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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,(2):339-344.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: Altmetric Score Altmetric Score is 2
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IRMA ID 75039815xPUB683
Title A Comparison of Hatchling Locomotor Performance and Scute Pattern Variation between Two Rookeries of the Flatback Turtle (Natator depressus)
Author Sim, Elizabeth L.
Booth, David T.
Limpus, Colin J.
Guinea, Michael L.
Journal Name Copeia
Publication Date 2014
Issue Number 2
ISSN 0045-8511   (check CDU catalogue  open catalogue search in new window)
Start Page 339
End Page 344
Total Pages 6
Place of Publication United States of America
Publisher American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
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.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1643/CH-13-018   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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