids. Twelve cysteine residues, forming six disulfide bonds within beta-subunit and two putative asparagine-linked glycosylation sites, are also conserved in the Chinese soft-shell turtle FSHbeta subunit. The deduced amino acid sequence of the Chinese soft-shell turtle FSHbeta shares identities of 97% with Reeves's turtle (Family of Bataguridae), 83-89% with birds, 61-70% with mammals, 63-66% with amphibians and 40-58% with fish. By contrast, when comparing the FSHbeta with the beta-subunits of the Chinese soft-shell turtle luteinizing hormone and thyroid stimulating hormone, the homologies are as low as 38 and 39%, respectively. A phylogenetic tree including reptilian species of FSHbeta subunits, is presented for the first time. Out of various tissues examined, FSHbeta mRNA was only expressed in the pituitary gland and can be up-regulated by gonadotropin-releasing hormone in pituitary tissue culture as estimated by fluorescence real-time PCR analysis.

  20. Finite element modeling of shell shape in the freshwater turtle Pseudemys concinna reveals a trade-off between mechanical strength and hydrodynamic efficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivera, Gabriel; Stayton, C Tristan

    2011-10-01

    Aquatic species can experience different selective pressures on morphology in different flow regimes. Species inhabiting lotic regimes often adapt to these conditions by evolving low-drag (i.e., streamlined) morphologies that reduce the likelihood of dislodgment or displacement. However, hydrodynamic factors are not the only selective pressures influencing organismal morphology and shapes well suited to flow conditions may compromise performance in other roles. We investigated the possibility of morphological trade-offs in the turtle Pseudemys concinna. Individuals living in lotic environments have flatter, more streamlined shells than those living in lentic environments; however, this flatter shape may also make the shells less capable of resisting predator-induced loads. We tested the idea that "lotic" shell shapes are weaker than "lentic" shell shapes, concomitantly examining effects of sex. Geometric morphometric data were used to transform an existing finite element shell model into a series of models corresponding to the shapes of individual turtles. Models were assigned identical material properties and loaded under identical conditions, and the stresses produced by a series of eight loads were extracted to describe the strength of the shells. "Lotic" shell shapes produced significantly higher stresses than "lentic" shell shapes, indicating that the former is weaker than the latter. Females had significantly stronger shell shapes than males, although these differences were less consistent than differences between flow regimes. We conclude that, despite the potential for many-to-one mapping of shell shape onto strength, P. concinna experiences a trade-off in shell shape between hydrodynamic and mechanical performance. This trade-off may be evident in many other turtle species or any other aquatic species that also depend on a shell for defense. However, evolution of body size may provide an avenue of escape from this trade-off in some cases, as changes in

  1. Trace metals in Ganges soft-shell turtle (Aspideretes gangeticus) from two barrage: Baloki and Rasul, Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malik, Riffat Naseem; Ghaffar, Bushra; Hashmi, Muhammad Zaffar

    2013-11-01

    The concentration of nine metals was measured in liver, kidney, heart, muscle, plastron, and carapace of Aspideretes gangeticus from Rasul and Baloki barrages, Pakistan. The results indicated that metal concentration were significant different among tissues of Ganges soft-shell turtles. However, higher concentrations of Co (5.12 μg/g) and Ni (1.67 μg/g) in liver, Cd (0.41 μg/g) in heart, Fe (267.45 μg/g), Cd (2.12 μg/g) and Mn (2.47 μg/g) in kidney, Cd (0.23 μg/g), Cu (2.57 μg/g), Fe (370.25 μg/g), Mn (5.56 μg/g), and Pb (8.23 μg/g) in muscle of A. gangeticus were recorded at Baloki barrage than Rasul barrage. Whereas mean concentrations of Pb (3.33 μg/g) in liver, Co (1.63 μg/g), Cu (11.32 μg/g), Pb (4.8 μg/g) and Zn (144.69 μg/g) in heart, Co (4.12 μg/g) in muscle, Ni (1.31 μg/g), Pb (2.18 μg/g), and Zn (9.78 μg/g) in carapace were recorded higher at Rasul barrage than Baloki barrage. The metals followed the trend Fe>Zn>Ni>Cu>Mn>Pb>Cr>Co>Cd. Metals of toxicological concern such as Cr, Pb, and Cd were at that level which can cause harmful effects to turtles. The results provide baseline data of heavy metals on freshwater turtle species of Pakistan.

  2. 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.

  3. Underwater Hearing in Turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willis, Katie L

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Home is where the shell is: predicting turtle home range sizes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slavenko, Alex; Itescu, Yuval; Ihlow, Flora; Meiri, Shai

    2016-01-01

    Home range is the area traversed by an animal in its normal activities. The size of home ranges is thought to be tightly linked to body size, through size effect on metabolic requirements. Due to the structure of Eltonian food pyramids, home range sizes of carnivores are expected to exceed those of herbivorous species. The habitat may also affect home range size, with reduced costs of locomotion or lower food abundance in, for example, aquatic habitats selecting for larger home ranges. Furthermore, home range of males in polygamous species may be large due to sexual selection for increased reproductive output. Comparative studies on home range sizes have rarely been conducted on ectotherms. Because ectotherm metabolic rates are much lower than those of endotherms, energetic considerations of metabolic requirements may be less important in determining the home range sizes of the former, and other factors such as differing habitats and sexual selection may have an increased effect. We collected literature data on turtle home range sizes. We used phylogenetic generalized least squares analyses to determine whether body mass, sex, diet, habitat and social structure affect home range size. Turtle home range size increases with body mass. However, body mass explains relatively little of the variation in home range size. Aquatic turtles have larger home ranges than semiaquatic species. Omnivorous turtles have larger home ranges than herbivores and carnivores, but diet is not a strong predictor. Sex and social structure are unrelated to home range size. We conclude that energetic constraints are not the primary factor that determines home range size in turtles, and energetic costs of locomotion in different habitats probably play a major role. © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2015 British Ecological Society.

  5. Cryptosporidium testudinis sp. n., Cryptosporidium ducismarci Traversa, 2010 and Cryptosporidium tortoise genotype III (Apicomplexa: Cryptosporidiidae) in tortoises.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jezkova, Jana; Horcickova, Michaela; Hlaskova, Lenka; Sak, Bohumil; Kvetonova, Dana; Novak, Jan; Hofmannova, Lada; McEvoy, John; Kvac, Martin

    2016-10-14

    Understanding of the diversity of species of Cryptosporidium Tyzzer, 1910 in tortoises remains incomplete due to the limited number of studies on these hosts. The aim of the present study was to characterise the genetic diversity and biology of cryptosporidia in tortoises of the family Testudinidae Batsch. Faecal samples were individually collected immediately after defecation and were screened for presence of cryptosporidia by microscopy using aniline-carbol-methyl violet staining, and by PCR amplification and sequence analysis targeting the small subunit rRNA (SSU), Cryptosporidium oocyst wall protein (COWP) and actin genes. Out of 387 faecal samples from 16 tortoise species belonging to 11 genera, 10 and 46 were positive for cryptosporidia by microscopy and PCR, respectively. All samples positive by microscopy were also PCR positive. Sequence analysis of amplified genes revealed the presence of the Cryptosporidium tortoise genotype I (n = 22), C. ducismarci Traversa, 2010 (n = 23) and tortoise genotype III (n = 1). Phylogenetic analyses of SSU, COWP and actin gene sequences revealed that Cryptosporidium tortoise genotype I and C. ducismarci are genetically distinct from previously described species of Cryptosporidium. Oocysts of Cryptosporidium tortoise genotype I, measuring 5.8-6.9 µm × 5.3-6.5 µm, are morphologically distinguishable from C. ducismarci, measuring 4.4-5.4 µm × 4.3-5.3 µm. Oocysts of Cryptosporidium tortoise genotype I and C. ducismarci obtained from naturally infected Russian tortoises (Testudo horsfieldii Gray) were infectious for the same tortoise but not for Reeve's turtles (Mauremys reevesii [Gray]), common garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis [Linnaeus]), zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata [Vieillot]) and SCID mice (Mus musculus Linnaeus). The prepatent period was 11 and 6 days post infection (DPI) for Cryptosporidium tortoise genotype I and C. ducismarci, respectively; the patent period was longer than 200 days for both cryptosporidia

  6. Cutaneous and renal geotrichosis in a giant tortoise (Geochelone elephantopus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz, J M; Arteaga, E; Martinez, J; Rubio, E M; Torres, J M

    1980-03-01

    A case of cutaneous and renal geotrichosis in a giant tortoise, Geochelone elephantopus, at the Zoological Park of Barcelona is reported. Fungal hyphae and spores were seen in skin and kidney. Culture of these tissues yielded Geotrichum candidum. This fungus was isolated from the faeces of 5 other giant tortoises that were housed with the dead animal and from specimens of corn hydroponic culture which is part of their diet. Arthrospore suspensions of the 2 strains isolated from the dead animal's skin and kidney were experimentally inoculated into mice and turtles (Testudo horsfiedi) in order to determine the pathogenicity of G. candidum for animal tissues. Our results confirm its low pathogenicity.

  7. The Chinese soft-shelled turtle, Pelodiscus sinensis, decreases nitrogenous excretion, reduces urea synthesis and suppresses ammonia production during emersion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ip, Yuen K; Lee, Serene M L; Wong, Wai P; Chew, Shit F

    2013-05-01

    The objective of this study was to examine the effects of 6 days of emersion on nitrogen metabolism and excretion in the Chinese soft-shelled turtle, Pelodiscus sinensis. Despite having a soft shell with a cutaneous surface that is known to be water permeable, P. sinensis lost only ~2% of body mass and was able to maintain its hematocrit and plasma osmolality, [Na(+)] and [Cl(-)] during 6 days of emersion. During emersion, it ameliorated water loss by reducing urine output, which led to a reduction (by 29-76%) in ammonia excretion. In comparison, there was a more prominent reduction (by 82-99%) in urea excretion during emersion due to a lack of water to flush the buccopharyngeal epithelium, which is known to be the major route of urea excretion. Consequently, emersion resulted in an apparent shift from ureotely to ammonotely in P. sinensis. Although urea concentration increased in several tissues, the excess urea accumulated could only account for 13-22% of the deficit in urea excretion. Hence, it can be concluded that a decrease (~80%) in urea synthesis occurred in P. sinensis during the 6 days of emersion. Indeed, emersion led to significant decreases in the activity of some ornithine-urea cycle enzymes (argininosuccinate synthetase/argininosuccinate lyase and arginase) from the liver of P. sinensis. As a decrease in urea synthesis occurred without the accumulation of ammonia and total free amino acids, it can be deduced that ammonia production through amino acid catabolism was suppressed with a proportional reduction in proteolysis in P. sinensis during emersion. Indeed, calculated results revealed that there could be a prominent decrease (~88%) in ammonia production in turtles after 6 days of emersion. In summary, despite being ureogenic and ureotelic in water, P. sinensis adopted a reduction in ammonia production, instead of increased urea synthesis, as the major strategy to ameliorate ammonia toxicity and problems associated with dehydration during

  8. Ultrastructure of epididymal epithelium and its interaction with the sperm in the soft-shelled turtle Pelodiscus sinensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bian, Xunguang; Zhang, Linli; Yang, Li; Yang, Ping; Ullah, Shakeeb; Zhang, Qian; Chen, Qiusheng

    2013-01-01

    The epididymis of the soft-shelled turtle Pelodiscus sinensis was examined under light and transmission electron microscopes to determine the morphological characteristics, as well as their changes at different phases of the seasonal reproductive cycle. Three distinct regions, viz., cranial, middle and caudal were identified in the epididymis based on anatomical characteristics. The epididymal epithelium consists of five different cell types: principal, narrow, apical, clear and basal cells. Principal cells, which are the most abundant, together with basal cells are present along the entire length. Ultrastructural evidence suggests that all of the principal cells in each of the regions function in both absorption and secretion. Narrow cells and apical cells are rare and only confined to the cranial region. The clear cells, for the first time reported in the turtle epididymis, are confined to middle and caudal regions; these cells showed strong PAS-positive granulation in apical position, and secretory activity by a holocrine process, especially in the middle region. There was a significant difference in the epithelium height of all the regions between the reproductive season and the non-reproductive season. Sperm are stored in the epididymis throughout the year. Apart from the mature spermatozoa, immature spermatozoa with normal morphology are also observed. Under TEM, the immature spermatozoa showed a large amount of cytoplasm located eccentrically on the midpiece wrapped by plasma membrane, with some cytoplasm extended to the posterior of the head. Furthermore, the interactions of sperm with the epididymal epithelium were observed. Some sperm are associated with the secretory material in the lumen; other sperm are inserted into the intercellular space between the epithelial cells.

  9. [Effect of decoction of turtle shell for anti-fibrosis combined with stronger neo-minophagen C on indices of hepatic fibrosis in chronic hepatitis B].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Lijuan; Chang, Yijie

    2012-01-01

    To evaluate the effect of decoction of turtle shell for anti-fibrosis combined with stronger neo-minophagen C on the indices of hepatic fibrosis in chronic hepatitis B. The 94 cases of chronic viral hepatitis B patients were randomly divided into two groups. The treatment group was treated with stronger neo-minophagen C 100 mL dissolved in 10% dextrose 250 ml once a day intravenously, combined with decoction of turtle shell for anti-fibrosis one powder daily. And the control group was treated with stronger neo-minophagen C alone, 3 months as a course. Liver fibrosis indexes and liver function index were tested for two groups of patients before and after the treatment. Both the difference of liver fibrosis indexes between the treatment group and the control group and before and after the treatment in the treatment group had statistical significance (P turtle shell for anti-fibrosis combined with stronger neo-minophagen C could significantly improve the clinical efficacy and the liver fibrosis indexes and liver function index in chronic hepatitis B.

  10. Complete sequence determination of a novel reptile iridovirus isolated from soft-shelled turtle and evolutionary analysis of Iridoviridae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang Xiujie

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Soft-shelled turtle iridovirus (STIV is the causative agent of severe systemic diseases in cultured soft-shelled turtles (Trionyx sinensis. To our knowledge, the only molecular information available on STIV mainly concerns the highly conserved STIV major capsid protein. The complete sequence of the STIV genome is not yet available. Therefore, determining the genome sequence of STIV and providing a detailed bioinformatic analysis of its genome content and evolution status will facilitate further understanding of the taxonomic elements of STIV and the molecular mechanisms of reptile iridovirus pathogenesis. Results We determined the complete nucleotide sequence of the STIV genome using 454 Life Science sequencing technology. The STIV genome is 105 890 bp in length with a base composition of 55.1% G+C. Computer assisted analysis revealed that the STIV genome contains 105 potential open reading frames (ORFs, which encode polypeptides ranging from 40 to 1,294 amino acids and 20 microRNA candidates. Among the putative proteins, 20 share homology with the ancestral proteins of the nuclear and cytoplasmic large DNA viruses (NCLDVs. Comparative genomic analysis showed that STIV has the highest degree of sequence conservation and a colinear arrangement of genes with frog virus 3 (FV3, followed by Tiger frog virus (TFV, Ambystoma tigrinum virus (ATV, Singapore grouper iridovirus (SGIV, Grouper iridovirus (GIV and other iridovirus isolates. Phylogenetic analysis based on conserved core genes and complete genome sequence of STIV with other virus genomes was performed. Moreover, analysis of the gene gain-and-loss events in the family Iridoviridae suggested that the genes encoded by iridoviruses have evolved for favoring adaptation to different natural host species. Conclusion This study has provided the complete genome sequence of STIV. Phylogenetic analysis suggested that STIV and FV3 are strains of the same viral species belonging to the

  11. Biological control of golden apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata by Chinese soft-shelled turtle, Pelodiscus sinensis in the wild rice, Zizania latifolia field

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shengzhang Dong

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available The wild rice, Zizania latifolia Turcz, used to be one of the important aquatic vegetables cultivated in China. Recently, the golden apple snail - GAS (Pomacea canaliculata (Lamarck was found to be a major invasive pest attacking Z. latifolia. To control efficiently GAS, predation by the Chinese soft-shelled turtles (Pelodiscus sinensis on GAS was evaluated in laboratory and field trials. P. sinensis had a strong predatory capacity and selectivity for GAS both in laboratory and field conditions. All the sizes of P. sinensis prefer to capture smaller snails. The optimum number of P. sinensis released in Z. latifolia field was dependent on the density of over-wintered GAS, and varied between 30 and 50 turtles per 666.7 m². The number of GAS declined in the fields with turtles as compared to turtle-free field. A pattern of releasing P. sinensis in Z. latifolia fields was developed and widely adopted by farmers because of much more benefit besides biologically controlling GAS.

  12. Pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic relationship of marbofloxacin against Aeromonas hydrophila in Chinese soft-shelled turtles (Trionyx sinensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shan, Q; Zheng, G; Liu, S; Bai, Y; Li, L; Yin, Y; Ma, L; Zhu, X

    2015-12-01

    The single-dose disposition kinetics of the antibiotic marbofloxacin were determined in Chinese soft-shelled turtles (n = 10) after oral and intramuscular (i.m.) dose of 10 mg/kg bodyweight. The in vitro and ex vivo activities of marbofloxacin in serum against a pathogenic strain of Aeromonas hydrophila were determined. A concentration-dependent antimicrobial activity of marbofloxacin was confirmed for levels lower than 4 × MIC. For in vivo PK data, values of AUC: minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) ratio for serum were 1166.6 and 782.4 h, respectively, after i.m. and oral dosing of marbofloxacin against a pathogenic strain of A. hydrophila (MIC = 0.05 μg/mL). The ex vivo growth inhibition data after oral dosing were fitted to the inhibitory sigmoid Emax equation to provide the values of AUC/MIC required to produce bacteriostasis, bactericidal activity and elimination of bacteria. The respective values were 23.79, 36.35 and 126.46 h. It is proposed that these findings might be used with MIC50 or MIC90 data to provide a rational approach to the design of dosage schedules, which optimize efficacy in respect of bacteriological as well as clinical cures.

  13. Desert Tortoise Head-start Program at Twentynine Palms Marine Base

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-04-02

    Hillard. Shell hardness measurement in juvenile desert tortoises, Gopherus agassizii, Herpetological Review, (09 2011): 0. doi: 07/23/2012 2.00...yearlings released to the open desert. Herpetological Conservation and Biology.

  14. Glutathione redox balance in hibernating Chinese soft-shelled turtle Pelodiscus sinensis hatchlings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wenyi; Niu, Cuijuan; Liu, Yukun; Chen, Bojian

    2017-05-01

    Glutathione (GSH) system is a critical component of antioxidant defense, which is important for hibernating survive of turtle hatchlings. The present work measured changes at the mRNA level of genes involved in GSH synthesis, GSH reduction and GSH utilization, as well as enzyme activity, in Pelodiscus sinensis hatchlings during hibernation. Samples were taken in the field at pre-hibernation (17°C, Mud temperature (MT)), hibernation (5.8°C, MT) and arousal (20.1°C, MT). Cerebral total GSH content decreased during hibernation, recovered after arousal along with a stable ratio of GSH/GSSG. Hepatic total GSH increased after arousal and pushed the ratio of GSH/GSSG to a more reduced status. Cerebral glutathione reductase (GR) mRNA and activity were depressed during hibernation then recovered after arousal. However, hepatic GR mRNA elevated during hibernation but its activity did not change. Tissue-specific changes of GR activity and mRNA may promote these tissue-specific changes of GSH redox. Hibernation caused little effect on mRNA level of glutathione synthetase (GS) while arousal induced them in the brain and liver. Most Glutathione-S-transferase (GST) isoform mRNAs did not change in both brain and liver during hibernation, then induced after arousal. Cerebral and hepatic GST activities kept stable throughout the entire experiment. Our results showed that GSH system may play a more important role in antioxidant defense in the liver while mainly maintaining stable redox balance in the brain of hibernating P. sinensis hatchings. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Identification and characterization of telocytes in the uterus of the oviduct in the Chinese soft-shelled turtle, Pelodiscus sinensis: TEM evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ullah, Shakeeb; Yang, Ping; Zhang, Linli; Zhang, Qian; Liu, Yi; Chen, Wei; Waqas, Yasir; Le, Yuan; Chen, Bing; Chen, Qiusheng

    2014-12-01

    Telocytes (Tcs) are cells with telopodes (Tps), which are very long cellular extensions with alternating thin segments (podomers) and dilated bead-like thick regions known as podoms. Tcs are a distinct category of interstitial cells and have been identified in many mammalian organs including heart, lung and kidney. The present study investigates the existence, ultrastructure, distribution and contacts of Tcs with surrounding cells in the uterus (shell gland) of the oviduct of the Chinese soft-shelled turtle, Pelodiscus sinensis. Samples from the uterine segment of the oviduct were examined by transmission electron microscopy. Tcs were mainly located in the lamina propria beneath the simple columnar epithelium of the uterus and were situated close to nerve endings, capillaries, collagen fibres and secretory glands. The complete morphology of Tcs and Tps was clearly observed and our data confirmed the existence of Tcs in the uterus of the Chinese soft-shelled turtle Pelodiscus sinensis. Our results suggest these cells contribute to the function of the secretory glands and contraction of the uterus. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Foundation for Cellular and Molecular Medicine.

  16. Seasonal changes of sperm storage and correlative structures in male and female soft-shelled turtles, Trionyx sinensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiangkun, Han; Li, Zhang; Meiying, Li; Huijun, Bao; Nainan, Hei; Qiusheng, Chen

    2008-11-01

    Reproductive ducts of male and female soft-shelled turtles, Trionyx sinensis were examined throughout the year (March, May, September, December) using brightfield and electron microscopes (TEM and SEM), to determine the location and histomorphological characteristics of sperm storage structures as well as their changes at different phases of the seasonal reproductive cycle. Sperm stored in the epididymis were also examined. In the male, spermatogenesis is initiated in spring (May), and then the mature sperm are released in autumn as an episodic event. Spermatogenesis is inactive in winter. However, in this species, the epididymis contains sperm throughout the entire year. Sperm observed in the epididymis are intact and some structures are uniquely different from other reptiles, and is characterized by 35-40 concentric mitochondria with a dense core in the centre. Many glycogen granules are observed in the cytoplasm of the midpiece. However, the epithelial cell type of epididymal duct change in different seasons. The cells are fully developed with a highly secretory activity in September. The materials secreted from the epithelium might have the function as nourishment for the stored sperm. Sperm storage structures in the form of tubules are observed in the wall of the isthmus of the oviduct in hibernating females but are absent in the groups of May and September. These tubules develop either by folding or fusion of the oviductal mucosal folds and are lined by both ciliated and secretory cells. These tubules might provide a microenvironment for the sperm to enable its long-term storage. After being separated 4 months (December-March) from the male, sperm are observed in the tubules of the isthmus of the oviduct. The unique character of the sperm combined with the special sperm storage structures enable the sperm to maintain fertility and activity during their storage.

  17. 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.

  18. Molecular cloning and sequence analysis of a cDNA encoding pituitary thyroid stimulating hormone beta-subunit of the Chinese soft-shell turtle Pelodiscus sinensis and regulation of its gene expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chien, Jung-Tsun; Chowdhury, Indrajit; Lin, Yao-Sung; Liao, Ching-Fong; Shen, San-Tai; Yu, John Yuh-Lin

    2006-04-01

    A cDNA encoding thyroid stimulating hormone beta-subunit (TSHbeta) was cloned from pituitary of the Chinese soft-shell turtle, Pelodiscus sinensis, and its regulation of mRNA expression was investigated for the first time in reptile. The Chinese soft-shell turtle TSHbeta cDNA was cloned from pituitary RNA by reverse transcription and polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and rapid amplification cDNA end (RACE) methods. The Chinese soft-shell turtle TSHbeta cDNA consists of 580-bp nucleotides, including 67-bp nucleotides of 5'-untranslated region (UTR), 402-bp of the open reading frame, and 97-bp of 3'-UTR followed by a 14 poly (A) trait. It encodes a precursor protein molecule of 133 amino acids with a putative signal peptide of 19 amino acids and a putative mature protein of 114 amino acids. The number and position of 12 cysteine residues, presumably forming six disulfide bonds, one putative asparagine-linked glycosylation site, and six proline residues that are found at positions for changing the backbone direction of the protein have been conserved in the turtle as in other vertebrate groups. The deduced amino acid sequence of the Chinese soft-shell turtle TSHbeta mature protein shares identities of 82-83% with birds, 71-72% with mammals, 49-57% with amphibians, and 44-61% with fish. The Chinese soft-shell turtle pituitaries were incubated in vitro with synthetic TRH (TSH-releasing hormone), thyroxine and triiodothyronine at doses of 10(-10) and 10(-8)M. TRH stimulated, while thyroid hormones suppressed, TSHbeta mRNA levels in dose-related manner. The sequences of cDNA and its deduced peptide of TSHbeta as well as the regulation of its mRNA level were reported for the first time in reptile.

  19. Cytochemical characteristics of blood cells from Brazilian tortoises (Testudines: Testudinidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins, G S; Alevi, K C C; Azeredo-Oliveira, M T V; Bonini-Domingos, C R

    2016-03-18

    The hematology of wild and captive animals is essential for obtaining details about species and represents a simple method of diagnosing disease and determining prognosis. Few studies have described the morphology of chelonian blood cells, which are more common in sea and freshwater turtle species. Thus, in order to further our understanding and recognition of different chelonian cells types, the present study aimed to describe blood cells from the two species of Brazilian tortoises, Chelonoidis carbonarius and C. denticulatus. Cytochemical analysis of tortoise blood tissue with Panótico®, made it possible to describe all the of the chelonian cell types (with the exception of thrombocytes): erythrocytes, agranular leukocytes (monocytes and lymphocytes), and granular leukocytes (eosinophils, heterophils, basophils, and azurophils). These data are of high importance for establishing hematological profiles of Brazilian tortoises and reptiles. Therefore, based on our results and on comparative analyses with data from the literature for other reptile species, we can conclude that the blood cells described for Brazilian tortoises are found in all species of reptiles that have been analyzed thus far, and may be characterized and used as a comparative parameter between different groups to evaluate the health status of these animals.

  20. Sites of origin and developmental dynamics of the neurons in the core and shell regions of torus semicircularis in the Chinese softshell turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xi, Chao; Chen, Qiong; Zeng, Shao-Ju; Lin, Yu-Tao; Huang, Yu-Fang; Liu, Yu; Zhang, Xin-Wen; Zuo, Ming-Xue

    2011-09-01

    To know the embryogenesis of the core and shell regions of the midbrain auditory nucleus, a single dose of [(3)H]-thymidine was injected into the turtle embryos at peak stages of neurogenesis in the shell and core of the torus semicircularis. Following sequential survival times, labeled neurons and the dynamics of cell proliferation were examined. The expression of vimentin (VM), reelin, calbindin, parvalbumin, and substance P were also studied. The results showed that: 1) progenitor cells for the core and shell regions were generated in different sites of the ventricular zone; 2) the length of the cell cycle or S-phase for the shell region were both longer than those for the core region (4.7 and 3.2 hours longer, respectively), suggesting that mitotic activity in the core region is higher than it is in the shell region; 3) the elongated cell bodies of the labeled core and shell cells had close apposition to VM fibers, suggesting that the migration of these cells is guided by VM fibers; 4) the germinal sites of the core and shell constructed by projecting the orientation of radial VM fibers back to the ventricular zone was consistent with those obtained by short and sequential survival [(3)H]-thymidine radiography; and 5) the beginning of positive staining for parvalbumin in the core region was interposed between those for calbindin and substance P in the shell regions. This study contributes to the understanding of how auditory nuclei are organized and how their components developed and evolved. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  1. The first record of a soft-shelled turtle (Testudines: Pan-Trionychidae) from southern Balkans (Pliocene, Gefira, N. Greece) and new information from bone histology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vlachos, Evangelos; Cerda, Ignacio; Tsoukala, Evangelia

    2015-08-01

    Soft-shelled turtles (Pan-Trionychidae) are not included in the present-day chelonian fauna of Greece and have been unknown in the Greek fossil record up to now. Here, we report the first fossil occurrence of a soft-shelled turtle from Greece, originating from the Pliocene Gefira Member (Angelochori Formation), in the lower Axios valley. The corresponding specimens were discovered with several mammalian remains, most of them attributable to the mastodon of Auvergne, Anancus arvernensis. The chelonian material includes five carapacial fragments that belong to the same individual and can be attributed to Pan-Trionychidae based on the typical sculpturing on the dorsal side of the carapace. Most of these bony plates were histologically sampled and thereby provide evidence for the "plywood" structure, another characteristic of pan-trionychids. They represent the first extended sampling of trionychid plates that belong to the same individual, allowing the documentation of the variation of the relevant trionychid morphologies in the carapace. These findings expand the paleobiogeographic range of this taxon to the southern Balkans and Greece and allow a better estimation of the chelonian paleo-fauna of the area. They are also important for the temporal distribution of this clade in the Paleoarctic, as they join specimens from Italy as being the last trionychids in Europe.

  2. Ovine thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) heterologously stimulates production of thyroid hormones from Chinese soft-shell turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis) and bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana and Rana rugulosa) thyroids in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Wei-Tung; Chien, Jung-Tsun; Weng, Ching-Feng; Jeng, Yung-Yue; Lu, Li-Chia; Yu, John Yuh-Lin

    2009-06-01

    Thyroid hormones are important for regulating a variety of developmental processes in vertebrates, including growth, differentiation, metamorphosis, and oxidative metabolism. In particular, this study focused on the in vitro production of thyroxine (T(4)) and triiodothyronine (T(3)) from thyroids in American bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana), Chinese bullfrogs (Rana rugulosa Wiegmann), and Chinese soft-shell turtles (Pelodiscus sinensis) treated with ovine thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) at different culture intervals (2, 4, 8, and 12 h) and dosages (1, 10, 50 or 100 ng). The levels of T(4) and T(3) in the tested animals were elevated upon stimulation in a time- and dose-dependent manner, indicating de novo synthesis of T(4) and T(3). Significantly higher hormone levels were observed in the Chinese bullfrog compared to the other two species, for both the time-course and dose-response experiments. Although the bullfrog secreted significantly higher levels of T(4) and T(3), a higher T(4)-conversion capacity was found in the Chinese soft-shell turtle. The highest ratios of T(3) to T(4) were observed in the American bullfrog and Chinese soft-shell turtle for the time-course and dose-response experiments, respectively. These findings suggest that the Chinese soft-shell turtle and bullfrog thyroids can accept ovine TSH for T(4)- and T(3)-formation in a time- and dose-dependent manner, supporting the hypothesis that the binding interactions between TSHs and thyroidal receptors are conserved in vertebrates.

  3. Conserved and divergent expression patterns of markers of axial development in reptilian embryos: Chinese soft-shell turtle and Madagascar ground gecko.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshida, Michio; Kajikawa, Eriko; Kurokawa, Daisuke; Noro, Miyuki; Iwai, Tatsuhiro; Yonemura, Shigenobu; Kobayashi, Kensaku; Kiyonari, Hiroshi; Aizawa, Shinichi

    2016-07-01

    The processes of development leading up to gastrulation have been markedly altered during the evolution of amniotes, and it is uncertain how the mechanisms of axis formation are conserved and diverged between mouse and chick embryos. To assess the conservation and divergence of these mechanisms, this study examined gene expression patterns during the axis formation process in Chinese soft-shell turtle and Madagascar ground gecko preovipositional embryos. The data suggest that NODAL signaling, similarly to avian embryos but in contrast to eutherian embryos, does not have a role in epiblast and hypoblast development in reptilian embryos. The posterior marginal epiblast (PME) is the initial molecular landmark of axis formation in reptilian embryos prior to primitive plate development. Ontogenetically, PME may be the precursor of the primitive plate, and phylogenetically, Koller's sickle and posterior marginal zone in avian development may have been derived from the PME. Most of the genes expressed in the mouse anterior visceral endoderm (AVE genes), especially signaling antagonist genes, are not expressed in the hypoblast of turtle and gecko embryos, though they are expressed in the avian hypoblast. This study proposes that AVE gene expression in the hypoblast and the visceral endoderm could have been independently established in avian and eutherian lineages, similar to the primitive streak that has been independently acquired in these lineages.

  4. 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.

  5. A Novel Dynamic Expression of vasa in Male Germ Cells during Spermatogenesis in the Chinese Soft-Shell Turtle (Pelidiscus sinensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wei; Zhang, Piaoyi; Wu, Xuling; Zhu, Xinping; Xu, Hongyan

    2017-05-01

    vasa gene encodes a highly conserved DEAD-box RNA helicase, required for germ cell development across animal kingdom. Vasa mutations cause male infertility in mammals. It has been widely used as a biomarker for studying animal fertility or manipulating germ cells in organisms. However, in reptilians, the functions of vasa gene involved in germ cell differentiation are largely unclear; this hampers the development of biological techniques and the improvement of the productivity in these species. Here a vasa cDNA was isolated in Chinese soft-shell turtle and it predicts a protein of 691 amino acid residues, which is 72%, 69%, 58%, 59%, and 54-56% identical to its homolog from mouse, platypus, frog, chicken, and fish, respectively, and named as PsVasa. The Psvasa mRNA was detected exclusively in the gonads of both sexes by RT-PCR. Chromogenic RNA in situ hybridization revealed that the Psvasa mRNA was restricted to germ cells in the testis: The psvasa mRNA is undetectable in resting spermatogonia, appears in proliferating spermatogonia, and becomes abundant in spermatocytes and detectable in spermatozoa. Immunofluorescence staining demonstrated that the PsVasa in the testis is also restricted to the germ cells, rich in spermatocytes and elongated spermatids but hardly detectable in spermatogonia and spermatozoa. Taken together, Psvasa is potentially a reliable germ cell marker in the Chinese soft-shell turtle; its RNA expression could distinguish the different spermatogenic stages of germ cells. These findings shed new insights into understanding the evolutionary conservations and divergences of vasa gene's functions in male germ cell differentiation in metazoans. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Anti-hepatic fibrosis effects of a novel turtle shell decoction by inhibiting hepatic stellate cell proliferation and blocking TGF-β1/Smad signaling pathway in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, Ganping; Yan, Guohe; Wang, Guojian; Wan, Ping; Zhang, Ronghua

    2016-11-01

    Hepatic fibrosis (HF), a wound-healing response to a variety of chronic stimuli, is characterized by the excessive synthesis of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins by hepatic stellate cells (HSC) and eventually the development of hepatic cirrhosis. Turtle shell pill (TSP) is a common traditional Chinese medicine used for preventing and treating HF and early hepatic cirrhosis, but its side-effects and the shortage of ingredients limit its clinical application. In addition, its mechanism of action is not clear. In the present study, we first improved the original formula of TSP to produce a novel turtle shell decoction (NTSD) with less toxicity and easier accessible materials. In a carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced HF rat model, we observed that NTSD and TSP had similar effects on the improvement of liver functions in rats, including a decrease in serum alanine amino transferase (ALT) and aspartate amino transferase (AST) serum concentrations and increased albumin content in addition to a marked attenuation of CCl4-induced liver damage and fibrosis. NTSD containing rat serum inhibited rat liver stellate cell line HSC-T6 cell proliferation and induced cell apoptosis in vitro. Moreover, the NTSD treatment significantly decreased the transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1) and Smad3 gene expression and increased inhibitory Smad7 gene expression in liver tissues of HF rats, suggesting that NTSD inhibited the ECM expression of HSC by downregulating the TGF-β1/Smad signaling pathway. The results of our rat model study revealed that NTSD showed good in vitro and in vivo anti-HF effects via proliferation inhibition and the induction of apoptosis of HSCs and blocked the TGF-β1/Smad signaling pathway.

  7. 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.

  8. Daily energy expenditure in free-ranging Gopher Tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jodice, P.G.R.; Epperson, D.M.; Visser, G. Henk

    2006-01-01

    Studies of ecological energetics in chelonians are rare. Here, we report the first measurements of daily energy expenditure (DEE) and water influx rates (WIRs) in free-ranging adult Gopher Tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus). We used the doubly labeled water (DLW) method to measure DEE in six adult tortoises during the non-breeding season in south-central Mississippi, USA. Tortoise DEE ranged from 76.7-187.5 kj/day and WIR ranged from 30.6-93.1 ml H2O/day. Daily energy expenditure did not differ between the sexes, but DEE was positively related to body mass. Water influx rates varied with the interaction of sex and body mass. We used a log/log regression model to assess the allometric relationship between DEE and body mass for Gopher Tortoises, Desert Tortoises (Gopherus agassizii), and Box Turtles (Terrapene carolina), the only chelonians for which DEE has been measured. The slope of this allometric model (0.626) was less than that previously calculated for herbivorous reptiles (0.813), suggesting that chelonians may expend energy at a slower rate per unit of body mass compared to other herbivorous reptiles. We used retrospective power analyses and data from the DLW isotope analyses to develop guidelines for sample sizes and duration of measurement intervals, respectively, for larger-scale energetic studies in this species. ?? 2006 by the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.

  9. Comparative analysis of pleurodiran and cryptodiran turtle embryos depicts the molecular ground pattern of the turtle carapacial ridge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pascual-Anaya, Juan; Hirasawa, Tatsuya; Sato, Iori; Kuraku, Shigehiro; Kuratani, Shigeru

    2014-01-01

    The turtle shell is a wonderful example of a genuine morphological novelty, since it has no counterpart in any other extant vertebrate lineages. The evolutionary origin of the shell is a question that has fascinated evolutionary biologists for over two centuries and it still remains a mystery. One of the turtle innovations associated with the shell is the carapacial ridge (CR), a bulge that appears at both sides of the dorsal lateral trunk of the turtle embryo and that probably controls the formation of the carapace, the dorsal moiety of the shell. Although from the beginning of this century modern genetic techniques have been applied to resolve the evolutionary developmental origin of the CR, the use of different models with, in principle, dissimilar results has hampered the establishment of a common mechanism for the origin of the shell. Although modern turtles are divided into two major groups, Cryptodira (or hidden-necked turtles) and Pleurodira (or side-necked turtles), molecular developmental studies have been carried out mostly using cryptodiran models. In this study, we revisit the past data obtained from cryptodiran turtles in order to reconcile the different results. We also analyze the histological anatomy and the expression pattern of main CR factors in a pleurodiran turtle, the red-bellied short-necked turtle Emydura subglobosa. We suggest that the turtle shell probably originated concomitantly with the co-option of the canonical Wnt signaling pathway into the CR in the last common ancestor of the turtle.

  10. Identification of a heat shock cognate protein 70 gene in Chinese soft-shell turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis) and its expression profiles under thermal stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiao-liang; Kang, Yue; Zhang, Xiao-yan; Zhu, Bing-lin; Fang, Wei-huan

    2012-06-01

    The heat shock cognate protein 70 (Hsc70) is a member of a 70-kDa heat shock protein (HSP70) family that functions as molecular chaperones. In this study, a novel Hsc70 gene from Chinese soft-shelled turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis) (tHsc70) was identified. The tHsc70 full-length complementary DNA (cDNA) is 2272 bp long with a 1941-bp open reading frame (ORF) encoding 646 amino acids. Three characteristic signature regions of the HSP70 family, two major domains of an adenosine triphosphate (ATP)/guanosine triphosphate (GTP) binding domain (ABD), and a substrate-binding domain (SBD) were present in the predicted tHsc70 amino acid sequence. The tHsc70 gene was expressed in Escherichia coli BL21 and the expression product reacted with the anti-Hsc70 mouse monoclonal antibody by Western blotting. Homology analysis revealed that tHsc70 shared identity from 53.9% to 87.7% at the nucleotide level, and 49.1% to 99.5% at the amino acid level with the known Hsc70s. Phylogenetic analysis showed that tHsc70 was clustered together with the Hsc70 gene of another reptile species (Alligator mississippiensis). The tHsc70 was expressed in the liver, lung, heart, and skeletal muscle. The expression patterns of tHsc70 messenger RNA (mRNA) differed among different tissues under different durations of heat stress at 40 °C. Adaptation at 25 °C for 1 h after heat stress was also different among tissues and length of heat stress. Irrespective of different profiles of expression under heat stress, tHsc70 may play roles in protecting turtles from thermal stress.

  11. Effects of acute cold exposure on oxidative balance and total antioxidant capacity in juvenile Chinese soft-shelled turtle, Pelodiscus sinensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wenyi; Niu, Cuijuan; Jia, Hui; Chen, Xutong

    2017-09-01

    Acute cold exposure may disturb the physiological homeostasis of the body in ectotherms. To date, there has been no information on the effects of cold exposure on homeostasis of reactive oxygen species (ROS) or antioxidant defense response in the Chinese soft-shelled turtle, Pelodiscus sinensis. In this study, P. sinensis juveniles were acclimated at 28 °C, transferred to 8 °C as cold exposure for 12 h, then moved back to 28 °C rewarming for 24 h. We measured the ROS level and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) in the brain, liver, kidney and spleen at 2 and 12 h cold exposure, and at the end of the rewarming period. Malonaldehyde (MDA) and carbonyl protein were used as markers of oxidative damage. Turtles being maintained simultaneously at 28 °C were used as the control group. Cold exposure did not disturb the ROS balance in all 4 tissues, while rewarming raised the ROS level in the brain and kidney of P. sinensis. Cold exposure and rewarming decreased the TAC in the brain, liver and spleen but did not change the TAC in the kidney. MDA and carbonyl protein levels did not increase during the treatment, indicating no oxidative damage in all 4 tissues of P. sinensis. Our results indicated that extreme cold exposure did not impact the inner oxidative balance of P. sinensis, but more ROS was produced during rewarming. P. sinensis showed good tolerance to the harsh temperature change through effective protection of its antioxidant defense system to oxidative damage. This study provides basic data on the stress biology of P. sinensis. © 2016 International Society of Zoological Sciences, Institute of Zoology/Chinese Academy of Sciences and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

  12. RCsec turtle

    OpenAIRE

    Rose, Matthew

    2005-01-01

    Matthew Rose worked at the Naval Postgraduate School as a graphic designer from February 2002-November 2011. His work for NPS included logos, brochures, business packs, movies/presentations, posters, the CyberSiege video game and many other projects. This material was organized and provided by the artist, for inclusion in the NPS Archive, Calhoun. Includes these files: green-sea-turtle~104.jpg; green-sea-turtle~104.psd; rcsec_turtle.psd; rcsec-logo-turtle.jpg; rcsec-logo-turtle.psd; rcsec...

  13. 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.

