The ecology and migrations of sea turtles. 8, Tests of the developmental habitat hypothesis. (Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, no. 357)

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dc.contributor.author Meylan, Peter A. (Peter Andre)
dc.contributor.author Meylan, Anne Barkau.
dc.contributor.author Gray, Jennifer A.
dc.date.accessioned 2011-08-18T13:11:35Z
dc.date.available 2011-08-18T13:11:35Z
dc.date.issued 2011-08-10
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2246/6126
dc.description 70 p. : ill., maps ; 26 cm. en_US
dc.description.abstract The existence of ontogenetic shifts in habitat by marine turtles, and of immature-dominated assemblages in "developmental habitat," were important concepts first proposed by Archie Carr in 1956. Results of long-term, in-water capture programs in Caribbean Panama (17 yr) and Bermuda (37 yr) allow the testing and refinement of these ideas, in particular the developmental habitat hypothesis for Chelonia mydas, Eretmochelys imbricata, and Caretta caretta. A literature survey reviews worldwide studies on these species, and also incorporates Lepidochelys kempii. The studies in Panama and Bermuda reported in this paper use netting, mark/recapture, laparoscopy, and satellite telemetry to investigate size distributions, maturity status, residency, site fidelity, and developmental migrations of three species of sea turtles at three study sites. Characteristics of benthic developmental habitat of C. mydas, E. imbricata, L. kempii, and, to a lesser extent, C. caretta in the Atlantic Ocean usually include benthic feeding; exclusive or nearly exclusive occupation by immature animals; seasonal or multiyear residency and site fidelity in specific areas; developmental migration from the habitat before maturation; and high genetic diversity. Variation of these traits worldwide, contradictory evidence regarding the concept of developmental habitat, and evolution of this life stage are presented. Laparoscopic data provide information concerning the process of sexual maturation; mean size and size range are presented for three maturity stages of C. mydas from Panama and Bermuda, and for size at onset of puberty and maturity for Eretmochelys and Caretta in the West Atlantic. Nicaragua is the primary site of recovery of immature green turtles tagged in Bermuda, representing a developmental migration of at least 2800 km. To the extent that tag returns and stranding data represent good proxies for mortality, transitions between life stages appear to be periods of decreased survivorship. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher American Museum of Natural History. en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, no. 357. en_US
dc.subject Sea turtles. en_US
dc.subject Turtles. en_US
dc.subject Bermuda Islands. en_US
dc.subject Caribbean Sea. en_US
dc.subject Migrations. en_US
dc.subject Habitats. en_US
dc.title The ecology and migrations of sea turtles. 8, Tests of the developmental habitat hypothesis. (Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, no. 357) en_US

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  • Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History
    The Bulletin, published continuously since 1881, consists of longer monographic volumes in the field of natural sciences relating to zoology, paleontology, and geology. Current numbers are published at irregular intervals. The Bulletin was originally a place to publish short papers, while longer works appeared in the Memoirs. However, in the 1920s, the Memoirs ceased and the Bulletin series began publishing longer papers. A new series, the Novitates , published short papers describing new forms.

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