A comparison of hatchling locomotor performance and scute pattern variation between two rookeries of the flatback turtle (Natator depressus)

Sim, Elizabeth L., Booth, David T., Limpus, Colin J. and Guinea, Michael L. (2014) A comparison of hatchling locomotor performance and scute pattern variation between two rookeries of the flatback turtle (Natator depressus). Copeia, 2014 2: 339-344. doi:10.1643/CH-13-018


Author Sim, Elizabeth L.
Booth, David T.
Limpus, Colin J.
Guinea, Michael L.
Title A comparison of hatchling locomotor performance and scute pattern variation between two rookeries of the flatback turtle (Natator depressus)
Formatted title
A comparison of hatchling locomotor performance and scute pattern variation between two rookeries of the flatback turtle (Natator depressus)
Journal name Copeia   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0045-8511
1938-5110
Publication date 2014-06-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1643/CH-13-018
Volume 2014
Issue 2
Start page 339
End page 344
Total pages 6
Place of publication Miami, FL United States
Publisher American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Marine turtle species consist of several genetically discrete ‘evolutionarily significant units’ (ESUs) which do not interbreed. We studied Flatback turtle (Natator depressus) hatchlings from two rookeries (Mon Repos Conservation Park and Bare Sand Island, Australia) representing two separate ESUs. Turtles from these ESUs differ in several key life history traits, including body size, and we predicted hatchlings would also differ in locomotor performance. We also investigated the proportion of hatchlings with non-modal scute patterns to determine whether this varies between ESUs. We collected newly emerged hatchlings, and measured mass, carapace length and width, and recorded the scute pattern. We then measured self-righting ability and crawling speed. Our results confirmed a difference in hatchling size between the two ESUs, with Mon Repos rookery hatchlings being larger. However the size difference did not translate into a difference in self-righting ability or crawling speed. The Mon Repos rookery also produced a larger proportion of hatchlings with major non-modal scute pattern compared to Bare Sand Island rookery. The differences suggest hatchling survival rates may differ between ESUs, and that ESUs should be studied separately when implementing conservation measures.
Keyword Incubation-temperature
Chelonia-mydas
Chelydra-serpentina
Righting response
Sex determination
Caretta-caretta
Green turtles
Clutch size
Box turtle
Body-size
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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