  14. Echo voltage reflected by turtle on various angles

    OpenAIRE

    Sunardi Sunardi; Anton Yudhana; Azrul Mahfurdz; Sharipah Salwa Mohamed

    2015-01-01

    This research proposes the acoustic measurement by using echo sounder for green turtle detection of 1 year, 12 and 18 years. Various positions or angles of turtles are head, tail, shell, lung, left and right side. MATLAB software and echo sounder are used to analyse the frequency and the response of the turtle as echo voltage and target strength parameter. Based on the experiment and analysis have been conducted, the bigger size of the turtle, the higher echo voltage and target strength. The ...

  15. Crocodylian and turtle finds from the Early Miocene of the Baňa Dolina Mine in Veľký Krtíš (Slovakia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrej Čerňanský

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Fossil reptile remains are described from the Lower Miocene deposits of the active mine Baňa Dolina in Veľký Krtíš (southern part of central Slovakia. The fossils come from lignite layers dated to the late Ottnangian. The sediments indicate a terrestrial, fluvial and swampy environments. The material is fragmented, and mostly disarticulated. It consists of several isolated teeth and osteoderms belonging to crocodylians. These fragmentary fossils document the presence of the group in Slovakia during the Early Miocene. The finds exhibit some general similarities with, for instance, the taxon Diplocynodon. However, lack of diagnostic features makes precise identification of such limited material impossible. The rest of the material consists of turtle shell fragments. The turtle material is represented by two families – Testudinidae and ?Trionychidae – and represent the oldest occurrence of turtles in Slovakia. The material of Testudinidae includes a partially preserved print of the external surface of the carapace and a fragmentary nuchal. The cervical scute is absent on the external surfaces of the nuchal and the anterior notch is wide but only very shallow. The features indicate that this tortoise may be closely related to the taxon Testudo (or Palaeotestudo burgenlandica.

  16. 中华鳖产品种类及主要加工技术研究现状%Research status of processing techniques of Chinese soft-shelled turtle products

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王扬; 张海琪; 周凡; 李诗言; 陆炜

    2014-01-01

    Chinese soft-shelled turtle is a kind of traditional food with high nutritional values and various health-giving effects, which is rich in protein, essential amino acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), trace elements and B vitamins, folic acid and other active substances. It can improve human immunity, promote metabolism, and enhance the ability of resistance, anti-aging effect and so on. With the rapid development of aquaculture industry, the output of Chinese soft-shelled turtle increases dramatically, so it has the important meaning of processed products to improve product added value and promote industrial development. This paper introduced the main processed products of Chinese soft-shelled turtle and their processing techniques, so as to provide insights for its development and comprehensive utilization. By some processing techniques, such as cooking, freeze-dried, fermentation, enzymatic hydrolysis, the fresh turtle could be produced many types of food, such as wine, beverage, polypeptide and ready-to-eat products. It was important to make full use of whole turtle body oil, shell, bone,etc, to promote industrial development.%中华鳖富含蛋白质、人体必需氨基酸、二十二碳六烯酸(DHA)、二十碳五烯酸(EPA)、微量元素和 B族维生素、叶酸等活性物质,具有提高人体免疫力、促进新陈代谢、增强抗病能力、延缓衰老等功效,是中国传统的滋补强身珍品,有较高的营养和药用价值。而今随着养鳖业的迅猛发展,养殖产量越来越多,甲鱼加工产品对提高产品附加值、促进产业发展具重要意义。本文介绍了目前中华鳖加工主要产品及其加工工艺,为其开发与综合利用提供思路。将鲜活甲鱼通过蒸煮、冻干、发酵、酶解等加工工艺,制成冻干粉、酒、饮料、多肽产品和即食产品等类型的食品,其全身油、壳、骨等有待进一步充分利用。

  17. 汉画像石中龟的阴阳交通意象%The Turtle Imagery about the Connection Yin and Yang in the Relief Stone Sculpture of the Dynasty

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    卢星; 杨金萍

    2011-01-01

    汉画像石中龟的形态各异,寓有不同内涵:龟以其特殊的外形及神格特点,表现出交通天地阴阳的意蕴;龟鸟图所描述的运日神话,表现了昼夜交替、阴阳交接的过程;龟蛇相交的形象,则表现为男女阴阳交合的主题.龟属肾主水理论及龟甲、龟息导引等的利用,体现了人体内阴极生阳及中医利用药物、导引等平衡阴阳、交济水火的思想.%The turtle in the relief stone sculpture of Han dynasty have different shape and meanings: the turtle have special shapes and godhead.Meanwhile, it expresses the imagery of connection sky and earth.The picture of turtle and bird describes the myth of conveying the sun and expresses alternation of night and day and the association of Yin and Yang ; the imagery of turtle and snake expresses the topic about coition of man and women.Utilizing the theory of turtle range the kidney governing water metabolism and tortoise shell, greater sustenance expressed the topic about balance the bodies of Yin and Yang.The turtle of the relief stone sculpture of the Han dynasty express the imaginary of connection of Yin and Yang.

  18. 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…

  19. Impacts of upper respiratory tract disease on olfactory behavior of the Mojave desert tortoise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Germano, Jennifer; Van Zerr, Vanessa E.; Esque, Todd C.; Nussear, Ken E.; Lamberski, Nadine

    2014-01-01

    Upper respiratory tract disease (URTD) caused by Mycoplasma agassizii is considered a threat to desert tortoise populations that should be addressed as part of the recovery of the species. Clinical signs can be intermittent and include serous or mucoid nasal discharge and respiratory difficulty when nares are occluded. This nasal congestion may result in a loss of the olfactory sense. Turtles are known to use olfaction to identify food items, predators, and conspecifics; therefore, it is likely that URTD affects not only their physical well-being but also their behavior and ability to perform necessary functions in the wild. To determine more specifically the impact nasal discharge might have on free-ranging tortoises (Gopherus agassizii), we compared the responses of tortoises with and without nasal discharge and both positive and negative for M. agassizii antibodies to a visually hidden olfactory food stimulus and an empty control. We found that nasal discharge did reduce sense of smell and hence the ability to locate food. Our study also showed that moderate chronic nasal discharge in the absence of other clinical signs did not affect appetite in desert tortoises.

  20. 慢性氨暴露对中华鳖幼鳖生长及非特异性免疫反应的影响%Effects of chronic ammonia exposure on growth and non specific immune responses of juvenile soft-shelled turtle Pelodiscus immune responses of juvenile soft-shelled turtle Pelodiscus sinensis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    陈欣然; 牛翠娟; 蒲丽君

    2006-01-01

    Soft-shelled turtles are often exposed to high ambient ammonia levels in intensive rearing conditions. This work evaluated the effects of chronic ammonia exposure on growth and nonspecific immune parameters in juvenile soft-shelled in juvenile soft-shelled turtles Pelodiscus sinensi. Turtles (body weight: 90.5±20.5 g) were subjected to three ammonia concentrations, 1.5 concentrations, 1.5mg/L (C1), 2.6 mg/L (C2) and 4.1 mg/L (C3) unionized ammonia nitrogen (UIA-N) for 84 days. A control group ntrol group (C0) was also set up, in which the animals were reared in tap water with no extrinsic NH4Cl. Consistent ambient temrinsic NH4Cl. Consistent ambient temperatures (29.5 ± 0.5℃ ) and pH (7.8 ± 0.1 ) in each treatment were maintained throughout the experiment. Body n each treatment were maintained throughout the experiment. Body weight was measured at 21, 42 and 84 days after initiation of ammonia exposure. Blood was sampled on day 84 after inixposure. Blood was sampled on day 84 after initiation of ammonia exposure. In the present concentration range, ammonia showed no clear influence on the turtle's ammonia showed no clear influence on the turtle's growth. Also, ammonia had no significant effects on non-specific immune parameters such as serum hemolytic activity, immune parameters such as serum hemolytic activity,bactericidal activity, bacteriolytic activity and the spleen index. However, the non-specific a-naphathyl acetate esterase However, the non-specific a-naphathyl acetate esterase (ANAE) positive ratios of the blood and spleen lymphocytes both declined in the ammonia treatment groups in relation to th declined in the ammonia treatment groups in relation to the control. The present results indicate that the turtle is fairly resistant to ammonia and may be able to endure much ant to ammonia and may be able to endure much higher ambient ammonia levels than fish.%在高密度养殖模式下,中华鳖经常暴露于高氨环境中.本研究评价了

  1. Guidelines for the field evaluation of desert tortoise health and disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, Kristin H.; Christopher, Mary M.

    2001-01-01

    Field evaluation of free-ranging wildlife requires the systematic documentation of a variety of environmental conditions and individual parameters of health and disease, particularly in the case of rare or endangered species. In addition, defined criteria are needed for the humane salvage of ill or dying animals. The purpose of this paper is to describe, in detail, the preparation, procedures, and protocols we developed and tested for the field evaluation of wild desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii). These guidelines describe: preparations for the field, including developing familiarity with tortoise behavior and ecology, and preparation of standardized data sheets; journal notes to document background data on weather conditions, temperature, rainfall, locality, and historic and recent human activities; procedures to prevent the spread of disease and parasites; data sheets for live tortoises to record tortoise identification, location, sex, body measurements and activity; health profile forms for documenting and grading physical abnormalities of tortoise posture and movements, general condition (e.g., lethargy, cachexia), external parasites, and clinical abnormalities associated with shell and upper respiratory diseases; permanent photographic records for the retrospective analysis of progression and regression of upper respiratory and eye diseases, analysis of shell lesions and evaluation of growth and age; and indications and methods for salvaging ill or dying tortoises for necropsy evaluation. These guidelines, tested on 5,000 to 20,000 tortoises over a 10 to 27 yr period, were designed to maximize acquisition of data for demographic, ecological, health and disease research projects; to reduce handling and stress of individual animals; to avoid spread of infectious disease; to promote high quality and consistent data sets; and to reduce the duration and number of field trips. The field methods are adapted for desert tortoise life cycle, behavior, anatomy

  2. Asia’s Tortoises Facing Extinction Crisis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    崔汝星

    2000-01-01

    国人爱食甲鱼和乌龟,并视之为滋补品。近年来,随着生活水平的提高,国人对甲鱼和乌龟的需求量激增,不仅国内的野生甲鱼和王八几遭灭顶之灾,东南亚的甲鱼王八也源源不断流入我国: Every day tons of live turtles and tortoises are being shipped from South and Southeast Asia to China. 估算之下,东南亚每年流入中国的甲鱼和乌龟的数量在一千万只左右! 孟加拉国从事甲鱼和乌龟贸易的人数竟有五万之众,年贸易量在百万只上下,价值达150万美元。 读者朋友,你在读了本文之后,是否觉得应该“嘴”下留情? 文章的末尾提及: Efforts to farm(饲养)the animals should also be intensified with the aim of taking the strain off wild populations. 值得一提的是:近几年,上海市场的甲鱼(人工饲养)价格一跌再跌。500克人工饲养的甲鱼的价格已经从过去的百元左右,下跌至目前的25元上下,且少人问津。】

  3. The phylogeny of Mediterranean tortoises and their close relativesbased on complete mitochondrial genome sequences from museumspecimens

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Parham, James F.; Macey, J. Robert; Papenfuss, Theodore J.; Feldman, Chris R.; Turkozan, Oguz; Polymeni, Rosa; Boore, Jeffrey

    2005-04-29

    As part of an ongoing project to generate a mitochondrial database for terrestrial tortoises based on museum specimens, the complete mitochondrial genome sequences of 10 species and a {approx}14 kb sequence from an eleventh species are reported. The sampling of the present study emphasizes Mediterranean tortoises (genus Testudo and their close relatives). Our new sequences are aligned, along with those of two testudinoid turtles from GenBank, Chrysemys picta and Mauremys reevesii, yielding an alignment of 14,858 positions, of which 3,238 are parsimony informative. We develop a phylogenetic taxonomy for Testudo and related species based on well-supported, diagnosable clades. Several well-supported nodes are recovered, including the monophyly of a restricted Testudo, T. kleinmanni + T. marginata (the Chersus clade), and the placement of the enigmatic African pancake tortoise (Malacochersustornieri) within the predominantly Palearctic greater Testudo group (Testudona tax. nov.). Despite the large amount of sequence reported, there is low statistical support for some nodes within Testudona and Sowe do not propose names for those groups. A preliminary and conservative estimation of divergence times implies a late Miocene diversification for the testudonan clade (6-12 million years ago), matching their first appearance in the fossil record. The multi-continental distribution of testudonan turtles can be explained by the establishment of permanent connections between Europe, Africa, and Asia at this time. The arrival of testudonan turtles to Africa occurred after one or more initial tortoise invasions gave rise to the diverse (>25 species) 'Geochelone complex.'Two unusual genomic features are reported for the mtDNA of one tortoise, M. tornieri: (1) nad4 has a shift of reading frame that we suggest is resolved by translational frameshifting of the mRNA on the ribosome during protein synthesis and (2) there are two copies of the control region and trnF, with the

  4. 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.

  5. Distribution of Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles of the Colombian Caribbean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrés Camilo Montes Corea

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available This research reviews the Colombian Caribbean distribution of the species Kinosternon scorpioides, Trachemys callirostris,Mesoclemmys dahli and Chelonoidis carbonaria, and to present new records for the region. The species K. scorpioides is reported for the first time in the Manzanares River drainage, Santa Marta, department of Magdalena. Trachemys callirostris was recorded inthe Cañas River, department of La Guajira, being the first record for this species in a small river on the north side of the SierraNevada de Santa Marta. Chelonoidis carbonaria was recorded in a wetland in Santa Marta. We recorded a female M. dahli in thevillage of Monterrubio, municipality of Sabanas de San Angel, department of Magdalena. Three of the four species includedin this account are listed in some category of threat. The lack of knowledge of the biology and distribution of these species could be considered a threat to them because ignorance precludes the establishment of their true conservation status and hinders the development of management plans required for their protection.DISTRIBUCIÓN DE TORTUGAS CONTINENTALESDEL CARIBE COLOMBIANOEste estudio revisa la distribución para el Caribe colombiano de las especies Kinosternon scorpioides, Trachemys callirostris,Mesoclemmys dahli y Chelonoidis carbonaria y nuevas localidades en la distribución de dichas especies para la región. La especie K. scorpioides es registrada por primera vez en la cuenca del río Manzanares, en Santa Marta, Magdalena. Trachemys callirostris fue registrada en el río Cañas, La Guajira, constituyéndose en el primer registro para la especie en un riachuelo de la cara norte de la Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Chelonoidis carbonaria fue registrada en un humedal ubicado en la ciudad de Santa Marta. Se registró una hembra de M. dahli en el corregimiento Monterrubio, municipio Sabana de San Ángel, Magdalena. Tres de las cuatro especies incluidas en esta revisión se encuentran en alguna categoría de amenaza; la falta de conocimiento en la biología y distribución de estas especies podría incluirse como una amenaza para ellas, pues el desconocimiento impide conocer su estado de conservación y generar planes de manejo necesarios para su protección.

  6. Studies of reproductive output of the desert tortoise at Joshua Tree National Park, the Mojave National Preserve, and comparative sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovich, J.E.; Medica, P.; Avery, H.; Meyer, K.; Bowser, G.; Brown, A.

    1999-01-01

    The stability of any population is a function of how many young are produced and how many survive to reproduce. Populations with low reproductive output and high mortality will decline until such time as deaths and births are at least balanced. Monitoring populations of sensitive species is particularly important to ensure that conditions do not favor decline or extinction. Turtles, including tortoises, are characterized by life history traits that make them slow to adapt to rapid changes in mortality and habitat alteration. Long life spans (in excess of 50 years), late maturity, and widely variable nest success are traits that allowed turtles to outlive the dinosaurs, but they are poorly adapted for life in the rapidly changing modern world. Increased mortality of young and adults can seriously tip the delicate balance required for turtles to survive.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 中华鳖对T3菌苗抗原的免疫应答%IMMUNE RESPONSE OF SOFT-SHELLED TURTLE (TRIONYX SINENSIS) TO BACTERIN T3

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    杨先乐; 周剑光; 艾晓辉; 柯福恩

    2001-01-01

    The immune response in soft-shelled turtle (Trionyx sinensis) immunized wit h bacterin T3, was determined with indirect agglutination titer (IAT) and perc ent relative protection (PRP). In the vaccinated turtle, the strong immune respo nse to bacterin T3 was produced. Six groups of 1-year-old turtles and 19 gro ups of 2-years-old turtles were respectively vaccinated by bacterin T3. At the 30th day, the PRP and IAT of the 1-year-old turtles were to 618±112(6)% and 4033±1654(6), yet the corresponding values of 2-years-old turtles were 826±152(19)% and 1?9781±7164(19) respectively. Acc or ding to the test, the PRP and IAT of 2-years-old turtles were higher than thos e of 1-year-old turtles. The study demonstrated that the effective phase of im mune response to bacterin T3 was 3 days. At the 20th day, the IAT value is up to 1?768 0±4476(4). Which maintained for about 10 day s and decreased to the initial level on the 60thday. The results proved th at the immunologic memory of the turtles was strong. The secondary enhanced immu n ization began at the 30th day of the primary immunization. The IAT increa sed quickly and was 5?7600±2?7900(4) at the 16th day of the seco n dary immunization, which reached the second peak value that was nine times as hi gh as the primary peak value. The IAT decreased to 4?2667 ±1?4780(3) at the 30th day, 2?9865±1?9553(3) at the 60th da y, and 1? 2800±0(2) at the 70th day. The result still has no significant differen ce compared to the peak value of the secondary immunization (02<P<03), yet having significantly higher than that of immunization (001<P<002) . From these facts, we can concluded that the decreasing speed of antibody of th e secondary immunization was clearly slower than increasing speed. The result sug g ests that the character of immune response of Soft-shelled

  10. Habitat selection by juvenile Mojave Desert tortoises

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todd, Brian D; Halstead, Brian J.; Chiquoine, Lindsay P.; Peaden, J. Mark; Buhlmann, Kurt A.; Tuberville, Tracey D.; Nafus, Melia G.

    2016-01-01

    Growing pressure to develop public lands for renewable energy production places several protected species at increased risk of habitat loss. One example is the Mojave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), a species often at the center of conflicts over public land development. For this species and others on public lands, a better understanding of their habitat needs can help minimize negative impacts and facilitate protection or restoration of habitat. We used radio-telemetry to track 46 neonate and juvenile tortoises in the Eastern Mojave Desert, California, USA, to quantify habitat at tortoise locations and paired random points to assess habitat selection. Tortoise locations near burrows were more likely to be under canopy cover and had greater coverage of perennial plants (especially creosote [Larrea tridentata]), more coverage by washes, a greater number of small-mammal burrows, and fewer white bursage (Ambrosia dumosa) than random points. Active tortoise locations away from burrows were closer to washes and perennial plants than were random points. Our results can help planners locate juvenile tortoises and avoid impacts to habitat critical for this life stage. Additionally, our results provide targets for habitat protection and restoration and suggest that diverse and abundant small-mammal populations and the availability of creosote bush are vital for juvenile desert tortoises in the Eastern Mojave Desert.

  11. 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.

  12. Isolation ,Identification and the Preliminary Establishment of the Multiplex-PCR of Pathogens from Soft-shelled Turtle%中华鳖病原菌菌种的分离鉴定及多重PCR的初步建立

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    燕晶; 刘文青; 高珊珊; 赵娜; 张亚宁; 赵宝华

    2013-01-01

    We identified the suspected pathogenic bacteria isolated from heart,liver and intestinal tract of soft-shelled turtle through conventional physiological and biochemical identification techniques. Multi plex PCR,which used primers designed according to conserved sequences in bacterial 16s rDNA,was also used for pathogen identification by gene amplification and sequence alignment,and the reaction conditions of multiplex PCR were optimized. By sequencing,Edwardsiella tarda (Et) f Aeromonas hydrophila (Ah) , Aeromonas veronii(Av) ,Citrobacter freundii(Cf) were identified. The high sensitivity and good specifici ty, stability and repeatability proved that the multiplex PCR was practical to identify pathogens from soft-shelled turtles.%对患病中华鳖心脏、肝脏、肠道中分离得到的疑似致病菌株进行常规生理生化鉴定,同时采用分子生物学鉴定方法,设计细菌16s rDNA保守区通用引物,进行基因扩增及序列比对,建立并优化多重PCR反应条件.分离鉴定出4种病原菌:迟钝爱德华氏菌(Edwardsiella tarda,Et)、嗜水气单胞菌(Aeromonash ydrophila,Ah)、维氏气单胞菌(Aeromonas veronii,Av)、弗氏柠檬酸杆菌(Citrobacter freundii,Cf).多重PCR检测体系敏感性与特异性良好,证明多重PCR是一种能快速准确鉴定多种中华鳖致病菌的方法,且操作简单、灵敏度高、稳定性和重复性好.

  13. 中华鳖源奇异变形杆菌的分离鉴定与致病性研究%Isolation and Identification of Pathogen Proteus mirabilis from Diseased Chinese Soft-shelled Turtle Pelodiscus sinensis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    林亚歌; 叶键; 石婷婷; 宋阳; 王玉凤; 章晓栋

    2014-01-01

    One bacterium was isolated from liver and ascites of diseased Chinese soft‐shelled turtle (Pelo‐discus sinensis ) ,outbreaked in a large‐scale breeding farm in Shangyu ,and identified as Proteus mirabilis , named SX37 through API ID32E by 16S rRNA sequencing , and biochemical reactions . Healthy soft‐shelled turtle was experimentally infected with the bacterial suspension ,and then the same bacterium was recovered with different clinic sydromes .Isolate SX43 demonstrated virulence potential in mouse models , with the median lethal dose (LD50 ) of 1 × 107 .83 cfu/mL in mice .%从患典型鳃腺炎病中华鳖肝脏和腹水处进行细菌接种,分离获得一株细菌。综合梅里埃细菌生化鉴定系统和16S rRNA序列进化分析,判断所分离菌株为奇异变形杆菌(SX37)。动物回归试验显示,该分离菌株能够引起幼鳖发病死亡,并且能够从试验幼鳖体内再次分离到相同的病原菌。但临床症状与病理解剖结果与自然发病症状不一致,显示该菌株不是中华鳖鳃腺炎病病原,而是继发病原。分离株对小鼠的半数致死量为107.83,显示该菌株具有较强的致病性。

  14. The effect of high fat diet on daily rhythm of the core clock genes and muscle functional genes in the skeletal muscle of Chinese soft-shelled turtle (Trionyx sinensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Li; Jiang, Guomin; Peng, Zhitao; Li, Yulong; Li, Jinlong; Zou, Li; He, Zhigang; Wang, Xiaoqing; Chu, Wuying

    2017-11-01

    In the present study, we sought to investigate the influence of high fat diet on the core clock genes and the muscle functional genes daily expression in the skeletal muscle of Chinese soft-shelled turtle. The turtles were fed by two diets including a control fat diet (the CON treatment, 7.98% lipid) and a high fat diet (the HFD treatment, 13.86% lipid) for six weeks and administrated by the photophase regimen of 24h light/dark (12L:12D) cycle. After the feeding trial experiment, we measured the daily expression levels of 17 core clock genes (Clock, Bmal1/2, NPAS2, Tim, Cry1/2, Per1/2, DBP, AANAT, NIFL3, BHLHE40, NR1D2, RORA, RORB, RORC) and 12 muscle functional genes (FBXO32, MBNL1, MSTN, Myf5, Myf6, MyoD, MyoG, MyoM1, PPARa, PDK4, Trim63, UCP3) in the skeletal muscle of the two treatments. The results showed that except for Bmal1, NPAS2, Per2 and RORB, the expression of the other 13 core clock genes exhibited circadian oscillation in the CON treatment. Among the 12 muscle functional genes, MBNL1, PDK4 and MyoM1 did not exhibit circadian oscillation in the CON treatment. In the HFD treatment, the circadian rhythms expressional patterns of the 8 core clock genes (Clock, Bmal2, Cry2, Per1, DBP, NFIL3, BHLHE40 and RORA) and 6 muscle functional genes (MSTN, Myf5, MyoD, MyoG, PPARa and Trim63) were disrupted. In addition, compared with the CON treatment, the circadian expression of the 5 core clock genes (Tim, Cry1, AANAT, NR1D2, RORC) and the 3 muscle functional genes (FBXO32, Myf6, UCP3) showed the advanced or delayed expression peaks in the HFD treatment. In CON treatment, the circadian expression of the MyoG, MyoD, Myf6, FBXO32 and PPARa showed positive or negative correlation with the transcription pattern of Clock, Bmal2, Cry1/2, Per1/2. However, only the FBXO32 and Myf6 presented positive or negative correlation with the circadian expression of Cry1, RORB, AANAT and Tim in HFD treatment. In summary, these results demonstrate that the disruption of the circadian

  15. Shell

    OpenAIRE

    Harper, Catherine

    2006-01-01

    Susie MacMurray's Shell installation manifests in Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, like some pulsing exotica, a heavily-textured wall-paper, darkly decorative, heavily luxurious, broodingly present, with more than a hint of the uncanny or the gothic. A remarkable undertaking by an artist of significance, this work's life-span will be just one year, and then it will disappear, leaving no physical trace, but undoubtedly contributing in a much less tangible way to an already rich layering of n...

  16. 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.

  17. Echo voltage reflected by turtle on various angles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sunardi Sunardi

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available This research proposes the acoustic measurement by using echo sounder for green turtle detection of 1 year, 12 and 18 years. Various positions or angles of turtles are head, tail, shell, lung, left and right side. MATLAB software and echo sounder are used to analyse the frequency and the response of the turtle as echo voltage and target strength parameter. Based on the experiment and analysis have been conducted, the bigger size of the turtle, the higher echo voltage and target strength. The target strength of turtle for lung and shell for all ages are -26.52 dB and –26.17 dB respectively. The target strength of turtles in this research is different with target strength of fish in our previous research. Therefore, for future research, the repellant system based on differences of target strength the turtle and fish for avoided the turtle trapping in the net can be implemented to protect the population of turtle from extinction

  18. Estimating Viability of Gopher Tortoise Populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    northeastern Florida. Journal of Herpetology 30:14–18. Butler, J. A., and S. Sowell. 1996. Survivorship and predation of hatchling and yearling gopher...tortoises, Gopherus polyphemus, Journal of Herpetology 30:455–458. Congdon, J. D., A. E. Dunham, R. C. van Loben Sels. 1993. Delayed sexual maturity and...2003. Nesting and hatchling ecology of gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus) in southern Mississippi. Journal of Herpetology 37:315–324. Eubanks, J

  19. Analysis of Gopher Tortoise Population Estimation Techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-10-01

    terrestrial reptile that was once found throughout the southeastern United States from North Carolina into Texas. However, due to numerous factors...et al. 2000, Waddle 2000). Solar energy is used for thermoregulation and egg incubation. Also, tortoises are grazers (Garner and Landers 1981...Evaluation and review of field techniques used to study and manage gopher tortoises.” Pages 205-215 in Management of amphibians, reptiles , and small mammals

  20. ISOLATION AND IDENTIFICATION OF PATHOGENIC MORGANELLA MORGANII ISOLATES FROM CHINESE SOFT-SHELLED TURTLE PELODISCUS SINENSIS%中华鳖(Pelodiscus sinensis)摩氏摩根菌(Morganella morganii)的鉴定及致病性研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    孔蕾; 朱凝瑜; 贝亦江; 丁雪燕; 陈健舜

    2013-01-01

    从3只患有头面部疖疮中华鳖(Pelodiscus sinensis)的肝脏、肾脏、头面部病灶干酪样组织,分离得到12株细菌.综合菌落形态观察、16S rRNA序列分析与生化特性分析方法,所有分离株均为摩氏摩根菌(Morganella morganii).稚鳖和小鼠感染试验提示该菌具有较强的致病力,其对小鼠的半数致死量(LD50)为107.24.同时采用常规琼脂扩散(K-B)法进行8类14种常用药物的抗菌敏感性测定,结果表明,分离株对氨基糖苷类、β-内酰胺类、四环素类、林可酰胺类、多肽类、喹诺酮类、磺胺类等中的8种药物耐药,对氨曲南、氟苯尼考、头孢哌酮则较为敏感.本研究为中华鳖以头面部疖疮为主要临床特征的摩氏摩根菌病的首例报道,旨在为该病的确诊与防治提供科学依据和参考.%An outbreak of Chinese soft-shelled turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis) disease with typical symptoms of head and facial furuncle sore happened in a large-scale breeding farm in Zhejiang Province,2012.A total of 12 isolates were collected from livers,kidneys and facial loci of these diseased turtles.Based on the colony morphology,biochemical reactions and the sequence analysis of 16S rRNA gene,these isolates were identified as Morganella morganii.These isolates demonstrated virulence potential both in Chinese soft-shelled turtle and mouse models,with the median lethal dose (LD50) in mice at 107.24.The susceptibity test to antibiotics using Kirby-Bauer Sagar diffusion method showed these M.morganii isolates were resistant to aminoglycosides,beta-lactams,tetracyclines,lincomycin amides,polypeptides,quinolones,sulfonamides,and sensitive to aztreonam,florfenicol,cefoperazone.This study represents the first report of M.morganii-mediated disease with the typical signs of head and facial furuncle sore in Chinese soft-shelled turtles,and paves the way for the prevention and treatment program of this disease.

  1. 益生元研究及其在龟鳖养殖中的应用%Prebiotics Research and Its Application in Breeding Tortoise and Soft-shelled Turtle

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    章剑

    2001-01-01

    益生元主要指低聚糖,其重要功能是维持动物体内已建立的而且是健康的消化道菌群.90年代以来,先在畜禽养殖中使用,近年来在台湾首先应用于龟类养殖,大陆在鳖的养殖中已经开始应用,效果显著.提出养龟中益生元的推荐用量.

  2. utilization of tortoise (chelonoides nigra, quoy and gaimard, 1824)

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Tersor

    utilized, factors militating against the availability of tortoise, various methods of procuring tortoise, the perceived population ..... source of meat in Malaysia was described by .... Impact of Tourism on ... Forestry and Social Sciences 9 (2): 32 – 38.

  3. Gopherus Agassizii (Desert Tortoise). Predation/Mountain Lions (Pre-Print)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paul D. Greger and Philip A. Medica

    2009-01-01

    During a long-term study on tortoise growth within 3 fenced 9-ha enclosures in Rock Valley, Nevada Test Site (NTS), Nye County, Nevada, USA, tortoises have been captured annually since 1964 (Medica et al. 1975. Copeia 1975:630-643; Turner et al. 1987. Copeia 1987:974-979). Between early August and mid October 2003 we observed a significant mortality event. The Rock Valley enclosures were constructed of 6 x 6 mm mesh 1.2 m wide hardware cloth, buried 0.3 m in the soil with deflective flashing on both sides on the top to restrict the movement of small mammals and lizards from entering or leaving the enclosures (Rundel and Gibson 1996, Ecological communities and process in a Mojave Desert ecosystem: Rock Valley, Nevada, Cambridge University Press, Great Britain. 369 pp.). On August 6, 2003, the carcass of an adult female Desert Tortoise No.1411 (carapace length 234 mm when alive) was collected while adult male tortoise No.4414 (carapace length 269 mm) was observed alive and in good health on the same day. Subsequently the carcass of No.4414 was found on October 16, 2003. Between October 16-17, 2003, the remains of 6 (5 adult and 1 juvenile) Desert Tortoises were found, some within each of the 3 enclosures in Rock Valley. A seventh adult tortoise was found on September 26, 2006, its death also attributed to the 2003 mortality event based upon the forensic evidence. Each of the 7 adult Desert Tortoises had the central portion of their carapace broken open approximately to the dorsal portion of the marginal scutes while the plastron was still intact (Figure 1A). Adjacent to 7 of the 8 remains we located numerous bone fragments including parts of the carapace and limbs as well as dried intestines in a nearby Range Rhatany (Krameria parvifolia) shrub. The significance of the frequent use of this shrub is puzzling. Three of the Desert Tortoise shell remains possessed distinctive intercanine punctures measuring 55-60 mm center to center indicating that this was an adult

  4. Establishment of drug-induced liver disease model and pathological observation in soft shell turtle Trionyx sinensis%中华鳖药源性肝病模型的构建及其病理学观察

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    陈彦伶; 牟群; 潘连德; 刘译浓; 王爱卿; 郑佳瑞; 邱进

    2013-01-01

    根据预试验结果,通过对人工饲养的中华鳖Trionyx sinensis投喂含2 g/kg(饲料)诺氟沙星和10 g/kg(饲料)土霉素的药饵,以及设定空白对照组(共8个试验组),构建中华鳖药源性肝病模型,运用组织与细胞病理学方法,研究患药源性肝病的中华鳖组织显微与亚显微结构的病理变化.结果表明:构建的药源性肝病模型中,诺氟沙星组阳性率最高(31.3%),土霉素组阳性率略低(15.0%),与诺氟沙星组和土霉素组池水相通的对照组阳性率较低(10.0%、5.0%),而4个空白对照组均未发现阳性个体;高剂量和长时间使用两种药物均可导致中华鳖出现典型的“白底板”症状;患药源性肝病的中华鳖肝、脾、肾均有不同程度的病变,其中肝组织病变最为严重,不管是个体还是群体病例的病理过程均符合非寄生性肝病特征.药物致中华鳖肝组织损害的组织病理过程是:在药毒作用下,起初表现为肝组织脂肪变性和炎症反应,肝静脉扩张、分支血液回流受阻,窦状隙扩张,肝淤血严重,体积增大显著,后期肝细胞索先于扩张的肝血窦变性和坏死,最终肝血窦也坏死,肝组织硬变并有肝性血样腹水产生;肝细胞内脂滴越来越多,核固缩变形,线粒体和高尔基体以及内质网膨胀而破碎,细胞膜破碎,炎性细胞数量多,细胞病变与组织病理具有一致性.药源性肝病的转归表明,当致病因素(大剂量药物饵料)撤销后,中华鳖有较强的恢复性,且土霉素组较诺氟沙星组康复的快.%A drug-induced liver disease model was established in soft shell turtle Trionyx sinensis fed medicated diet containing norfloxacin at a dose of 2 g/kg and oxytetracyline at a dose of 10 g/kg(one blank control group), and pathological changes in microscopic and ultramicroscopic structure were observed in the drug-induced the soft shell turtle tissues by tissue and cell pathology methods. The model showed

  5. Effects of Stocking Density on Water Quality, Growth and Economic Benefits of Chinese Soft-shelled Turtle Pelodiscus sinensis in Ponds

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wei LI; Huaiyu DING; Fengyin ZHANG; Tanglin ZHANG; Jiashou LIU; Zhongjie LI

    2016-01-01

    The Chinese soft-shel ed turtle Pelodiscus sinensis is a high-valued freshwater species cultured in China. This study in-vestigated the effects of stocking density on water quality, growth performance and economic return of Pelodiscus sinensis cul-tured in ponds. P. sinensis were stocked at densities of 1 ind./m2 (LD: low stocking density) and 2 ind./m2 (HD: high stocking density) in 3 000-m2 ponds, with three replicate ponds for each density. P. sinensis juveniles were fed with a commercial dry pel et feed of 46% crude protein and minced fil et of silver carp ans cultured for 122 days. The results showed that the levels of total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorous (TP), Chlorophyl-a (Chl. a) and turbidity in LD treatment were significantly lower than those in HD treatment (P<0.05). The mean TN and TP concentration in LD treatment was 29.3% and 35.7% lower compared to the HD treatment at the end of the experiment, respectively. Mean survival rates, final weight, average growth rates and PER were significantly higher in LD treatment compared with the HD treatment (P<0.05), respectively. Production was significantly af-fected by stocking density, which was higher in HD treatment, but the net income was higher in LD treatment. The results sug-gest that turtles with mean weight 55.6 g rearing at a low stocking density (1 ind./m2) in ponds had a positive effect on overal economic return and was effective at improving turtle growth performance and water quality.

  6. Salmonella from gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus) in south Georgia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lockhart, J Mitchell; Lee, Gregory; Turco, Jenifer; Chamberlin, Linda

    2008-10-01

    From 2002 to 2006, gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus) were collected at Moody Air Force Base, Lowndes/Lanier counties, Georgia, USA, and opportunistically surveyed for the presence of Salmonella species. Four of 155 (2.6%) cloacal swabs collected from 80 tortoises were positive for the presence of Salmonella enterica, and the following serovars were identified: Give, Hartford, Javiana, and Luciana. Female tortoises (5%) were infected at a rate similar to male tortoises (5%). All isolates were obtained from adult tortoises (n = 73); subadults (n = 7) were all negative. Each isolated serovar is a potential human pathogen, suggesting appropriate precautions should be emphasized when handling these animals.

  7. Isolation and identification of multidrug resistant Citrobacter freundii from diseased soft -shelled turtle, Pelodiscus sinensis%一株多重耐药中华鳖源弗氏柠檬酸杆菌的分离鉴定

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    毛烁君; 斯广杰; 任晓金; 石婷婷; 章烨; 王卓瑞; 章晓栋

    2015-01-01

    从患典型鳃腺炎病中华鳖(Pelodiscus sinensis)肝脏和腹水处进行细菌接种,分离获得一株细菌。综合菌落形态,16 S rRNA 序列进化分析和 API 细菌生化鉴定系统判定,所得菌株为弗氏柠檬酸杆菌(Citrobacter freundii)(SX43)。动物回归实验显示,分离株对小鼠的半数致死量(LD50)为106.5 CFU,显示该菌株具有较强的致病性,可从实验幼鳖体内再次分离到相同的病原菌。常用药物的抗菌敏感性测定显示,菌株 SX43对头孢哌酮、头孢曲松、头孢呋辛、复方新诺明、氯霉素高度敏感。%One bacteria was isolated from liver and ascites of diseased soft- shelled turtles( Pelodiscus sinensis) suffered with parotitis, on the colony morphology, Gram’s staining, API ID32E bacterial biochemical identification system and se-quence analysis of 16S rRNA gene, the isolate bacteria was identified as Citrobacter freundii, named SX43.Healthy soft -shelled turtles (Pelodiscus sinensis) were used for experimental infection with bacterial suspension, the same bacterium could be recovered.Isolate SX43 was demonstrated virulence potential in mouse models, with the median lethal dose (LD50 ) in mice at 10 6.5 CFU.The susceptibility test to antibiotics demonstrated that the bacterial strain SX43 was suscepti-ble to cefoperazone, rocephin, cefuroxim, co -trimoxazole, chloramphenicol.

  8. Sea Turtle Interaction Report

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Sea Turtle Interaction Report is a report sent out in pdf format to authorized individuals that summarizes sea turtle interactions in the longline fishery. The...

  9. Sea Turtle Interaction Report

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Sea Turtle Interaction Report is a report sent out in pdf format to authorized individuals that summarizes sea turtle interactions in the longline fishery. The...

  10. Clever Turtle

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李传霞

    2007-01-01

    @@ 人物: F-Fox G-Frog T-Turtle F:(到处寻找食物)I haven't had anything for a whole day.I'm hungry.I want to eat something.(看见青蛙,高兴极了)Wow!A frog!How fat it is!I'll eat it.(悄悄接近青蛙.) G:(正忙着捉害虫,没察觉到狐狸正在靠近)So many pests!I'll eat them up. T:(睡醒后,看到危境中的青蛙)Oh,a fox!He will eat the frog.Poor Frog,he knows nothing at all.I should help him.But what shall I do?Oh,I have an idea.(伸出头,一口咬住了狐狸的尾巴.)

  11. Serotypes and antibiotic susceptibility patterns of Salmonella spp. isolates from spur-thighed tortoise, Testudo graeca illegally introduced in Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Giacopello

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The prevalence of Salmonella carriage and distribution of serotypes in spur-thighed tortoises, Testudo graeca Linnaeus, 1758 illegallyintroduced in Italy was studied to assess the risk of disease exposure for humans once these specimens were traded as pets. Antibiotic susceptibilitypatterns were also analyzed to estimate the emergence of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella strains. One hundred forty-six cloacal swabs ofspur-thighed tortoises were tested by standard bacteriological methods. Antimicrobial susceptibility tests on Salmonella strains isolated werealso performed. Ninety-one Salmonella spp. strains were isolated in 74 of 146 turtles examined and a total of 20 different serotypes were found.Out of the 91 isolates, 67 were grouped in the Salmonella enterica subspecies I. Salmonella isolates were susceptible to most of the antibioticstested. Resistance was most commonly observed against tetracycline (57.1% followed by ampicillin (33.0%, streptomycin (13.2% andamoxicillin-clavulanic acid (11.0%. Our findings confirm that wild-caught spur-thighed tortoises can carry different serotypes of Salmonella .Accordingly, strict preventive sanitation measures should be adopted when handling reptiles.

  12. 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.

  13. DETECTION OF INTRANUCLEAR COCCIDIOSIS IN TORTOISES IN EUROPE AND CHINA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolesnik, Ekaterina; Dietz, Janosch; Heckers, Kim O; Marschang, Rachel E

    2017-06-01

    Intranuclear coccidiosis of tortoises (TINC) has been described in association with systemic disease in various species of tortoises. TINC has been detected in numerous tortoises from the United States, but there are only a few reports from tropical tortoises in Germany and no reports from Asia. Using a real-time polymerase chain reaction assay, samples from 1,011 tortoises were screened for the presence of TINC. Samples originated from animals kept in captivity in Europe and in China. Coccidia were detected in a total of 27 chelonians (2.7%), including the first description of TINC in a marginated tortoise ( Testudo marginata ), Hermann's tortoise ( Testudo hermanni ), African spurred tortoise (Centrochelys sulcata), and yellow-footed tortoise (Chelonoidis denticulatus). The highest percentage of positive animals was found in radiated tortoises ( Astrochelys radiata ). Although the percentage of positive animals was relatively low, this study demonstrates the global distribution of TINC in captive chelonians as well as expanding the known host range for these pathogens.

  14. 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.

  15. Environ: E00263 [KEGG MEDICUS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available E00263 Turtle shell Fresh-water turtle plastron Tortoise plastron Crude drug Colloi...d, Fat, calcium salt Chinemys reevesii [TAX:260615] Geoemydidae Turtle plastron Crude drugs [BR:br08305] Animals Reptiles E00263 Turtle shell ...

