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

Mathger, Lydia M., Lohmann, Kenneth J., Limpus, Colin J. and Fritsches, Kerstin A. (2011) An unsuccessful attempt to elicit orientation responses to linearly polarized light in hatchling loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta). Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, 366 1565: 757-762.


Author Mathger, Lydia M.
Lohmann, Kenneth J.
Limpus, Colin J.
Fritsches, Kerstin A.
Title An unsuccessful attempt to elicit orientation responses to linearly polarized light in hatchling loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta)
Journal name Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B-Biological Sciences   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0962-8436
Publication date 2011-03-12
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1098/rstb.2010.0212
Volume 366
Issue 1565
Start page 757
End page 762
Total pages 6
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher The Royal Society Publishing
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Abstract Sea turtles undertake long migrations in the open ocean, during which they rely at least partly on magnetic cues for navigation. In principle, sensitivity to polarized light might be an additional sensory capability that aids navigation. Furthermore, polarization sensitivity has been linked to ultraviolet (UV) light perception which is present in sea turtles. Here, we tested the ability of hatchling loggerheads (Caretta caretta) to maintain a swimming direction in the presence of broad-spectrum polarized light. At the start of each trial, hatchling turtles, with their magnetic sense temporarily impaired by magnets, successfully established a steady course towards a lightemitting diode (LED) light source while the polarized light field was present. When the LED was removed, however, hatchlings failed to maintain a steady swimming direction, even though the polarized light field remained. Our results have failed to provide evidence for polarized light perception in young sea turtles and suggest that alternative cues guide the initial migration offshore.
Keyword Polarization sensitivity
Sea turtles
Orientation behaviour
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Biomedical Sciences Publications
 
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