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A comparison of body proportions in juvenile sea turtles: how shape may optimize survival in a vulnerable life stage

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Date Issued:
2014
Summary:
Marine turtles produce many offspring which offsets the high mortality experienced by turtles during early development. Juvenile mortality might be reduced by evolving effective behavioral as well as morphological anti-predator defenses. Body proportions of three species (Caretta caretta, Chelonia mydas, Dermochelys coriacea) of turtles were measured in the first fourteen weeks of development to examine how growth may mitigate predation by gape-limited predators. Growth was categorized as isometric if shape did not change during development or allometric if body shape did change. All three species showed allometric growth in carapace width; however it was less pronounced in the larger D. coriacea turtles. Allometric growth in carapace width decreased as all three species grew in size. When high predation occurs in early development, many species will favor rapid growth into a size refuge. Juvenile sea turtles may optimize their survival by growing allometrically when predation risk is the greatest.
Title: A comparison of body proportions in juvenile sea turtles: how shape may optimize survival in a vulnerable life stage.
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Name(s): Pate, Jessica Hope, author
Salmon, Michael, Thesis advisor
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science
Department of Biological Sciences
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Created: 2014
Date Issued: 2014
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 48 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: Marine turtles produce many offspring which offsets the high mortality experienced by turtles during early development. Juvenile mortality might be reduced by evolving effective behavioral as well as morphological anti-predator defenses. Body proportions of three species (Caretta caretta, Chelonia mydas, Dermochelys coriacea) of turtles were measured in the first fourteen weeks of development to examine how growth may mitigate predation by gape-limited predators. Growth was categorized as isometric if shape did not change during development or allometric if body shape did change. All three species showed allometric growth in carapace width; however it was less pronounced in the larger D. coriacea turtles. Allometric growth in carapace width decreased as all three species grew in size. When high predation occurs in early development, many species will favor rapid growth into a size refuge. Juvenile sea turtles may optimize their survival by growing allometrically when predation risk is the greatest.
Identifier: FA00004223 (IID)
Degree granted: Thesis (M.S.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2014.
Collection: FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Note(s): Includes bibliography.
Subject(s): Predation (Biology)
Sea turtles -- Growth
Sea turtles -- Mortality
Sea turtles -- Population viability analysis
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Sublocation: Digital Library
Links: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00004223
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00004223
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author, with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
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Owner Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.