  16. Multistate Outbreak of Human Salmonella Poona Infections Associated with Pet Turtle Exposure--United States, 2014.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basler, Colin; Bottichio, Lyndsay; Higa, Jeffrey; Prado, Belinda; Wong, Michael; Bosch, Stacey

    2015-07-31

    In May 2014, a cluster of human Salmonella Poona infections was identified through PulseNet, the national molecular subtyping network for foodborne disease surveillance. Historically, this rare serotype has been identified in multiple Salmonella outbreaks associated with pet turtle exposure and has posed a particular risk to small children. Although the sale and distribution of small turtles (those with carapace [upper shell] lengths turtles are still available for illegal purchase through transient street vendors, at flea markets, and at fairs.

  17. 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.

  18. Field Test of Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus Polyphemus) Population Estimation Techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-04-01

    of Herpetology 14:177-182. Auffenberg, W., and R. Franz. 1982. The Status and distribution of the gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus). 12, U.S...gopher tortoise (Gopherus-polyphemus) burrows in coastal scrub and slash pine flatwoods. Journal of Herpetology 25:317-321. Buckland, S. T., D. R... Herpetology 26:281-289. Doonan, T. J. 1986. A demographic study of an isolated population of the gopher tortoise, Gopherus polyphemus, and an assessment of a

  19. 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.

  20. Tortoises as a dietary supplement: A view from the Middle Pleistocene site of Qesem Cave, Israel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blasco, Ruth; Rosell, Jordi; Smith, Krister T.; Maul, Lutz Christian; Sañudo, Pablo; Barkai, Ran; Gopher, Avi

    2016-02-01

    Dietary reconstructions can offer an improved perspective on human capacities of adaptation to the environment. New methodological approaches and analytical techniques have led to a theoretical framework for understanding how human groups used and adapted to their local environment. Faunal remains provide an important potential source of dietary information and allow study of behavioural variation and its evolutionary significance. Interest in determining how hominids filled the gaps in large prey availability with small game or what role small game played in pre-Upper Palaeolithic societies is an area of active research. Some of this work has focused on tortoises because they represent an important combination of edible and non-edible resources that are easy to collect if available. The exploitation of these slow-moving animals features prominently in prey choice models because the low handling costs of these reptiles make up for their small body size. Here, we present new taphonomic data from two tortoise assemblages extracted from the lower sequence of the Middle Pleistocene site of Qesem Cave, Israel (420-300 ka), with the aim of assessing the socio-economic factors that may have led to the inclusion of this type of resource in the human diets. We show that hominid damage on large tortoise specimens from Qesem Cave is not unusual and that evidence such as cut marks, percussion marks and consistent patterns of burning suggests established sequences of processing, including cooking in the shell, defleshing, and direct percussion to access the visceral content. These matters make it possible not only to assess the potential role of tortoises as prey, but also to evaluate collecting behaviour in the resource acquisition systems and eco-social strategies at the Acheulo-Yabrudian Cultural Complex (AYCC) in the southern Levant.

  1. ISOLATION,PURIFICATION AND IDENTIFICATION OF METALLOTHIONEIN IN CHINESE SOFT-SHELLED TURTLE (PELODISCUS SINENSIS) LIVER%中华鳖肝金属硫蛋白的分离、纯化及鉴定(英文)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    林稚兰; 李福荣; 马国栋; 梁爽

    2002-01-01

    Metallothioneins ( MTs ) are a group of low molecular weight,metal-binding and cysteine rich proteins.MTs are widely distributed throughout living organisms and are fairly well identified in mammals,amphibians,fishes,plants,fungi,and cyanobacteria.To compare with the MT's character,the high degree of conservation of amino acid sequence and the central segments in MTs from many sources will provide significant information for investigation of MT's structure and function or the molecular evolution.Thus far,there are no reports for MT isolated from reptiles.In the present paper,we report the presence of MT from turtle liver.Each extract of Chinese soft-shelled turtle ( Pelodiscus sinensis) liver after induction with subcutaneous injection of ZnSO4,CuSO4 or CdCl2 was separated by gel filtration chromatography Sephadex G-50 column and subsequent DEAE Sepharose CL-6B,than Sephadex G-25 for desalination,respectively.According to the results of mass spectrometry and HPLC filtration chromatography detection,the molecular weight of the MT is shown to be about 6 300 dalton.The MT containing 61 amino acid residues has a high cysteine content (17%),aromatic amino acids (tyrosine,phenylalanine),arginine and histidine are considerably low.Zn-MT,Cu-MT or Cd-MT has an ultraviolet absorption shoulder near 220 nm,270 nm or 250 nm,respectively.In the present work we show that the properties of turtle liver MT are similar to the mammals in molecular weight and cysteine residues of MT.However,the other properties (including the amino acid composition of MT and the capability of binding metal ions) are similar to the MT from the earthworm and yeast.The characteristic of MT in turtle lies between the MT of mammals and lower living organisms.This result presents the distinguishing characteristics of biological evolution of MT in turtle.%金属硫蛋白(metallothionein,MT)是一类低分子量、富含半胱氨酸的金属结合蛋白.MT几乎广泛分布于所有生物,包括哺乳动物

  2. 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)

  3. Turtle Data Processing System (TDPS) - Nesting Turtles

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  4. Turtle Data Processing System (TDPS) - 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...

  5. Turtle Data Processing System (TDPS) - Nearshore Turtles

    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...

  6. 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

    2014-01-01

    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.

  7. Effects of Pesticide Exposure on Embryonic Development and Hatchling Traits of Turtles

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Baofeng WU; Liang LIANG; Liang MA; Weiguo DU

    2016-01-01

    Deltamethrin is a widespread environmental hormone with endocrine-disrupting properties, but its effect on embryonic development of reptiles is largely unexplored. We investigated the effects of deltamethrin on embryonic development and offspring traits in two turtle species, one with parchment-shelled eggs and the other with rigid-shelled eggs. Deltamethrin exposure during egg incubation did not affect hatching success and hatchling body size in either species. However, embryonic exposure to deltamethrin resulted in reduced hatchling locomotor performance in the red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scripta) with parchment-shelled eggs, but not in the Chinese three-keeled pond turtle (Chinemys reevesii) with rigid-shelled eggs. These results suggest that parchment-shelled eggs are likely more vulnerable to deltamethrin than rigid-shelled eggs.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Detection of Mycoplasma agassizii in the Texas Tortoise (Gopherus berlandieri)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guthrie, Amanda L.; White, C. LeAnn; Brown, Mary B.; deMaar, Thomas W.

    2013-01-01

    Mycoplasma agassizii causes upper respiratory tract disease (URTD) in Texas tortoises (Gopherus berlandieri). To determine exposure to and shedding of M. agassizii, we collected blood samples and nasal swabs from 40 free-ranging Texas tortoises on public and private lands in Texas, USA, from May to October 2009. We used an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to detect M. agassizii–specific antibodies. Eleven (28%) tortoises were antibody positive, three (8%) were suspect, and the remaining 26 (65%) were negative. Nasal lavage samples were collected from 35 of the 40 tortoises for M. agassizii culture and PCR to detect shedding of M. agassizii. Current infection with M. agassizii was confirmed in one tortoise that had mild clinical signs of URTD and was positive by ELISA (antibody titer >512), PCR, and culture. The clinical isolate was confirmed as M. agassizii by restriction fragment length polymorphism and immunobinding.

  11. Turtle embryos move to optimal thermal environments within the egg.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Bo; Li, Teng; Shine, Richard; Du, Wei-Guo

    2013-08-23

    A recent study demonstrated that the embryos of soft-shelled turtles can reposition themselves within their eggs to exploit locally warm conditions. In this paper, we ask whether turtle embryos actively seek out optimal thermal environments for their development, as do post-hatching individuals. Specifically, (i) do reptile embryos move away from dangerously high temperatures as well as towards warm temperatures? and (ii) is such embryonic movement due to active thermoregulation, or (more simply) to passive embryonic repositioning caused by local heat-induced changes in viscosity of fluids within the egg? Our experiments with an emydid turtle (Chinemys reevesii) show that embryos avoid dangerously high temperatures by moving to cooler regions of the egg. The repositioning of embryos is an active rather than passive process: live embryos move towards a heat source, whereas dead ones do not. Overall, our results suggest that behavioural thermoregulation by turtle embryos is genuinely analogous to the thermoregulatory behaviour exhibited by post-hatching ectotherms.

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  14. The tortoise shell Integrated Coastal Management in Galapagos

    OpenAIRE

    Polit Arguello, Victor Manuel

    2013-01-01

    The current work aims to examine the legal framework for Integrated Coastal Management for Archipelago de Galapagos. It examines the content of ICM at the internal level in order to find if there is a standard for appropriate Integrated Management of Coastal Zones. Also it aims to define whether the ratification of UNCLOS by the government of Ecuador should affect the implementation of such framework.

  15. Book review: Biology and conservation of North American tortoises

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munoz, David; Aiello, Christina M.

    2015-01-01

    The charismatic North American tortoises hold a special place in our culture and natural history. Despite the perseverance of these tortoises over millions of years, biologists now question their ability to persist into the future. In light of documented declines, habitat loss, and numerous threats to tortoise populations, the editors gathered a diverse group of researchers to review what we have learned about this group after decades of study, to summarize gaps in the literature, and to reflect on how we may use the current state of knowledge to conserve these fascinating species. Initially intended as a focused review of the two most well-studied species in the genus Gopherus, G. agassizii (Mohave Desert Tortoise) and G. polyphemus (Gopher Tortoise), the book developed into a comprehensive treatment of the entire genus. The editors offer the work as a resource to professional biologists and agencies working with North American tortoises as well as a teaching aid, hobbyist’s reference, and casual read for nature-lovers—although we presume that the former group is more likely to benefit than the latter. Although the book’s size appears modest, the content delivers an in-depth look at the five recognized tortoise species.

  16. The dawn of chelonian research: turtles between comparative anatomy and embryology in the 19th century.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacCord, Kate; Caniglia, Guido; Moustakas-Verho, Jacqueline E; Burke, Ann C

    2015-05-01

    Many evo-devo studies of the turtle's shell draw hypotheses and support from historical sources. The groundbreaking works of Cuvier, Geoffroy St. Hilaire, Carus, Rathke, Owen, and others are being revived in modern research, and their centuries-old understanding of the turtle's shell reconsidered. In the works of these eminent biologists of the 19th century, comparative anatomy and embryology of turtle morphology set the stage for future studies in developmental biology, histology, and paleontology. Given the impact that these works still make on modern research, it is important to develop a thorough appreciation of previous authors, regarding how they arrived at their conclusions (i.e., what counted as evidence?), whether there was debate amongst these authors about shell development (i.e., what counted as an adequate explanation?), and even why these men, some of the most powerful and influential thinkers and anatomists of their day, were concerned with turtles. By tracing and exposing the context and content of turtle shell studies in history, our aim is to inform modern debates about the evolution and development of the turtle's shell. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. 中华鳖幼鳖对4种饲料原料中粗蛋白质和氨基酸的表观消化率%Apparent Digestibility of Crude Protein and Amino Acids of Four Feed Ingredients for Juvenile Soft-Shelled Turtle (Trionyx sinensis)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    吴文静; 王爱民; 高强; 窦超; 刘波; 黄金田; 吕富; 刘文斌; 徐维娜

    2014-01-01

    The apparent digestibility of crude protein and amino acids of 4 feed ingredients—silkworm chrysa-lis, fermented soybean meal, meat-bone meal and corn gluten meal for juvenile soft-shelled turtle ( Trionyx sinensis) were determined in this experiment, in order to explore the new type protein feed ingredients for soft-shelled turtle. Four experimental diets were formulated. The experimental diets were consisted of 70% basal diet and 30% test feed ingredient, and contained 0.5% chromic oxide as an exogenous indicator. One hundred and fifty juvenile soft-shelled turtle with the average body weight of (120.0±1.5) g were randomly divided into 5 groups with 3 replicates per group and 10 soft-shelled turtle per replicate. The soft-shelled turtle in basal diet group were fed the basal diet, and those in the other 4 groups were fed one of experimental diets, respectively. After 1 weeks feeding, the fecal samples were collected by siphon method, and then the apparent digestibility of crude protein and amino acids was determined. The results showed as follows:1) the apparent digestibility of crude protein in corn gluten meal, fermented soybean meal and silkworm chrysalis for soft-shelled turtle was 90.57%, 86.34% and 85.75%, respectively, higher than that in meat-bone meal (75.98%) (P<0.05). 2) For animal protein sources, the apparent digestibility of total amino acids in silkworm chrysalis was higher, which was 92. 44%, while that in meat-bone meal was lower, which only was 75. 39%. For plant protein sources, the apparent digestibility of total amino acids in corn gluten meal was higher, which was 96.56%, and that in fermented soybean meal was 87.90%. The results indicate that silkworm chrysalis can be used as a source of high quality animal protein source, and fermented soybean meal can be used as a better plant protein source for soft-shelled turtle.%本试验旨在研究中华鳖( Trionyx sinensis)幼鳖对蚕蛹、发酵豆粕、肉骨粉和玉米蛋白粉4种饲料

  18. Green Turtle Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — These data represent the critical habitat for green turtle as designated by Federal Register Vol. 63, No. 46701, September 2, 1998, Rules and Regulations.

  19. Marine turtle capture data

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — To estimate abundance, growth, and survival rate and to collect tissue samples, marine turtles are captured at nesting beaches and foraging grounds through various...

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. Green Turtle Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — These data represent the critical habitat for green turtle as designated by Federal Register Vol. 63, No. 46701, September 2, 1998, Rules and Regulations.

  3. 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 tu

  4. 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 tu

  5. 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.

  6. Final Critical Habitat for the Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii)

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — To provide the user with a general idea of areas where final critical habitat for desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) occur based on the description provided in the...

  7. Species status assessment for the Sonoran desert tortoise

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The Sonoran desert tortoise (Gopherus morafkai) occurs in various habitat types in Arizona and northern Mexico. It was made a candidate for listing in 2010 by the...

  8. Relative abundance of desert tortoises on the Nevada Test Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rautenstrauch, K.R.; O`Farrell, T.P.

    1993-12-31

    Seven hundred fifty-nine transects having a total length of 1,191 km were walked during 1981--1986 to determine the distribution and relative abundance of desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) on the Nevada Test Site (NTS). The abundance of tortoises on NTS was low to very low relative to other populations in the Mojave Desert. Sign of tortoises was found from 880 to 1,570 m elevation and was more abundant above 1,200 m than has been reported previously for Nevada. Tortoises were more abundant on NTS on the upper alluvial fans and slopes of mountains than in valley bottoms. They also were more common on or near limestone and dolomite mountains than on mountains of volcanic origin.

  9. Enhancing and restoring habitat for the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abella, Scott R.; Berry, Kristin H.

    2016-01-01

    Habitat has changed unfavorably during the past 150 years for the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), a threatened species with declining populations in the Mojave and western Sonoran Desert. To support recovery efforts, we synthesized published information on relationships of desert tortoises with three habitat features (cover sites, forage, and soil) and candidate management practices for improving these features for tortoises. In addition to their role in soil health and facilitating recruitment of annual forage plants, shrubs are used by desert tortoises for cover and as sites for burrows. Outplanting greenhouse-grown seedlings, protected from herbivory, has successfully restored (>50% survival) a variety of shrubs on disturbed desert soils. Additionally, salvaging and re-applying topsoil using effective techniques is among the more ecologically beneficial ways to initiate plant recovery after severe disturbance. Some plant species provide better-quality forage than others. Tortoises selectively forage on particular annual and herbaceous perennial species, such as legumes, with favored plants varying with phenological stage within years. Non-native grasses are non-preferred forage and contribute fuel to spreading wildfires, which damage or kill shrubs that tortoises use for cover. Maintaining a diverse "menu" of native annual forbs and decreasing non-native grasses are priorities for restoring most desert tortoise habitats. Reducing herbivory by non-native animals, carefully timing herbicide applications, and strategically augmenting annual forage plants via seeding show promise for improving tortoise forage quality. Roads, another disturbance, negatively affect habitat in numerous ways (e.g., compacting soil, altering hydrology). Techniques such as re-contouring road berms to reestablish drainage patterns, vertical mulching ("planting" dead plant material), and creating barriers to prevent trespasses can assist natural recovery on decommissioned backcountry

  10. Habitat Selection by the Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-03-01

    distribution. Herpetological Review 32:191. Clark, E.E. 2003. Relocation and population modeling for gopher tortoise recovery. M.S. Thesis...Gopherus polyphemus in northern Florida. Journal of Herpetology 26:158-165. Diemer, J.E. 1992b. Demography of the tortoise Gopherus polyphemus...in northern Florida. Journal of Herpetology 26:281-289. ERDC/CERL TR-07-1 33 Dozier, J., and J. Stowe. 1999. Tillman Sand Ridge Heritage

  11. 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.

  12. 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)

  13. 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.

  14. Variation in growth of herbivorous tortoises: causes and consequences for reproduction and health management

    OpenAIRE

    Ritz, J

    2011-01-01

    Reptiles have very flexible growth rates, depending on living conditions - in particular dietary resources. Here, I demonstrate a difference in the growth rates of captive specimens, as compared to literature data for free-ranging ones, in Leopard tortoises (Geochelone pardalis), African spurred tortoises (G. sulcata), Hermann’s tortoises (Testudo hermanni) and Spur-thighed tortoises (T. graeca). Such high growth rates are traditionally thought to be linked to health problems. In the case of ...

  15. The Turtle's Shell: Protecting the Life Underneath

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garvey, John; Gordon, John; Kleinbard, Peter; Wasserman, Paul

    2013-01-01

    In this chapter, four longtime adult literacy practitioners recount their pathways into the field in the late 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s. Their stories highlight the creativity and openness that characterized literacy work in those years and point to what has been lost as the field has become dominated by the Workforce Investment Act and the…

  16. Field Assessment of Gopher Tortoise Habitat at Camp Shelby, MS. Phase II: Overstory and Combined Assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-17

    in R. B. Burg, (ed.). North American Tortoises : Conservation and Ecology. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wildlife Research Report 12. Washington...Habitat selection and modification by Gopher Tortoise , Gopherus polyphemus, in Georgia longleaf pine forest. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 3...essen- tial to balance successful conservation and restoration of gopher tortoise populations on military installations while sustaining the

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

  20. Wildlife DNA forensics against crime: resolution of a case of tortoise theft.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mucci, Nadia; Mengoni, Chiara; Randi, Ettore

    2014-01-01

    A paternity test was used to investigate a robbery case involving captive individuals of Greek tortoise (Testudo graeca). Six tortoises were allegedly stolen from a private breeder and offered for sale on the web by the supposed thief. The stolen tortoises were confiscated by the rangers of the State Forestry Corps (CFS). A panel of 14 autosomal microsatellite loci was used to genotype the seized tortoises and ten individuals assumed to be legally owned by the breeder. Kinship analyses reliably reconstructed the tortoise pedigree, demonstrating parent-offspring relationships among the owned and the stolen tortoises. As correctly declared by the breeder, four of the six stolen individuals belonged to the same family group of the ten legally owned tortoises. Results indicate that genetic identification procedures can provide valuable evidence and give useful support against illegal wildlife traffic.

  1. How do hatcheries influence embryonic development of sea turtle eggs? Experimental analysis and isolation of microorganisms in leatherback turtle eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patino-Martinez, Juan; Marco, Adolfo; Quiñones, Liliana; Abella, Elena; Abad, Roberto Muriel; Diéguez-Uribeondo, Javier

    2012-01-01

    Many conservation programs consider translocation of turtle nests to hatcheries as a useful technique. The repeated use of the same incubation substrate over several seasons in these hatcheries could, however, be harmful to embryos if pathogens were able to accumulate or if the physical and chemical characteristics of the incubation environment were altered. However, this hypothesis has yet to be tested. We conducted two field experiments to evaluate the effects of hatchery sand and eggshell decay on the embryonic development of leatherback sea turtle eggs in Colombia. We identified the presence of both fungi and bacteria species on leatherback turtle eggs. Sea turtle eggs exposed to previously used hatchery substrates or to decaying eggshells during the first and middle third of the embryonic development produced hatchlings that were smaller and/or weighed less than control eggs. However, this did not negatively influence hatching success. The final third of embryonic development seems to be less susceptible to infection by microorganisms associated with decaying shells. We discuss the mechanisms that could be affecting sea turtle egg development when in contact with fungi. Further studies should seek to understand the infection process and the stages of development in which the fungi are more virulent to the eggs of this critically endangered species.

  2. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Joyce, Walter G.; Gauthier, Jacques Armand

    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...

  4. The effect of growth rate and ageing on colour variation of European pond turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibáñez, Alejandro; Martín, José; Marzal, Alfonso; Bertolero, Albert

    2017-06-01

    Many chelonians have colourful dots, patches and stripes throughout their body that are made up, at least in part, of carotenoids. Therefore, turtles are very suitable models to study the evolution and functionality of carotenoid-based colouration. Recent studies suggested a close link between colouration and immune system in these taxa. However, more research is needed to understand the role of these colourful stripes and patches in turtle visual signalling. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between growth rate and colouration in European pond turtles. In particular, we wanted to answer the question of whether there is a trade-off between growth and colour expression. We also aimed to explore the effect of body size and age on colour variation. Turtles from a reintroduction-breeding program were recaptured, weighed and measured over an 8-year period to estimate their growth rates and age. We also measured with a spectrometer the reflectance of colour patches in two different body parts: shell and forelimb. We found that turtles with a faster growth rate had brighter limb stripes independently of their age. On the other hand, shell colouration was related to body size with larger turtles having brighter shell stripes and higher values of carotenoid chroma. Our results suggest that fast-growers may afford to express intense colourful limb stripes likely due to their higher intake of carotenoids that would modulate both growth and colour expression. However, shell colouration was related to body size probably due to ontogenetic differences in the diet, as juveniles are strictly carnivorous while adults are omnivorous. Alternatively, shell colouration might be involved in crypsis as the shell is visually exposed to predators.

  5. Egypt Battles to Save Its Endangered Tortoise

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Reim; Bashir; 陆小丫

    2000-01-01

    本文让我们认识了一种Egyptian Tortoise,其学名是Testudo Kleinmanni,是世界上最小的龟种之一。其生活环境险恶,并有“保护色”: It is found in both sandy and fairly rocky habitats(生活环境)and its lightbrown color blends(混和)in with the local soil color. 但是,这种保护色也许能帮助它们对付其他动物,然而,“保护色”却对付不了本应是它们朋友的人类!现在,Testudo Kleinmanni已被列为most endangeredtortoises。 本文透露的信息让我们略感欣慰:拯救Testudo Kleinmanni已经成了一个国际行动。 世界野生动物横遭“灭顶之灾”的原因似乎有其共同之处,值得我们深思: Overgrazing(过度放牧)and the expansion of agriculture and tourism threatentheir existence…

  6. A phylogenomic analysis of turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

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

  7. Cloning and phylogenetic analysis of ACE2 gene in the kidney of the soft-shelled turtle,Pelodiscus sinensis%中华鳖肾脏ACE2基因克隆及其遗传进化分析

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    徐春生; 姚一琳; 杨平; JAMEEL Ahmed Gandahi; 包慧君; 卞勋光; 邬丽; 陈秋生

    2011-01-01

    Angiotensin-convertingenzyme 2 ( ACE2) is an important regulatory factor in salt and water metabolism of kidney. which can affect renal function by regulating the renal blood flow. According to the consensu s sequence of ACE2 gene from human, zebrafish and chicken in GenBank, a pair of primers was designed. The total RNA was extracted from the kidney of Pelodiscus sinensis. ACE2 gene was amplified and identified by RT-PCR. ACE2 gene in soft-shelled turtle was 355 nucleotides in length. The sequence analysis showed 70. 3% , 80% and 65. 1% of identities with those in human, chicken and zebrafish, respectively. The sequence similarities in amino acids were 63.8% ,79. 3% and 56. 9% , respectively. The phylogenetic analysis showed that the renal ACE2 in the turtle were highly homologous to those of chicken and human, whereas showed the highest homology with that of chicken. It suggested that ACE2 of turtle has the closest relationship with the birds, which is consistent with the evolution theory of species.%血管紧张素转换酶2(ACE2)为肾脏水盐代谢的重要调控因子,其通过调节肾脏局部血流量影响肾脏功能.为了证明爬行动物是否存在ACE2基因,本研究以中华鳌作为实验材料,应用RT-PCR方法扩增并克隆ACE2基因.结果表明,克隆的这段中华鳌ACE2序列长度为355 bp,与人、鸡和斑马鱼ACE2核苷酸序列的同源性分别达到70.3%、80%和65.1%,推导的氨基酸序列同源性分别为63.8%、79.3%和56.9%.表明中华鳌肾脏ACE2与鸡、人的ACE2均有较高的同源性,其中,与鸡的同源性最高.通过遗传进化分析发现,中华鳌肾脏ACE2与鸟类亲缘关系最近,符合物种进化理论.

  8. Cloning and expression analysis of CD3γ/δ, CD3εand CD3ζchains in Chinese soft-shelled turtle, Pelodiscus sinensis%中华鳖CD3γ/δ、CD3ε和CD3ζ分子的克隆与表达分析

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    付建平; 郭政; 高谦; 罗璋; 聂品

    2014-01-01

    The Chinese soft-shelled turtle, Pelodiscus sinensis has a wide geographical distribution ranging from south-eastern Siberia and Korea through most parts of China to Vietnam. Besides its nutritive and medical value, the turtle also became a model animal for investigating the development and evolution of their unique body and evolution of other biological as well as immune functions. CD3 molecules which are composed of four chains [γ,δ,ε,ζ(η)] act as markers of T lymphocytes and play important roles in T cell signaling, TCR-CD3 complex assembly and T cell mature. To understand its molecular structures, function and evolution in reptile, we cloned the cDNA sequences of CD3γ/δ, CD3εand CD3ζin the Chinese soft-shelled turtle using the SMART RACE technology and analyzed its expression pat-tern in normal and bacterial infected individuals using real time quantitative PCR (rt-qPCR). The deduced CD3γ/δ, CD3εand CD3ζencoded 170 aa, 183 aa and 168 aa, respectively. The CD3γ/δand CD3εare structurally related with an extracellular immunoglobulin-like domain, a transmembrane region and an ITAM motif containing cytoplasmic tail. The Di-leucine based internalization motif (D138RQNLI) and a potential N-glycosylation site (N81TS) were also found in CD3γ/δ amino acid sequence, and a proline-rich motif (R155PPPVP) and ER rention motif (Y175AGLDSR) were found in CD3εamino acid sequence with the absence of the potential N-glycosylation site. The deduced CD3ζamino acid sequence has a different structure with a 10 aa extracellular part, a transmembrane region and three ITAM motifs containing cytoplasmic tail. The phylogenetic tree showed that each chain was clustered together and Chinese soft-shelled turtle had a closer relationship with birds and amphibians. Bioinformatics analysis in genomic sequences showed that CD3γ/δgene, containing 6 exons and 5 introns, and CD3εgene, containing 7 exons and 6 introns located and transcribed oppositely in the Chromosome

  9. The Tortoise Transformation as a Prospect for Life Extension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Timothy F

    2015-12-01

    The value of extending the human lifespan remains a key philosophical debate in bioethics. In building a case against the extension of the species-typical human life, Nicolas Agar considers the prospect of transforming human beings near the end of their lives into Galapagos tortoises, which would then live on decades longer. A central question at stake in this transformation is the persistence of human consciousness as a condition of the value of the transformation. Agar entertains the idea that consciousness could persist in some measure, but he thinks little is to be gained from the transformation because the experiences available to tortoises pale in comparison to those available to human beings. Moreover, he thinks persisting human consciousness and values would degrade over time, being remade by tortoise needs and environment. The value available in the transformation would not, then, make the additional years of life desirable. Agar's account does not, however, dispose of the tortoise transformation as a defensible preference. Some people might still want this kind of transformation for symbolic reasons, but it would probably be better that no human consciousness persist, since that consciousness would be inexpressible as such. Even so, it is not irrational to prefer various kinds of lifespan extension even if they involve significant modifications to human consciousness and values.

  10. "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…

  11. "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 naturally more eye-catching…

  12. Megafaunal meiolaniid horned turtles survived until early human settlement in Vanuatu, Southwest Pacific.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Arthur W; Worthy, Trevor H; Hawkins, Stuart; Bedford, Stuart; Spriggs, Matthew

    2010-08-31

    Meiolaniid or horned turtles are members of the extinct Pleistocene megafauna of Australia and the southwest Pacific. The timing and causes of their extinction have remained elusive. Here we report the remains of meiolaniid turtles from cemetery and midden layers dating 3,100/3,000 calibrated years before present to approximately 2,900/2,800 calibrated years before present in the Teouma Lapita archaeological site on Efate in Vanuatu. The remains are mainly leg bones; shell fragments are scant and there are no cranial or caudal elements, attesting to off-site butchering of the turtles. The new taxon differs markedly from other named insular terrestrial horned turtles. It is the only member of the family demonstrated to have survived into the Holocene and the first known to have become extinct after encountering humans.

  13. Turtles From an Arkadelphia Formation—Midway Group Lag Deposit (Maastrichtian—Paleocene, Hot Spring County, Arkansas, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin A. Becker

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The Arkadelphia Formation—Midway Group (Maastrichtian—Paleocene contact near Malvern, Arkansas preserves a K-Pg boundary assemblage of turtle species consisting of skull, shell, and non-shell postcranial skeletal elements. The Malvern turtles are preserved within a coquina lag deposit that comprises the basalmost Midway Group and also contains an abundance of other reptiles, as well as chondrichthyans, osteichthyans, and invertebrates. This coquina lag deposit records a complex taphonomic history of exhumation and reburial of vertebrate skeletal elements along a dynamic ancestral shoreline in southwestern Arkansas during the late Cretaceous-early Paleocene. Based on stratigraphic occurrence, the Malvern turtle assemblage indicates that these marine reptiles were living at or near the time of the K-Pg mass extinction and represent some of the latest Cretaceous turtles yet recovered from the Gulf Coastal Plain of the United States.

  14. Turtle-associated human salmonellosis.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stam, F.; Romkens, TE; Hekker, TA; Smulders, Y.M.

    2003-01-01

    A patient who bred exotic turtles as a hobby presented with 2 episodes of severe diarrhea, the second of which was proven to be caused by turtle-associated salmonellosis that was contracted during treatment with a proton-pump inhibitor. The literature about reptile-associated salmonellosis is briefl

  15. Levels of trace elements in green turtle eggs collected from Hong Kong: Evidence of risks due to selenium and nickel

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lam, James C.W. [Center for Coastal Pollution and Conservation, Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong (China); Tanabe, Shinsuke [Center for Marine Environmental Studies, Ehime University, Tarumi 3-5-7, Matsuyama 790-8556 (Japan); Chan, Simon K.F. [Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, Hong Kong SAR Government, Hong Kong, (China); Lam, Michael H.W. [Center for Coastal Pollution and Conservation, Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong (China); Martin, Michael [Center for Coastal Pollution and Conservation, Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong (China); Lam, Paul K.S. [Center for Coastal Pollution and Conservation, Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong (China)]. E-mail: bhpksl@cityu.edu.hk

    2006-12-15

    Concentrations of 22 trace elements were determined in green turtle (Chelonia mydas) eggs collected from Hong Kong. Concentrations of selenium, lead and nickel in these eggs were generally higher than those reported in other studies. The predicted no effect concentrations (PNEC; ng/g wet weight) of Pb (1000), Se (340 and 6000 for the worst-case and best-case scenarios, respectively) and Ni (17) in the green turtle eggs were estimated. Hazard quotients (HQs) estimate that Se (HQs: 0.2-24.5) and Ni (HQs: 4.0-26.4) may pose some risks to the turtles. Our study also found that concentrations of Ag, Se, Zn, Hg and Pb in the shell of the turtle eggs were significantly correlated with levels in the whole egg contents (yolk + albumen). Once the precise relationships of specific elements are established, egg-shell concentrations may be used as a non-lethal, non-invasive, surrogate for predicting whole egg burden of certain contaminants in marine turtles. - Concentrations of selenium and nickel in green turtle eggs from Hong Kong might pose some risks to the turtles.

  16. Distance to human populations influences epidemiology of respiratory disease in desert tortoises

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, Kristin H.; Ashley A. Coble (formerly Emerson), no longer USGS; Yee, Julie L.; Mack, Jeremy S.; Perry, William M.; Anderson, Kemp M.; Brown, Mary B.

    2014-01-01

    We explored variables likely to affect health of Agassiz's desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) in a 1,183-km2 study area in the central Mojave Desert of California between 2005 and 2008. We evaluated 1,004 tortoises for prevalence and spatial distribution of 2 pathogens, Mycoplasma agassizii and M. testudineum, that cause upper respiratory tract disease. We defined tortoises as test-positive if they were positive by culture and/or DNA identification or positive or suspect for specific antibody for either of the two pathogens. We used covariates of habitat (vegetation, elevation, slope, and aspect), tortoise size and sex, distance from another test-positive tortoise, and anthropogenic variables (distances to roads, agricultural areas, playas, urban areas, and centroids of human-populated census blocks). We used both logistic regression models and regression trees to evaluate the 2 species of Mycoplasma separately. The prevalence of test-positive tortoises was low: 1.49% (15/1,004) for M. agassizii and 2.89% (29/1,004) for M. testudineum. The spatial distributions of test-positive tortoises for the 2 Mycoplasma species showed little overlap; only 2 tortoises were test-positive for both diseases. However, the spatial distributions did not differ statistically between the 2 species. We consistently found higher prevalence of test-positive tortoises with shorter distances to centroids of human-populated census blocks. The relationship between distance to human-populated census blocks and tortoises that are test-positive for M. agassizii and potentially M. testudineum may be related to release or escape of captive tortoises because the prevalence of M. agassizii in captive tortoises is high. Our findings have application to other species of chelonians where both domestic captive and wild populations exist. Published 2014. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  17. Validation and Development of a Certification Program for Using K9s to Survey Desert Tortoises

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-01

    Esque, and K. Nussear. Humans vs. K9s: Is fear warranted in the race to save the desert tortoise? 91st Annual Ecological Society of America , August 6-11...desert tortoises, other reptiles (Schwartz et al., 1984; Engeman et al., 1998), or even to 10 distinguish cancer in human subjects (McCulloch et...has yet to be validated in mammals. Therefore, it is not possible to explain precisely how dogs use scent to find desert tortoises, other reptiles

  18. Long-term growth of Desert Tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) in a southern Nevada population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medica, P.A.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Esque, Todd C.; Saethre, Mary B.

    2012-01-01

    Knowledge of growth rates, age at maturity, and longevity are important aspects of a species life history and are directly applicable to life table creation and population viability analyses. We measured the growth of a cohort of 17 semi-wild Desert Tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) located in Rock Valley, Nevada over a 47-yr period beginning in 1963. The tortoises were initially marked as hatchling and juvenile animals between the years 1963 and 1965 and ranged in size from 47 to 77 mm in plastron length. We assigned ages of 1-4 yr to the tortoises at initial capture based on their body size. These tortoises were recaptured, measured, and weighed approximately annually since their initial capture. Growth of male and female tortoises did not differ significantly until animals reached the age of 23-25 yr. Annual tortoise growth was correlated with the production of ephemeral vegetation, while accounting for size, sex, and repeated measurements of the animals as well as the interval between measurements. However, the production of ephemeral plants was likewise highly correlated (non-linearly) with winter rainfall. Stochastic predation events between 2003 and 2007 decimated this cohort of tortoises. The average age of the long-term surviving tortoises from this cohort was 43 yr with a range of 39-47 yr. Twelve of the tortoises survived to the age of 39 yr and 11 of the 12 reached 40 yr.

  19. Integrating gene transcription-based biomarkers to understand desert tortoise and ecosystem health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowen, Lizabeth; Miles, A. Keith; Drake, Karla K.; Waters, Shannon C.; Esque, Todd C.; Nussear, Kenneth E.

    2015-01-01

    Tortoises are susceptible to a wide variety of environmental stressors, and the influence of human disturbances on health and survival of tortoises is difficult to detect. As an addition to current diagnostic methods for desert tortoises, we have developed the first leukocyte gene transcription biomarker panel for the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), enhancing the ability to identify specific environmental conditions potentially linked to declining animal health. Blood leukocyte transcript profiles have the potential to identify physiologically stressed animals in lieu of clinical signs. For desert tortoises, the gene transcript profile included a combination of immune or detoxification response genes with the potential to be modified by biological or physical injury and consequently provide information on the type and magnitude of stressors present in the animal’s habitat. Blood from 64 wild adult tortoises at three sites in Clark County, NV, and San Bernardino, CA, and from 19 captive tortoises in Clark County, NV, was collected and evaluated for genes indicative of physiological status. Statistical analysis using a priori groupings indicated significant differences among groups for several genes, while multidimensional scaling and cluster analyses of transcriptionC T values indicated strong differentiation of a large cluster and multiple outlying individual tortoises or small clusters in multidimensional space. These analyses highlight the effectiveness of the gene panel at detecting environmental perturbations as well as providing guidance in determining the health of the desert tortoise.

  20. Mycoplasma and herpesvirus PCR detection in tortoises with rhinitis-stomatitis complex in Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salinas, María; Francino, Olga; Sánchez, Armand; Altet, Laura

    2011-01-01

    Chelonid herpesvirus (ChHV) and mycoplasmal infections cause similar clinical signs in terrestrial tortoises and may be the most important causative agents of rhinitis-stomatitis complex, a common disease in captive tortoises worldwide. Currently, diagnosis of ChHV and Mycoplasma spp. infections is most often based on serologic testing. However, serologic results only detect past exposure, and the specificity of these tests can be reduced due to antigenic cross-reactions with other pathogens. Molecular-based techniques could help to define the causative agent and to better manage infected tortoises. Using polymerase chain reaction, we analyzed 63 tortoises (59 spur-thighed tortoise, Testudo graeca; three Greek tortoise, Testudo ibera; and one Russian tortoise, Agryonemys horsfieldii) with clinical signs of rhinitis-stomatitis complex to identify the causative agent. Molecular evidence of ChHV type I (24%), type II (3%), and Mycoplasma agassizii (6%) infections, as well as coinfection of Mycoplasma-ChHV and both types of ChHV, were detected. Both ChHV and M. agassizii are considered pathogenic in captive tortoises and both are a threat to wild populations. However, neither agent was detected from most of the symptomatic tortoises we evaluated, indicating that other agents could be involved in the rhinitis-stomatitis complex.

  1. Hematochezia in an African spurred tortoise (Centrochelys sulcata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raiti, Paul

    2011-09-01

    An African spurred tortoise (Centrochelys sulcata) that had been housed with a conspecific was presented for tenesmus, diarrhea, and hematochezia of 48 hr duration. Husbandry was considered substandard. Hematology and plasma biochemical analysis revealed dehydration. Urinalysis was considered normal and fecal examination was negative for parasitic ova and protozoa. Radiography demonstrated moderate constipation. Initial treatment consisted of fluid therapy, enrofloxacin, metoclopramide, and improvement of husbandry practices. Recurrence of hematochezia developed 2 wk after initial presentation. Cloacoscopy followed by manual exteriorization of the penis revealed a puncture wound on the dorsal surface of the corpus cavernosum proximal to the glans penis. The wound was sutured using an absorbable monofilament material. The tortoise recovered uneventfully and was asymptomatic for the following 6 mo.

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. The welfare implications of using exotic tortoises as ecological replacements.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine J Griffiths

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Ecological replacement involves the introduction of non-native species to habitats beyond their historical range, a factor identified as increasing the risk of failure for translocations. Yet the effectiveness and success of ecological replacement rely in part on the ability of translocatees to adapt, survive and potentially reproduce in a novel environment. We discuss the welfare aspects of translocating captive-reared non-native tortoises, Aldabrachelys gigantea and Astrochelys radiata, to two offshore Mauritian islands, and the costs and success of the projects to date. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Because tortoises are long-lived, late-maturing reptiles, we assessed the progress of the translocation by monitoring the survival, health, growth, and breeding by the founders. Between 2000 and 2011, a total of 26 A. gigantea were introduced to Ile aux Aigrettes, and in 2007 twelve sexually immature A. gigantea and twelve male A. radiata were introduced to Round Island, Mauritius. Annual mortality rates were low, with most animals either maintaining or gaining weight. A minimum of 529 hatchlings were produced on Ile aux Aigrettes in 11 years; there was no potential for breeding on Round Island. Project costs were low. We attribute the success of these introductions to the tortoises' generalist diet, habitat requirements, and innate behaviour. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Feasibility analyses for ecological replacement and assisted colonisation projects should consider the candidate species' welfare during translocation and in its recipient environment. Our study provides a useful model for how this should be done. In addition to serving as ecological replacements for extinct Mauritian tortoises, we found that releasing small numbers of captive-reared A. gigantea and A. radiata is cost-effective and successful in the short term. The ability to release small numbers of animals is a particularly important attribute for ecological

  5. Development of the turtle plastron, the order-defining skeletal structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, Ritva; Kallonen, Aki; Cebra-Thomas, Judith; Gilbert, Scott F

    2016-05-10

    The dorsal and ventral aspects of the turtle shell, the carapace and the plastron, are developmentally different entities. The carapace contains axial endochondral skeletal elements and exoskeletal dermal bones. The exoskeletal plastron is found in all extant and extinct species of crown turtles found to date and is synaptomorphic of the order Testudines. However, paleontological reconstructed transition forms lack a fully developed carapace and show a progression of bony elements ancestral to the plastron. To understand the evolutionary development of the plastron, it is essential to know how it has formed. Here we studied the molecular development and patterning of plastron bones in a cryptodire turtle Trachemys scripta We show that plastron development begins at developmental stage 15 when osteochondrogenic mesenchyme forms condensates for each plastron bone at the lateral edges of the ventral mesenchyme. These condensations commit to an osteogenic identity and suppress chondrogenesis. Their development overlaps with that of sternal cartilage development in chicks and mice. Thus, we suggest that in turtles, the sternal morphogenesis is prevented in the ventral mesenchyme by the concomitant induction of osteogenesis and the suppression of chondrogenesis. The osteogenic subroutines later direct the growth and patterning of plastron bones in an autonomous manner. The initiation of plastron bone development coincides with that of carapacial ridge formation, suggesting that the development of dorsal and ventral shells are coordinated from the start and that adopting an osteogenesis-inducing and chondrogenesis-suppressing cell fate in the ventral mesenchyme has permitted turtles to develop their order-specific ventral morphology.

  6. Gopherus agassizii (Desert Tortoise). Non-native seed dispersal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ennen, J.R.; Loughran, Caleb L.; Lovich, Jeffrey E.

