Measuring the state of consciousness in a free-living sea turtle

Houghton, Jonathan D. R., Cedras, Allen, Myers, Andrew E., Liebsch, Niko, Metcalf, Julian D., Mortimer, Jeanne A. and Hays, Graeme C. (2008) Measuring the state of consciousness in a free-living sea turtle. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 356 1-2: 115-120. doi:10.1016/j.jembe.2007.12.008

Author Houghton, Jonathan D. R.
Cedras, Allen
Myers, Andrew E.
Liebsch, Niko
Metcalf, Julian D.
Mortimer, Jeanne A.
Hays, Graeme C.
Title Measuring the state of consciousness in a free-living sea turtle
Journal name Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0022-0981
Publication date 2008-03-03
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jembe.2007.12.008
Volume 356
Issue 1-2
Start page 115
End page 120
Total pages 6
Editor Graeme C. Hays
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier BV
Language eng
Formatted abstract
We report on results from two types of data-logger attached to hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys coriacea) in the breeding season at the Seychelles, Indian Ocean. Conventional time–depth recorders (TDRs) showed prolonged bouts of long dives to the seabed, consistent with benthic resting. This behaviour has been widely reported in sea turtles and appears to be a common feature for energy conservation. An Inter-Mandibular Angle Sensor (IMASEN) recorded mouth opening and buccal pumping by one turtle for 2.5 days. Buccal pumping occurred widely while the turtle was submerged, consistent with a function of olfactory sensory perception of the turtle's environment. However, buccal pumping stopped during the middle of long benthic dives consistent with the turtle entering a phase of sleep. It therefore appears that by recording buccal oscillations, it is possible to assess the state of consciousness of turtles allowing the eco-physiology of diving to be more fully explored.
Keyword Bird
Dive function
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ
Additional Notes From the issue - Sea turtles: physiological, molecular and behavioural ecology and conservation biology

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Queensland Brain Institute Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 34 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 19 Oct 2011, 11:55:20 EST by Nikolai Liebsch on behalf of Queensland Brain Institute