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Sea turtle

Milad Adel, Adriana A Cortés-Gómez, Maryam Dadar, Hossein Riyahi, Marc Girondot
Due to their bioaccumulation and biomagnification pathways, inorganic elements can accumulate in high-level aquatic organisms in the food web. Then, this species can be used to monitor the quality of the environment. Blood concentration of nine inorganic elements, including possible toxic metals (An, Cu, Mn, Se, As, Ni, Cd, Pb, and Hg), in 20 males and 20 females from eight different locations with high industry and agriculture activities in Iran were evaluated in this work. Additionally, size, sex, condition index, and locations were also included and analyzed...
September 16, 2017: Environmental Science and Pollution Research International
Loren McClenachan, Grace O'Connor, Benjamin P Neal, John M Pandolfi, Jeremy B C Jackson
Massive declines in population abundances of marine animals have been documented over century-long time scales. However, analogous loss of spatial extent of habitat-forming organisms is less well known because georeferenced data are rare over long time scales, particularly in subtidal, tropical marine regions. We use high-resolution historical nautical charts to quantify changes to benthic structure over 240 years in the Florida Keys, finding an overall loss of 52% (SE, 6.4%) of the area of the seafloor occupied by corals...
September 2017: Science Advances
Christine Ewers-Saucedo, Benny K K Chan, John D Zardus, John P Wares
Symbiotic relationships are often species specific, allowing symbionts to adapt to their host environments. Host generalists, on the other hand, have to cope with diverse environments. One coping strategy is phenotypic plasticity, defined by the presence of host-specific phenotypes in the absence of genetic differentiation. Recent work indicates that such host-specific phenotypic plasticity is present in the West Pacific lineage of the commensal barnacle Chelonibia testudinaria (Linnaeus, 1758). We investigated genetic and morphological host-specific structure in the genetically distinct Atlantic sister lineage of C...
June 2017: Biological Bulletin
Verónica Díaz-Hernández, Alma Vázquez-Gómez, Alejandro Marmolejo-Valencia, Luis Manuel Montaño, Horacio Merchant-Larios
In turtles undergoing temperature sex determination (TSD), bipotential gonads express Sox9 in medullary cords at both female- (FPT) and male-producing temperatures (MPT). Subsequently, when the sex fate of medullary cords becomes dimorphic, at FPT, Sox9 is downregulated, whereas at MPT, its expression is maintained. Medullary cords in the ovary turn into ovarian lacuna, whereas in the testis they differentiate as seminiferous cords. When embryos of Lepidochelys olivacea sea turtle are incubated at MPT and treated with estradiol, Sox9 expression persists in the medullary cords in the form of tiny ovotestis-like formations...
September 8, 2017: Developmental Biology
David P Robinson, Rima W Jabado, Christoph A Rohner, Simon J Pierce, Kevin P Hyland, Warren R Baverstock
We collected movement data for eight rehabilitated and satellite-tagged green sea turtles Chelonia mydas released off the United Arab Emirates between 2005 and 2013. Rehabilitation periods ranged from 96 to 1353 days (mean = 437 ± 399 days). Seven of the eight tagged turtles survived after release; one turtle was killed by what is thought to be a post-release spear gun wound. The majority of turtles (63%) used shallow-water core habitats and established home ranges between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the same area in which they had originally washed ashore prior to rescue...
2017: PloS One
Calandra N Turner Tomaszewicz, Jeffrey A Seminoff, Mike Price, Carolyn M Kurle
RATIONALE: The ecological application of stable isotope analysis (SIA) relies on taxa- and tissue-specific stable carbon (Δ(13) C) and nitrogen (Δ(15) N) isotope discrimination factors, determined with captive animals reared on known diets for sufficient time to reflect dietary isotope ratios. However, captive studies often prohibit lethal sampling, are difficult with endangered species, and reflect conditions not experienced in the wild. METHODS: We overcame these constraints and determined the Δ(13) C and Δ(15) N values for skin and cortical bone from green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) that died in captivity and evaluated the utility of a mathematical approach to predict discrimination factors...