    2011-01-01

    Sahara Mustard (Brassica tournefortii) is a non-native, highly invasive weed species of southwestern U.S. deserts. Sahara Mustard is a hardy species, which flourishes under many conditions including drought and in both disturbed and undisturbed habitats (West and Nabhan 2002. In B. Tellman [ed.], Invasive Plants: Their Occurrence and Possible Impact on the Central Gulf Coast of Sonora and the Midriff Islands in the Sea of Cortes, pp. 91–111. University of Arizona Press, Tucson). Because of this species’ ability to thrive in these habitats, B. tournefortii has been able to propagate throughout the southwestern United States establishing itself in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah. Unfortunately, naturally disturbed areas created by native species, such as the Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), within these deserts could have facilitated the propagation of B. tournefortii. (Lovich 1998. In R. G. Westbrooks [ed.], Invasive Plants, Changing the Landscape of America: Fact Book, p. 77. Federal Interagency Committee for the Management of Noxious and Exotic Weeds [FICMNEW], Washington, DC). However, Desert Tortoises have never been directly observed dispersing Sahara Mustard seeds. Here we present observations of two Desert Tortoises dispersing Sahara Mustard seeds at the interface between the Mojave and Sonoran deserts in California.

  7. Does translocation influence physiological stress in the desert tortoise?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drake, K.K.; Nussear, K.E.; Esque, T.C.; Barber, A.M.; Vittum, K.M.; Medica, P.A.; Tracy, C.R.; Hunter, K.W.

    2012-01-01

    Wildlife translocation is increasingly used to mitigate disturbances to animals or habitat due to human activities, yet little is known about the extent to which translocating animals causes stress. To understand the relationship between physiological stress and translocation, we conducted a multiyear study (2007–2009) using a population of desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) near Fort Irwin, California. Blood samples were collected from adult tortoises in three treatment groups (resident, translocated and control) for 1 year prior to and 2 years after translocation. Samples were analyzed by radioimmunoassay for plasma total corticosterone (CORT), a glucocorticoid hormone commonly associated with stress responses in reptiles. CORT values were analyzed in relation to potential covariates (animal sex, date, behavior, treatment, handling time, air temperature, home-range size, precipitation and annual plant production) among seasons and years. CORT values in males were higher than in females, and values for both varied monthly throughout the activity season and among years. Year and sex were strong predictors of CORT, and translocation explained little in terms of CORT. Based on these results, we conclude that translocation does not elicit a physiological stress response in desert tortoises.

  8. Mammalian mesocarnivore visitation at tortoise burrows in a wind farm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agha, Mickey; Smith, Amanda L.; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Delaney, David F.; Ennen, Joshua R.; Briggs, Jessica R.; Fleckenstein, Leo J.; Tennant, Laura A.; Puffer, Shellie R.; Walde, Andrew D.; Arundel, Terry; Price, Steven J.; Todd, Brian D.

    2017-01-01

    There is little information on predator–prey interactions in wind energy landscapes in North America, especially among terrestrial vertebrates. Here, we evaluated how proximity to roads and wind turbines affect mesocarnivore visitation with desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) and their burrows in a wind energy landscape. In 2013, we placed motion-sensor cameras facing the entrances of 46 active desert tortoise burrows in a 5.2-km2 wind energy facility near Palm Springs, California, USA. Cameras recorded images of 35 species of reptiles, mammals, and birds. Counts for 4 species of mesocarnivores at desert tortoise burrows increased closer to dirt roads, and decreased closer to wind turbines. Our results suggest that anthropogenic infrastructure associated with wind energy facilities could influence the general behavior of mammalian predators and their prey. Further investigation of proximate mechanisms that underlie road and wind turbine effects (i.e., ground vibrations, sound emission, and traffic volume) and on wind energy facility spatial designs (i.e., road and wind turbine configuration) could prove useful for better understanding wildlife responses to wind energy development. © 2017 The Wildlife Society.

  9. Social, biological, and environmental drivers of the hunting and trade of the endangered yellow-footed tortoise in the Amazon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thaís Q. Morcatty

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Chelonians constitute an important source of food and income for the inhabitants of tropical forests. We assessed the social, biological, and environmental factors affecting the hunting and trade of the endangered yellow-footed tortoise (Chelonoidis denticulata in rural and urban areas in the Amazon and estimated the sustainability of tortoise use. We also discuss possible conservation alternatives that are compatible with the needs of local inhabitants. We monitored tortoise hunting and trade for 12 years in 10 traditional communities that exploit different habitat types in the Brazilian Amazon and collected data on the tortoise trade in two urban markets for six years. In upland forests, tortoise hunting mainly occurred during the dry season; in whitewater flooded forests, hunting mainly occurred during the flood season. The tortoise trade was carried out nearly entirely by whitewater flooded forest users and was intimately related to fishing, the main economic activity in these communities. Furthermore, the tortoise trade was encouraged in whitewater flooded forests because this environment yielded significantly heavier tortoises than upland forests, and we observed a strong relationship between trade probability and tortoise size. The tortoise trade was found to primarily supply nearby urban centers, generating high monetary gain. Female tortoises suffered greater hunting pressure and were more valued in the bushmeat market. The productivity of tortoise hunting in the monitored communities severely decreased with time. In addition, the price per kilogram of tortoise greatly increased in the urban market. Given this unsustainable scenario, policies regulating tortoise hunting in the Amazon are needed. These policies must be adapted to the different patterns of tortoise use by rural communities while maintaining the culture and food sovereignty of the local inhabitants.

  10. Mycoplasmosis and upper respiratory tract disease of tortoises: a review and update

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, Elliott R.; Brown, Mary B.; Wendland, Lori; Brown, Daniel R.; Klein, Paul A.; Christopher, Mary M.; Berry, Kristin H.

    2014-01-01

    Tortoise mycoplasmosis is one of the most extensively characterized infectious diseases of chelonians. A 1989 outbreak of upper respiratory tract disease (URTD) in free-ranging Agassiz's desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) brought together an investigative team of researchers, diagnosticians, pathologists, immunologists and clinicians from multiple institutions and agencies. Electron microscopic studies of affected tortoises revealed a microorganism in close association with the nasal mucosa that subsequently was identified as a new species, Mycoplasma agassizii. Over the next 24 years, a second causative agent, Mycoplasma testudineum, was discovered, the geographic distribution and host range of tortoise mycoplasmosis were expanded, diagnostic tests were developed and refined for antibody and pathogen detection, transmission studies confirmed the pathogenicity of the original M. agassizii isolate, clinical (and subclinical) disease and laboratory abnormalities were characterized, many extrinsic and predisposing factors were found to play a role in morbidity and mortality associated with mycoplasmal infection, and social behavior was implicated in disease transmission. The translation of scientific research into management decisions has sometimes led to undesirable outcomes, such as euthanasia of clinically healthy tortoises. In this article, we review and assess current research on tortoise mycoplasmosis, arguably the most important chronic infectious disease of wild and captive North American and European tortoises, and update the implications for management and conservation of tortoises in the wild.

  11. Intestinal parasites of the gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) from eight populations in Georgia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGuire, Jessica L; Miller, Elizabeth A; Norton, Terry M; Raphael, Bonnie L; Spratt, Jeffrey S; Yabsley, Michael J

    2013-12-01

    The gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus), one of five tortoise species endemic in the USA, was recently classified as a candidate for federal listing as a threatened species. Fecal samples collected from 117 tortoises from eight sites in Georgia were examined for endoparasites using a combination of sedimentation and flotation. Samples from an island population were examined for parasitic oocysts and ova only by flotation, protozoan cysts by trichrome-stained direct smear, and Cryptosporidium by direct immunofluorescence assay and ProSpecT rapid assay. A total of 99 tortoises (85, range 0-100%) was infected with pinworms (Alaeuris spp.), 47 (40, 0-86%) with cestodes (Oochorstica sp.), 34 (41, 0-74%) with Chapiniella spp., 2 (3, 0-33%) with Eimeria paynei, and a single tortoise each with a capillarid and ascarid (1%). On the island, Entamoeba was detected in one tortoise (2%) while Cryptosporidium oocysts were detected in eight (17%). In conclusion, at least eight species of parasites were detected including Cryptosporidium, a possible pathogen of tortoises. Interestingly, we detected spatial variation in the distribution of several parasites among populations suggesting additional work should be conducted across a gradient of tortoise densities, land use, and habitat characteristics.

  12. Seasonal activity patterns and diet divergence of three sympatric Afrotropical tortoise species (genus Kinixys)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Luiselli, Luca

    2003-01-01

    Three species of hinge-back tortoises ( (Kinixys belliana nogueyi, Kinixys erosa, Kinixys homeana) are found in simpatry in the rainforests of the Niger Delta, southern Nigeria (west Africa). The seasonal activity patterns and food habits of these tortoises are studied in the present paper. K. erosa

  13. Gopherus agassizii (desert tortoise) and Crotalus ruber (red diamond rattlesnake). Burrow co-occupancy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovich, Jeffrey E.

    2011-01-01

    I observed an adult Desert Tortoise and an adult Red Diamond Rattlesnake (sexes unknown) in a shallow tortoise burrow on 6 January 1997 at a wind energy generation facility near Palm Springs, Riverside Co., California, USA (33.9599°N, 116.6613°W).

  14. Are wildlife detector dogs or people better at finding Desert Tortoises (Gopherus agassizii)?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nussear, K.E.; Esque, T.C.; Heaton, J.S.; Cablk, M.E.; Drake, K.K.; Valentin, C.; Yee, J.L.; Medica, P.A.

    2008-01-01

    Our ability to study threatened and endangered species depends on locating them readily in the field. Recent studies highlight the effectiveness of trained detector dogs to locate wildlife during field surveys, including Desert Tortoises in a semi-natural setting. Desert Tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) are cryptic and difficult to detect during surveys, especially the smaller size classes. We conducted comparative surveys to determine whether human or detector dog teams were more effective at locating Desert Tortoises in the wild. We compared detectability of Desert Tortoises and the costs to deploy human and dog search teams. Detectability of tortoises was not statistically different for either team, and was estimated to be approximately 70% (SE = 5%). Dogs found a greater proportion of tortoises located in vegetation than did humans. The dog teams finished surveys 2.5 hours faster than the humans on average each day. The human team cost was approximately $3,000 less per square kilometer sampled. Dog teams provided a quick and effective method for surveying for adult Desert Tortoises; however, we were unable to determine-their effectiveness at locating smaller size classes. Detection of smaller size classes during surveys would improve management of the species and should be addressed by future research using Desert Tortoise detector dogs.

  15. Range-Wide Monitoring of the Mojave Desert Tortoise (Gopherus Agassizii): 2008 and 2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-01

    quality assurance and quality control .................................. 24  Tortoise encounter rate and development of detection functions ...encounter rates and detection functions .............................................................. 50  Proportion of tortoises that are available for...the Pinto Mountains, Joshua Tree, Chuckwalla, and Chocolate Mountain monitoring strata

  16. 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....

  17. 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....

  18. Sea Turtle Acoustic Telemetry Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Acoustic tags were attached to sea turtles captured in various fishing gear and the animals are either actively or passively tracked

  19. COMPARATIVE RESEARCH OF CEFRADINE, NORFLOXACIN AND ROXITHROMYCIN IN CHINESE SOFT-SHELLED TURTLES (PELODISCUS SINENSIS) JAPANESE STRAIN%头孢拉定、诺氟沙星及罗红霉素在中华鳖(Pelodiscus sinensis)日本品系体内残留代谢的比较研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    何欣; 张海琪; 戴志远; 王扬; 李诗言

    2014-01-01

    Pharmacokinetics of cefradine,norfloxacin and roxithromyein in blood,liver and muscle from Chinese soft-shelled turtles (Pelodiscus sinensis) Japanese strain were studied by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS) after oral administration at a dosage of 30mg/kg cefradine,300mg/kg norfloxacin,or 30mg/kg roxithromycin for 7-day consecutive feeding in (25.0±2) ℃.The results show that the metabolism of cefradine and norfloxacin followed one-compartment open model,while that of roxithromycin,in two-compartment open model.The elimination half-life [T1/2(Ke)] of cefradine in blood,liver,and muscle of the turtles were 6.132h,9.002h,and 10.132h,those of norfloxacin for 22.526h,39.715h,and 41.585h,and those of roxithromycin for 38.54h,15.65h,and 100.5h,respectively.Therefore,liver could be chosen as the target organ to monitor the residues of these three drugs in the turtles.%应用液相色谱-串联质谱技术比较研究了头孢拉定、诺氟沙星及罗红霉素3种渔药在中华鳖(Pelodiscus sinensis)日本品系体内的残留代谢规律.在(25.0±2)℃饲养条件下,通过连续7d对健康中华鳖日本品系投喂分别含有30mg/kg头孢拉定,300mg/kg诺氟沙星或30mg/kg罗红霉素的药饵后,比较分析了3种渔药在中华鳖日本品系体内各组织中的浓度变化.结果表明:头孢拉定和诺氟沙星的代谢符合一室消除模型,罗红霉素的代谢符合二室消除模型.头孢拉定在中华鳖日本品系血液、肌肉和肝脏中消除半衰期T1/2(Ke)分别为6.132h、9.002h和10.132h.诺氟沙星在中华鳖日本品系血液、肌肉和肝脏中消除半衰期T1/2(Ke)分别为22.526h、39.715h和41.585h.罗红霉素在中华鳖日本品系血液、肌肉和肝脏中消除半衰期T1/2(β)分别为38.54h、15.65h和100.5h.建议选用肝脏作为今后中华鳖质量安全残留监控靶组织.

  20. 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

  1. 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 provides a

  2. The ecological consequences of megafaunal loss: giant tortoises and wetland biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Froyd, Cynthia A; Coffey, Emily E D; van der Knaap, Willem O; van Leeuwen, Jacqueline F N; Tye, Alan; Willis, Katherine J

    2014-02-01

    The giant tortoises of the Galápagos have become greatly depleted since European discovery of the islands in the 16th Century, with populations declining from an estimated 250 000 to between 8000 and 14 000 in the 1970s. Successful tortoise conservation efforts have focused on species recovery, but ecosystem conservation and restoration requires a better understanding of the wider ecological consequences of this drastic reduction in the archipelago's only large native herbivore. We report the first evidence from palaeoecological records of coprophilous fungal spores of the formerly more extensive geographical range of giant tortoises in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island. Upland tortoise populations on Santa Cruz declined 500-700 years ago, likely the result of human impact or possible climatic change. Former freshwater wetlands, a now limited habitat-type, were found to have converted to Sphagnum bogs concomitant with tortoise loss, subsequently leading to the decline of several now-rare or extinct plant species.

  3. Lineage identification and genealogical relationships among captive Galápagos tortoises.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benavides, Edgar; Russello, Michael; Boyer, Donal; Wiese, Robert J; Kajdacsi, Brittney; Marquez, Lady; Garrick, Ryan; Caccone, Adalgisa

    2012-01-01

    Genetic tools have become a critical complement to traditional approaches for meeting short- and long-term goals of ex situ conservation programs. The San Diego Zoo (SDZ) harbors a collection of wild-born and captive-born Galápagos giant tortoises (n = 22) of uncertain species designation and unknown genealogical relationships. Here, we used mitochondrial DNA haplotypic data and nuclear microsatellite genotypic data to identify the evolutionary lineage of wild-born and captive-born tortoises of unknown ancestry, to infer levels of relatedness among founders and captive-born tortoises, and assess putative pedigree relationships assigned by the SDZ studbook. Assignment tests revealed that 12 wild-born and five captive-born tortoises represent five different species from Isabela Island and one species from Santa Cruz Island, only five of which were consistent with current studbook designations. Three wild-born and one captive-born tortoise were of mixed ancestry. In addition, kinship analyses revealed two significant first-order relationship pairs between wild-born and captive-born tortoises, four second-order relationships (half-sibling) between wild-born and captive tortoises (full-sibs or parent-offspring), and one second-order relationship between two captive-born tortoises. Of particular note, we also reconstructed a first-order relationship between two wild-born individuals, violating the founder assumption. Overall, our results contribute to a worldwide effort in identifying genetically important Galápagos tortoises currently in captivity while revealing closely related founders, reconstructing genealogical relationships, and providing detailed management recommendations for the SDZ tortoises.

  4. Multiple factors affect a population of Agassiz's desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) in the Northwestern Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, Kristin H.; Yee, Julie L.; Coble, Ashley A.; Perry, William M.; Shields, Timothy A.

    2013-01-01

    Numerous factors have contributed to declines in populations of the federally threatened Agassiz's Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) and continue to limit recovery. In 2010, we surveyed a low-density population on a military test facility in the northwestern Mojave Desert of California, USA, to evaluate population status and identify potential factors contributing to distribution and low densities. Estimated densities of live tortoises ranged spatially from 1.2/km2 to 15.1/km2. Although only one death of a breeding-age tortoise was recorded for the 4-yr period prior to the survey, remains of 16 juvenile and immature tortoises were found, and most showed signs of predation by Common Ravens (Corvus corax) and mammals. Predation may have limited recruitment of young tortoises into the adult size classes. To evaluate the relative importance of different types of impacts to tortoises, we developed predictive models for spatially explicit densities of tortoise sign and live tortoises using topography (i.e., slope), predators (Common Raven, signs of mammalian predators), and anthropogenic impacts (distances from paved road and denuded areas, density of ordnance fragments) as covariates. Models suggest that densities of tortoise sign increased with slope and signs of mammalian predators and decreased with Common Ravens, while also varying based on interaction effects involving these predictors as well as distances from paved roads, denuded areas, and ordnance. Similarly, densities of live tortoises varied by interaction effects among distances to denuded areas and paved roads, density of ordnance fragments, and slope. Thus multiple factors predict the densities and distribution of this population.

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. Does Ecotourism Contribute to Sea Turtle Conservation? Is the Flagship Status of Turtles Advantageous?

    OpenAIRE

    Tisdell, Clement A.; Wilson, Clevo

    2003-01-01

    There is little doubt that marine turtles are a flagship species for wildlife tourism. In some cases, this has turned out to be liability for sea turtle conservation, but in other cases, where for example turtle-based ecotourism has been developed, it has made a positive contribution to turtle conservation. Examples of both cases are given. Particular attention is given to the development of turtle-based ecotourism at Mon Repos Beach near Bundaberg, Australia. This development is set in its h...

  8. New findings of Pleistocene fossil turtles (Geoemydidae, Kinosternidae and Chelydridae from Santa Elena Province, Ecuador

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edwin A. Cadena

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available New Pleistocene fossilized turtle remains from five localities of western Ecuador (Santa Elena Province are described here. All these shell (carapace and plastron fossil remains come from the Tablazo Formation and belong to three different lineages of cryptodires (“hidden-necked” turtles. The most abundant remains belong to geoemydids, attributed here to the genus Rhinoclemmys (indeterminate species. Less abundant in occurrence are the kinosternidids, attributed to Kinosternon (indeterminate species, and the first fossil record of chelydrids, Chelydra(indeterminate species, in the entirety of Central and South America.

  9. The complete mitochondrial genome of the enigmatic bigheaded turtle (Platysternon: description of unusual genomic features and the reconciliation of phylogenetic hypotheses based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Feldman Chris R

    2006-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The big-headed turtle (Platysternon megacephalum from east Asia is the sole living representative of a poorly-studied turtle lineage (Platysternidae. It has no close living relatives, and its phylogenetic position within turtles is one of the outstanding controversies in turtle systematics. Platysternon was traditionally considered to be close to snapping turtles (Chelydridae based on some studies of its morphology and mitochondrial (mt DNA, however, other studies of morphology and nuclear (nu DNA do not support that hypothesis. Results We sequenced the complete mt genome of Platysternon and the nearly complete mt genomes of two other relevant turtles and compared them to turtle mt genomes from the literature to form the largest molecular dataset used to date to address this issue. The resulting phylogeny robustly rejects the placement of Platysternon with Chelydridae, but instead shows that it is a member of the Testudinoidea, a diverse, nearly globally-distributed group that includes pond turtles and tortoises. We also discovered that Platysternon mtDNA has large-scale gene rearrangements and possesses two, nearly identical, control regions, features that distinguish it from all other studied turtles. Conclusion Our study robustly determines the phylogenetic placement of Platysternon and provides a well-resolved outline of major turtle lineages, while demonstrating the significantly greater resolving power of comparing large amounts of mt sequence over that of short fragments. Earlier phylogenies placing Platysternon with chelydrids required a temporal gap in the fossil record that is now unnecessary. The duplicated control regions and gene rearrangements of the Platysternon mtDNA probably resulted from the duplication of part of the genome and then the subsequent loss of redundant genes. Although it is possible that having two control regions may provide some advantage, explaining why the control regions would be

  10. The desert tortoise trichotomy: Mexico hosts a third, new sister-species of tortoise in the Gopherus morafkai–G. agassizii group

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Taylor; Karl, Alice E.; Vaughn, Mercy; Rosen, Philip C.; Torres, Cristina Meléndez; Murphy, Robert W.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Desert tortoises (Testudines; Testudinidae; Gopherus agassizii group) have an extensive distribution throughout the Mojave, Colorado, and Sonoran desert regions. Not surprisingly, they exhibit a tremendous amount of ecological, behavioral, morphological and genetic variation. Gopherus agassizii was considered a single species for almost 150 years but recently the species was split into the nominate form and Morafka’s desert tortoise, Gopherus morafkai, the latter occurring south and east of the Colorado River. Whereas a large body of literature focuses on tortoises in the United States, a dearth of investigations exists for Mexican animals. Notwithstanding, Mexican populations of desert tortoises in the southern part of the range of Gopherus morafkai are distinct, particularly where the tortoises occur in tropical thornscrub and tropical deciduous forest. Recent studies have shed light on the ecology, morphology and genetics of these southern ‘desert’ tortoises. All evidence warrants recognition of this clade as a distinctive taxon and herein we describe it as Gopherus evgoodei sp. n. The description of the new species significantly reduces and limits the distribution of Gopherus morafkai to desertscrub habitat only. By contrast, Gopherus evgoodei sp. n. occurs in thornscrub and tropical deciduous forests only and this leaves it with the smallest range of the three sister species. We present conservation implications for the newly described Gopherus evgoodei, which already faces impending threats. PMID:27006625

  11. 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...

  12. Rapid evolution of Beta-keratin genes contribute to phenotypic differences that distinguish turtles and birds from other reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yang I; Kong, Lesheng; Ponting, Chris P; Haerty, Wilfried

    2013-01-01

    Sequencing of vertebrate genomes permits changes in distinct protein families, including gene gains and losses, to be ascribed to lineage-specific phenotypes. A prominent example of this is the large-scale duplication of beta-keratin genes in the ancestors of birds, which was crucial to the subsequent evolution of their beaks, claws, and feathers. Evidence suggests that the shell of Pseudomys nelsoni contains at least 16 beta-keratins proteins, but it is unknown whether this is a complete set and whether their corresponding genes are orthologous to avian beak, claw, or feather beta-keratin genes. To address these issues and to better understand the evolution of the turtle shell at a molecular level, we surveyed the diversity of beta-keratin genes from the genome assemblies of three turtles, Chrysemys picta, Pelodiscus sinensis, and Chelonia mydas, which together represent over 160 Myr of chelonian evolution. For these three turtles, we found 200 beta-keratins, which indicate that, as for birds, a large expansion of beta-keratin genes in turtles occurred concomitantly with the evolution of a unique phenotype, namely, their plastron and carapace. Phylogenetic reconstruction of beta-keratin gene evolution suggests that separate waves of gene duplication within a single genomic location gave rise to scales, claws, and feathers in birds, and independently the scutes of the shell in turtles.

  13. First report of a new alphaherpesvirus in a freshwater turtle (Pseudemys concinna concinna) kept in Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jungwirth, Nicole; Bodewes, Rogier; Osterhaus, Albert D M E; Baumgärtner, Wolfgang; Wohlsein, Peter

    2014-06-04

    Herpesviruses represent important pathogenic agents in zoological chelonian collections. Infections in tortoises are actually most commonly associated with necrotizing lesions in the upper digestive tract. Herpesvirus infections in sea turtles are most commonly associated with fibropapillomatosis, although other disease complexes caused by other herpesviruses have been described. Herpesviruses are known to cause latent infections and may be reactivated upon various endogenous or exogenous stimuli resulting in acute and sometimes fatal disease. The present description represents the first report about a new alphaherpesvirus found in a fresh water turtle (Pseudemys concinna concinna). The animal died suddenly without showing clinical signs. Macroscopically, no lesions typically associated with a herpesvirus infection were found. Light microscopic examination showed hepatic lipidosis and countless numbers of intranuclear inclusion bodies in hepatocytes as the only significant light microscopic lesion. Transmission electron microscopy revealed typical herpesvirus particles in the nucleus of hepatocytes. To further substantiate these observations a molecular identification using PCR followed by sequencing of the obtained fragments was performed. Phylogenetic analysis indicated a new alphaherpesvirus called Emydid herpesvirus 1.

  14. 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.

  15. Contributions of Private Landowners to the Conservation of the Gopher Tortoise ( Gopherus polyphemus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Underwood, Vicki J.; Ober, Holly K.; Miller, Deborah L.; Munn, Ian A.

    2012-04-01

    Private landowners play a pivotal role in determining whether or not rare species persist in regions where privately owned land is extensive. The range of the gopher tortoise ( Gopherus polyphemus) is confined to the Southeastern U.S., a region predominantly under private ownership, and thus the status of this species is largely dependent upon land management decisions made by private landowners. We sent an anonymous mail survey to 2,584 individuals to examine factors affecting gopher tortoise occurrence on private lands in Mississippi (adjusted response rate of 23%). Few respondents (19%) reported currently having tortoises on their property, although many had them in the past (30%). Tortoises were persisting primarily on larger properties with longleaf pine that were not managed chiefly for timber production. In general, respondents were largely unaware of habitat requirements of tortoises or effects of various land management practices on them, and few reported using management techniques that benefit tortoises, such as prescribed burning. Most respondents (57%) knew of wildlife incentive programs, but were hesitant to enroll because they did not want to commit to managing their property in a particular manner (34%). We suggest actions that could improve the likelihood of tortoise persistence in this region, as well as changes that could be made to incentive programs to increase landowner participation. These suggestions should be relevant to the conservation of other rare species on private lands in other regions.

  16. Resource Selection Probability Functions for Gopher Tortoise: Providing a Management Tool Applicable Across the Species' Range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kowal, Virginia A.; Schmolke, Amelie; Kanagaraj, Rajapandian; Bruggeman, Douglas

    2014-03-01

    The gopher tortoise ( Gopherus polyphemus) is protected by conservation policy throughout its range. Efforts to protect the species from further decline demand detailed understanding of its habitat requirements, which have not yet been rigorously defined. Current methods of identifying gopher tortoise habitat typically rely on coarse soil and vegetation classifications, and are prone to over-prediction of suitable habitat. We used a logistic resource selection probability function in an information-theoretic framework to understand the relative importance of various environmental factors to gopher tortoise habitat selection, drawing on nationwide environmental datasets, and an existing tortoise survey of the Ft. Benning military base. We applied the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) as an index of vegetation density, and found that NDVI was strongly negatively associated with active burrow locations. Our results showed that the most parsimonious model included variables from all candidate model types (landscape features, topography, soil, vegetation), and the model groups describing soil or vegetation alone performed poorly. These results demonstrate with a rigorous quantitative approach that although soil and vegetation are important to the gopher tortoise, they are not sufficient to describe suitable habitat. More widely, our results highlight the feasibility of constructing highly accurate habitat suitability models from data that are widely available throughout the species' range. Our study shows that the widespread availability of national environmental datasets describing important components of gopher tortoise habitat, combined with existing tortoise surveys on public lands, can be leveraged to inform knowledge of habitat suitability and target recovery efforts range-wide.

  17. The Relative Abundance of Desert Tortoises on the Nevada Test Site within Ecological Landform Units

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Woodward, Roy; Rautenstrauch, Kurt R.; Hall, Derek B.; Ostler, W. Kent

    1998-09-01

    Sign-survey transects were sampled in 1996 to better determine the relative abundance of desert tortoises on the Nevada Test Site (NTS). These transects were sampled within ecological land-form units (ELUs), which are small, ecologically homogeneous units of land. Two-hundred and six ELUs were sampled by walking 332 transects totaling 889 kilometers (km) (552 miles [mi]). These ELUs covered 528 km{sup 2} (204 mi{sup 2}). Two-hundred and eighty-one sign were counted. An average of 0.32 sign was found per km walked. Seventy percent of the area sampled had a very low abundance of tortoises, 29 percent had a low abundance, and 1 percent had a moderate abundance. A revised map of the relative abundance of desert tortoise on the NTS is presented. Within the 1,330 km{sup 2} (514 mi{sup 2}) of desert tortoise habitat on the NTS, 49 percent is classified as having no tortoises or a very low abundance, 18 percent has a low or moderate abundance, 12 percent is unclassified land being used by the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project, and the remaining 21 percent still has an unknown abundance of desert tortoises. Based on the results of this work, the amount of tortoise habitat previously classified as having an unknown or low-moderate abundance, and on which clearance surveys and on-site monitoring was required, has been reduced by 20 percent.

  18. The comparative osteology of Plesiochelys bigleri n. sp., a new coastal marine turtle from the Late Jurassic of Porrentruy (Switzerland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Püntener

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Background During the Late Jurassic, several groups of eucryptodiran turtles inhabited the shallow epicontinental seas of Western Europe. Plesiochelyidae are an important part of this first radiation of crown-group turtles into coastal marine ecosystems. Fossils of Plesiochelyidae occur in many European localities, and are especially abundant in the Kimmeridgian layers of the Swiss Jura Mountains (Solothurn and Porrentruy. In the mid-19th century, the quarries of Solothurn (NW Switzerland already provided a large amount of fossil turtles, most notably Plesiochelys etalloni, the best-known plesiochelyid species. Recent excavations in the Porrentruy area (NW Switzerland revealed new fossils of Plesiochelys, including numerous well-preserved shells with associated cranial and postcranial material. Methods/results Out of 80 shells referred to Plesiochelys, 41 are assigned to a new species, Plesiochelys bigleri n. sp., including a skull–shell association. We furthermore refer 15 shells to Plesiochelys etalloni, and 24 shells to Plesiochelys sp. Anatomical comparisons show that Plesiochelys bigleri can clearly be differentiated from Plesiochelys etalloni by cranial features. The shell anatomy and the appendicular skeleton of Plesiochelys bigleri and Plesiochelys etalloni are very similar. However, a statistical analysis demonstrates that the thickness of neural bones allows to separate the two species based on incomplete material. This study furthermore illustrates the extent of intraspecific variation in the shell anatomy of Plesiochelys bigleri and Plesiochelys etalloni.

  19. Origin of the unique morphology of the shoulder girdle in turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagashima, Hiroshi; Hirasawa, Tatsuya; Sugahara, Fumiaki; Takechi, Masaki; Usuda, Ryo; Sato, Noboru; Kuratani, Shigeru

    2013-12-01

    The shoulder girdle of turtles has a triradiate morphology. Although its dorsal process represents the scapular blade, the skeletal identities of the two ventral processes remain uncertain. To elucidate the question, developmental patterns of the girdles were compared between Chinese soft-shelled turtles, chickens, and mice. Despite the morphological diversity of adults, the initial primordia of the shoulder girdles showed similar morphological patterns. The ventral two processes developed from the anlagen comparable to those of the acromion and the coracoid in other amniotes. The developmental pattern of the acromion is very similar among embryos, whereas that of the coracoid in mammals differs from that in non-mammals, implying that coracoids are not homologous between non-mammals and mammals. Therefore, amniotes have retained the ancestral pattern of the girdle anlage, and the shoulder girdle of turtles has been achieved through a transformation of the pattern in the late ontogenic period.

  20. Allometric and temporal scaling of movement characteristics in Galapagos tortoises.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastille-Rousseau, Guillaume; Yackulic, Charles B; Frair, Jacqueline L; Cabrera, Freddy; Blake, Stephen

    2016-09-01

    Understanding how individual movement scales with body size is of fundamental importance in predicting ecological relationships for diverse species. One-dimensional movement metrics scale consistently with body size yet vary over different temporal scales. Knowing how temporal scale influences the relationship between animal body size and movement would better inform hypotheses about the efficiency of foraging behaviour, the ontogeny of energy budgets, and numerous life-history trade-offs. We investigated how the temporal scaling of allometric patterns in movement varies over the course of a year, specifically during periods of motivated (directional and fast movement) and unmotivated (stationary and tortuous movement) behaviour. We focused on a recently diverged group of species that displays wide variation in movement behaviour - giant Galapagos tortoises (Chelonoidis spp.) - to test how movement metrics estimated on a monthly basis scaled with body size. We used state-space modelling to estimate seven different movement metrics of Galapagos tortoises. We used log-log regression of the power law to evaluate allometric scaling for these movement metrics and contrasted relationships by species and sex. Allometric scaling of movement was more apparent during motivated periods of movement. During this period, allometry was revealed at multiple temporal intervals (hourly, daily and monthly), with values observed at daily and monthly intervals corresponding most closely to the expected one-fourth scaling coefficient, albeit with wide credible intervals. We further detected differences in the magnitude of scaling among taxa uncoupled from observed differences in the temporal structuring of their movement rates. Our results indicate that the definition of temporal scales is fundamental to the detection of allometry of movement and should be given more attention in movement studies. Our approach not only provides new conceptual insights into temporal attributes in one

  1. Are tortoises important seed dispersers in Amazonian forests?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jerozolimski, Adriano; Ribeiro, Maria Beatriz N; Martins, Marcio

    2009-09-01

    According to most studies on seed dispersal in tropical forests, mammals and birds are considered the main dispersal agents and the role played by other animal groups remains poorly explored. We investigate qualitative and quantitative components of the role played by the tortoise Chelonoidis denticulata in seed dispersal in southeastern Amazon, and the influence of seasonal variation in tortoise movement patterns on resulting seed shadows. Seed shadows produced by this tortoise were estimated by combining information on seed passage times through their digestive tract, which varied from 3 to 17 days, with a robust dataset on movements obtained from 18 adult C. denticulata monitored with radio transmitters and spoon-and-line tracking devices. A total of 4,206 seeds were found in 94 collected feces, belonging to 50 seed morphotypes of, at least, 25 plant genera. Very low rates of damage to the external structure of the ingested seeds were observed. Additionally, results of germination trials suggested that passage of seeds through C. denticulata's digestive tract does not seem to negatively affect seed germination. The estimated seed shadows are likely to contribute significantly to the dispersal of seeds away from parent plants. During the dry season seeds were dispersed, on average, 174.1 m away from the location of fruit ingestion; during the rainy season, this mean dispersal distance increased to 276.7 m. Our results suggest that C. denticulata plays an important role in seed dispersal in Amazonian forests and highlight the influence of seasonal changes in movements on the resulting seed shadows.

  2. Allometric and temporal scaling of movement characteristics in Galapagos tortoises

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastille-Rousseau, Guillaume; Yackulic, Charles B.; Frair, Jacqueline L.; Cabrera, Freddy; Blake, Stephen

    2016-01-01

    Understanding how individual movement scales with body size is of fundamental importance in predicting ecological relationships for diverse species. One-dimensional movement metrics scale consistently with body size yet vary over different temporal scales. Knowing how temporal scale influences the relationship between animal body size and movement would better inform hypotheses about the efficiency of foraging behaviour, the ontogeny of energy budgets, and numerous life-history trade-offs.We investigated how the temporal scaling of allometric patterns in movement varies over the course of a year, specifically during periods of motivated (directional and fast movement) and unmotivated (stationary and tortuous movement) behaviour. We focused on a recently diverged group of species that displays wide variation in movement behaviour – giant Galapagos tortoises (Chelonoidis spp.) – to test how movement metrics estimated on a monthly basis scaled with body size.We used state-space modelling to estimate seven different movement metrics of Galapagos tortoises. We used log-log regression of the power law to evaluate allometric scaling for these movement metrics and contrasted relationships by species and sex.Allometric scaling of movement was more apparent during motivated periods of movement. During this period, allometry was revealed at multiple temporal intervals (hourly, daily and monthly), with values observed at daily and monthly intervals corresponding most closely to the expected one-fourth scaling coefficient, albeit with wide credible intervals. We further detected differences in the magnitude of scaling among taxa uncoupled from observed differences in the temporal structuring of their movement rates.Our results indicate that the definition of temporal scales is fundamental to the detection of allometry of movement and should be given more attention in movement studies. Our approach not only provides new conceptual insights into temporal attributes in one

  3. 78 FR 44878 - Turtles Intrastate and Interstate Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-25

    ... HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 1240 Turtles Intrastate and Interstate... public distribution, of viable turtle eggs and live turtles with a carapace length of less than 4 inches... turtle eggs and turtles with a carapace length of less than 4 inches to stop the spread of...

  4. 78 FR 44915 - Turtles Intrastate and Interstate Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-25

    ... HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 1240 Turtles Intrastate and Interstate... commercial or public distribution, of viable turtle eggs and live turtles with a carapace length of less than... distribution of viable turtle eggs and turtles with a carapace length of less than 4 inches to stop the...

  5. Ultrastructural immunolocalization of alpha-keratins and associated beta-proteins (beta-keratins) suggests a new interpretation on the process of hard and soft cornification in turtle epidermis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alibardi, L

    2013-01-01

    The epidermis of soft-shelled and hard-shelled turtles has been compared to determine the origin of the different cornification. Immunolocalization of acidic alpha-keratin (AK2) of 45-50 kDa in tonofilaments of the epidermis in Apalone spinifera and absence in the corneous layer where desquamating corneocytes are present supports the biochemical data. Corneocytes shows a weak to absent immunolabeling for beta-proteins (formerly beta-keratins) of 14-16 kDa while sparse immunolabeled corneous granules are seen in the pre-corneous layer. In the hard-shelled turtle Pseudemys nelsonii differentiating corneocytes contain small level of acidic alpha-keratin while beta-proteins of 10-17 kDa form dense aggregates of corneous material among tonofilaments. Corneocytes do not desquamate but remain tightly connected determining an increase in thickness of the corneous layer that becomes mechanically stiff and resistant. Since both species possess beta-proteins in shelled and non-shelled areas of the epidermis the difference in hardness of the corneous layer is not due to the alternation between beta-keratin versus alpha-keratin. Mechanical resilience of the corneous layer derives from the accumulation of alpha-keratins, beta- and likely of other proteins in corneocytes of the shell in hard-shelled turtles. In the softer epidermis of hard-shelled turtles and in the soft-shelled turtle a more rapid and continuous turnover of corneocytes is present and no accumulation of beta-proteins and corneocytes takes place. It is hypothesized that the dermis derived from the carapacial ridge during development remains localized underneath the shell epidermis in hard-shelled turtles and influences the formation of the hard corneous epidermis.

  6. Pleated turtle escapes the box--shape changes in Dermochelys coriacea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davenport, John; Plot, Virginie; Georges, Jean-Yves; Doyle, Thomas K; James, Michael C

    2011-10-15

    Typical chelonians have a rigid carapace and plastron that form a box-like structure that constrains several aspects of their physiology and ecology. The leatherback sea turtle, Dermochelys coriacea, has a flexible bony carapace strengthened by seven longitudinal ridges, whereas the plastron is reduced to an elliptical outer bony structure, so that the ventrum has no bony support. Measurements of the shell were made on adult female leatherbacks studied on the feeding grounds of waters off Nova Scotia (NS) and on breeding beaches of French Guiana (FG) to examine whether foraging and/or breeding turtles alter carapace size and/or shape. NS turtles exhibited greater mass and girth for a given curved carapace length (CCL) than FG turtles. Girth:CCL ratios rose during the feeding season, indicating increased girth. Measurements were made of the direct (straight) and surface (curved) distances between the medial longitudinal ridge and first right-hand longitudinal ridge (at 50% CCL). In NS turtles, the ratio of straight to curved inter-ridge distances was significantly higher than in FG turtles, indicating distension of the upper surfaces of the NS turtles between the ridges. FG females laid 11 clutches in the breeding season; although CCL and curved carapace width remained stable, girth declined between each nesting episode, indicating loss of mass. Straight to curved inter-ridge distance ratios did not change significantly during the breeding season, indicating loss of dorsal blubber before the onset of breeding. The results demonstrate substantial alterations in size and shape of female D. coriacea over periods of weeks to months in response to alterations in nutritional and reproductive status.

  7. Lung ventilation during treadmill locomotion in a semi-aquatic turtle, Trachemys scripta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landberg, Tobias; Mailhot, Jeffrey D; Brainerd, Elizabeth L

    2009-10-01

    It is reasonable to presume that locomotion should have a mechanical effect on breathing in turtles. The turtle shell is rigid, and when the limbs protract and retract, air in the lungs should be displaced. This expectation was met in a previous study of the green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas; breathing completely ceased during terrestrial locomotion (Jackson and Prange, 1979. J Comp Physiol 134:315-319). In contrast, another study found no direct effect of locomotion on ventilation in the terrestrial box turtle, Terrapene carolina (Landberg et al., 2003. J Exp Biol 206:3391-3404). In this study we measured lung ventilation during treadmill locomotion in a semi-aquatic turtle, the red-eared slider, Trachemys scripta. Sliders breathed almost continuously during locomotion and during brief pauses between locomotor bouts. Tidal volume was relatively small (approximately 1 mL) during locomotion and approximately doubled during pauses. Minute ventilation was, however, not significantly smaller during locomotion because breath frequency was higher than that during the pauses. We found no consistent evidence for phase coupling between breathing and locomotion indicating that sliders do not use locomotor movements to drive breathing. We also found no evidence for a buccal-pump mechanism. Sliders, like box turtles, appear to use abdominal musculature to breathe during locomotion. Thus, locomotion affects lung ventilation differently in the three turtle species studied to date: the terrestrial Te. carolina shows no measurable effect of locomotion on ventilation; the semi-aquatic Tr. scripta breathes with smaller tidal volumes during locomotion; and the highly aquatic C. mydas stops breathing completely during terrestrial locomotion. (c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  8. An enhanced developmental staging table for the painted turtle, Chrysemys picta (Testudines: Emydidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    A Cordero, Gerardo; Janzen, Fredric J

    2014-04-01

    Normal developmental staging tables often undergo expansion and enhancement in response to advancing research paradigms and technologies. The Painted Turtle, Chrysemys picta, has long been a preferred reference taxon for comparative embryology and recently became the first turtle species to feature a sequenced genome. However, modern descriptive studies on embryogenesis are lacking and an earlier developmental staging table has been ignored. To address these problems, we re-evaluated descriptions of developmental stages by studying embryos under standardized laboratory conditions. We created an enhanced normal developmental staging table that clarifies and validates previous descriptions of developmental processes in this species. Moreover, we emphasized description of turtle-specific developmental characters such as the carapacial ridge. We demonstrated that embryo growth rate, length of incubation period, and timing to developmental stages are predictable under controlled environmental conditions. The appearance of characters associated with eye, limb, and shell anatomy was congruent with observations made in other turtle species. To reduce experimental bias, we recommend the use of our enhanced staging table when describing embryogenesis in the Painted Turtle. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. 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.

  10. The red-eared slider turtle carapace under fatigue loading: The effect of rib-suture arrangement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Achrai, Ben; Daniel Wagner, H

    2015-08-01

    Biological structures consisting of strong boney elements interconnected by compliant but tough collagenous sutures are abundantly found in skulls and shells of, among others, armadillos, alligators, turtles and more. In the turtle shell, a unique arrangement of alternating rigid (rib) and flexible (suture) elements gives rise to superior mechanical performance when subjected to low and high strain-rate loadings. However, the resistance to repeated load cycling - fatigue - of the turtle shell has yet to be examined. Such repeated loading could approximately simulate the consecutive high-stress bending loads exerted during (a predator) biting or clawing. In the present study flexural high-stress cyclic loads were applied to rib and suture specimens, taken from the top dorsal part of the red-eared slider turtle shell, termed carapace. Subsequently, to obtain a more complete and integrated fatigue behavior of the carapace, specimens containing a complex alternating rib-suture-rib-suture-rib configuration were tested as well. Although the sutures were found to be the least resistant to repeated loads, a synergistic effect was observed for the complex specimens, displaying improved fatigue durability compared to the individual (suture or even rib) constituents. This study may assist in the design of future high-stress fatigue-resistant materials incorporating complex assemblies of rigid and flexible elements. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Effects of wind energy production on growth, demography, and survivorship of a Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) population in Southern California with comparisons to natural populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovich, J.E.; Ennen, J.R.; Madrak, S.; Meyer, K.; Loughran, C.; Bjurlin, C.; Arundel, T.; Turner, W.; Jones, C.; Groenendaal, G.M.

    2011-01-01

    We studied a Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) population at a large wind energy generation facility near Palm Springs, California over six field seasons from 1997 to 2010. We compared growth and demographic parameters to populations living in less disturbed areas; as well as populations of the closely-related and newly-described G. morafkai elsewhere in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona. We marked 69 individuals of all size classes and estimated a population size of 96 tortoises, or about 15.4/km2. Growth rates for males were lower than reported elsewhere, although maximum body size was larger. The smallest female with shelled eggs was 221 mm and males mature at over 200 mm. Mean male size was greater than that of females. The adult sex ratio was not significantly different from unity. Size frequency histograms were similar over time and when compared to most, but not all, G. morafkai populations in the Sonoran Desert. For a cohort of adult females, we estimated mortality at 8.4% annually due, in part, to site operations. This value was low in comparison to many other populations during the same time period. Other than possible differences in growth rate of males and the high survivorship of females, there appear to be few differences between this population and those in more natural areas. The high productivity of food plants at the site and its limited public access may contribute to the overall stability of the population. However, the effects of utility-scale renewable energy development on tortoises in other, less productive, areas are unknown. Additional research (especially controlled and replicated before and after studies) is urgently needed to address this deficiency because of forecasted expansion of utility-scale renewable energy development in the future.

  12. Mercury concentrations in snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) correlate with environmental and landscape characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turnquist, Madeline A; Driscoll, Charles T; Schulz, Kimberly L; Schlaepfer, Martin A

    2011-10-01

    Mercury (Hg) deposited onto the landscape can be transformed into methylmercury (MeHg), a neurotoxin that bioaccumulates up the aquatic food chain. Here, we report on Hg concentrations in snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) across New York State, USA. The objectives of this study were to: (1) test which landscape, water, and biometric characteristics correlate with total Hg (THg) concentrations in snapping turtles; and (2) determine whether soft tissue THg concentrations correlate with scute (shell) concentrations. Forty-eight turtles were sampled non-lethally from ten lakes and wetlands across New York to observe patterns under a range of ecosystem variables and water chemistry conditions. THg concentrations ranged from 0.041 to 1.50 μg/g and 0.47 to 7.43 μg/g wet weight of muscle tissue and shell, respectively. The vast majority of mercury (~94%) was in the MeHg form. Sixty-one percent of turtle muscle samples exceeded U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) consumption advisory limit of 0.3 μg Hg/g for fish. Muscle THg concentrations were significantly correlated with sulfate in water and the maximum elevation of the watershed. Shell THg concentrations were significantly correlated with the acid neutralizing capacity (ANC) of water, the maximum elevation of the watershed, the percent open water in the watershed, the lake to watershed size, and various forms of atmospheric Hg deposition. Thus, our results demonstrate that THg concentrations in snapping turtles are spatially variable, frequently exceed advisory limits, and are significantly correlated with several landscape and water characteristics.

  13. Influence of food types on specific dynamic action of feeding in hatchling red-eared slider turtles Trachemys sripta elegans%食物类型对红耳滑龟幼体摄食特殊热动力作用的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    潘志崇; 计翔; 陆洪良

    2004-01-01

    We used hatehling red-eared slider turtles Trachemys sripta elegans to study the influence of food types on specific dynamic action (SDA) of feeding. A total of 27 turtles were purchased in July 2003 from a private hatchery operator in Hangzhou, and were equally assigned into three groups, two experimental and one control. Body mass of our turtles varied from 7.3 to 9.0 g, and the mean values did not differ among groups. After fasting all turtles for 3 days at 30℃, we provided the experimental turtles with a single meal, consisting of either mealworms (larvae of Tenebrio molitor) or commercial shell-free shrimps. Turtles feeding on mealworms consumed less food than did turtles feeding on shell-free shrimps in terms of quantity, whereas turtles of both experimental groups did not differ in food intake in terms of energy. Defecation occurred earlier in turtles feeding shell-free shrimps (mean = 40.3 h) than in turtles feeding mealworms (mean - 46.4 h). Turtles were housed individually in a 300 ml closed respiratory chamber, and oxygen consumption was measured at 0, 4.5, 10.5, 16.5, 22.5, 33, 45, 57 and 72 h since the start of our experiment. Temporal variation in oxygen consumption was found in experimental turtles but not in control turtles, suggesting that feeding exerts an effect on metabolic rate (and thus, SDA) in T. s. elegans. Turtles of both experimental groups consumed significantly more oxygen than did control ones during the period between 4.5 and 33 h since feeding. The mean time to reach a peak SDA was 10.2 h for turtles feeding mealworms and 18.0 h for turtles feeding shell-free shrimps. The height of SDA peak did not differ between turtles feeding the two different types of food. A two-way ANOVA, with food type and measuring time as the factors, showed that changes in metabolic rate following feeding were affected by the food type but not by the food × time interaction. Our study adds evidence that animals feeding different food differ in SDA

  14. Efficacy of oxfendazole and fenbendazole against tortoise (Testudo hermanni) oxyurids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giannetto, S; Brianti, E; Poglayen, G; Sorgi, C; Capelli, G; Pennisi, M G; Coci, G

    2007-04-01

    Thirty-six tortoises (Testudo hermanni) with naturally acquired oxyurids infections were used to assess the anthelmintic efficacy of oxfendazole (Dolthene; Merial) and fenbendazole (Panacur; Hoechst Roussel Vet). Animals were randomly assigned to three groups (A, B, and C) based on sex and weight. Animals in group A (seven males and six females) were orally treated with oxfendazole at dose rate of 66 mg/kg, group B animals (nine males and eight females) were orally treated with fenbendazole at dose rate of 100 mg/kg, and group C animals (three males and three females) were not treated and served as controls. All animals were individually stabled in plexiglas boxes under controlled conditions of temperature, humidity, and light beginning 7 days pretreatment and continuing for the duration of the trial. Individual tortoises feces were examined daily by the McMaster technique and drugs efficacy was assessed by the fecal eggs count reduction (FECR) test. Both drugs showed 100% of FECR. However, oxfendazole reached this level 12 days after treatment, whereas 31 days after treatment were necessary to obtain the same stable result with fenbendazole. The two drugs were well tolerated by all the animals and no adverse reactions were observed after treatment.

  15. A new xinjiangchelyid turtle from the Middle Jurassic of Xinjiang, China and the evolution of the basipterygoid process in Mesozoic turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabi, Márton; Zhou, Chang-Fu; Wings, Oliver; Ge, Sun; Joyce, Walter G

    2013-09-22

    Most turtles from the Middle and Late Jurassic of Asia are referred to the newly defined clade Xinjiangchelyidae, a group of mostly shell-based, generalized, small to mid-sized aquatic froms that are widely considered to represent the stem lineage of Cryptodira. Xinjiangchelyids provide us with great insights into the plesiomorphic anatomy of crown-cryptodires, the most diverse group of living turtles, and they are particularly relevant for understanding the origin and early divergence of the primary clades of extant turtles. Exceptionally complete new xinjiangchelyid material from the ?Qigu Formation of the Turpan Basin (Xinjiang Autonomous Province, China) provides new insights into the anatomy of this group and is assigned to Xinjiangchelys wusu n. sp. A phylogenetic analysis places Xinjiangchelys wusu n. sp. in a monophyletic polytomy with other xinjiangchelyids, including Xinjiangchelys junggarensis, X. radiplicatoides, X. levensis and X. latiens. However, the analysis supports the unorthodox, though tentative placement of xinjiangchelyids and sinemydids outside of crown-group Testudines. A particularly interesting new observation is that the skull of this xinjiangchelyid retains such primitive features as a reduced interpterygoid vacuity and basipterygoid processes. The homology of basipterygoid processes is confidently demonstrated based on a comprehensive review of the basicranial anatomy of Mesozoic turtles and a new nomenclatural system is introduced for the carotid canal system of turtles. The loss of the basipterygoid process and the bony enclosure of the carotid circulation system occurred a number of times independently during turtle evolution suggesting that the reinforcement of the basicranial region was essential for developing a rigid skull, thus paralleling the evolution of other amniote groups with massive skulls.

  16. Assessment trace elements concentrations in tissues in Caspian Pond Turtle (Mauremys caspica) from Golestan province, Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yadollahvand, Reza; Kami, Haji Gholi; Mashroofeh, Abdulreza; Bakhtiari, Alireza Riyahi

    2014-03-01

    Concentrations of cadmium, lead, zinc, and copper were measured in different organs and tissues of 15 Caspian Pond Turtle (Mauremys caspica) collected from Gharehsu River, Golestan province, Iran in June and July 2012. Mean concentrations (dry weight) of zinc and copper were 66.9 and 6.7µgg(-1) in liver, 147 and 3.4µgg(-1) in heart, 93.2 and 4.9µgg(-1) in shell, and finally 150.7 and 4.5µgg(-1) in muscle, respectively. Mean concentrations of cadmium and lead were 5.8 and 32.4µgg(-1) in liver, 2.9 and 20.9µgg(-1) in heart, 3.5 and 21.5µgg(-1) in shell, and finally 2.5 and 27.5µgg(-1) in muscle, respectively. On average, lead, cadmium, copper and zinc concentrations in the analyzed tissues were much higher than those reported in other freshwater turtle species. In particular, the mean concentrations of lead in liver and muscle of Caspian Pond Turtle was extremely high. To our knowledge, this is the first report into metal accumulation in tissues and organs of Caspian Pond Turtle from of the Gharehsu River in Golestan province, Iran. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Nelson's big horn sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni) trample Agassiz's desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) burrow at a California wind energy facility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agha, Mickey; Delaney, David F.; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Briggs, Jessica; Austin, Meaghan; Price, Steven J.

    2015-01-01

    Research on interactions between Agassiz's desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) and ungulates has focused exclusively on the effects of livestock grazing on tortoises and their habitat (Oldemeyer, 1994). For example, during a 1980 study in San Bernardino County, California, 164 desert tortoise burrows were assessed for vulnerability to trampling by domestic sheep (Ovis aries). Herds of grazing sheep damaged 10% and destroyed 4% of the burrows (Nicholson and Humphreys 1981). In addition, a juvenile desert tortoise was trapped and an adult male was blocked from entering a burrow due to trampling by domestic sheep. Another study found that domestic cattle (Bos taurus) trampled active desert tortoise burrows and vegetation surrounding burrows (Avery and Neibergs 1997). Trampling also has negative impacts on diversity of vegetation and intershrub soil crusts in the desert southwest (Webb and Stielstra 1979). Trampling of important food plants and overgrazing has the potential to create competition between desert tortoises and domestic livestock (Berry 1978; Coombs 1979; Webb and Stielstra 1979).

  18. Survey of Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphenus) Populations on St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge, Franklin County, Florida

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — St. Vincent National Wildlife refuge was surveyed January 11 and 12, 1979, in order to determine the current status of the gopher tortoise on refuge lands. St....

  19. Hematology and plasma biochemistry reference range values for free-ranging desert tortoises in Arizona.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dickinson, Vanessa M; Jarchow, James L; Trueblood, Mark H

    2002-01-01

    Baseline values and ranges for 10 hematologic and 32 plasma chemistry parameters were analyzed for 36 free-ranging Sonoran desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizzi) collected in Yavapai and La Paz Counties (Arizona, USA) from 1990 to 1995. Tortoises were radio tagged from 1990 to 1994, and attempts were made to recapture them three times a year. Tortoises were weighed, measured, and chemically immobilized to collect blood for hematology and blood chemistry assessments. Tortoise biochemistry differed (P < 0.01) between sites and sexes and among seasons and years. Normal reference ranges for hematologic and plasma biochemistry parameters were determined. Seasonal and annual differences in hematology and blood chemistry were related to rainfall patterns, forage availability, and physiological condition.

  20. Gopher Tortoise Survey, Population Evaluation, and Habitat Suitability: Final Report to Georgia Department of Natural Resources

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report desribes methods and results of the line transect distance sampling approach used to derive baseline gopher tortoise population estimates at 20 sites...

  1. Status and distribution of the angonoka tortoise (Geochelone yniphora) of western Madagascar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Lora L.; Reid, Don; Robert, Bourou; Joby, Mahatoly; Clement, Sibo

    1999-01-01

    From 1993 to 1995, field surveys were conducted in western Madagascar to assess the current status of the angonoka tortoise (Geochelone yniphora) in the wild. Tortoise presence was documented at 10 of 11 localities surveyed. These localities represent at least five populations, all within a 30-km radius of Baly Bay, near the town of Soalala. The populations occur on fragments of habitat ranging from Sada, where monthly surveys were conducted. The tortoise density on the c. 150 ha peninsula was 0.66 tortoises/ha. The remains of 22 dead juveniles were found on Cape Sada over the 2-year period. This evidence, combined with the low number of juveniles in intermediate size classes in the Cape Sada population suggests that juvenile mortality may be high.

  2. Status and Distribution of the Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) in Southern Alabama

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — A two year study was undertaken to determine the status and distribution of the gopher tortoise Gopherus polyphemus in 24 counties in southern Alabama. Habitat...

  3. Blood variable data for clinically normal and clinically abnormal Mojave Desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) in 2013

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — To improve our understanding of health and immune function in tortoises, we evaluated both standard blood diagnostic (body condition, hematologic, plasma...

  4. 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).

  5. Bending mechanics of the red-eared slider turtle carapace.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Achrai, Ben; Bar-On, Benny; Wagner, H Daniel

    2014-02-01

    The turtle shell is a natural shield that possesses complex hierarchical structure, giving rise to superior mechanical properties. The keratin-covered boney top (dorsal) part of the shell, termed carapace, is composed of rigid sandwich-like ribs made of a central foam-like interior flanked by two external cortices. The ribs are attached to one another in a 3-D interdigitated manner at soft unmineralized collagenous sutures. This unique structural combination promotes sophisticated mechanical response upon predator attacks. In the present study mechanical bending tests were performed to examine the static behavior of the red-eared slider turtle carapace, in different orientations and from various locations, as well as from whole-rib and sub-layer regions. In addition, the suture properties were evaluated as well and compared with those of the rib. A simplified classical analysis was used here to rationalize the experimental results of the whole rib viewed as a laminated composite. The measured strength (~300MPa) and bending modulus (~7-8.5GPa) of the rib were found to be of the same order of magnitude as the strength and modulus of the cortices. The theoretical prediction of the ribs' moduli, predicted in terms of the individual sub-layers moduli, agreed well with the experimental results. The suture regions were found to be more compliant and weaker than the ribs, but comparatively tough, likely due to the interlocking design of the boney zigzag elements. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. The dominance of introduced plant species in the diets of migratory Galapagos tortoises increases with elevation on a human-occupied island

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, Stephen; Guézou, Anne; Deem, Sharon L.; Yackulic, Charles B.; Cabrera, Fredy

    2015-01-01

    The distribution of resources and food selection are fundamental to the ecology, life history, physiology, population dynamics, and conservation of animals. Introduced plants are changing foraging dynamics of herbivores in many ecosystems often with unknown consequences. Galapagos tortoises, like many herbivores, undertake migrations along elevation gradients driven by variability in vegetation productivity which take them into upland areas dominated by introduced plants. We sought to characterize diet composition of two species of Galapagos tortoises, focussing on how the role of introduced forage species changes over space and the implications for tortoise conservation. We quantified the distribution of tortoises with elevation using GPS telemetry. Along the elevation gradient, we quantified the abundance of introduced and native plant species, estimated diet composition by recording foods consumed by tortoises, and assessed tortoise physical condition from body weights and blood parameter values. Tortoises ranged between 0 and 429 m in elevation over which they consumed at least 64 plant species from 26 families, 44 percent of which were introduced species. Cover of introduced species and the proportion of introduced species in tortoise diets increased with elevation. Introduced species were positively selected for by tortoises at all elevations. Tortoise physical condition was either consistent or increased with elevation at the least biologically productive season on Galapagos. Santa Cruz tortoises are generalist herbivores that have adapted their feeding behavior to consume many introduced plant species that has likely made a positive contribution to tortoise nutrition. Some transformed habitats that contain an abundance of introduced forage species are compatible with tortoise conservation.

  7. 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.

  8. Application of diagnostic tests for mycoplasmal infections of desert and gopher tortoises with management recommendations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, D.R.; Schumacher, Isabella M.; Mclaughlin, Grace S.; Wendland, L.D.; Brown, Mary E.; Klein, P.A.; Jacobson, E.R.

    2002-01-01

    Mycoplasmosis is a transmissible upper respiratory tract disease that has affected plans for management and conservation of wild desert and gopher tortoises in the United States. Although impact of mycoplasmosis on populations of desert and gopher tortoises is unknown, increased prevalence of seropositive animals as well as field observations of clinically ill tortoises have occurred in association with declining populations. In order to help in the identification of potentially infected animals, three tests have been developed to diagnose mycoplasmal infections of tortoises: 1) direct mycoplasmal culture; 2) detection of mycolplasmal chromosomal DNA by polymerase chain reaction (PCR); and 3) detection of anti-Mycoplasma antibodies in tortoise plasma by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Each test provides different, complementary information that collectively can be used to define tortoise mycoplasmal infection status. The types of samples required, the predictive value, interpretation, and cost vary among tests. These assays have been used for epidemiological surveys and in decision making for relocation, repatriation, or captive management of tortoises to minimize the risk of outbreaks of mycoplasmal respiratory disease and spread of the causative agent of this disease. Certain features of mycoplasmal infections of tortoises and other animals create a diagnostic dilemma. Multiple Mycoplasma species can cause respiratory disease with identical clinical presentations. Further, individual strains of a given species may vary with respect to their virulence potential, and some species may be commensals rather than pathogens. Current diagnostic tests may not differentiate among mycoplasmal species or strains or permit determination of pathogenicity of individual isolates. Thus, the information provided by testing is not a simple 'positive' vs. 'negative' issue. While these tests provide much needed information on the exposure of tortoise populations to

  9. 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...

  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. Immunoglobulin genes of the turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-03-01

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

  12. 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 fa

  13. Biogeography of Parasitic Nematode Communities in the Galapagos Giant Tortoise: Implications for Conservation Management.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guillaume Fournié

    Full Text Available The Galápagos giant tortoise is an icon of the unique, endemic biodiversity of Galápagos, but little is known of its parasitic fauna. We assessed the diversity of parasitic nematode communities and their spatial distributions within four wild tortoise populations comprising three species across three Galápagos islands, and consider their implication for Galápagos tortoise conservation programmes. Coprological examinations revealed nematode eggs to be common, with more than 80% of tortoises infected within each wild population. Faecal samples from tortoises within captive breeding centres on Santa Cruz, Isabela and San Cristobal islands also were examined. Five different nematode egg types were identified: oxyuroid, ascarid, trichurid and two types of strongyle. Sequencing of the 18S small-subunit ribosomal RNA gene from adult nematodes passed with faeces identified novel sequences indicative of rhabditid and ascaridid species. In the wild, the composition of nematode communities varied according to tortoise species, which co-varied with island, but nematode diversity and abundance were reduced or altered in captive-reared animals. Evolutionary and ecological factors are likely responsible for the variation in nematode distributions in the wild. This possible species/island-parasite co-evolution has not been considered previously for Galápagos tortoises. We recommend that conservation efforts, such as the current Galápagos tortoise captive breeding/rearing and release programme, be managed with respect to parasite biogeography and host-parasite co-evolutionary processes in addition to the biogeography of the host.

  14. Burrow Collapse as a Potential Stressor on the Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphenus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-08-01

    Alford, R. A. 1980. Population Structure of Gopherus polyphemus in Northern Florida. J Herpetology , 14: 177–182. Aresco, M., and C. Guyer. 1999a...Survivorship and Predation of Hatchling and Yearling Gopher Tortoises, Gopherus polyphemus. J of Herpetology 30: 455–458. Cash W. B., and R. L. Holberton...1992. Home Range and Movements of the Tortoise Gopherus polyphemus in Northern Florida. Journal of Herpetology 26(2): 158–165. Diemer, J. E. and P

  15. Desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) are selective herbivores that track the flowering phenology of their preferred food plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennings, Bryan W.; Berry, Kristin H.

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies of desert tortoise foraging ecology in the western Mojave Desert suggest that these animals are selective herbivores, which alter their diet according to the temporal availability of preferred food plants. These studies, however, did not estimate availability of potential food plants by taking into account the spatial and temporal variability in ephemeral plant abundance that occurs within the spring season. In this study, we observed 18 free-ranging adult tortoises take 35,388 bites during the spring foraging season. We also estimated the relative abundance of potential food plants by stratifying our sampling across different phenological periods of the 3-month long spring season and by different habitats and microhabitats. This methodology allowed us to conduct statistical tests comparing tortoise diet against plant abundance. Our results show that tortoises choose food plants non-randomly throughout the foraging season, a finding that corroborates the hypothesis that desert tortoises rely on key plants during different phenological periods of spring. Moreover, tortoises only consumed plants in a succulent state until the last few weeks of spring, at which time most annuals and herbaceous perennials had dried and most tortoises had ceased foraging. Many species of food plants—including several frequently eaten species—were not detected in our plant surveys, yet tortoises located these rare plants in their home ranges. Over 50% of bites consumed were in the group of undetected species. Interestingly, tortoises focused heavily on several leguminous species, which could be nutritious foods owing to their presumably high nitrogen contents. We suggest that herbaceous perennials, which were rare on our study area but represented ~30% of tortoise diet, may be important in sustaining tortoise populations during droughts when native annuals are absent. These findings highlight the vulnerability of desert tortoises to climate change if such changes

  16. Desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) are selective herbivores that track the flowering phenology of their preferred food plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennings, W Bryan; Berry, Kristin H

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies of desert tortoise foraging ecology in the western Mojave Desert suggest that these animals are selective herbivores, which alter their diet according to the temporal availability of preferred food plants. These studies, however, did not estimate availability of potential food plants by taking into account the spatial and temporal variability in ephemeral plant abundance that occurs within the spring season. In this study, we observed 18 free-ranging adult tortoises take 35,388 bites during the spring foraging season. We also estimated the relative abundance of potential food plants by stratifying our sampling across different phenological periods of the 3-month long spring season and by different habitats and microhabitats. This methodology allowed us to conduct statistical tests comparing tortoise diet against plant abundance. Our results show that tortoises choose food plants non-randomly throughout the foraging season, a finding that corroborates the hypothesis that desert tortoises rely on key plants during different phenological periods of spring. Moreover, tortoises only consumed plants in a succulent state until the last few weeks of spring, at which time most annuals and herbaceous perennials had dried and most tortoises had ceased foraging. Many species of food plants--including several frequently eaten species--were not detected in our plant surveys, yet tortoises located these rare plants in their home ranges. Over 50% of bites consumed were in the group of undetected species. Interestingly, tortoises focused heavily on several leguminous species, which could be nutritious foods owing to their presumably high nitrogen contents. We suggest that herbaceous perennials, which were rare on our study area but represented ~30% of tortoise diet, may be important in sustaining tortoise populations during droughts when native annuals are absent. These findings highlight the vulnerability of desert tortoises to climate change if such changes alter

  17. Equivalency of Galápagos giant tortoises used as ecological replacement species to restore ecosystem functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, Elizabeth A; Gibbs, James P; Cayot, Linda J; Tapia, Washington

    2013-08-01

    Loss of key plant-animal interactions (e.g., disturbance, seed dispersal, and herbivory) due to extinctions of large herbivores has diminished ecosystem functioning nearly worldwide. Mitigating for the ecological consequences of large herbivore losses through the use of ecological replacements to fill extinct species' niches and thereby replicate missing ecological functions has been proposed. It is unknown how different morphologically and ecologically a replacement can be from the extinct species and still provide similar functions. We studied niche equivalency between 2 phenotypes of Galápagos giant tortoises (domed and saddlebacked) that were translocated to Pinta Island in the Galápagos Archipelago as ecological replacements for the extinct saddlebacked giant tortoise (Chelonoidis abingdonii). Thirty-nine adult, nonreproductive tortoises were introduced to Pinta Island in May 2010, and we observed tortoise resource use in relation to phenotype during the first year following release. Domed tortoises settled in higher, moister elevations than saddlebacked tortoises, which favored lower elevation arid zones. The areas where the tortoises settled are consistent with the ecological conditions each phenotype occupies in its native range. Saddlebacked tortoises selected areas with high densities of the arboreal prickly pear cactus (Opuntia galapageia) and mostly foraged on the cactus, which likely relied on the extinct saddlebacked Pinta tortoise for seed dispersal. In contrast, domed tortoises did not select areas with cactus and therefore would not provide the same seed-dispersal functions for the cactus as the introduced or the original, now extinct, saddlebacked tortoises. Interchangeability of extant megaherbivores as replacements for extinct forms therefore should be scrutinized given the lack of equivalency we observed in closely related forms of giant tortoises. Our results also demonstrate the value of trial introductions of sterilized individuals to test

  18. Geomagnetic Navigation in Sea Turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lohmann, K.; Putman, N.; Lohmann, C.

    2011-12-01

    Young loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from eastern Florida undertake a transoceanic migration in which they gradually circle the north Atlantic Ocean before returning to the North American coast. Newly hatched turtles (hatchlings) begin the migration with a 'magnetic map' in which regional magnetic fields function as navigational markers and elicit changes in swimming direction at crucial geographic boundaries. In laboratory experiments, young turtles that had never before been in the ocean were exposed to fields like those that exist at various, widely separated locations along their transoceanic migratory route. Turtles responded by swimming in directions that would, in each case, help them remain within the North Atlantic gyre currents and advance along the migratory pathway. The results demonstrate that turtles can derive both longitudinal and latitudinal information from the Earth's field, and provide strong evidence that hatchling loggerheads inherit a remarkably elaborate set of responses that function in guiding them along their open-sea migratory route. For young sea turtles, couplings of oriented swimming to regional magnetic fields appear to provide the fundamental building blocks from which natural selection can sculpt a sequence of responses capable of guiding first-time ocean migrants along complex migratory routes. The results imply that hatchlings from different populations in different parts of the world are likely to have magnetic navigational responses uniquely suited for the migratory routes that each group follows. Thus, from a conservation perspective, turtles from different populations are not interchangeable. From an evolutionary perspective, the responses are not incompatible with either secular variation or magnetic polarity reversals. As Earth's field gradually changes, strong selective pressure presumably acts to maintain an approximate match between the responses of hatchlings and the fields that exist at critical points along

  19. 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 ST

  20. 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

  1. 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 ST

  2. Analysis of epibiont data in relation with the Debilitated Turtle Syndrome of sea turtles in Chelonia mydas and Lepidochelys olivacea from Concepción coast, Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Italo Fernández

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Epibionts on the surface of the skin and shell of a specimen of Chelonia mydas and three Lepidochelys olivacea found floating on the coast of Concepción, Chile, between June 2010 and December 2012, were analyzed. These epibionts were analyzed during the clinical inspection and the tissue changes related to its settlement, with filamentous algae around, were observed. Subsequently, the epibionts were identified by morphological observation. The knowledge about theses epibionts in Chile is reviewed and the potential occurrence of Debilitated Turtle Syndrome (DTS in these turtles is discussed. The presence of sea turtles in the Chilean coast is considered a casual event, so there is little information on this issue. We propose it is necessary to carry out more studies on the association between turtles and epibionts because their identification, colonizing reptiles’ surface may give relevant information to a better understanding of different diseases, including DTS, that affect these marine reptiles and facilitates the development of strategies intended to recover their populations.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Evolution of neck vertebral shape and neck retraction at the transition to modern turtles: an integrated geometric morphometric approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werneburg, Ingmar; Wilson, Laura A B; Parr, William C H; Joyce, Walter G

    2015-03-01

    The unique ability of modern turtles to retract their head and neck into the shell through a side-necked (pleurodiran) or hidden-necked (cryptodiran) motion is thought to have evolved independently in crown turtles. The anatomical changes that led to the vertebral shapes of modern turtles, however, are still poorly understood. Here we present comprehensive geometric morphometric analyses that trace turtle vertebral evolution and reconstruct disparity across phylogeny. Disparity of vertebral shape was high at the dawn of turtle evolution and decreased after the modern groups evolved, reflecting a stabilization of morphotypes that correspond to the two retraction modes. Stem turtles, which had a very simple mode of retraction, the lateral head tuck, show increasing flexibility of the neck through evolution towards a pleurodiran-like morphotype. The latter was the precondition for evolving pleurodiran and cryptodiran vertebrae. There is no correlation between the construction of formed articulations in the cervical centra and neck mobility. An increasing mobility between vertebrae, associated with changes in vertebral shape, resulted in a more advanced ability to retract the neck. In this regard, we hypothesize that the lateral tucking retraction of stem turtles was not only the precondition for pleurodiran but also of cryptodiran retraction. For the former, a kink in the middle third of the neck needed to be acquired, whereas for the latter modification was necessary between the eighth cervical vertebra and first thoracic vertebra. Our paper highlights the utility of 3D shape data, analyzed in a phylogenetic framework, to examine the magnitude and mode of evolutionary modifications to vertebral morphology. By reconstructing and visualizing ancestral anatomical shapes, we provide insight into the anatomical features underlying neck retraction mode, which is a salient component of extant turtle classification. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press

  6. 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)

  7. Evolution of the turtle bauplan: the topological relationship of the scapula relative to the ribcage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyson, Tyler R; Joyce, Walter G

    2012-12-23

    The turtle shell and the relationship of the shoulder girdle inside or 'deep' to the ribcage have puzzled neontologists and developmental biologists for more than a century. Recent developmental and fossil data indicate that the shoulder girdle indeed lies inside the shell, but anterior to the ribcage. Developmental biologists compare this orientation to that found in the model organisms mice and chickens, whose scapula lies laterally on top of the ribcage. We analyse the topological relationship of the shoulder girdle relative to the ribcage within a broader phylogenetic context and determine that the condition found in turtles is also found in amphibians, monotreme mammals and lepidosaurs. A vertical scapula anterior to the thoracic ribcage is therefore inferred to be the basal amniote condition and indicates that the condition found in therian mammals and archosaurs (which includes both developmental model organisms: chickens and mice) is derived and not appropriate for studying the developmental origin of the turtle shell. Instead, among amniotes, either monotreme mammals or lepidosaurs should be used.

  8. The Embryonic Transcriptome of the Red-Eared Slider Turtle (Trachemys scripta.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas J Kaplinsky

    Full Text Available The bony shell of the turtle is an evolutionary novelty not found in any other group of animals, however, research into its formation has suggested that it has evolved through modification of conserved developmental mechanisms. Although these mechanisms have been extensively characterized in model organisms, the tools for characterizing them in non-model organisms such as turtles have been limited by a lack of genomic resources. We have used a next generation sequencing approach to generate and assemble a transcriptome from stage 14 and 17 Trachemys scripta embryos, stages during which important events in shell development are known to take place. The transcriptome consists of 231,876 sequences with an N50 of 1,166 bp. GO terms and EC codes were assigned to the 61,643 unique predicted proteins identified in the transcriptome sequences. All major GO categories and metabolic pathways are represented in the transcriptome. Transcriptome sequences were used to amplify several cDNA fragments designed for use as RNA in situ probes. One of these, BMP5, was hybridized to a T. scripta embryo and exhibits both conserved and novel expression patterns. The transcriptome sequences should be of broad use for understanding the evolution and development of the turtle shell and for annotating any future T. scripta genome sequences.

  9. Metals in Blood and Eggs of Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas) from Nesting Colonies of the Northern Coast of the Sea of Oman.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinaei, Mahmood; Bolouki, Mehdi

    2017-06-19

    The green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) has been a species of global concern for decades. In this study, heavy metals (mercury: Hg; Cadmium: Cd; Lead: Pb; Copper: Cu; and Zinc: Zn) were measured in blood and three egg fraction of green sea turtles nesting on the northern coast of Sea of Oman. Heavy metals concentrations in blood, yolk, albumen, and egg shell ranged between 0.16-36.78, 0.006-33.88, 0.003-4.02, and 0.002-6.85 μg/g (ww), respectively. According to the results, all heavy metals found in blood samples (n = 12) also were detected in the various parts of the eggs (n = 48). Moreover, there were no significant differences between concentrations of heavy metals in different clutches laid in a nesting season. However, Pb concentrations in blood samples significantly increased in later clutches (p sea turtles on the northern coast of Sea of Oman. Results of this study suggest that heavy metals could be one of the factors influencing reductions in fertilization and hatching success. Results also indicate that green sea turtle on the northern coast of Sea of Oman have high capacity in rapid response and detoxification of heavy metals and/or from the low exposure levels of these turtles to the heavy metals. Further research is required concerning the effects of heavy metals on green sea turtles, especially on their possible influence of fetal development of turtles.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard J Hamilton

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

  12. Hydrodynamic stability in posthatchling loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and green (Chelonia mydas) sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dougherty, Erin; Rivera, Gabriel; Blob, Richard; Wyneken, Jeanette

    2010-05-01

    Swimming animals may experience a wide range of destabilizing forces resulting from the movements of their propulsors. These forces often cause movements in directions other than the intended trajectory (i.e., recoil motions), potentially increasing locomotor costs. We quantified rectilinear swimming stability for posthatchling loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and green turtles (Chelonia mydas). Sea turtles predominantly swim via "aquatic flight", which is characterized by synchronous dorsoventral flapping of their forelimbs. We tested four predictions about the effects of "aquatic flight" on stability: (1) it would produce little lateral recoil; (2) lateral recoil motions would be non-cyclic; (3) vertical recoil motions would be larger than lateral recoil motions; and (4) vertical recoil motions would be cyclic. Additionally, because posthatchling loggerheads possess dorsal keels on the shell that are absent in green turtles, we evaluated whether such keels might improve stability in swimming turtles. While our expectations for patterns of cyclicity in recoil motions (predictions 2 and 4) were met, our expectations for differences in their absolute and relative magnitudes (predictions 1 and 3) were not. We suggest that lateral recoil motions were greater than predicted due to slight asynchronies between the motions of the left and right foreflippers. Additionally, although minimum lateral recoil motions were smaller than minimum vertical recoil motions, maximum recoil motions were greater in the lateral direction, so that average recoil did not differ significantly between these directions. Finally, because loggerheads did not display higher levels of stability compared to green turtles, there is little evidence to support a stabilizing role for dorsal keels in loggerhead turtles.

  13. Radiotelemetry Study of a Desert Tortoise Population: Sand Hill Training Mea, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-05-01

    monitoring landscape integrity and ecological viability. Desert Tortoise Ecology and Behavior The desert tortoise is a herbivorous reptile ...specialized invertebrates. The burrows provide permanent homes, escape from predators, thermoregulation and maintenance of homeostasis, and hiberna...desert reptiles has long been appreciated (Cowles and Bogert 1944). The importance of burrow microclimates to desert vertebrates and invertebrates, and

  14. Using motion-sensor camera technology to infer seasonal activity and thermal niche of the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agha, Mickey; Augustine, Benjamin; Lovich, Jeffrey E; Delaney, David; Sinervo, Barry; Murphy, Mason O; Ennen, Joshua R; Briggs, Jessica R; Cooper, Robert; Price, Steven J

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the relationships between environmental variables and wildlife activity is an important part of effective management. The desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), an imperiled species of arid environments in the southwest US, may have increasingly restricted windows for activity due to current warming trends. In summer 2013, we deployed 48 motion sensor cameras at the entrances of tortoise burrows to investigate the effects of temperature, sex, and day of the year on the activity of desert tortoises. Using generalized estimating equations, we found that the relative probability of activity was associated with temperature (linear and quadratic), sex, and day of the year. Sex effects showed that male tortoises are generally more active than female tortoises. Temperature had a quadratic effect, indicating that tortoise activity was heightened at a range of temperatures. In addition, we found significant support for interactions between sex and day of the year, and sex and temperature as predictors of the probability of activity. Using our models, we were able to estimate air temperatures and times (days and hours) that were associated with maximum activity during the study. Because tortoise activity is constrained by environmental conditions such as temperature, it is increasingly vital to conduct studies on how tortoises vary their activity throughout the Sonoran Desert to better understand the effects of a changing climate.

  15. Checklist of tortoise beetles (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae, Cassidinae) from Colombia with new data and description of a new species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borowiec, Lech; Świętojańska, Jolanta

    2015-01-01

    Abstract A new tortoise beetle species, Cyrtonota abrili, is described from the Antioquia and Caldas departments in Colombia. New faunistic data are provided for 87 species, including 16 new additions to the country’s fauna. A checklist of the known 238 species of tortoise beetles recorded from Colombia is given. PMID:26448702

  16. Response of Gopher Tortoises to Habitat Manipulation by Prescribed Burning: Can Forested Areas Adjacent to Training Areas Be Improved

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-04-01

    Herpetology , 26: 158–165. Dietlein, N.E., and R. Franz (1979) Status and habits of Gopherus polyphemus. In Proceedings, 1979 Symposium of the Desert Tortoise...Nesting and hatchling ecology of Gopher Tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus) in southern Mississippi. Journal of Herpetology , 37: 315–324. 38 ERDC/CERL TR-06

  17. Using motion-sensor camera technology to infer seasonal activity and thermal niche of the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agha, Mickey; Augustine, Benjamin; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Delaney, David F.; Sinervo, Barry; Murphy, Mason O.; Ennen, Joshua R.; Briggs, Jessica R.; Cooper, Robert J.; Price, Steven J.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the relationships between environmental variables and wildlife activity is an important part of effective management. The desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), an imperiled species of arid environments in the southwest US, may have increasingly restricted windows for activity due to current warming trends. In summer 2013, we deployed 48 motion sensor cameras at the entrances of tortoise burrows to investigate the effects of temperature, sex, and day of the year on the activity of desert tortoises. Using generalized estimating equations, we found that the relative probability of activity was associated with temperature (linear and quadratic), sex, and day of the year. Sex effects showed that male tortoises are generally more active than female tortoises. Temperature had a quadratic effect, indicating that tortoise activity was heightened at a range of temperatures. In addition, we found significant support for interactions between sex and day of the year, and sex and temperature as predictors of the probability of activity. Using our models, we were able to estimate air temperatures and times (days and hours) that were associated with maximum activity during the study. Because tortoise activity is constrained by environmental conditions such as temperature, it is increasingly vital to conduct studies on how tortoises vary their activity throughout the Sonoran Desert to better understand the effects of a changing climate.

  18. Sea turtles: old viruses and new tricks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Adam G

    2004-10-05

    Recent years have seen an inexplicable increase in the frequency of an appalling disease in sea turtles: fibropapillomatosis, which is likely caused by a herpesvirus and causes tumors to grow throughout the turtle's body. New research has led to the disturbing conclusion that recent, human-induced environmental changes are responsible.

  19. Dune vegetation fertilization by nesting sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannan, Laura B; Roth, James D; Ehrhart, Llewellyn M; Weishampel, John F

    2007-04-01

    Sea turtle nesting presents a potential pathway to subsidize nutrient-poor dune ecosystems, which provide the nesting habitat for sea turtles. To assess whether this positive feedback between dune plants and turtle nests exists, we measured N concentration and delta15N values in dune soils, leaves from a common dune plant (sea oats [Uniola paniculata]), and addled eggs of loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and green turtles (Chelonia mydas) across a nesting gradient (200-1050 nests/km) along a 40.5-km stretch of beach in east central Florida, USA. The delta15N levels were higher in loggerhead than green turtle eggs, denoting the higher trophic level of loggerhead turtles. Soil N concentration and delta15N values were both positively correlated to turtle nest density. Sea oat leaf tissue delta15N was also positively correlated to nest density, indicating an increased use of augmented marine-based nutrient sources. Foliar N concentration was correlated with delta15N, suggesting that increased nutrient availability from this biogenic vector may enhance the vigor of dune vegetation, promoting dune stabilization and preserving sea turtle nesting habitat.

  20. Mercury, lead, and cadmium in tissues of the Caspian Pond Turtle (Mauremys caspica) from the southern basin of Caspian Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adel, Milad; Saravi, Hasan Nasrollahzadeh; Dadar, Maryam; Niyazi, Leila; Ley-Quinonez, Cesar P

    2017-02-01

    Concentrations of cadmium, lead, and mercury were measured in different tissues (liver, muscle, and shell) of 60 Caspian Pond Turtles collected from Tajan and Shiroud Rivers, southern basin of the Caspian Sea. Based on the results, different tissues showed different capacities for accumulating trace elements. The general trend of metals accumulation was: liver > shell > muscle. Results also showed that accumulation of these elements was not significantly different between sex and river in turtles (p > 0.05). Based on the results, Hg and Pb concentrations recorded in the present study were higher than some of the maximum concentration permissible. To our knowledge, this is the first report into heavy metal accumulation in tissues and organs of Caspian Pond Turtle from the southern basin of Caspian Sea. Further studies are needed to measure different heavy metals and trace metals in this valuable species.

  1. Parasites of domestic and wild animals in South Africa. XLVII. Ticks of tortoises and other reptiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I.G. Horak

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available A total of 586 reptiles, belonging to 35 species and five subspecies, were examined in surveys aimed at determining the species spectrum and geographic distribution of ticks that infest them. Of these reptiles 509 were tortoises, 28 monitor or other lizards, and 49 snakes. Nine ixodid tick species, of which seven belonged to the genus Amblyomma, and one argasid tick, Ornithodoros compactus were recovered. Seven of the ten tick species are parasites of reptiles. Amongst these seven species Amblyomma marmoreum was most prevalent and numerous on leopard tortoises, Geochelone pardalis; Amblyomma nuttalli was present only on Bell's hinged tortoises, Kinixys belliana; and most Amblyomma sylvaticum were collected from angulate tortoises, Chersina angulata. Amblyomma exornatum (formerly Aponomma exornatum was only recovered from monitor lizards, Varanus spp.; most Amblyomma latum (formerly Aponomma latum were from snakes; and a single nymph of Amblyomma transversale (formerly Aponomma transversale was collected from a southern African python, Python natalensis. All 30 Namaqualand speckled padloper tortoises, Homopus signatus signatus, examined were infested with O. compactus. The seasonal occurrence of A. sylvaticum and the geographic distribution of this tick and of A. marmoreum, A. nuttalli, A. exornatum, A. latum and O. compactus are illustrated.

  2. Survey of co-infection by Salmonella and oxyurids in tortoises

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    Dipineto Ludovico

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Salmonella spp. and oxyurids are among the most prevalent bacterial and parasitic agents in reptiles. These organisms are routinely isolated in healthy tortoises, although heavy infections may cause significant pathology. Tortoises are considered a common source of reptile-associated salmonellosis, an important zoonosis reported worldwide. A survey of the prevalence of Salmonella spp. and oxyurids in 53 tortoises was conducted in southern Italy and a possible correlation between the two pathogens was therefore investigated. Results Salmonella spp. and oxyurids were detected with a prevalence of 49.1 and 81.1%, respectively. A significant positive correlation between Salmonella spp. and oxyurids was demonstrated. However, confounding factors related to husbandry could have been involved in determining this correlation. Conclusions Our results suggest that caution should be exercised in translocation, husbandry, and human contact with tortoises and other exotic pets. Further studies on the epidemiology, molecular characterization and pathogenesis of Salmonella and oxyurids are needed to assess the actual impact of these organisms, as single or associated infections, on tortoises and on other exotic pets.

  3. SELECTED PLASMA BIOCHEMISTRY ANALYTES OF HEALTHY CAPTIVE SULCATA (AFRICAN SPURRED) TORTOISES (CENTROCHELYS SULCATA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eshar, David; Gancz, Ady Y; Avni-Magen, Nili; Wagshal, Effi; Pohlman, Lisa M; Mitchell, Mark A

    2016-12-01

    The sulcata or African spurred tortoise (Centrochelys sulcata) is a large tortoise species that is commonly kept in zoologic collections and as a pet. The objectives of this study were to establish reference intervals for selected biochemical analytes in clinically healthy captive sulcata tortoises and to evaluate the impact of blood sampling site and sex. Blood samples were collected from 60 tortoises from either the dorsal coccygeal (tail) vein or the subcarapacial venous plexus based on their body size. The packed cell volume and refractometric total solids (TS) were determined. The concentrations of selected plasma biochemical analytes were determined using the VetScan VS2 analyzer and included albumin, aspartate aminotransferase, bile acids, calcium, creatine kinase, globulins, glucose, potassium, sodium, phosphorous, total proteins (TP), and uric acid. The calcium-to-phosphorous ratio was calculated. Reference intervals were determined and evaluated for the potential effects of blood sampling site and sex. There were significant differences (P sulcata tortoise health status and using this testing methodology.

  4. Hyalomma aegyptium on Spur-thighed Tortoise (Testudo graeca in Urmia Region West Azerbaijan, Iran

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    M Tavassoli

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Background: Ticks are obligate blood feeders that parasitize a wide variety of animals. Hyalomma aegyptium, parasitize tortoises and other small wild life and livestock. This study was carried out to determine spur-thighed tortoise (Testudo graeca infestation to H. ageyptium in Urmia region West Azerbaijan of Iran. Methods: The study was carried out over a 16 month period from the spring of 2004 to the fall of 2005. A total of 32 tor¬toises were sampled. Results: The results indicated that 14 tortoises infected with ticks. A total of 117 ticks were collected from infested animals, the minimum and maximum tick infestation was 1-60. Ticks were attached to the axilla of fore and hind legs of tortoises. All ticks were determined to be H. aegyptium. Conclusion: H. aegyptium was the most common tick species in the study area. Due to tendency of some people to keeping tortoise as pet animal, more attention must be done to tortoise’s tick infestation. Due to existence of H. aegyptium on tor¬toises in this region more study will need to evaluate presence of this tick on other animal species and its role on transmis¬sion of diseases.

  5. Plant cover effect on Bolson tortoise (Gopherus flavomarginatus Legler 1959, Testudinidae burrow use

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    Jorge Luis Becerra-López

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The Bolson tortoise, Gopherus flavomarginatus, occurs within a restricted geographical area in the Mexican Chihuahuan Desert. We analyzed the variation in surface microhabitat with relation to the burrow occupancy for this tortoise at the Mapimí Biosphere Reserve, Mexico. In summer 2010, we monitored burrow activity (active, inactive, or abandoned and measured environmental factors that might influence the burrow’s occupancy by tortoises (air temperature, relative humidity and substrate temperature, both inside and outside the burrow, and the plant cover around it. Discriminant analysis was used to identify the importance of these variables influencing burrow occupancy. Correlation and linear regression analyses were performed to quantify the relation between environmental factors in the sampled burrows. Results. Sixty-one burrows were identified at the Tortugas locality. The first function’s auto-value analysis indicates that this function explains 97.9% of the variation in burrow activity status; high occupancy scores were associated with low substrate temperature inside the burrow. Plant cover was inversely proportional to substrate temperature inside the burrow. These results suggest the importance the density of plants surrounding the tortoise’s burrow as a key factor influencing the burrow microclimate and occupancy by the tortoises. Conclusions. Gopherus flavomarginatus inhabits burrows, in part, based on microhabitat structure, with plant cover being a main factor influencing burrow occupancy. Our findings indicate that human land use and vegetation management are important for conserving Bolson tortoises, and for understanding habitat conditions necessary for the successful establishment of populations elsewhere.

  6. META-ANALYSIS OF THE HISTORY OF THE STUDY OF THE FRESHWATER TURTLE AND TORTOISE FAUNA OF COLOMBIA

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    Brian C. BOCK

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Analizamos las referencias incluidas en una reciente revisión literaria sobre el estado de conocimiento de las tortugas continentales de Colombia. La tasa de publicaciones sobre estas especies ha incrementado exponencialmente desde los años 1950s, aunque muchas de éstas no podrían haber sido detectadas usando búsquedas de literatura por internet. Los tópicos más comunes de las publicaciones fueron sistemática y filo-geografía, ecología de anidación, y manejo. En los años 1970s y 1980s, la tasa de publicaciones sobre temas de ecología y genética de poblaciones ocupando el territorio colombiano, estuvo por debajo de publicaciones sobre estos dos tópicos con poblaciones de las mismas especies en otras regiones de Suramérica. Sin embargo, actualmente la producción en ambas regiones es comparable. En otros países, detectamos una tendencia temporal significativa de publicar cada vez más en inglés y en revistas de mayor impacto; esta tendencia no fue significativa para las publicaciones sobre poblaciones de tortugas colombianas. En Colombia, un número desproporcionado de las publicaciones son sobre especies de tamaños grandes que enfrentan problemas de conservación. Argumentamos que estudios futuros de las especies de tortugas continentales de Colombia relativamente bien conocidas, se deberían enfocar en evaluar la efectividad de los programas de manejo, y también debemos dar prioridad a investigaciones que aumenten el estado de conocimiento de las especies de tortugas continentales poco estudiadas en el país, especialmente de aquellas que actualmente están categorizadas por la UICN como con datos deficientes (DD.

  7. Prevalence of antibodies against Leptospira sp. in snakes, lizards and turtles in Slovenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Leptospiral infections in poikilothermic (cold blooded) animals have received very little attention and the literature concerning natural infections of these animals is limited. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of leptospiral antibodies in reptiles, imported into Slovenia and intended to be pets in close contact with humans. A total of 297 reptiles (22 snakes, 210 lizards and 65 turtles) were tested for specific antibodies against serovars of Leptospira interrogans sensu stricto using the microscopic agglutination test (MAT). Live cultures of different serovars were used as antigens. MAT was performed according to standard procedures and the degree of reaction was interpreted by estimating the percentage of agglutinated leptospires. Samples showing titres of ≥ 50 against one or more serovars were considered as positive. Results Antibodies against seven pathogenic serovars of L. interrogans sensu stricto were detected in 46 of 297 reptiles. Among 22 snakes, specific antibodies against pathogenic serovars of three Leptospira species (L. interrogans, L. kirschneri and L. borgpetersenii) at titre levels from 1:50 to 1:400 were detected in 6 snakes. In 31 of 210 lizards, specific antibodies were found in titres from 1:50 to 1:1000 and, finally, among 65 turtles (terrapins and tortoises), 9 had specific antibodies at titre levels between 1:50 and 1:1600. Animals imported from non-EU countries showed significantly higher prevalence (25.0%; 95 confidence interval: 16.7–33.3%) than animals from EU member states (10.4%; confidence interval: 6.1–14.7%). Conclusions Reptiles may be considered as potential reservoirs of L. interrogans sensu stricto. Origin of the animals is a risk factor for presence of leptospiral antibodies, especially in lizards. Special attention should be focused on animals from non-EU member states. PMID:24020619

  8. 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.

  9. The Staurotypus turtles and aves share the same origin of sex chromosomes but evolved different types of heterogametic sex determination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawagoshi, Taiki; Uno, Yoshinobu; Nishida, Chizuko; Matsuda, Yoichi

    2014-01-01

    Reptiles have a wide diversity of sex-determining mechanisms and types of sex chromosomes. Turtles exhibit temperature-dependent sex determination and genotypic sex determination, with male heterogametic (XX/XY) and female heterogametic (ZZ/ZW) sex chromosomes. Identification of sex chromosomes in many turtle species and their comparative genomic analysis are of great significance to understand the evolutionary processes of sex determination and sex chromosome differentiation in Testudines. The Mexican giant musk turtle (Staurotypus triporcatus, Kinosternidae, Testudines) and the giant musk turtle (Staurotypus salvinii) have heteromorphic XY sex chromosomes with a low degree of morphological differentiation; however, their origin and linkage group are still unknown. Cross-species chromosome painting with chromosome-specific DNA from Chinese soft-shelled turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis) revealed that the X and Y chromosomes of S. triporcatus have homology with P. sinensis chromosome 6, which corresponds to the chicken Z chromosome. We cloned cDNA fragments of S. triporcatus homologs of 16 chicken Z-linked genes and mapped them to S. triporcatus and S. salvinii chromosomes using fluorescence in situ hybridization. Sixteen genes were localized to the X and Y long arms in the same order in both species. The orders were also almost the same as those of the ostrich (Struthio camelus) Z chromosome, which retains the primitive state of the avian ancestral Z chromosome. These results strongly suggest that the X and Y chromosomes of Staurotypus turtles are at a very early stage of sex chromosome differentiation, and that these chromosomes and the avian ZW chromosomes share the same origin. Nonetheless, the turtles and birds acquired different systems of heterogametic sex determination during their evolution.

  10. The Staurotypus turtles and aves share the same origin of sex chromosomes but evolved different types of heterogametic sex determination.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taiki Kawagoshi

    Full Text Available Reptiles have a wide diversity of sex-determining mechanisms and types of sex chromosomes. Turtles exhibit temperature-dependent sex determination and genotypic sex determination, with male heterogametic (XX/XY and female heterogametic (ZZ/ZW sex chromosomes. Identification of sex chromosomes in many turtle species and their comparative genomic analysis are of great significance to understand the evolutionary processes of sex determination and sex chromosome differentiation in Testudines. The Mexican giant musk turtle (Staurotypus triporcatus, Kinosternidae, Testudines and the giant musk turtle (Staurotypus salvinii have heteromorphic XY sex chromosomes with a low degree of morphological differentiation; however, their origin and linkage group are still unknown. Cross-species chromosome painting with chromosome-specific DNA from Chinese soft-shelled turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis revealed that the X and Y chromosomes of S. triporcatus have homology with P. sinensis chromosome 6, which corresponds to the chicken Z chromosome. We cloned cDNA fragments of S. triporcatus homologs of 16 chicken Z-linked genes and mapped them to S. triporcatus and S. salvinii chromosomes using fluorescence in situ hybridization. Sixteen genes were localized to the X and Y long arms in the same order in both species. The orders were also almost the same as those of the ostrich (Struthio camelus Z chromosome, which retains the primitive state of the avian ancestral Z chromosome. These results strongly suggest that the X and Y chromosomes of Staurotypus turtles are at a very early stage of sex chromosome differentiation, and that these chromosomes and the avian ZW chromosomes share the same origin. Nonetheless, the turtles and birds acquired different systems of heterogametic sex determination during their evolution.

  11. A Microcantilever Sensor Array for the Detection and Inventory of Desert Tortoises

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Venedam, R. J.; Dillingham, T. R.

    2008-07-01

    We have designed and tested a portable instrument consisting of a small infrared camera coupled with an array of piezoresistive microcantilever sensors that is used to provide real-time, non-invasive data on desert tortoise den occupancy. The piezoresistive microcantilever (PMC) sensors are used to obtain a chemical “signature” of tortoise presence from the air deep within the dens, and provide data in cases where the camera cannot extend deep enough into the den to provide visual evidence of tortoise presence. The infrared camera was used to verify the PMC data during testing, and in many cases, such as shallower dens, may be used to provide exact numbers on den populations.

  12. Cystic calculi removal in African spurred Tortoise (Geochelone sulcata using transplstron coeliotomy

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    Azlan Che' Amat

    Full Text Available The present report was carried out to manage a case of calculi in the bladder of African spurred tortoise. A 6 year old African spurred tortoise presented with history of anorexia and whitish discharged from the vent. Upon physical examination, the tortoise were 10% dehydrated, hindlegs muscle wasting and whitish materials came out from the vent. Plain radiograph revealed increased radiopacity in the bladder and also both right and left kidney. Contrast gastrointestinal radiograph showed less possibility of foreign body. Inconclusive radiological findings required the decision to proceed with exploratory transplastron coeliotomy by using dental burr. About 4 cm solid, hard whitish mass was removed from the bladder and both kidney was congested with whitish material. The findings were suggestive for urates crystal calculi based on histology result. [Vet. World 2012; 5(8.000: 489-492

  13. No evidence of contagious yawning in the red-footed tortoise Geochelone carbonaria

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    Anna WILKINSON, Natalie SEBANZ, Isabella MANDL, Ludwig HUBER

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Three hypotheses have attempted to explain the phenomenon of contagious yawning. It has been hypothesized that it is a fixed action pattern for which the releasing stimulus is the observation of another yawn, that it is the result of non-conscious mimicry emerging through close links between perception and action or that it is the result of empathy, involving the ability to engage in mental state attribution. This set of experiments sought to distinguish between these hypotheses by examining contagious yawning in a species that is unlikely to show nonconscious mimicry and empathy but does respond to social stimuli: the red-footed tortoise Geochelone carbonaria. A demonstrator tortoise was conditioned to yawn when presented with a red square-shaped stimulus. Observer tortoises were exposed to three conditions: observation of conditioned yawn, non demonstration control, and stimulus only control. We measured the number of yawns for each observer animal in each condition. There was no difference between conditions. Experiment 2 therefore increased the number of conditioned yawns presented. Again, there was no significant difference between conditions. It seemed plausible that the tortoises did not view the conditioned yawn as a real yawn and therefore a final experiment was run using video recorded stimuli. The observer tortoises were presented with three conditions: real yawn, conditioned yawns and empty background. Again there was no significant difference between conditions. We therefore conclude that the red-footed tortoise does not yawn in response to observing a conspecific yawn. This suggests that contagious yawning is not the result of a fixed action pattern but may involve more complex social processes [Current Zoology 57 (4: 477–484, 2011].

  14. Short-Term Space-Use Patterns of Translocated Mojave Desert Tortoise in Southern California.

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    Matthew L Farnsworth

    Full Text Available Increasingly, renewable energy comprises a larger share of global energy production. Across the western United States, public lands are being developed to support renewable energy production. Where there are conflicts with threatened or endangered species, translocation can be used in an attempt to mitigate negative effects. For the threatened Mojave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii, we sought to compare habitat- and space-use patterns between short-distance translocated, resident, and control groups. We tested for differences in home range size based on utilization distributions and used linear mixed-effects models to compare space-use intensity, while controlling for demographic and environmental variables. In addition, we examined mean movement distances as well as home range overlap between years and for male and female tortoises in each study group. During the first active season post-translocation, home range size was greater and space-use intensity was lower for translocated tortoises than resident and control groups. These patterns were not present in the second season. In both years, there was no difference in home range size or space-use intensity between control and resident groups. Translocation typically resulted in one active season of questing followed by a second active season characterized by space-use patterns that were indistinguishable from control tortoises. Across both years, the number of times a tortoise was found in a burrow was positively related to greater space-use intensity. Minimizing the time required for translocated tortoises to exhibit patterns similar to non-translocated individuals may have strong implications for conservation by reducing exposure to adverse environmental conditions and predation. With ongoing development, our results can be used to guide future efforts aimed at understanding how translocation strategies influence patterns of animal space use.

  15. Host-specific phenotypic plasticity of the turtle barnacle Chelonibia testudinaria: a widespread generalist rather than a specialist.

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    Chi Chiu Cheang

    Full Text Available Turtle barnacles are common epibionts on marine organisms. Chelonibia testudinaria is specific on marine turtles whereas C. patula is a host generalist, but rarely found on turtles. It has been questioned why C. patula, being abundant on a variety of live substrata, is almost absent from turtles. We evaluated the genetic (mitochondrial COI, 16S and 12S rRNA, and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP and morphological differentiation of C. testudinaia and C. patula from different hosts, to determine the mode of adaptation exhibited by Chelonibia species on different hosts. The two taxa demonstrate clear differences in shell morphology and length of 4-6(th cirri, but very similar in arthropodal characters. Moreover, we detected no genetic differentiation in mitochondrial DNA and AFLP analyses. Outlier detection infers insignificant selection across loci investigated. Based on combined morphological and molecular evidence, we proposed that C. testudinaria and C. patula are conspecific, and the two morphs with contrasting shell morphologies and cirral length found on different host are predominantly shaped by developmental plasticity in response to environmental setting on different hosts. Chelonibia testudinaria is, thus, a successful general epibiotic fouler and the phenotypic responses postulated can increase the fitness of the animals when they attach on hosts with contrasting life-styles.

  16. Biochemical responses to fibropapilloma and captivity in the green turtle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swimmer, J Y

    2000-01-01

    Blood biochemical parameters were compared for green turtles (Chelonia mydas) with and without green turtle fibropapillomatosis (GTFP) from both captive and wild populations in Hawaii (USA) and from a captive population from California (USA), during the period between 1994 and 1996. Statistical analysis did not detect an influence of disease in any of the blood parameters for free-ranging turtles; however, captive turtles in Hawaii with GTFP had significantly higher levels of alkaline phosphatase and significantly lower levels of lactate compared to non-tumored captive turtles. Multivariate analysis found that biochemical profiles could be used to accurately predict if turtles were healthy or afflicted with GTFP. Discriminant function analysis correctly classified turtles as being with or without GTFP in 89% of cases, suggesting that diseased animals had a distinct signature of plasma biochemistries. Measurements of blood parameters identified numerous differences between captive and wild green turtles in Hawaii. Levels of corticosterone, lactate, triglyceride, glucose, and calcium were significantly higher in wild green turtles as compared to captive turtles, while uric acid levels were significantly lower in wild turtles as compared to captive turtles. Additionally, turtles from Sea World of California (San Diego, California, USA), which had been in captivity the longest, had higher levels of alanine aminotransferase and triglycerides as compared to nearly all other groups. Differences in diet, sampling methods, environmental conditions, and turtle size, help to interpret these results.

  17. Tantalizing tortoises and the Darwin-Galápagos legend.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sulloway, Frank J

    2009-01-01

    During his historic Galápagos visit in 1835, Darwin spent nine days making scientific observations and collecting specimens on Santiago (James Island). In the course of this visit, Darwin ascended twice to the Santiago highlands. There, near springs located close to the island's summit, he conducted his most detailed observations of Galápagos tortoises. The precise location of these springs, which has not previously been established, is here identified using Darwin's own writings, satellite maps, and GPS technology. Photographic evidence from excursions to the areas where Darwin climbed, including repeat photography over a period of four decades, offers striking evidence of the deleterious impact of feral mammals introduced after Darwin's visit. Exploring the impact that Darwin's Santiago visit had on his thinking--especially focusing on his activities in the highlands--raises intriguing questions about the depth of his understanding of the evolutionary evidence he encountered while in the Galápagos. These questions and related insights provide further evidence concerning the timing of Darwin's conversion to the theory of evolution, which, despite recent claims to the contrary, occurred only after his return to England.

  18. Thesis Abstract Morphological and phylogeographic analysis of Brazilian tortoises (Testudinidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, T L; Venancio, L P R; Bonini-Domingos, C R

    2015-12-29

    The discriminative potentials of biogeography, vocalization, morphology, cytogenetics, hemoglobin, and molecular profiling of cytochrome b as taxonomic techniques for differentiating Brazilian tortoises were evaluated in this study. In Brazil, two species of tortoises are described, Chelonoidis carbonarius and Chelonoidis denticulatus. However, in the present study, some animals that were initially recognized based on morphological characters and coloring did not correspond to the typical pattern of C. carbonarius; these animals were classified as morphotypes 1 and 2. It was proposed that these morphotypes are differentiated species, and they should not be considered as a single taxonomic unit with C. carbonarius. Tortoises analyzed were provided by the National Institute for Amazonian Research (INPA); the Emilio Goeldi Museum, PA; municipal zoos in São José do Rio Preto, SP, and Araçatuba, SP; and the Reginaldo Uvo Leone breeding farm for Wild and Exotic Animals, Tabapuã, SP. Based on the data obtained using biogeographic evaluation of specimens in the literature, it was found that C. carbonarius is distributed in the Northeast Region of Brazil, and no animal of this pattern was observed in the investigated collections. On the other hand, C. denticulatus is found in all the states of the Legal Amazonia. In addition, isolated individual records of this species exist in the Atlantic Forest in Espírito Santo and Rio de Janeiro and in the Midwest Region composed of the states of Goiás, Mato Grosso, and Mato Grosso do Sul. In the Northeast Region, C. denticulatus occurs in the State of Bahia. Morphotype 1 has a wider geographical distribution than C. carbonarius, possibly because of several distribution reports associated with C. carbonarius, indicating erroneous association of morphotype 1 as a single taxonomic unit with C. carbonarius. Morphotype 2 is found only in the states of Pará, Maranhão, and Piauí. These biogeographic data indicate that the

  19. Severe mortality of a population of threatened Agassiz’s desert tortoises: the American badger as a potential predator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emblidge, Patrick G.; Nussear, Ken E.; Esque, Todd C.; Aiello, Christina M.; Walde, Andrew D.

    2015-01-01

    In the Mojave Desert of the southwestern United States, adult Agassiz’s desert tortoises Gopherus agassizii typically experience high survival, but population declines associated with anthropogenic impacts led to their listing as a threatened Species under the US Endangered Species Act in 1990. Predation of adult tortoises is not often considered a significant threat as they are adapted to deter most predation attempts. Despite these adaptations, some populations have experienced elevated mortality attributed to predators, suggesting that predation pressure may occasionally increase. During the tortoise activity seasons of 2012 and 2013, we observed unsustainably high mortality in 1 of 4 populations of adult desert tortoises (22 and 84%, respectively) in the western Mojave Desert in the vicinity of Barstow, CA. Photographic evidence from trail cameras and examination of carcass condition suggest that American badgers Taxidea taxus— a sometimes cited but unconfirmed predator of adult tortoises — may have been responsible for some of the mortality observed. We discuss the American badger as a plausible predator of a local tortoise population, but recommend further investigation into these events and the impacts such mortality can have on tortoise persistence.

  20. Effects of subsidized predators, resource variability, and human population density on desert tortoise populations in the Mojave Desert, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esque, Todd C.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Drake, K. Kristina; Walde, Andrew D.; Berry, Kristin H.; Averill-Murray, Roy C.; Woodman, A. Peter; Boarman, William I.; Medica, Phil A.; Mack, Jeremy S.; Heaton, Jill S.

    2010-01-01

    Understanding predator–prey relationships can be pivotal in the conservation of species. For 2 decades, desert tortoise Gopherus agassizii populations have declined, yet quantitative evidence regarding the causes of declines is scarce. In 2005, Ft. Irwin National Training Center, California, USA, implemented a translocation project including 2 yr of baseline monitoring of desert tortoises. Unusually high predation on tortoises was observed after translocation occurred. We conducted a retrospective analysis of predation and found that translocation did not affect the probability of predation: translocated, resident, and control tortoises all had similar levels of predation. However, predation rates were higher near human population concentrations, at lower elevation sites, and for smaller tortoises and females. Furthermore, high mortality rates were not limited to the National Training Center. In 2008, elevated mortality (as high as 43%) occurred throughout the listed range of the desert tortoise. Although no temporal prey base data are available for analysis from any of the study sites, we hypothesize that low population levels of typical coyote Canis latrans prey (i.e. jackrabbits Lepus californicus and other small animals) due to drought conditions influenced high predation rates in previous years. Predation may have been exacerbated in areas with high levels of subsidized predators. Many historical reports of increased predation, and our observation of a range-wide pattern, may indicate that high predation rates are more common than generally considered and may impact recovery of the desert tortoise throughout its range.

  1. Cooperative Marine Turtle Tagging Program sea turtle tagging records on rehabilitated and released sea turtles from NOAA Galveston

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The database is a summary of records of: sea turtle size tags applied release and capture location are summarized in this database which is derived from paper data...

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. Nesting Loggerhead Sea Turtle Activity Report 2001

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This paper presents results from the 9th Annual Study (using Army Corp of Engineers funds) of nesting by the Atlantic loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) along...

  5. Nesting Loggerhead Sea Turtle Activity Report 1998

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This paper presents results from the sixth annual study of nesting along the Atlantic Oceanfront by the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta carettd) in Virginia Beach,...

  6. 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...

  7. Loggerhead Sea Turtle Egg Transplant Program

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The 10th year of the Loggerhead Sea Turtle Egg Transplant Program has just concluded with a much lower hatching success than anticipated. Eggs were transferred from...

  8. Notes from the Field: Four Multistate Outbreaks of Human Salmonella Infections Linked to Small Turtle Exposure - United States, 2015.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gambino-Shirley, Kelly; Stevenson, Lauren; Wargo, Katherine; Burnworth, Laura; Roberts, Jonathan; Garrett, Nancy; Van Duyne, Susan; McAllister, Gillian; Nichols, Megin

    2016-07-01

    In August 2015, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) notified CDC of a consumer complaint involving Salmonella Sandiego infection in a child (the index patient), who had acquired a small turtle (shell length pets in the United States has been banned since 1975 (3), illegal sales still occur at discount stores and flea markets and by street vendors. CDC investigated to determine the extent of the outbreaks and prevent additional infections.

  9. An Updated AP2 Beamline TURTLE Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gormley, M.; O' Day, S.

    1991-08-23

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

  10. Hematologic and plasma biochemical changes associated with fenbendazole administration in Hermann's tortoises (testudo hermanni).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neiffer, Donald L; Lydick, Dianna; Burks, Kyle; Doherty, Donna

    2005-12-01

    Toxicosis associated with benzimidazole anthelmintics has been reported with increasing frequency in zoologic collections. Clinical signs, clinicopathologic abnormalities, and gross and histologic lesions are primarily the result of damage to the gastrointestinal and hematopoietic systems. Profound leukopenia, especially granulocytopenia, is the most common and severe clinicopathologic change associated with benzimidazole administration. Death usually occurs from overwhelming systemic bacterial and/or fungal infections secondary to severe immunosuppression. In this 125-day study, six male Hermann's tortoises (Testudo hermanni) were treated orally with two 5-day courses of fenbendazole 2 wk apart at a dosage of 50 mg/kg. Serial blood samples were used to assess hematologic and plasma biochemical changes before, during, and following the treatment period. Although the tortoises remained healthy, blood sampling indicated an extended heteropenia with transient hypoglycemia, hyperuricemia, hyperphosphatemia, and equivocal hyperproteinemia/hyperglobulinemia, which were considered to be in response to fenbendazole administration. Changes in several other clinicopathologic parameters appeared to correlate with fenbendazole administration. The hematologic and biochemical changes seen in the healthy animals in this study should be considered when treating compromised tortoises with fenbendazole. Hematologic and plasma biochemical status of tortoises/reptiles should be determined before treatment and monitored during the treatment period. The risk of mortality of an individual from nematode infection should be assessed relative to the potential for metabolic alteration and secondary septicemia following damage to hematopoietic and gastrointestinal systems by fenbendazole.

  11. The dependence of Hyalomma aegyptium on its tortoise host Testudo graeca in Algeria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiar, G; Tiar-Saadi, M; Benyacoub, S; Rouag, R; Široký, P

    2016-09-01

    Hyalomma aegyptium (Linnaeus, 1758) (Ixodida: Ixodidae) has recently been confirmed as a carrier of numerous pathogenic, including zoonotic, agents. Four environmentally distinct regions of Algeria, located between the humid coastal zone and the arid Saharan Atlas range, were selected in order to compare differences in tick abundance among localities, and the correlations between tick abundance and host population characteristics and other environmental conditions. Sampling was carried out during May and early June in 2010-2012. A total of 1832 H. aegyptium were removed from 201 tortoises. Adult ticks accounted for 52% of the collection. In the pre-adult stages, larvae were dominant. Data on prevalence, intensity (mean ± standard deviation, range) and abundance of tick infestation were calculated for each locality. Locally, prevalences reached 100%. The sex ratio was biased in favour of males (4.2). Intensities of infestation differed significantly among the localities studied for all developmental stages of the tick. The intensity of infestation by adult ticks was positively correlated to the size of the tortoise and with tortoise population density in the habitat. However, findings for immature tick stages were independent of both variables. No significant correlations between infestation intensities and the climatic parameters tested were found. Immature ticks were observed to prefer the front parts of their tortoise hosts, whereas the majority of adults were attached to the rear parts.

  12. Daily energy expenditure in free-ranging Gopher Tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jodice, PGR; Epperson, DM; Visser, GH

    2006-01-01

    Studies of ecological energetics in chelonians are rare. Here, we report the first measurements of daily energy expenditure (DEE) and water influx rates (WIRS) in free-ranging adult Gopher Tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus). We used the doubly labeled water (DLW) method to measure DEE in six adult tort

  13. Biogeographic perspective of speciation among desert tortoises in the genus Gopherus: a preliminary evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Taylor; Vaughn, Mercy; Meléndez Torres, Cristina; Karl, Alice E.; Rosen, Philip C.; Berry, Kristin H.; Murph, Robert W.

    2013-01-01

    The enduring processes of time, climate, and adaptation have sculpted the distribution of organisms we observe in the Sonoran Desert. One such organism is Morafka’s desert tortoise, Gopherus morafkai. We apply a genomic approach to identify the evolutionary processes driving diversity in this species and present preliminary findings and emerging hypotheses. The Sonoran Desert form of the tortoise exhibits a continuum of genetic similarity spanning 850 km of Sonoran desertscrub extending from Empalme, Sonora, to Kingman, Arizona. However, at the ecotone between desertscrub and foothills thornscrub we identify a distinct, Sinaloan lineage and this occurrence suggests a more complex evolutionary history for G. morafkai. By using multiple loci from throughout the tortoise’s genome, we aim to determine if divergence between these lineages occurred in allopatry, and further to investigate for signatures of past or current genetic introgression. This international, collaborative project will assist state and federal agencies in developing management strategies that best preserve the evolutionary potential of Morafka’s desert tortoise. Ultimately, an understanding of the evolutionary history of desert tortoises will not only clarify the forces that have driven the divergence in this group, but also contribute to our knowledge of the biogeographic history of the Southwestern deserts and how diversity is maintained within them.

  14. On the Regge-Wheeler Tortoise and the Kruskal-Szekeres Coordinates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Crothers S. J.

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available The Regge-Wheeler tortoise “coordinate” and the the Kruskal-Szekeres “extension” are built upon a latent set of invalid assumptions. Consequently, they have led to fallacious conclusions about Einstein’s gravitational field. The persistent unjustified claims made for the aforesaid alleged coordinates are not sustained by mathematical rigour. They must therefore be discarded.

  15. If Animals Could Talk: Bald Eagle, Bear, Florida Panther, Gopher Tortoise, Indigo Snake, Manatee, Otter, Raccoon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinellas County District School Board, Clearwater, FL.

    In this series of booklets, eight Florida animals describe their appearance, habitats, food, behavior, and relationships with humans. Each entry is written for elementary students from the animal's point of view and includes a bibliography. Contained are the life stories of the bald eagle, black bear, Florida panther, gopher tortoise, Eastern…

  16. Daily energy expenditure in free-ranging Gopher Tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jodice, PGR; Epperson, DM; Visser, GH

    2006-01-01

    Studies of ecological energetics in chelonians are rare. Here, we report the first measurements of daily energy expenditure (DEE) and water influx rates (WIRS) in free-ranging adult Gopher Tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus). We used the doubly labeled water (DLW) method to measure DEE in six adult tort

  17. Biogeographic perspective of speciation among desert tortoises in the genus Gopherus: A preliminary evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor Edwards; Mercy Vaughn; Cristina Melendez Torres; Alice E. Karl; Philip C. Rosen; Kristin H. Berry; Robert W. Murph

    2013-01-01

    The enduring processes of time, climate, and adaptation have sculpted the distribution of organisms we observe in the Sonoran Desert. One such organism is Morafka’s desert tortoise, Gopherus morafkai. We apply a genomic approach to identify the evolutionary processes driving diversity in this species and present preliminary findings and emerging hypotheses. The Sonoran...

  18. If Animals Could Talk: Bald Eagle, Bear, Florida Panther, Gopher Tortoise, Indigo Snake, Manatee, Otter, Raccoon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinellas County District School Board, Clearwater, FL.

    In this series of booklets, eight Florida animals describe their appearance, habitats, food, behavior, and relationships with humans. Each entry is written for elementary students from the animal's point of view and includes a bibliography. Contained are the life stories of the bald eagle, black bear, Florida panther, gopher tortoise, Eastern…

  19. Magnetite in Black Sea Turtles (Chelonia agassizi)

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-12-01

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

  20. 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 le

  1. 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

  2. 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 le

  3. Nest site characteristics, nesting movements, and lack of long-term nest site fidelity in Agassiz's desert tortoises at a wind energy facility in southern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Agha, Mickey; Yackulic, Charles B.; Meyer-Wilkins, Kathie; Bjurlin, Curtis; Ennen, Joshua R.; Arundel, Terry R.; Austin, Meaghan

    2014-01-01

    Nest site selection has important consequences for maternal and offspring survival and fitness. Females of some species return to the same nesting areas year after year. We studied nest site characteristics, fidelity, and daily pre-nesting movements in a population of Agassiz’s desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) at a wind energy facility in southern California during two field seasons separated by over a decade. No females returned to the same exact nest site within or between years but several nested in the same general area. However, distances between first and second clutches within a year (2000) were not significantly different from distances between nests among years (2000 and 2011) for a small sample of females, suggesting some degree of fidelity within their normal activity areas. Environmental attributes of nest sites did not differ significantly among females but did among years due largely to changes in perennial plant structure as a result of multiple fires. Daily pre-nesting distances moved by females decreased consistently from the time shelled eggs were first visible in X-radiographs until oviposition, again suggesting some degree of nest site selection. Tortoises appear to select nest sites that are within their long-term activity areas, inside the climate-moderated confines of one of their self-constructed burrows, and specifically, at a depth in the burrow that minimizes exposure of eggs and embryos to lethal incubation temperatures. Nesting in “climate-controlled” burrows and nest guarding by females relaxes some of the constraints that drive nest site selection in other oviparous species.

  4. 77 FR 29586 - Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp Trawling Requirements; Correction

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-05-18

    ... Part 223 RIN 0648-BC10 Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp Trawling Requirements; Correction AGENCY... turtle excluder devices (TEDs) in their nets, and announced five public hearings to be held in...

  5. Evidence for a new species of Cryptosporidium infecting tortoises: Cryptosporidium ducismarci

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Traversa Donato

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Cryptosporidiosis affects the gastrointestinal and respiratory tract of humans as well as of a wide range of companion, farm, laboratory and wild animals. In the past few years, three independent studies have provided strong evidence for the existence of a distinct Cryptosporidium species affecting tortoises and likely circulating in other reptile species as well. A new Cryptosporidium genotype was firstly detected and genetically characterized in a marginated tortoise in Italy in 2007 and named Cryptosporidium sp. ex Testudo marginata CrIT-20. The phylogenetic analysis of this isolate indicated that this Cryptosporidium was unique and belonged to the intestinal clade. These findings were later on confirmed by the detection of genetic homologies of isolates from a python and a chameleon from Spain and by recent research in the United States. The latter study presented both the occurrence of intestinal lesions in a pancake tortoise and a Russian tortoise and the genetic characterization of the isolates, together with the first pictures of the endogenous stages of Cryptosporidium CrIT-20. Phylogenetic inference based on the sequences representing small subunit of the nuclear ribosomal RNA gene (SSU of these isolates confirmed the pathological findings because this Cryptosporidium was related to the intestinal group and supported previous results in T. marginata from Italy. The present scientific data on the Cryptosporidium CrIT-20 support its classification as a new species of Cryptosporidium causing intestinal diseases in tortoises. Although further morphological (i.e. exogenous stages and biological aspects (i.e. complete host range are yet to be elucidated, it is proposed that this Cryptosporidium is designated Cryptosporidium ducismarci.

  6. Hemolivia mauritanica (Haemogregarinidae: Apicomplexa infection in the tortoise Testudo graeca in the Near East with data on sporogonous development in the tick vector Hyalomna aegyptium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paperna I.

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Testudo graeca tortoises were collected in the northern and southern Golan Heights (Israeli occupied territory of south Syria, and various locations in Israel and Palestine. Hyalomma aegyptium ticks were found only on Golan Height tortoises, and only the tortoises and ticks from the northern Golan Heights were infected with Hemolivia mauritanica. Tortoises became infected after ingesting infected ticks. Male ticks carrying sporocysts, which remain attached to tortoises for extended durations, apparently served as the source for dissemination of new infections among tortoises. Sporogenesis followed the pattern observed in the two other known species of Hemolivia, though there was some evident variation in fine-structural detail. The sutural slit detected in the H. mauritanica mature sporocyst wall was reminiscent of the suture characteristic of Coccidia of heterothermic vertebrate hosts; it could be a common ancestral character for both hemogregarines and Coccidia.

  7. 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.

  8. Assessment of groundwater quality data for the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation, Rolette County, North Dakota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundgren, Robert F.; Vining, Kevin C.

    2013-01-01

    The Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation relies on groundwater supplies to meet the demands of community and economic needs. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, examined historical groundwater-level and groundwater-quality data for the Fox Hills, Hell Creek, Rolla, and Shell Valley aquifers. The two main sources of water-quality data for groundwater were the U.S. Geological Survey National Water Information System database and the North Dakota State Water Commission database. Data included major ions, trace elements, nutrients, field properties, and physical properties. The Fox Hills and Hell Creek aquifers had few groundwater water-quality data. The lack of data limits any detailed assessments that can be made about these aquifers. Data for the Rolla aquifer exist from 1978 through 1980 only. The concentrations of some water-quality constituents exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency secondary maximum contaminant levels. No samples were analyzed for pesticides and hydrocarbons. Numerous water-quality samples have been obtained from the Shell Valley aquifer. About one-half of the water samples from the Shell Valley aquifer had concentrations of iron, manganese, sulfate, and dissolved solids that exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency secondary maximum contaminant levels. Overall, the data did not indicate obvious patterns in concentrations.

  9. 50 CFR 648.106 - Sea Turtle conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  12. Inferring social structure and its drivers from refuge use in the desert tortoise, a relatively solitary species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sah, Pratha; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Esque, Todd C.; Aiello, Christina M.; Hudson, Peter J.; Bansal, Shweta

    2016-01-01

    For several species, refuges (such as burrows, dens, roosts, nests) are an essential resource for protection from predators and extreme environmental conditions. Refuges also serve as focal sites for social interactions including mating, courtship and aggression. Knowledge of refuge use patterns can therefore provide information about social structure, mating and foraging success, as well as the robustness and health of wildlife populations, especially for species considered to be relatively solitary. In this study, we construct networks of burrow use to infer social associations in a threatened wildlife species typically considered solitary - the desert tortoise. We show that tortoise social networks are significantly different than null networks of random associations, and have moderate spatial constraints. We next use statistical models to identify major mechanisms behind individual-level variation in tortoise burrow use, popularity of burrows in desert tortoise habitat and test for stressor-driven changes in refuge use patterns. We show that seasonal variation has a strong impact on tortoise burrow switching behavior. On the other hand, burrow age and topographical condition influence the number of tortoises visiting a burrow in desert tortoise habitat. Of three major population stressors affecting this species (translocation, drought, disease), translocation alters tortoise burrow switching behavior, with translocated animals visiting fewer unique burrows than residents. In a species that is not social, our study highlights the importance of leveraging refuge use behavior to study the presence of and mechanisms behind non-random social structure and individual-level variation. Our analysis of the impact of stressors on refuge-based social structure further emphasizes the potential of this method to detect environmental or anthropogenic disturbances.

  13. 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.

  14. Unravelling the microbiome of eggs of the endangered sea turtle Eretmochelys imbricata identifies bacteria with activity against the emerging pathogen Fusarium falciforme.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jullie M Sarmiento-Ramírez

    Full Text Available Habitat bioaugmentation and introduction of protective microbiota have been proposed as potential conservation strategies to rescue endangered mammals and amphibians from emerging diseases. For both strategies, insight into the microbiomes of the endangered species and their habitats is essential. Here, we sampled nests of the endangered sea turtle species Eretmochelys imbricata that were infected with the fungal pathogen Fusarium falciforme. Metagenomic analysis of the bacterial communities associated with the shells of the sea turtle eggs revealed approximately 16,664 operational taxonomic units, with Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes as the most dominant phyla. Subsequent isolation of Actinobacteria from the eggshells led to the identification of several genera (Streptomyces, Amycolaptosis, Micromomospora Plantactinospora and Solwaraspora that inhibit hyphal growth of the pathogen F. falciforme. These bacterial genera constitute a first set of microbial indicators to evaluate the potential role of microbiota in conservation of endangered sea turtle species.

  15. 75 FR 27649 - 2010 Annual Determination for Sea Turtle Observer Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-18

    ... regarding sea turtle-fishery interactions; sea turtle distribution; sea turtle strandings; fishing... or prior to elevated sea turtle strandings; or (3) The fishery uses a gear or technique that is known... have been documented, and there were a limited number of sea turtle strandings in CT waters (n=12)...

  16. JUMPING FROM TURTLES TO WHALES: A PLIOCENE FOSSIL RECORD DEPICTS AN ANCIENT DISPERSAL OF CHELONIBIA ON MYSTICETES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ALBERTO COLLARETA

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The barnacles included in the superfamily Coronuloidea are epizoic symbionts of various marine vertebrates (including cetaceans, sirenians, and sea turtles and other crustaceans (crabs and horseshoe crabs. Among Coronuloidea, the so-called turtle barnacles (Chelonibiidae are known from Paleogene times, whereas the whale barnacles (Coronulidae likely appeared in the late Pliocene (Piacenzian. Although a derivation from the turtle barnacles (and especially from the genus Chelonibia has been proposed, the evolutionary origin of Coronulidae remains to date obscure. In this work we reappraise a fossil record from upper Pliocene (Piacenzian marine deposits at Casenuove (Empoli municipality, Tuscany, Italy comprising various shells of Chelonibia testudinaria associated to a partial skeleton of a balaenid mysticete. Based on taphonomic and morpho-functional considerations, we discuss the hypothesis that the barnacles were hosted on the baleen whale, possibly on its callosities, which could have represented an analogous of the horny carapace of marine turtles. This record strongly suggests that the baleen whales can be added to the list of the possible hosts of the barnacles of the genus Chelonibia, thus hinting that the whale barnacles may have evolved from an ancient phase of dispersal of Chelonibia (or a similar ancestor on mysticete cetaceans.

  17. 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.

  18. Rodrigues Island: Hope thrives at the François Leguat Giant Tortoise and Cave Reserve

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David A. Burney

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available From this hilltop porch at sunrise, above the limestone landscape of Plaine Corail on the southwestern corner of Rodrigues Island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, I am looking out over a patchwork of small subsistence farms, awakening livestock, a sleepy airport, and a vast reef-bounded lagoon, bigger than the island itself – and something else. Something that warms the cockles of my heart. Something I have been writing and dreaming about for decades, a kind of project that gives me hope for conservation in an otherwise dark hour. Nestled in the midst of all these human landscapes is a truly prehistoric scene, the Francois Leguat Giant Tortoise and Cave Reserve. On this remarkable 19 hectares, Reserve Manager Aurele Anquetil André and his dedicated staff of young Rodriguans have planted over 130,000 native trees and shrubs, some virtually extinct in the wild and many quite rare otherwise, in just five years. Nearly all have survived, and with only limited maintenance despite the huge challenges posed by invasive weeds on all remote Indo - Pacific islands. Giant tortoises, over 1,000 of them, lumber about doing the work. Fenced in and well - fed on the invasive plants that compete with the natives, introduced Aldabra Tortoises (Aldabrachelys gigantea weighing up to 200 kg crop the invasive plants, and smaller Radiated Tortoises of Madagascar (Geochelone radiata pull up the weed seedlings. Remarkably – and I had to see this for myself – they don’t touch the native plants, which co - evolved with the extinct tortoise fauna (Cylindraspis spp. that disappeared in the late eighteenth century after French colonists shipped over 280,000 of them to Reunion and other places for butchery. These plants have defenses against tortoises and browsing birds. Notable in the latter category was the extinct Solitaire (Pezophaps solitaria a giant pigeon endemic to Rodrigues that was even larger than the Dodo, the famous extinct denizen of Mauritius

  19. Shell supports

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Almegaard, Henrik

    2004-01-01

    A new statical and conceptual model for membrane shell structures - the stringer system - has been found. The principle was first published at the IASS conference in Copenhagen (OHL91), and later the theory has been further developed (ALMO3)(ALMO4). From the analysis of the stringer model it can...... be concluded that all membrane shells can be described by a limited number of basic configurations of which quite a few have free edges....

  20. Decompression sickness ('the bends') in sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Párraga, D; Crespo-Picazo, J L; de Quirós, Y Bernaldo; Cervera, V; Martí-Bonmati, L; Díaz-Delgado, J; Arbelo, M; Moore, M J; Jepson, P D; Fernández, Antonio

    2014-10-16

    Decompression sickness (DCS), as clinically diagnosed by reversal of symptoms with recompression, has never been reported in aquatic breath-hold diving vertebrates despite the occurrence of tissue gas tensions sufficient for bubble formation and injury in terrestrial animals. Similarly to diving mammals, sea turtles manage gas exchange and decompression through anatomical, physiological, and behavioral adaptations. In the former group, DCS-like lesions have been observed on necropsies following behavioral disturbance such as high-powered acoustic sources (e.g. active sonar) and in bycaught animals. In sea turtles, in spite of abundant literature on diving physiology and bycatch interference, this is the first report of DCS-like symptoms and lesions. We diagnosed a clinico-pathological condition consistent with DCS in 29 gas-embolized loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta from a sample of 67. Fifty-nine were recovered alive and 8 had recently died following bycatch in trawls and gillnets of local fisheries from the east coast of Spain. Gas embolization and distribution in vital organs were evaluated through conventional radiography, computed tomography, and ultrasound. Additionally, positive response following repressurization was clinically observed in 2 live affected turtles. Gas embolism was also observed postmortem in carcasses and tissues as described in cetaceans and human divers. Compositional gas analysis of intravascular bubbles was consistent with DCS. Definitive diagnosis of DCS in sea turtles opens a new era for research in sea turtle diving physiology, conservation, and bycatch impact mitigation, as well as for comparative studies in other air-breathing marine vertebrates and human divers.

  1. Non-metastatic squamous cell carcinoma in two Hermann’s tortoises (Testudo hermanni

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie-Charlotte von Deetzen

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Squamous cell carcinomas (SCC are malignant tumors of the epidermal cells with varying degrees of keratinocyte differentiation. They are common tumors in mammalian and avian species but there are, however, only two description of SCC in tortoises. In this case report we describe two cases of non-metastatic squamous cell carcinomas of the carapax and the plastron in Hermann’s tortoises with evidence of humoral hypercalcemia of malignancy (HHM in one case. HHM is thought to be associated with SCC in mammals due to de novo secretion of parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP by the tumor cells or tumor induced osteolysis but has not been described in reptiles so far.

  2. Exploring conservation discourses in the Galapagos Islands: A case study of the Galapagos giant tortoises.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benitez-Capistros, Francisco; Hugé, Jean; Dahdouh-Guebas, Farid; Koedam, Nico

    2016-10-01

    Conservation discourses change rapidly both at global and local scales. To be able to capture these shifts and the relationships between humans and nature, we focused on a local and iconic conservation case: the Galapagos giant tortoises (Chelonoidis spp.). We used the Q methodology to contextualize conservation for science and decision making and to explore the multidimensionality of the conservation concept in Galapagos. The results indicate four prevailing discourses: (1) Multi-actor governance; (2) giant tortoise and ecosystems conservation; (3) community governance; and (4) market and tourism centred. These findings allow us to identify foreseeable points of disagreement, as well as areas of consensus, and to discuss the implication of the findings to address socio-ecological conservation and sustainability challenges. This can help the different involved stakeholders (managers, scientists and local communities) to the design and apply contextualized conservation actions and policies to contribute to a better sustainable management of the archipelago.

  3. [Several features of the metabolism of the fast and slow muscles of Emys orbicularis tortoises].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lebedinskaia, I I; Ogorodnikova, L G

    1978-01-01

    In skeletal muscles of the tortoise E. orbicularis, studies have been made on the content of glycogen, lactic acid, on the activity of glucose-6-phosphatase and phosphorylase. Histochemical studies were made on the lipid content. Experiments were performed on fast and slow bundles from mm. iliofibularis, testo cervicalis and retractor capitis. For comparison, the same indices of carbohydrate metabolism were investigated in fast m. plantaris and slow m. soleus of rats. In rats, slow muscles exhibit aerobic metabolism, in fast muscles--anaerobic one. In tortoises, slow muscles exhibit intermediate type of metabolism. Fast muscles show an anaerobic type or metabolism which is less intensive than anaerobic metabolism in slow muscles. Significant differences in some of the indices of carbohydrate metabolism were found in muscles which perform different functions in the organism.

  4. Minimally invasive blood sampling method for genetic studies on Gopherus tortoises

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    García–Feria, L. M.

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Obtaining good quality tissue samples is the first hurdle in any molecular study. This is especially true for studies involving management and conservation of wild fauna. In the case of tortoises, the most common sources of DNA are blood samples. However, only a minimal amount of blood is required for PCR assays. Samples are obtained mainly from the brachial and jugular vein after restraining the animal chemically, or from conscious individuals by severe handling methods and clamping. Herein, we present a minimally invasive technique that has proven effective for extracting small quantities of blood, suitable for genetic analyses. Furthermore, the samples obtained yielded better DNA amplification than other cell sources, such as cloacal epithelium cells. After two years of use on wild tortoises, this technique has shown to be harmless. We suggest that sampling a small amount of blood could also be useful for other types of analyses, such as physiologic and medical monitoring.

  5. Effects of opioids in the formalin test in the Speke's hinged tortoise (Kinixy's spekii)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wambugu, SN; Towett, PK; Kiama, SG

    2010-01-01

    by the formalin test (12.5%, 100 microL) were studied in the Speke's hinged tortoise. Formalin induced a monophasic limb retraction behavioural response and its duration was recorded. The behaviour lasted for 16.4 +/- 0.8 min. Morphine (7.5, 10 and 20 mg/kg) and pethidine (20 and 50 mg/kg) induced significant...... decrease in the duration of limb retraction in the formalin test. The anti-nociceptive effects were naloxone (5 mg/kg) reversible. The data suggest that the formalin test is a good test for studying nociception and anti-nociception in tortoises and that the opioidergic system plays a role in the control...

  6. Handbook on Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus): Health Evaluation Procedures for Use by Land Managers and Researchers

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    mucous membranes Anemia , severe debilitation, shock Ulcers, crusts or scabs (e.g., plaques) on tongue or inside mouth Herpesvirus, iridovirus, bacterial...disease (URTD) in gopher tortoises. MS Thesis . Ames, Iowa, Iowa State University. Brown, D. R., B. C. Crenshaw, G. S. McLaughlin, I. M. Schumacher...1 27 Glossary and Acronyms Anemia : A reduction in the number or volume of red blood cells in the blood. Antisepsis: The elimination or

  7. Sex differences in plasma corticosterone in desert tortoises, Gopherus agassizii, during the reproductive cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lance, V A; Grumbles, J S; Rostal, D C

    2001-04-15

    Blood samples from 30 female and 20 male adult desert tortoises, Gopherus agassizii, were collected at monthly intervals during the annual reproductive cycle (April to October). Plasma corticosterone and the sex steroids in each of the samples were analyzed by radioimmunoassay. Mean corticosterone levels in males were significantly higher than in females (P spermatogenesis and intense male-male combat. These results support similar data from other reptiles that suggest increased glucocorticoid secretion during periods of increased activity and metabolism.

  8. A taxonomic review of the Late Jurassic eucryptodiran turtles from the Jura Mountains (Switzerland and France

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jérémy Anquetin

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Background. Eucryptodiran turtles from the Late Jurassic (mainly Kimmeridgian deposits of the Jura Mountains (Switzerland and France are among the earliest named species traditionally referred to the Plesiochelyidae, Thalassemydidae, and Eurysternidae. As such, they are a reference for the study of Late Jurassic eucryptodires at the European scale. Fifteen species and four genera have been typified based on material from the Late Jurassic of the Jura Mountains. In the past 50 years, diverging taxonomic reassessments have been proposed for these turtles with little agreement in sight. In addition, there has been a shift of focus from shell to cranial anatomy in the past forty years, although most of these species are only represented by shell material. As a result, the taxonomic status of many of these 15 species remains ambiguous, which prevents comprehensive comparison of Late Jurassic turtle assemblages throughout Europe and hinders description of new discoveries, such as the new assemblage recently unearthed in the vicinity of Porrentruy, Switzerland.Methods. An exhaustive reassessment of the available material provides new insights into the comparative anatomy of these turtles. The taxonomic status of each of the 15 species typified based on material from the Late Jurassic of the Jura Mountains is evaluated. New diagnoses and general descriptions are provided for each valid taxon.Results. Six out of the 15 available species names are recognized as valid: Plesiochelys etalloni, Craspedochelys picteti, Craspedochelys jaccardi, Tropidemys langii, Thalassemys hugii, and ‘Thalassemys’ moseri. The intraspecific variability of the shell of P. etalloni is discussed based on a sample of about 30 relatively complete specimens from Solothurn, Switzerland. New characters are proposed to differentiate P. etalloni, C. picteti, and C. jaccardi, therefore rejecting the previously proposed synonymy of these forms. Based partly on previously undescribed

  9. Low tortoise abundances in pine forest plantations in forest-shrubland transition areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Caro, Roberto C.; Oedekoven, Cornelia S.; Graciá, Eva; Anadón, José D.; Buckland, Stephen T.; Esteve-Selma, Miguel A.; Martinez, Julia; Giménez, Andrés

    2017-01-01

    In the transition between Mediterranean forest and the arid subtropical shrublands of the southeastern Iberian Peninsula, humans have transformed habitat since ancient times. Understanding the role of the original mosaic landscapes in wildlife species and the effects of the current changes as pine forest plantations, performed even outside the forest ecological boundaries, are important conservation issues. We studied variation in the density of the endangered spur-thighed tortoise (Testudo graeca) in three areas that include the four most common land types within the species’ range (pine forests, natural shrubs, dryland crop fields, and abandoned crop fields). Tortoise densities were estimated using a two-stage modeling approach with line transect distance sampling. Densities in dryland crop fields, abandoned crop fields and natural shrubs were higher (>6 individuals/ha) than in pine forests (1.25 individuals/ha). We also found large variation in density in the pine forests. Recent pine plantations showed higher densities than mature pine forests where shrub and herbaceous cover was taller and thicker. We hypothesize that mature pine forest might constrain tortoise activity by acting as partial barriers to movements. This issue is relevant for management purposes given that large areas in the tortoise’s range have recently been converted to pine plantations. PMID:28273135

  10. Spatially explicit decision support for selecting translocation areas for Mojave desert tortoises

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heaton, Jill S.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Esque, Todd C.; Inman, Richard D.; Davenport, Frank; Leuteritz, Thomas E.; Medica, Philip A.; Strout, Nathan W.; Burgess, Paul A.; Benvenuti, Lisa

    2008-01-01

    Spatially explicit decision support systems are assuming an increasing role in natural resource and conservation management. In order for these systems to be successful, however, they must address real-world management problems with input from both the scientific and management communities. The National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California, has expanded its training area, encroaching U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service critical habitat set aside for the Mojave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), a federally threatened species. Of all the mitigation measures proposed to offset expansion, the most challenging to implement was the selection of areas most feasible for tortoise translocation. We developed an objective, open, scientifically defensible spatially explicit decision support system to evaluate translocation potential within the Western Mojave Recovery Unit for tortoise populations under imminent threat from military expansion. Using up to a total of 10 biological, anthropogenic, and/or logistical criteria, seven alternative translocation scenarios were developed. The final translocation model was a consensus model between the seven scenarios. Within the final model, six potential translocation areas were identified.

  11. Synovial fluid from an African spur-thighed tortoise (Geochelone sulcata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casimire-Etzioni, Athema L; Wellehan, James F X; Embury, Jennifer E; Terrell, Scott P; Raskin, Rose E

    2004-01-01

    A 4.5-year old, male African spur-thighed tortoise (Geochelone sulcata) was presented to the University of Florida Veterinary Teaching Hospital with a 2-week history of lethargy, anorexia, constipation, dyspnea, and coughing up fluid or vomiting. Laboratory results included an inflammatory leukogram and a marked increase in plasma uric acid concentration. Synovial fluid from multiple joints was thick, chalky white, and opaque, with a grainy consistency. Microscopically, the fluid contained numerous brown, needle-like crystals consistent with urates (gout). Gross necropsy findings and histopathology confirmed a diagnosis of systemic gout, with urate deposition, gout tophi, and underlying necrosis in multiple organs, including kidneys, lung, and liver. Dehydration with concurrent renal insufficiency may have impaired urate excretion and led to a build-up of urates in the blood and tissues of this tortoise. A high protein diet also may have contributed to the development of gout. Cytologic evaluation of synovial fluid can be used as a quick and definitive tool to diagnose gout in tortoises.

  12. Trace metals (Cd, Cu, Ni, and Zn) in blood and eggs of the sea turtle Lepidochelys olivacea from a nesting colony of Oaxaca, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Páez-Osuna, Federico; Calderón-Campuzano, María F; Soto-Jiménez, Martín F; Ruelas-Inzunza, Jorge R

    2010-11-01

    Trace metals (Cd, Cu, Ni, and Zn) concentrations were assessed in the sea turtle Lepidochelys olivacea from a nesting colony of Oaxaca, Mexico. Twenty-five female turtles were sampled, a total of 250 eggs were collected during the "arribada" event of the 2005-2006 season. Zn concentrations were highest in the yolk [72.3 ± 10.9 μg/g dry weight (dw)] and blood (58.4 ± 4.7 μg/g dw), whereas Ni concentrations were highest in the shell (48.5 ± 12.9 μg/g dw). The mean concentrations of Cu, and Cd in the analyzed tissues were lower than those reported in other sea turtle species. However, Zn and Ni concentrations in the yolk and shell, respectively, had the same distribution pattern observed at loggerhead and green turtles. On the basis of one nesting season, the maternal transfer and/or the excretion rates of trace metals via eggs-laying, estimated in terms of metal burdens in whole body, were 0.2, 7.8, 3.4, and 21.5% for Cd, Cu, Zn, and Ni, respectively.

  13. Forbidden sea turtles: Traditional laws pertaining to sea turtle consumption in Polynesia (Including the Polynesian Outliers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rudrud Regina

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Throughout the Pacific regions of Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia, sea turtles are recognised as culturally significant species. The specifics of human-sea turtle interactions in these regions, however, are not well known, in part because ethnographic and historic reports documenting these interactions are scattered, requiring extensive archival research. Ethnographic and environmental data collected over a ten-year period are analysed to assess patterns of human-sea turtle interactions prior to (and sometimes beyond Western contact. From the ethnographic data for Polynesia, a region-wide pattern emerges where sea turtle consumption was restricted to special ceremonies when the elites such as chiefs and priests but no one else ate turtle. Only in two countries did this pattern differ. Environmental data does little to elucidate explanations for this region-wide treatment of sea turtles as restricted food sources, as there is no correlation between environmental variability and the presence or absence of these restrictions. Instead the results of this research suggest such practices may have been part of an ancestral Polynesian society, developing well before human settlement into this region of the Pacific.

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  16. Diversity and status of sea turtle species in the Gulf of Guinea islands

    OpenAIRE

    Castroviejo, Javier; Juste, Javier; Pérez del Val, Jaime; Castelo, Ramón; Gil, Ramón

    1994-01-01

    In West Africa, the Gulf of Guinea islands are important nesting places for four sea turtle species. The Green turtle (Chelonia mydas), the Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), the Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) and the Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) turtles nest on Bioko’s southern beaches. The Green, Hawksbill and Leatherback turtles breed on Principe and São Tome. The Leatherback turtle nests, at least, on Annobén. The Leatherback turtle is reported on the four islan...

  17. Effectiveness of post-fire seeding in desert tortoise Critical Habitat following the 2005 Southern Nevada Fire Complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeFalco, Lesley; Drake, Karla K.; Scoles-Sciulla, S. J.; Bauer, Kyla L.

    2010-01-01

    In June 2005, lightning strikes ignited multiple wildfires in southern Nevada. The Southern Nevada Fire Complex burned more than 32,000 acres of designated desert tortoise Critical Habitat and an additional 403,000 acres of Mojave Desert habitat characterized as potentially suitable for the tortoise. Mortalities of desert tortoises were observed after the fires, but altered habitat is likely to prolong and magnify the impacts of wildfire on desert tortoise populations. To accelerate the re-establishment of plants commonly used by tortoises for food and shelter, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) distributed seeds of native annual and perennial species in burned areas within desert tortoise Critical Habitat. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) established monitoring plots to evaluate broadcast seeding as a means to restore habitat and tortoise activity compared with natural recovery. Within the standard three-year Emergency and Stabilization Response (ESR) monitoring timeline, seeding augmented perennial seed banks by four to six-fold within a year of seed applications compared with unseeded areas. By the end of the three-year monitoring period, seedling densities of seeded perennial species were 33% higher in seeded areas than in unseeded areas, particularly for the disturbance-adapted desert globemallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) and desert marigold (Baileya multiradiata). Seeded annuals, in contrast, did not increase significantly in seed banks or biomass production, likely due to low seeding rates of these species. Production of non-native annuals that helped carry the fires was not reduced by seeding efforts but instead was strongly correlated with site-specific rainfall, as were native annual species. The short-term vegetation changes measured in seeded areas were not yet associated with a return of tortoise activity to unburned levels. By focusing on a combination of native species that can withstand disturbance conditions, including species that are found in

  18. "Turtle Island Tales." Cue Sheet for Students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, Gail

    This performance guide is designed for teachers to use with students before and after a shadow play performance of "Turtle Island Tales" by Hobey Ford and His Golden Rod Puppets. The guide, called a "Cuesheet," contains seven activity sheets for use in class, addressing: (1) The Tales (offering brief outlines of the three tales…

  19. Effects of climatic variation on field metabolism and water relations of desert tortoises

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henen, B.T.; Peterson, C.C.; Wallis, I.R.; Berry, K.H.; Nagy, K.A.

    1998-01-01

    We used the doubly labeled water method to measure the field metabolic rates (FMRs, in kJ kg-1 day-1) and water flux rates (WIRs, in ml H2O kg-1 day-1) of adult desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) in three parts of the Mojave Desert in California over a 3.5-year period, in order to develop insights into the physiological responses of this threatened species to climate variation among sites and years. FMR, WIR, and the water economy index (WEI, in ml H2O kJ-1, an indicator of drinking of free water) differed extensively among seasons, among study sites, between sexes, and among years. In high-rainfall years, males had higher FMRs than females. Average daily rates of energy and water use by desert tortoises were extraordinarily variable: 28-fold differences in FMR and 237-fold differences in WIR were measured. Some of this variation was due to seasonal conditions, with rates being low during cold winter months and higher in the warm seasons. However, much of the variation was due to responses to year-to-year variation in rainfall. Annual spring peaks in FMR and WIR were higher in wet years than in drought years. Site differences in seasonal patterns were apparently due to geographic differences in rainfall patterns (more summer rain at eastern Mojave sites). In spring 1992, during an El Nino (ENSO) event, the WEI was greater than the maximal value obtainable from consuming succulent vegetation, indicating copious drinking of rainwater at that time. The physiological and behavioral flexibility of desert tortoises, evident in individuals living at all three study sites, appears central to their ability to survive droughts and benefit from periods of resource abundance. The strong effects of the El Nino (ENSO) weather pattern on tortoise physiology, reproduction, and survival elucidated in this and other studies suggest that local manifestations of global climate events could have a long-term influence on the tortoise populations in the Mojave Desert.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Global Conservation Priorities for Marine Turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  3. Prevalence of Salmonella spp. in pet turtles and their environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Back, Du-San; Shin, Gee-Wook; Wendt, Mitchell

    2016-01-01

    Pet turtles are known as a source of Salmonella infection to humans when handled in captivity. Thirty four turtles purchased from pet shops and online markets in Korea were examined to determine whether the turtles and their environment were contaminated with Salmonella spp. Salmonella spp. were isolated from fecal samples of 17 turtles. These isolates were identified as S. enterica through 16S rRNA gene sequencing. The isolation rate of Salmonella spp. from the soil and water samples increased over time. We concluded that a high percentage of turtles being sold in pet shops were infected with Salmonella spp., and their environments tend to become contaminated over time unless they are maintained properly. These results indicate that pet turtles could be a potential risk of salmonellosis in Korea. PMID:27729933

  4. Using Range-Wide Abundance Modeling to Identify Key Conservation Areas for the Micro-Endemic Bolson Tortoise (Gopherus flavomarginatus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cinthya A Ureña-Aranda

    Full Text Available A widespread biogeographic pattern in nature is that population abundance is not uniform across the geographic range of species: most occurrence sites have relatively low numbers, whereas a few places contain orders of magnitude more individuals. The Bolson tortoise Gopherus flavomarginatus is endemic to a small region of the Chihuahuan Desert in Mexico, where habitat deterioration threatens this species with extinction. In this study we combined field burrows counts and the approach for modeling species abundance based on calculating the distance to the niche centroid to obtain range-wide abundance estimates. For the Bolson tortoise, we found a robust, negative relationship between observed burrows abundance and distance to the niche centroid, with a predictive capacity of 71%. Based on these results we identified four priority areas for the conservation of this microendemic and threatened tortoise. We conclude that this approach may be a useful approximation for identifying key areas for sampling and conservation efforts in elusive and rare species.

  5. Nest guarding by female Agassiz's desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) at a wind-energy facility near Palm Springs, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agha, Mickey; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Ennen, Joshua R.; Wilcox, Ethan

    2013-01-01

    We observed behavior consistent with nest-guarding in Agassiz's desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) at two nests in a large wind-energy-generation facility near Palm Springs, California, locally known as the Mesa Wind Farm. As researchers approached the nests, female desert tortoises moved to the entrance of their burrows and positioned themselves sideways, directly over their nests. One female stretched her limbs outward and wedged herself into the burrow (her plastron directly above the nest). Guarding of nests is rarely observed in Agassiz's desert tortoise but can occur as a result of attempted predation on eggs by Gila monsters (Heloderma suspectum) or in direct response to the perceived threat posed by researchers. This is the first report of nest-guarding for G. agassizii in the Sonoran Desert ecosystem of California.

  6. Hawking effect and quantum nonthermal radiation of an arbitrarily accelerating charged black hole using a new tortoise coordinate transformation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Pan Wei-Zhen; Yang Xue-Jun; Xie Zhi-Kun

    2011-01-01

    Using a new tortoise coordinate transformation, this paper investigates the Hawking effect from an arbitrarily accelerating charged black hole by the improved Damour-Ruffini method. After the tortoise coordinate transformation,the Klein-Gordon equation can be written as the standard form at the event horizon. Then extending the outgoing wave from outside to inside of the horizon analytically, the surface gravity and Hawking temperature can be obtained automatically. It is found that the Hawking temperatures of different points on the surface are different. The quantum nonthermal radiation characteristics of a black hole near the event horizon is also discussed by studying the Hamilton Jacobi equation in curved spacetime and the maximum overlap of the positive and negative energy levels near the event horizon is given. There is a dimensional problem in the standard tortoise coordinate and the present results may be more reasonable.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Work, Thierry M.; Balazs, George H.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Work, Thierry M.; Balazs, George H.

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Movement of leopard tortoises in response to environmental and climatic variables in a semi-arid environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drabik-Hamshare, Martyn; Downs, Colleen T

    2017-01-01

    Tortoises (Testudinidae) occur in a wide range of environments, providing important ecosystem functions, such as seed dispersal and refuge in the form of burrows. Tortoise movement has previously been shown to be related to resource availability, reproductive status and local environmental conditions. However, understanding of the variables that drive their movement remains comparatively low. We investigated aspects of movement in leopard tortoises Stigmochelys pardalis-the largest and most abundant tortoise species in sub-Saharan Africa-in response to environmental, climatic and individual variables in the semi-arid Karoo, South Africa. We used GPS telemetry to calculate bihourly and daily movement and used generalized linear mixed models (GLMMs) to ascertain important predictor variables. Temperature, distance from water sources, and month were important variables for predicting both bihourly and daily movement. Our results showed that movement increased when individuals were close to known water sources, indicating that individuals close to water resources make regular long distance movements. Movement showed a positive relationship for temperature in both models, whilst rainfall was an important predictor for bihourly movement. Our results displayed aspects of seasonality, with movement highest in spring months, likely related to reproductive activities, although no sex differences were observed. We identified temporal and spatial conditions in which leopard tortoise movement increased. Our results further support the relationship between water as a resource and movement in leopard tortoises. Individuals used one of two basic movement behaviours in relation to water in this water scarce environment. Either an individual's home range and movements included permanent water resources allowing internal water storage replenishment, or excluded these with reliance on food resources (such as grasses, forbs, and succulents) for water.

  10. Reference intervals and physiologic alterations in hematologic and biochemical values of free-ranging desert tortoises in the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher, Mary M.; Berry, Kristin H.; Wallis, I.R.; Nagy, K.A.; Henen, B.T.; Peterson, C.C.

    1999-01-01

    Desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) populations have experienced precipitous declines resulting from the cumulative impact of habitat loss, and human and disease-related mortality. Evaluation of hematologic and biochemical responses of desert tortoises to physiologic and environmental factors can facilitate the assessment of stress and disease in tortoises and contribute to management decisions and population recovery. The goal of this study was to obtain and analyze clinical laboratory data from free-ranging desert tortoises at three sites in the Mojave Desert (California, USA) between October 1990 and October 1995, to establish reference intervals, and to develop guidelines for the interpretation of laboratory data under a variety of environmental and physiologic conditions. Body weight, carapace length, and venous blood samples for a complete blood count and clinical chemistry profile were obtained from 98 clinically healthy adult desert tortoises of both sexes at the Desert Tortoise Research Natural area (western Mojave), Goffs (eastern Mojave) and Ivanpah Valley (northeastern Mojave). Samples were obtained four times per year, in winter (February/March), spring (May/June), summer (July/August), and fall (October). Years of near-, above- and below-average rainfall were represented in the 5 yr period. Minimum, maximum and median values, and central 95 percentiles were used as reference intervals and measures of central tendency for tortoises at each site and/or season. Data were analyzed using repeated measures analysis of variance for significant (P < 0.01) variation on the basis of sex, site, season, and interactions between these variables. Significant sex differences were observed for packed cell volume, hemoglobin concentration, aspartate transaminase activity, and cholesterol, triglyceride, calcium, and phosphorus concentrations. Marked seasonal variation was observed in most parameters in conjunction with reproductive cycle, hibernation, or seasonal

  11. Thalassemys bruntrutana n. sp., a new coastal marine turtle from the Late Jurassic of Porrentruy (Switzerland, and the paleobiogeography of the Thalassemydidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Püntener

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Background. The Swiss Jura Mountains are a key region for Late Jurassic eucryptodiran turtles. Already in the mid 19th century, the Solothurn Turtle Limestone (Solothurn, NW Switzerland yielded a great amount of Kimmeridgian turtles that are traditionally referred to Plesiochelyidae, Thalassemydidae, and Eurysternidae. In the past few years, fossils of these coastal marine turtles were also abundantly discovered in the Kimmeridgian of the Porrentruy region (NW Switzerland. These findings include numerous sub-complete shells, out of which we present two new specimens of Thalassemys (Thalassemydidae in this study.Methods. We compare the new material from Porrentruy to the type species Th. hugii, which is based on a well preserved specimen from the Solothurn Turtle Limestone (Solothurn, Switzerland. In order to improve our understanding of the paleogeographic distribution of Thalassemys, anatomical comparisons are extended to Thalassemys remains from other European countries, notably Germany and England.Results. While one of the two Thalassemys specimens from Porrentruy can be attributed to Th. hugii, the other specimen represents a new species, Th. bruntrutana n. sp. It differs from Th. hugii by several features: more elongated nuchal that strongly thickens anterolaterally; wider vertebral scales; proportionally longer plastron; broader and less inclined xiphiplastron; wider angle between scapular process and acromion process. Our results show that Th. hugii and Th. bruntrutana also occur simultaneously in the Kimmeridgian of Solothurn as well as in the Kimmeridgian of England (Kimmeridge Clay. This study is an important step towards a better understanding of the paleobiogeographic distribution of Late Jurassic turtles in Europe.

  12. 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.

  13. Mojave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) thermal ecology and reproductive success along a rainfall cline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sieg, Annette E; Gambone, Megan M; Wallace, Bryan P; Clusella-Trullas, Susana; Spotila, James R; Avery, Harold W

    2015-05-01

    Desert resource environments (e.g. microclimates, food) are tied to limited, highly localized rainfall regimes which generate microgeographic variation in the life histories of inhabitants. Typically, enhanced growth rates, reproduction and survivorship are observed in response to increased resource availability in a variety of desert plants and short-lived animals. We examined the thermal ecology and reproduction of US federally threatened Mojave desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii), long-lived and large-bodied ectotherms, at opposite ends of a 250-m elevation-related rainfall cline within Ivanpah Valley in the eastern Mojave Desert, California, USA. Biophysical operative environments in both the upper-elevation, "Cima," and the lower-elevation, "Pumphouse," plots corresponded with daily and seasonal patterns of incident solar radiation. Cima received 22% more rainfall and contained greater perennial vegetative cover, which conferred 5°C-cooler daytime shaded temperatures. In a monitored average rainfall year, Cima tortoises had longer potential activity periods by up to several hours and greater ephemeral forage. Enhanced resource availability in Cima was associated with larger-bodied females producing larger eggs, while still producing the same number of eggs as Pumphouse females. However, reproductive success was lower in Cima because 90% of eggs were depredated versus 11% in Pumphouse, indicating that predatory interactions produced counter-gradient variation in reproductive success across the rainfall cline. Land-use impacts on deserts (e.g. solar energy generation) are increasing rapidly, and conservation strategies designed to protect and recover threatened desert inhabitants, such as desert tortoises, should incorporate these strong ecosystem-level responses to regional resource variation in assessments of habitat for prospective development and mitigation efforts.

  14. Tortoise Coordinates and Hawking Radiation in a Dynamical Spherically Symmetric Spacetime

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YANG Jian; ZHAO Zheng; TIAN Gui-Hua; LIU Wen-Biao

    2009-01-01

    Hawking effect from dynamical spherical Vaidya black hole,Vaidya-Bonner black hole,and Vaidya-de Sitter black hole is investigated using the improved Damour-Ruffini method.After the new tortoise coordinate transformation in which the position τ of event horizon is an undetermined function and the temperature parameter κ is an undetermined constant,the Klein-Gordon equation can be written as the standard form at the event horizon,and both τ and κ can be determined automatically.Then extending the outgoing wave from outside to inside of the horizon analytically,the Hawking temperature can also be obtained automatically.

  15. Lower Miocene fishes and turtle from Žvarulje near Mlinše, Slovenia (Central Paratethys

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vasja Mikuž

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The article discusses fossil finds of Miocene vertebrates from the vicinity of Žvarulje near Mlinše in Central Slovenia. The fossils were found in the Lower Miocene Govce formation. Most common in the assemblage were tooth coronas, usually without their root parts of cartilaginous fishes, belonging to the genera Notorynchus, Carcharias, Cosmopolitodus, Isurus, Carcharhinus and Sphyrna. Fragments of dental plates and caudal spines ascribed of the genera Myliobatis, Aetobatus and Rhinoptera were also relatively common. A few tooth crowns of bony fishes assigned of the genus Pagrus were also found along with two modest fragments of a turtle shell ascribed of the genus Trionyx.

  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... Migratory Fisheries § 660.720 Interim protection for sea turtles. (a) Until the effective date of §§ 660.707... harvest of swordfish (Xiphias gladius) using longline gear deployed on the high seas of the Pacific...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putman, N. F.; Lohmann, K.

    2011-12-01

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

  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. Fisher choice may increase prevalence of green turtle fibropapillomatosis disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas B Stringell

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Disease in wildlife populations is often controlled through culling. But when healthy individuals are removed and diseased individuals are left in the population, it is anticipated that prevalence of disease increases. Although this scenario is presumably common in exploited populations where infected individuals are less marketable, it is not widely reported in the literature. We describe this scenario in a marine turtle fishery in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI, where green turtles are harvested for local consumption. During a two-year period, we recorded the occurrence of fibropapillomatosis (FP disease in green turtles (Chelonia mydas captured during in-water surveys and compared it with that of turtles landed in the fishery. 13.4% (n=32 of turtles captured during in-water surveys showed externally visible signs of FP. FP occurred at specific geographic locations where fishing also occurred. Despite the disease being prevalent in the size classes selected by fishers, FP was not present in any animals landed by the fishery (n=162. The majority (61% of fishers interviewed expressed that they had caught turtles with FP. Yet, 82% of those that had caught turtles with the disease chose to return their catch to the sea, selectively harvesting healthy turtles and leaving those with the disease in the population. Our study illustrates that fisher choice may increase the prevalence of FP disease and highlights the importance of this widely neglected driver in the disease dynamics of exploited wildlife populations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

    Ingestion of marine debris can have lethal and sublethal effects on sea turtles and other wildlife. Although researchers have reported on ingestion of anthropogenic debris by marine turtles and implied incidences of debris ingestion have increased over time, there has not been a global synthesis of the phenomenon since 1985. Thus, we analyzed 37 studies published from 1985 to 2012 that report on data collected from before 1900 through 2011. Specifically, we investigated whether ingestion prevalence has changed over time, what types of debris are most commonly ingested, the geographic distribution of debris ingestion by marine turtles relative to global debris distribution, and which species and life-history stages are most likely to ingest debris. The probability of green (Chelonia mydas) and leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) ingesting debris increased significantly over time, and plastic was the most commonly ingested debris. Turtles in nearly all regions studied ingest debris, but the probability of ingestion was not related to modeled debris densities. Furthermore, smaller, oceanic-stage turtles were more likely to ingest debris than coastal foragers, whereas carnivorous species were less likely to ingest debris than herbivores or gelatinovores. Our results indicate oceanic leatherback turtles and green turtles are at the greatest risk of both lethal and sublethal effects from ingested marine debris. To reduce this risk, anthropogenic debris must be managed at a global level. © 2013 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc., on behalf of the Society for Conservation Biology.

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, M S Y

    2013-12-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Natal foraging philopatry in eastern Pacific hawksbill turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaos, Alexander R; Lewison, Rebecca L; Jensen, Michael P; Liles, Michael J; Henriquez, Ana; Chavarria, Sofia; Pacheco, Carlos Mario; Valle, Melissa; Melero, David; Gadea, Velkiss; Altamirano, Eduardo; Torres, Perla; Vallejo, Felipe; Miranda, Cristina; LeMarie, Carolina; Lucero, Jesus; Oceguera, Karen; Chácon, Didiher; Fonseca, Luis; Abrego, Marino; Seminoff, Jeffrey A; Flores, Eric E; Llamas, Israel; Donadi, Rodrigo; Peña, Bernardo; Muñoz, Juan Pablo; Ruales, Daniela Alarcòn; Chaves, Jaime A; Otterstrom, Sarah; Zavala, Alan; Hart, Catherine E; Brittain, Rachel; Alfaro-Shigueto, Joanna; Mangel, Jeffrey; Yañez, Ingrid L; Dutton, Peter H

    2017-08-01

    The complex processes involved with animal migration have long been a subject of biological interest, and broad-scale movement patterns of many marine turtle populations still remain unresolved. While it is widely accepted that once marine turtles reach sexual maturity they home to natal areas for nesting or reproduction, the role of philopatry to natal areas during other life stages has received less scrutiny, despite widespread evidence across the taxa. Here we report on genetic research that indicates that juvenile hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) in the eastern Pacific Ocean use foraging grounds in the region of their natal beaches, a pattern we term natal foraging philopatry. Our findings confirm that traditional views of natal homing solely for reproduction are incomplete and that many marine turtle species exhibit philopatry to natal areas to forage. Our results have important implications for life-history research and conservation of marine turtles and may extend to other wide-ranging marine vertebrates that demonstrate natal philopatry.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Draft genome sequence of Chelonobacter oris strain 1662T, associated with respiratory disease in Hermann’s tortoises

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kudirkiene, Egle; Hansen, Mie Johanne; Bojesen, Anders Miki

    2014-01-01

    Chelonobacter oris 1662T is a type strain of the recently described species of the Pasteurellaceae family. The strain was isolated from the choanae of a captive tortoise with signs of respiratory tract infection. The genome reported here is approximately 2.6 Mb in size and has a G+C content of 47.1%....

  9. Occurrence of organochlorines in the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) on the northern coast of the state of São Paulo, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva, Josilene; Taniguchi, Satie; Becker, José Henrique; Werneck, Max Rondon; Montone, Rosalinda Carmela

    2016-11-15

    Organochlorines (OCs), such as pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), are persistent, toxic and widely distributed through atmospheric transport and ocean currents. Few studies have been conducted on OCs in sea turtles, especially on the coast of Brazil. Chelonia mydas is the largest hard-shell sea turtle and is found tropical and subtropical regions in all oceans. The aim of the present study was to determine the occurrence of OCs in the green sea turtle (C. mydas). Fat, liver, kidney and muscle samples were collected from 27 juveniles found on the beach of the city of Ubatuba on the northern coast of the state of São Paulo, Brazil. OCs were extracted with organic solvents and the extract was purified with concentrated acid. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and electron capture detection were used for the identification and quantification of PCBs and pesticides, respectively. No organochlorine pesticides were detected in any of the samples. Concentrations of total PCBs in wet weight were <1.6 to 48.9ng/g in fat tissue, <1.6 to 17.4ng/g in liver tissue and <1.6 to 37.7ng/g in kidney tissue. The low levels found are mainly related to diet, as the green sea turtle is basically herbivorous and lower PCB contamination compared to other regions.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Association of herpesvirus with fibropapillomatosis of the green turtle Chelonia mydas and the loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta in Florida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lackovich, J K; Brown, D R; Homer, B L; Garber, R L; Mader, D R; Moretti, R H; Patterson, A D; Herbst, L H; Oros, J; Jacobson, E R; Curry, S S; Klein, P A

    1999-07-30

    Sea turtle fibropapillomatosis (FP) is a disease marked by proliferation of benign but debilitating cutaneous fibropapillomas and occasional visceral fibromas. Transmission experiments have implicated a chloroform-sensitive transforming agent present in filtered cell-free tumor homogenates in the etiology of FP. In this study, consensus primer PCR methodology was used to test the association of a chelonian herpesvirus with fibropapillomatosis. Fibropapilloma and skin samples were obtained from 17 green and 2 loggerhead turtles affected with FP stranded along the Florida coastline. Ninety-three cutaneous and visceral tumors from the 19 turtles, and 33 skin samples from 16 of the turtles, were tested. All turtles affected with FP had herpesvirus associated with their tumors as detected by PCR. Ninety-six percent (89/93) of the tumors, but only 9% (3/33) of the skin samples, from affected turtles contained detectable herpesvirus. The skin samples that contained herpesvirus were all within 2 cm of a fibropapilloma. Also, 1 of 11 scar tissue samples from sites where fibropapillomas had been removed 2 to 51 wk earlier from 5 green turtles contained detectable herpesvirus. None of 18 normal skin samples from 2 green and 2 loggerhead turtles stranded without FP contained herpesvirus. The data indicated that herpesvirus was detectable only within or close to tumors. To determine if the same virus infected both turtle species, partial nucleotide sequences of the herpesvirus DNA polymerase gene were determined from 6 loggerhead and 2 green turtle samples. The sequences predicted that herpesvirus of loggerhead turtles differed from those of green turtles by only 1 of 60 amino acids in the sequence examined, indicating that a chelonian herpesvirus exhibiting minor intratypic variation was the only herpesvirus present in tumors of both green and loggerhead turtles. The FP-associated herpesvirus resisted cultivation on chelonian cell lines which support the replication of other

  13. Campylobacter geochelonis sp. nov. isolated from the western Hermann's tortoise (Testudo hermanni hermanni).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piccirillo, Alessandra; Niero, Giulia; Calleros, Lucía; Pérez, Ruben; Naya, Hugo; Iraola, Gregorio

    2016-09-01

    During a screening study to determine the presence of species of the genus Campylobacter in reptiles, three putative strains (RC7, RC11 and RC20T) were isolated from different individuals of the western Hermann's tortoise (Testudo hermanni hermanni). Initially, these isolates were characterized as representing Campylobacterfetus subsp. fetus by multiplex PCR and partial 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. Further whole- genome characterization revealed considerable differences compared to other Campylobacter species. A polyphasic study was then undertaken to determine the exact taxonomic position of the isolates. The three strains were characterized by conventional phenotypic tests and whole genome sequencing. We generated robust phylogenies that showed a distinct clade containing only these strains using the 16S rRNA and atpA genes and a set of 40 universal proteins. Our phylogenetic analysis demonstrates their designation as representing a novel species and this was further confirmed using whole- genome average nucleotide identity within the genus Campylobacter (~80 %). Compared to most Campylobacter species, these strains hydrolysed hippurate, and grew well at 25 °C but not at 42 °C. Phenotypic and genetic analyses demonstrate that the three Campylobacter strains isolated from the western Hermann's tortoise represent a novel species within the genus Campylobacter, for which the name Campylobactergeochelonis sp. nov. is proposed, with RC20T (=DSM 102159T=LMG 29375T) as the type strain.

  14. Distribution and habitat utilization of the gopher tortoise tick (Amblyomma tuberculatum) in southern Mississippi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ennen, Joshua R.; Qualls, Carl P.

    2011-01-01

    The distribution of the gopher tortoise tick (Amblyomma tuberculatum) has been considered intrinsically linked to the distribution of its primary host, gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus). However, the presence of G. polyphemus does not always equate to the presence of A. tuberculatum. There is a paucity of data on the ecology, habitat preferences, and distribution of A. tuberculatum. The goals of this study were to assess the distribution of A. tuberculatum in southern Mississippi and to determine which, if any, habitat parameters explain the distribution pattern of A. tuberculatum. During 2006-2007, we examined 13 G. polyphemus populations in southern Mississippi for the presence of A. tuberculatum, and we measured a suite of habitat parameters at each site. Only 23% of the G. polyphemus populations supported A. tuberculatum, suggesting a more restricted distribution than its host. The results of our multivariate analyses identified several habitat variables, e.g., depth of sand and percentage of sand in the topsoil and burrow apron, as being important in discriminating between sites with, and without, A. tuberculatum. Amblyomma tuberculatum was only found at sites with a mean sand depth of >100 cm and a mean percentage of topsoil and burrow apron sand composition >94.0 and 92.4, respectively. Thus, environmental factors, and not just its host's range, seem to influence the distribution of A. tuberculatum.

  15. Three synonymous genes encode calmodulin in a reptile, the Japanese tortoise, Clemmys japonica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kouji Shimoda

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available Three distinct calmodulin (CaM-encoding cDNAs were isolated from a reptile, the Japanese tortoise (Clemmys japonica, based on degenerative primer PCR. Because of synonymous codon usages, the deduced amino acid (aa sequences were exactly the same in all three genes and identical to the aa sequence of vertebrate CaM. The three cDNAs, referred to as CaM-A, -B, and -C, seemed to belong to the same type as CaMI, CaMII, and CaMIII, respectively, based on their sequence identity with those of the mammalian cDNAs and the glutamate codon biases. Northern blot analysis detected CaM-A and -B as bands corresponding to 1.8 kb, with the most abundant levels in the brain and testis, while CaM-C was detected most abundantly in the brain as bands of 1.4 and 2.0 kb. Our results indicate that, in the tortoise, CaM protein is encoded by at least three non-allelic genes, and that the ‘multigene-one protein' principle of CaM synthesis is applicable to all classes of vertebrates, from fishes to mammals.

  16. Testing taxon tenacity of tortoises: evidence for a geographical selection gradient at a secondary contact zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Taylor; Berry, Kristin H.; Inman, Richard D.; Esque, Todd C.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Jones, Cristina A.; Culver, Melanie

    2015-01-01

    We examined a secondary contact zone between two species of desert tortoise, Gopherus agassizii and G. morafkai. The taxa were isolated from a common ancestor during the formation of the Colorado River (4-8 mya) and are a classic example of allopatric speciation. However, an anomalous population of G. agassizii comes into secondary contact with G. morafkai east of the Colorado River in the Black Mountains of Arizona and provides an opportunity to examine reinforcement of species' boundaries under natural conditions. We sampled 234 tortoises representing G. agassizii in California (n = 103), G. morafkai in Arizona (n = 78), and 53 individuals of undetermined assignment in the contact zone including and surrounding the Black Mountains. We genotyped individuals for 25 STR loci and determined maternal lineage using mtDNA sequence data. We performed multilocus genetic clustering analyses and used multiple statistical methods to detect levels of hybridization. We tested hypotheses about habitat use between G. agassizii and G. morafkai in the region where they co-occur using habitat suitability models. Gopherus agassizii and G. morafkai maintain independent taxonomic identities likely due to ecological niche partitioning, and the maintenance of the hybrid zone is best described by a geographical selection gradient model.

  17. 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 Dut

  18. Hormone and Metabolite Profiles in Nesting Green and Flatback Turtles: Turtle Species with Different Life Histories

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria P. Ikonomopoulou

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Herbivorous turtle, Chelonia mydas, inhabiting the south China Sea and breeding in Peninsular Malaysia, and Natator depressus, a carnivorous turtle inhabiting the Great Barrier Reef and breeding at Curtis Island in Queensland, Australia, differ both in diet and life history. Analysis of plasma metabolites levels and six sex steroid hormones during the peak of their nesting season in both species showed hormonal and metabolite variations. When compared with results from other studies progesterone levels were the highest whereas dihydrotestosterone was the plasma steroid hormone present at the lowest concentration in both C. mydas and N. depressus plasma. Interestingly, oestrone was observed at relatively high concentrations in comparison to oestradiol levels recorded in previous studies suggesting that it plays a significant role in nesting turtles. Also, hormonal correlations between the studied species indicate unique physiological interactions during nesting. Pearson correlation analysis showed that in N. depressus the time of oviposition was associated with elevations in both plasma corticosterone and oestrone levels. Therefore, we conclude that corticosterone and oestrone may influence nesting behaviour and physiology in N. depressus. To summarise, these two nesting turtle species can be distinguished based on the hormonal profile of oestrone, progesterone, and testosterone using discriminant analysis.

  19. Egyptian tortoise conservation: A community-based, field research program developed from a study on a captive population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Attum, Omar; Baha El Din, Mindy; Baha El Din, Sherif; Habinan, Suliman

    2007-09-01

    Local community participation and ex situ conservation has the potential to assist the recovery of the endangered Egyptian tortoise, Testudo kleinmanni. We initiated an in situ community-based conservation and research program from a captive population of T. kleinmanni. We used a captive population of the Egyptian tortoise to train a member of the local community as a research technician and used his indigenous tracking skills and knowledge of the area to collect activity and dietary data on 28 captive tortoises. We overcame problems with illiteracy by creating a data sheet based on symbols and numbers. This data sheet allowed us to use the indigenous knowledge of various people from the community, and employ them in the future. Our local community approach to data collection, in conjunction with a craft program, made the conservation of the Egyptian tortoise more rewarding to the local community by providing a more sustainable form of income than collecting animals for the pet trade. Our multidimensional approach (local community participation as research technicians, craft program, and trust building) for gaining local support eventually led to the rediscovery of wild Egyptian tortoises in North Sinai, which was significant, as this species was presumed extinct in Egypt. We have now shifted our focus to in situ conservation, using the research and local capacity building template developed from this captive population study. Our template can be used by zoos and conservation organizations with small budgets and collections of native species in natural habitats to create similar captive research programs that can be applied to in situ conservation. Zoo Biol 26:397-406, 2007. (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  20. Tick (Amblyomma chabaudi) infestation of endemic tortoises in southwest Madagascar and investigation of tick-borne pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehlers, Julian; Ganzhorn, Jörg U; Silaghi, Cornelia; Krüger, Andreas; Pothmann, Daniela; Ratovonamana, R Yedidya; Veit, Alexandra; Keller, Christian; Poppert, Sven

    2016-03-01

    Little is known about the role of endemic ticks as vectors for bacterial and protozoan pathogens for animals and humans in Madagascar and their interaction in anthropogenic habitats where humans, their livestock and native Malagasy species (vectors and hosts) come into more frequent contact than in natural forest ecosystems. The aims of the study were (1) to test whether habitat degradation is associated with increased infestation of tortoises by ticks and (2) to investigate whether ticks carried Babesia, Borrelia or Rickettsia species that might be pathogenic for humans and livestock. We studied hard ticks of two endemic Malagasy tortoises, Astrochelys radiata and Pyxis arachnoides in March and April 2013 in southwest Madagascar. Two tortoise habitats were compared, the National Park of Tsimanampetsotsa and the adjacent degraded pasture and agricultural land at the end of the wet season. Ticks were screened for protozoan and bacterial pathogens via PCR on DNA isolated from ticks using genus-specific primers. Only one out of 42 A. radiata collected from both habitats had ticks. The low prevalence did not allow further analyses of the effect of habitat degradation. Forty-two P. arachnoides were found in the anthropogenic habitat and 36 individuals in the national park. Tick infestation rates of P. arachnoides differed significantly between the two study sites. Tortoises inside the park had lower tick prevalence than outside (8 of 36 (22%) versus 32 of 42 individuals (76%)) and infected animals tended to have fewer ticks inside than outside the park. All ticks collected in both habitats were adults of the ixodid tick Amblyomma chabaudi, which is supposed to be a host-specific tick of P. arachnoides. Screening for Borrelia sp. and Babesia sp. was negative in all ticks. But all A. chabaudi ticks were infected with Rickettsia africae, known to cause spotted fever in humans. Thus, habitat degradation seems to be linked to higher infestation of tortoises with ticks with

  1. NIF Double Shell outer-shell experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merritt, E. C.; Montgomery, D. S.; Kline, J. L.; Daughton, W. S.; Wilson, D. C.; Dodd, E. S.; Renner, D. B.; Cardenas, T.; Batha, S. H.

    2016-10-01

    At the core of the Double Shell concept is the kinetic energy transfer from the outer shell to the inner shell via collision. This collision sets both the implosion shape of the inner shell, from imprinting of the shape of the outer shell, as well as the maximum energy available to compress the DT fuel. Therefore, it is crucial to be able to control the time-dependent shape of the outer shell, such that the outer shell is nominally round at the collision time. We present the experiment results from our sub-scale ( 1 MJ) NIF outer-shell only shape tuning campaign, where we vary shape by changing a turn-on time delay between the same pulse shape on the inner and outer cone beams. This type of shape tuning is unique to this platform and only possible since the Double Shell design uses a single-shock drive (4.5 ns reverse ramp pulse). The outer-shell only targets used a 5.75 mm diameter standard near-vacuum NIF hohlraum with 0.032 mg/cc He gas fill, and a Be capsule with 0.4% uniform Cu dopant, with 242 um thick ablator. We also present results from a third outer-shell only shot used to measure shell trajectory, which is critical in determining the shell impact time. This work conducted under the auspices of the U.S. DOE by LANL under contract DE-AC52-06NA25396.

  2. Spatially-Explicit Assessments of Genetic Biodiversity and Dispersal in Gopher Tortoises for Evaluation of Habitat Fragmentation at DoD Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-10-01

    crocodilian population genetics questions. J. Herpetology . 35: 541-544. Diemer JE. 1992. Home range and movements of the tortoise Gopherus...polyphemus in northern Florida. Journal of Herpetology 26:158–162 Diffendorfer JE. 1998. Testing models of source-sink dynamics and balanced dispersal...associated with tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) burrows in four habitats in south-central Florida. Journal of Herpetology 25:477-481. Luikart G, Cornuet J-M

  3. Graptemys gibbonsi Lovich and McCoy -- Pascagoula Map Turtle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Ennen, Joshua R.

    2014-01-01

    DEFINITION. The Pascagoula Map Turtle, Graptemys gibbonsi, is a large riverine species that exhibits pronounced sexual dimorphism, where females attain a maximum carapace length (CL) of 295 mm and males a maximum of 141 mm (Lovich et al. 2009). Mean adult female CL (248 mm) can be well over twice the mean CL of adult males (104 mm; Gibbons and Lovich 1990, Lovich et al. 2009). In addition, females have conspicuously enlarged heads (37.9 mm, SD = 14.0 mm) with broad alveolar surfaces (12.1 mm, SD = 4.9) compared to males (head width – 16.4 mm, SD = 1.1 mm; alveolar width – 4.3 mm, SD = 0.40 mm; Lindeman, unpublished data). Males have longer tails with the vent posterior to the edge of the carapace. Both sexes have relatively flat plastrons. Similar to other species within the pulchra clade, Graptemys gibbonsi possess a high-domed shell with a median keel. The median carapace keel is composed of prominent spines on the posterior portions of the second and third vertebrals. A broken black stripe, most pronounced anteriorly, marks the median keel of the vertebrals, and pleural scutes 1– 3 have a network of intersecting yellow lines or circular yellow markings on the distal parts. The plastron is pale yellow with dark pigment on some seams. Ground color of the head and limbs is brown to olive with light yellow or yellowish-green stripes and blotches. The yellow pigment on the upper marginal scutes is wide in comparison to other members of the pulchra clade.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Archaeozoology in Mainland Southeast Asia: Changing Methodology and Pleistocene to Holocene Forager Subsistence Patterns in Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia

    OpenAIRE

    Conrad, Cyler

    2015-01-01

    Meta-analysis of archaeozoological data from 28 prehistoric sites in Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia indicate that turtle (hard-shell, soft-shell and tortoise) and mollusc exploitation dominate the late Pleistocene and Holocene hunter-gatherer record. A total of 163 taxonomic classifications provide 29,842 identified specimens in this dataset. Using nestedness and squared chord distance metrics, results indicate that narrowing diet breadth and similar faunal composition is broadly characteri...

  9. Marine turtle mitogenome phylogenetics and evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    . Analyses of partial mitochondrial sequences and some nuclear markers have revealed phylogenetic inconsistencies within Cheloniidae, especially regarding the placement of the flatback. Population genetic studies based on D-Loop sequences have shown considerable structuring in species with broad geographic...... 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...

  10. Reproductive Disorders and Perinatology of Sea Turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spadola, Filippo; Morici, Manuel; Santoro, Mario; Oliveri, Matteo; Insacco, Gianni

    2017-05-01

    Sea turtles' reproductive disorders are underdiagnosed, but potentially, there are several diseases that may affect gonads, genitalia, and annexes. Viruses, bacteria, and parasites may cause countless disorders, but more frequently the cause is traumatic or linked to human activities. Furthermore, veterinary management of the nest is of paramount importance as well as the care of newborns (also in captivity). This article gives an overview on the methods used to manage nests and reproductive activities of these endangered chelonians species. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Long-term post-fire effects on spatial ecology and reproductive output of female Agassiz’s desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) at a wind energy facility near Palm Springs, California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Ennen, Joshua R.; Madrak, Sheila V.; Loughran, Caleb L.; Meyer, Katherin P.; Arundel, Terence R.; Bjurlin, Curtis D.

    2011-01-01

    We studied the long-term response of a cohort of eight female Agassiz’s desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) during the first 15 years following a large fire at a wind energy generation facility near Palm Springs, California, USA. The fire burned a significant portion of the study site in 1995. Tortoise activity areas were mapped using minimum convex polygons for a proximate post-fire interval from 1997 to 2000, and a long-term post-fire interval from 2009 to 2010. In addition, we measured the annual reproductive output of eggs each year and monitored the body condition of tortoises over time. One adult female tortoise was killed by the fire and five tortoises bore exposure scars that were not fatal. Despite predictions that tortoises would make the short-distance movements from burned to nearby unburned habitats, most activity areas and their centroids remained in burned areas for the duration of the study. The percentage of activity area burned did not differ significantly between the two monitoring periods. Annual reproductive output and measures of body condition remained statistically similar throughout the monitoring period. Despite changes in plant composition, conditions at this site appeared to be suitable for survival of tortoises following a major fire. High productivity at the site may have buffered tortoises from the adverse impacts of fire if they were not killed outright. Tortoise populations at less productive desert sites may not have adequate resources to sustain normal activity areas, reproductive output, and body conditions following fire.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José C. Báez

    2014-01-01

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

  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 r

  15. Sexing freshwater turtles: penile eversion in Phrynops tuberosus (Testudines: Chelidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João F.M. Rodrigues

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Here, we described a noninvasive method for sexing freshwater turtles by stimulating penile eversion. We immobilized the neck and limbs of animals using fingers and, after some seconds, turtles everted their penis. This method was tested in 33 male Phrynops tuberosus, and 28 everted the penis. The efficiency of the method was not dependent of animal size, which reinforces its applicability. Our method allows sexing turtles in the field, avoiding killing the animal or causing major injuries in order to assess the sex.

  16. 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.

  17. Ultraviolet colour opponency in the turtle retina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ventura, D F; Zana, Y; de Souza, J M; DeVoe, R D

    2001-07-01

    We have examined the functional architecture of the turtle Pseudemys scripta elegans retina with respect to colour processing, extending spectral stimulation into the ultraviolet, which has not been studied previously in the inner retina. We addressed two questions. (i) Is it possible to deduce the ultraviolet cone spectral sensitivity function through horizontal cell responses? (ii) Is there evidence for tetrachromatic neural mechanisms, i.e. UV/S response opponency? Using a constant response methodology we have isolated the ultraviolet cone input into the S/LM horizontal cell type and described it in fine detail. Monophasic (luminosity), biphasic L/M (red-green) and triphasic S/LM (yellow-blue) horizontal cells responded strongly to ultraviolet light. The blue-adapted spectral sensitivity function of a S/LM cell peaked in the ultraviolet and could be fitted to a porphyropsin cone template with a peak at 372 nm. In the inner retina eight different combinations of spectral opponency were found in the centre of the receptive field of ganglion cells. Among amacrine cells the only types found were UVSM-L+ and its reverse. One amacrine and four ganglion cells were also opponent in the receptive field surround. UV/S opponency, seen in three different types of ganglion cell, provides a neural basis for discrimination of ultraviolet colours. In conclusion, the results strongly suggest that there is an ultraviolet channel and a neural basis for tetrachromacy in the turtle retina.

  18. Shell Analysis Manual

    Science.gov (United States)

    1968-04-01

    loading (e. g. shallow shell theory , Geckeler’s approximation for symmetrically loaded shells, etc.) Although the Shear Deformation and Specialized...interest. Included are the Reissner-Meissner equations, Geckeler’s approximations, shallow - shell theory , Donnell’s theory, and others. A. General Shells of

  19. Illegal Trade of Tortoises (Testudinata in Colombia: A Network Analysis Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felber Jair Arroyave

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The use of wildlife is important for supporting the economic and demographic growth in emerging countries. Nevertheless, the products of wildlife usually come from illegal trade to supply fur, wild meat and pet markets. Illegal trade puts great pressure over wild populations and threats some endangered species. In Colombia, the trade of wildlife is important because of thevolumes traded and the cultural and economic connotation of some products. We describe the spatial structure of illegal trade of wildlife at departmental level for the five most traded genera of Colombian tortoises (Trachemys, Chelonoidis, Kinosternon, Podocnemis and Rhinoclemmys. This study is based on thereports of seizures between 2005 and 2009 compiled by the Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo of Colombia. Weapply Network Analysis to study and evidence that the illegal trade network of tortoises includes international markets and supplies the Andean region. The Caribbean, Pacific and Orinoquia regions are the principal suppliers. Quindio, Santander, Antioquia and Putumayo are the biggest jobbers and consumers of wild tortoises. We propose sociocultural and cohercitive actions to fragment the trade network andtheir illegal market as well as promoting the conservation and sustainable use of tortoises.TRÁFICO ILEGAL DE TORTUGAS CONTINENTALES (TESTUDINATA EN COLOMBIA: UNA APROXIMACIÓN DESDEEL ANÁLISIS DE REDESEl uso de productos extraídos o provenientes de la fauna silvestre es relevante para el desarrollo económico y el bienestar social en muchos lugares del mundo. Sin embargo, frecuentemente la fauna silvestre entra en los circuitos de tráfico ilegal para abastecer los mercados de mascotas y productos como pieles, plumas, “carne de monte”, entre otros. El tráfico ilegal genera enormes presiones sobre las especies sujetas a extracción y es una de las principales amenazas para estas. En Colombia, el tráfico de tortugas es de importancia debido a los vol

  20. BIOCHEMICAL STANDARDIZATION OF TORTEZIN, A NOVEL IMMUNOSTIMULATOR FROM THE TORTOISE BLOOD CELLS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    NIGORA TAGAYALIEVA

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Objective: The biochemical characterization of the substances presented in the new haemo and immuno stimulating preparation Tortezin from the blood cells of the Central Asian tortoise. Materials and Methods: Tortezin substances manufactured in 20062010 were examined by electrophoresis, spectroscopy and RPHPLC. Results: In UV spectra of Tortezin aqueous solution the pronounced maximum was at 218±1.2 nm and mild spike at 280±3.2 nm; in fluorescence emission spectra upon excitation with wavelength at 280 nm peak emission maximum was 460 ± 38 nm and at 295 nm was 455±21 nm. The RPHPLC profile and SDS 10% PAGE showed the presence of repetitive typical peaks in different samples. Conclusion: The different methods are to be recommended for standardization of Tortezin

  1. Final critical habitat for the Hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — To provide the user with a general idea of areas where final critical habitat for hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) based on the description provided in...

  2. 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 340 Kemps ridley sea turtles stranded dead along the Gulf of Mexico US coast (hatchling to...

  3. 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...

  4. 2002-2004 Aquatic Turtle Collection Spreadsheet Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Data tables that includes the times, locations and dates that surveys were conducted. Any turtle that was captured during a survey was measured, sexed, and weighed...

  5. Western Pond Turtle Observations - Region 1 [ds313

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  6. 78 FR 9024 - Sea Turtle Conservation; Shrimp Trawling Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-07

    ... elevated sea turtle strandings in the Northern Gulf of Mexico, particularly throughout the Mississippi... with fishery interactions. The most likely cause of the strandings was thought to be the...

  7. [Proposal] Loggerhead sea turtle nest monitoring on seven refuges

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The purpose of this project is to continue FWS involvement in the long-term, consistent monitoring of loggerhead sea turtle nesting to assess changes in phenological...

  8. Inventory of sea turtle eggs for contaminant analysis

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This is an inventory of the bags of sea turtle eggs/hatchlings collected on St. Vincent NWR in 1996 and transferred to the Panama City Field Office for contaminants...

  9. 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.

  10. Final critical habitat for the Leatherback Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — o provide the user with a general idea of areas where final critical habitat for Leatherback Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) occur based on the description...

  11. Two cases of pseudohermaphroditism in loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crespo, Jose Luis; García-Párraga, Daniel; Giménez, Ignacio; Rubio-Guerri, Consuelo; Melero, Mar; Sánchez-Vizcaíno, José Manuel; Marco, Adolfo; Cuesta, Jose A; Muñoz, María Jesús

    2013-09-03

    Two juvenile (curved carapace lengths: 28 and 30 cm) loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta with precocious male external characteristics were admitted to the ARCA del Mar rescue area at the Oceanogràfic Aquarium in Valencia, Spain, in 2009 and 2010. Routine internal laparoscopic examination and subsequent histopathology confirmed the presence of apparently healthy internal female gonads in both animals. Extensive tissue biopsy and hormone induction assays were consistent with female sex. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of pseudohermaphroditism in loggerhead sea turtles based on sexual external characteristics and internal laparoscopic examination. Our findings suggest that the practice of using external phenotypical characteristics as the basis for gender identification in sea turtles should be reevaluated. Future research should focus on detecting more animals with sexual defects and their possible effects on the sea turtle population.

  12. Corneal fibropapillomatosis in green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) in Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flint, M; Limpus, C J; Patterson-Kane, J C; Murray, P J; Mills, P C

    2010-05-01

    Chelonid corneal fibropapillomatosis has not previously been recorded in Australian waters. During 2008, 724 green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) were examined in Queensland, Australia at two sites, Moreton Bay (n=155) and Shoalwater Bay (n=569), during annual monitoring. In the same calendar year, 63 turtles were submitted from various sites in southern Queensland for post-mortem examination at the University of Queensland. Four of the 787 animals (0.5%) were found to have corneal fibropapillomas of varying size, with similar gross and microscopical features to those reported in other parts of the world. Two animals with corneal fibropapillomas also had cutaneous fibropapillomas. Clinical assessment indicated that these lesions had detrimental effects on the vision of the turtles and therefore their potential ability to source food, avoid predators and interact with conspecifics. Importantly, these findings represent an emergence of this manifestation of fibropapillomatosis in green sea turtle populations in the southern Pacific Ocean.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  15. Final critical habitat for the Leatherback Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — o provide the user with a general idea of areas where final critical habitat for Leatherback Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) occur based on the description...

  16. Final critical habitat for the Hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — To provide the user with a general idea of areas where final critical habitat for hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) based on the description provided in...

  17. 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...

  18. Methane output of tortoises: its contribution to energy loss related to herbivore body mass.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ragna Franz

    Full Text Available An increase in body mass (M is traditionally considered advantageous for herbivores in terms of digestive efficiency. However, recently increasing methane losses with increasing M were described in mammals. To test this pattern in non-mammal herbivores, we conducted feeding trails with 24 tortoises of various species (M range 0.52-180 kg fed a diet of grass hay ad libitum and salad. Mean daily dry matter and gross energy intake measured over 30 consecutive days scaled to M(0.75 (95%CI 0.64-0.87 and M(0.77 (95%CI 0.66-0.88, respectively. Methane production was measured over two consecutive days in respiration chambers and scaled to M(1.03 (95%CI 0.84-1.22. When expressed as energy loss per gross energy intake, methane losses scaled to 0.70 (95%CI 0.47-1.05 M(0.29 (95%CI 0.14-0.45. This scaling overlaps in its confidence intervals to that calculated for nonruminant mammals 0.79 (95%CI 0.63-0.99 M(0.15 (95%CI 0.09-0.20, but is lower than that for ruminants. The similarity between nonruminant mammals and tortoises suggest a common evolution of the gut fauna in ectotherms and endotherms, and that the increase in energetic losses due to methane production with increasing body mass is a general allometric principle in herbivores. These findings add evidence to the view that large body size itself does not necessarily convey a digestive advantage.

  19. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Shelly C.; Bergey, Elizabeth A.

    2017-01-01

    Filamentous algae are often visible on the carapaces of freshwater turtles and these algae are dominated by a few species with varying geographic distributions. Compared to filamentous algae, little is known about the much more speciose microalgae on turtles. Our objectives were to compare the diatom flora on a single turtle species (the common snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina) across part of its range to examine spatial patterns and determine whether specific diatom taxa were consistently associated with turtles (as occurs in the filamentous alga Basicladia spp.). Using preserved turtle specimens from museums, we systematically sampled diatoms on the carapaces of 25 snapping turtles across five states. The diverse diatom assemblages formed two groups–the southern Oklahoma group and the northern Illinois/Wisconsin/New York group, with Arkansas not differing from either group. Of the six diatom species found in all five states, four species are widespread, whereas Luticola cf. goeppertiana and L. cf. mutica are undescribed species, known only from turtles in our study. L. cf. goeppertiana comprised 83% of the diatom abundance on Oklahoma turtles and was relatively more abundant on southern turtles (Oklahoma and Arkansas) than on northern turtles (where mean abundance/state was > 10%). L. cf. mutica was the most abundant species (40%) on New York turtles. Some Luticola species are apparently turtle associates and results support a pattern of spatial variation in Luticola species, similar to that in Basicladia. Using museum specimens is an efficient and effective method to study the distribution of micro-epibionts. PMID:28192469

  1. Serum antileptospiral agglutinins in freshwater turtles from Southern Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  2. Eutrophication and the dietary promotion of sea turtle tumors

    OpenAIRE

    Kyle S Van Houtan; Celia M. Smith; Dailer, Meghan L.; Migiwa Kawachi

    2014-01-01

    The tumor-forming disease fibropapillomatosis (FP) has afflicted sea turtle populations for decades with no clear cause. A lineage of α-herpesviruses associated with these tumors has existed for millennia, suggesting environmental factors are responsible for its recent epidemiology. In previous work, we described how herpesviruses could cause FP tumors through a metabolic influx of arginine. We demonstrated the disease prevails in chronically eutrophied coastal waters, and that turtles foragi...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Aderson de Souza Alcântara

    2014-01-01

    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 ex...

  4. Economic analysis of critical habitat designation for the desert tortoise (Mojave population)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schamberger, Mel; MacGillvray, Timothy J.; Draper, Dirk D.

    1993-01-01

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service emergency 1isted the Mojave population of the desert tortoise as endangered on August 4, 1989. The Mojave population formally was listed as threatened on April 2, 1990. The Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, requires that the economic benefits and costs and other relevant effects of critical habitat designation be considered. The Secretary of the Interior may exclude from designation areas where the costs of designation are greater than the benefits, unless the exclusion would result in extinction of the species. Desert tortoises are threatened by an accumulation of human-and disease-related mortality accompanied by habitat destruction, degradation, and fragmentation. Many desert tortoises are illegally collected for pets, food, and commercial trade. Others are accidentally struck and killed by vehicles on roads and highways or are killed by gunshot or vehicles traveling off-highway. Raven predation on hatchling desert tortoises has increased as raven populations in the desert have risen. An upper respiratory tract disease is suspected to be a major cause of mortality in the western Mojave Desert. This presumably incurable affliction presumably is thought to be spread through the release of infected tortoises into the desert. The Service has proposed designating critical habitat in nine counties within four states. The 12 critical habitat units encompass 6.4 million acres of land, more than 80% federally owned. This region is economically and demographically diverse. Most of the land is sparsely settled and characterized as a hot desert ecosystem. Major industries in the region include entertainment and lodging (primarily in Las Vegas), property development to accommodate the rapid population growth, and services. Millions of rural acres in the region are leased by the federal government for livestock grazing and used for mining. Overall economic benefits to the affected states derived from cattle and sheep grazing in the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-05-01

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

  6. 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).

  7. Olfaction-based Detection Distance: A Quantitative Analysis of How Far Away Dogs Recognize Tortoise Odor and Follow It to Source

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cindee Valentin

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available The use of detector dogs has been demonstrated to be effective and safe for finding Mojave desert tortoises and provides certain advantages over humans in field surveys. Unlike humans who rely on visual cues for target identification, dogs use primarily olfactory cues and can therefore locate targets that are not visually obvious. One of the key benefits of surveying with dogs is their efficiency at covering ground and their ability to detect targets from long distances. Dogs may investigate potential targets using visual cues but confirm the presence of a target based on scent. Everything that emits odor does so via vapor-phase molecules and the components comprising a particular scent are carried primarily though bulk movement of the atmosphere. It is the ability to search for target odor and then go to its source that makes dogs ideal for rapid target recognition in the field setting. Using tortoises as targets, we quantified distances that dogs detected tortoise scent, followed it to source, and correctly identified tortoises as targets. Detection distance data were collected during experimental trials with advanced global positioning system (GPS technology and then analyzed using geographic information system (GIS modeling techniques. Detection distances ranged from 0.5 m to 62.8 m for tortoises on the surface. We did not observe bias with tortoise size, age class, sex or the degree to which tortoises were handled prior to being found by the dogs. The methodology we developed to quantify olfaction-based detection distance using dogs can be applied to other targets that dogs are trained to find.

  8. Coupling gene-based and classic veterinary diagnostics improves interpretation of health and immune function in the Agassiz’s desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drake, Karla K.; Bowen, Lizabeth; Lewison, Rebecca L.; Esque, Todd C.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Braun, Josephine; Waters, Shannon C.; Miles, A. Keith

    2017-01-01

    The analysis of blood constituents is a widely used tool to aid in monitoring of animal health and disease. However, classic blood diagnostics (i.e. hematologic and plasma biochemical values) often do not provide sufficient information to determine the state of an animal’s health. Field studies on wild tortoises and other reptiles have had limited success in drawing significant inferences between blood diagnostics and physiological and immunological condition. However, recent research using gene transcription profiling in the threatened Mojave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) has proved useful in identifying immune or physiologic responses and overall health. To improve our understanding of health and immune function in tortoises, we evaluated both standard blood diagnostic (body condition, hematologic, plasma biochemistry values, trace elements, plasma proteins, vitamin A levels) and gene transcription profiles in 21 adult tortoises (11 clinically abnormal; 10 clinically normal) from Clark County, NV, USA. Necropsy and histology evaluations from clinically abnormal tortoises revealed multiple physiological complications, with moderate to severe rhinitis or pneumonia being the primary cause of morbidity in all but one of the examined animals. Clinically abnormal tortoises had increased transcription for four genes (SOD, MyD88, CL and Lep), increased lymphocyte production, biochemical enzymes and organics, trace elements of copper, and decreased numbers of leukocytes. We found significant positive correlations between increased transcription for SOD and increased trace elements for copper, as well as genes MyD88 and Lep with increased inflammation and microbial insults. Improved methods for health assessments are an important element of monitoring tortoise population recovery and can support the development of more robust diagnostic measures for ill animals, or individuals directly impacted by disturbance.

  9. Not putting all their eggs in one basket: bet-hedging despite extraordinary annual reproductive output of desert tortoises

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Ennen, Joshua R.; Yackulic, Charles B.; Meyer-Wilkins, Kathie; Agha, Mickey; Loughran, Caleb L.; Bjurlin, Curtis; Austin, Meaghan; Madrak, Sheila V.

    2015-01-01

    Bet-hedging theory makes the counter-intuitive prediction that, if juvenile survival is low and unpredictable, organisms should consistently reduce short-term reproductive output to minimize the risk of reproductive failure in the long-term. We investigated the long-term reproductive output of an Agassiz's desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) population and conformance to a bet-hedging strategy of reproduction in an unpredictable but comparatively productive environment. Most females reproduced every year, even during periods of low precipitation and poor germination of food plants, and the mean percentage of reproducing females did not differ significantly on an annual basis. Although mean annual egg production (clutch size × clutch frequency) differed significantly among years, mean clutch size and mean clutch frequency remained relatively constant. During an El Niño year, mean annual egg production and mean annual clutch frequency were the highest ever reported for this species. Annual egg production was positively influenced by maternal body size but clutch size and clutch frequency were not. Our long-term results confirm earlier conclusions based on short-term research that desert tortoises have a bet-hedging strategy of producing small clutches almost every year. The risk of long-term reproductive failure is minimized in unpredictable environments, both through time by annually producing multiple small clutches over a long reproductive lifespan, even in years of low resource availability, and through space by depositing multiple annual clutches in different locations. The extraordinary annual reproductive output of this population appears to be the result of a typically high but unpredictable biomass of annual food plants at the site relative to tortoise habitat in dryer regions. Under the comparatively productive but unpredictable conditions, tortoises conform to predictions of a bet-hedging strategy of reproduction with relatively small but consistent

  10. Microsatellite analyses provide evidence of male-biased dispersal in the radiated tortoise Astrochelys radiata (Chelonia: Testudinidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paquette, Sébastien Rioux; Louis, Edward E; Lapointe, François-Joseph

    2010-01-01

    Dispersal is a major force in shaping the genetic structure and dynamics of species; thus, its understanding is critical in formulating appropriate conservation strategies. In many species, sexes do not face the same evolutionary pressures, and consequently dispersal is often asymmetrical between males and females. This is well documented in birds and mammals but has seldom been investigated in other taxa, including reptiles and, more specifically, nonmarine chelonians. In these species, nest-site fidelity observations are frequent but still remain to be associated with natal homing. Here, we tested for sex-biased dispersal in the radiated tortoise (Astrochelys radiata) from southern Madagascar. Using data from 13 microsatellite markers, we investigated patterns of relatedness between sexes in 2 populations. All Mantel tests indicated significant isolation by distance at the individual level in females but not in males. Furthermore, spatial autocorrelation analyses and 2 analytical approaches designed to assess general trends in sex-specific dispersal also supported male-biased dispersal. On the other hand, comparisons of overall genetic structure among sampling sites did not provide conclusive support for greater philopatry in females, but these tests may have low statistical power because of methodological and biological constraints. Radiated tortoises appear to be both polyandrous and polygynous, and evolutionary processes that may lead to a sex bias in dispersal are discussed with respect to tortoise breeding biology. Female natal homing is hypothesized as a key trait explaining greater female philopatry in A. radiata. These findings highlight the necessity of additional research on natal homing in tortoises, a behavioral trait with direct implications for conservation.

  11. Turtle Observations from Rose Atoll 18 October to 28 November, 1990

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Nightly surveys of Rose Island were conducted to monitor turtle activity from 18 October to 28 November, 1990. Two turtles were tagged and one tag recovery was...

  12. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael R Heithaus

    2014-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. Influence of environmental humidity and dietary protein on pyramidal growth of carapaces in African spurred tortoises (Geochelone sulcata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiesner, C S; Iben, C

    2003-02-01

    The carapaces of captive-raised tortoises (terrestrial chelonians of the zoological family Testudinidae, often develop pyramidal-shaped osseous growth centrally within the horny plates. With very few exceptions (e.g. Geochelone elegans, Psammobates sp.), this conical growth pattern is considered to be pathologic. This very common defect is believed to be an important indicator of the quality of captive tortoise management. This study was designed to examine the effect of dietary protein level and environmental humidity on the degree of pyramidal growth in the carapaces. Fifty recently hatched African spurred tortoises (G. sulcata) were raised for 5 months under artificial conditions of varying environmental humidity and dietary protein content (14% vs. 19% vs. 30% crude protein in dry matter). Humps of the carapaces that developed and blood values of calcium, phosphorus and haematocrit were measured and compared among groups. Dry environmental conditions (24.3-57.8% and 30.6-74.8% relative humidity) produced taller humps than humid conditions (45-99% relative humidity). Hump formation differed significantly (p < or = 0.001) between these three groups kept under different humidity conditions. Variable dietary protein had a minor, positive impact on this pathological formation of humps (pyramidal growth syndrome, PGS). Analysis of blood (calcium, phosphorus and haematocrit) offered no further explanation as to the development of the humps.

  18. Multiple shells in IRC+10216: shell properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mauron, N.; Huggins, P. J.

    2000-07-01

    We report on the properties of the multiple shells in the circumstellar envelope of IRC+10216, using deep optical imaging, including data from the Hubble Space Telescope. The intensity profiles confirm the presence of thin ( ~ 0farcs5 -3'' ec), limb-brightened shells in the envelope, seen in stellar and ambient Galactic light scattered by dust. The shells are spaced at irregular intervals of ~ 5'' ec-20'' ec, corresponding to time scales of 200-800 yr, although intervals as short as ~ 1'' ec (40 yr) are seen close to the star. The location of the main shells shows a good correlation with high-resolution, molecular line maps of the inner envelope, indicating that the dust and gas are well coupled. The shell/intershell density contrast is typically ~ 3, and we find that the shells form the dominant mass component of the circumstellar envelope. The shells exhibit important evolutionary effects: the thickness increases with increasing radius, with an effective dispersion velocity of 0.7 km s-1 and there is evidence for shell interactions. Despite the presence of bipolar structure close to the star, the global shell pattern favors a roughly isotropic, episodic mass loss mechanism, with a range of time scales. Based on observations made with the Canada-France-Hawaii telescope, operated by CNRS, NRCC and UH, and on dearchived observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, operated by AURA Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555

  19. Ultralight aircraft surveys reveal marine turtle population increases along the west coast of Reunion Island

    OpenAIRE

    Jean, Claire; Ciccione, Stephane; Ballorain, Katia; Georges, Jean-Yves; Bourjea, Jerome

    2010-01-01

    Reunion Island in the south-west Indian Ocean once had significant nesting populations of marine turtles but they declined rapidly after human colonization. In 1996, after regular sightings of turtles offshore, an aerial survey programme was initiated to monitor the occurrence of marine turtles and their distribution along the west coast of the island Between 1998 and 2008, along a 30-km coastline transect between Saint Leu and Saint Paul, a total of 1,845 marine turtle sightings were recorde...

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

    OpenAIRE

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