August 31, 2017: Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry: RCM
Gülsah Dogruer, Liesbeth Weijs, Janet Yat-Man Tang, Henner Hollert, Marjolijn Kock, Ian Bell, Christine A Madden Hof, Caroline Gaus
Organisms are exposed to mixtures of both known and unknown chemicals which are diverse and variable, and thus difficult and costly to characterise and monitor using traditional target analyses. The objective of this study was to validate and apply in vitro effect-based methods by which whole blood can be used to screen internal exposure to such complex chemical mixtures. For this study, we used whole blood of green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas). To ensure the chemical mixture in blood is transferred with minimal losses or bias, we tested a modified QuEChERS extraction method specifically developed for multi- and non-target instrument analysis...
August 27, 2017: Science of the Total Environment
Estelle Rousselet, Milton Levin, Erika Gebhard, Benjamin M Higgins, Sylvain DeGuise, Céline A J Godard-Codding
Threatened loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) face numerous environmental challenges, including exposure to anthropogenic chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Despite being banned by the USA in the 1970s, PCBs persist in the environment and produce immunotoxic effects in a wide range of marine vertebrate species. This is of particular concern, as the modulation of the immune system may enhance the susceptibility to a variety of pathogens. Blood samples were collected from 19 immature, captive-reared loggerhead sea turtles...
August 25, 2017: Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health. Part A
David Acuña-Marrero, Adam N H Smith, Neil Hammerschlag, Alex Hearn, Marti J Anderson, Hannah Calich, Matthew D M Pawley, Chris Fischer, Pelayo Salinas-de-León
The potential effectiveness of marine protected areas (MPAs) as a conservation tool for large sharks has been questioned due to the limited spatial extent of most MPAs in contrast to the complex life history and high mobility of many sharks. Here we evaluated the movement dynamics of a highly migratory apex predatory shark (tiger shark Galeocerdo cuvier) at the Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR). Using data from satellite tracking passive acoustic telemetry, and stereo baited remote underwater video, we estimated residency, activity spaces, site fidelity, distributional abundances and migration patterns from the GMR and in relation to nesting beaches of green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), a seasonally abundant and predictable prey source for large tiger sharks...
2017: PloS One
Brian A Stacy, Phoebe A Chapman, Allen M Foley, Ellis C Greiner, Lawrence H Herbst, Alan B Bolten, Paul A Klein, Charles A Manire, Elliott R Jacobson
Neospirorchis (Digenea: "Spirorchiidae") are blood flukes of sea turtles. Trematodes tentatively identified as Neospirorchis sp. infect various sites within sea turtles inhabiting waters of the southeastern United States, but efforts to obtain specimens adequate for morphologic study has proven difficult. Two genetic targets, the internal transcribed spacer region of the ribosomal RNA gene and the partial mitochrondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene, were used to investigate potential diversity among parasite specimens collected from stranded sea turtles...
August 17, 2017: Journal of Parasitology
A Nuno, J M Blumenthal, T J Austin, J Bothwell, G Ebanks-Petrie, B J Godley, A C Broderick
Unsustainable wildlife trade affects biodiversity and the livelihoods of communities dependent upon those resources. Wildlife farming has often been proposed to promote sustainable trade but characterizing markets and understanding consumer behaviour remain neglected, but essential, steps with important implications for its design and evaluation. We used sea turtle trade in the Cayman Islands as a case study - where turtle meat for consumption has been produced for almost 50 years, to explore consumer preferences towards wild-sourced (illegal) and farmed (legal) products and potential conservation implications...
August 16, 2017: Conservation Biology: the Journal of the Society for Conservation Biology
Katharine E Clukey, Christopher A Lepczyk, George H Balazs, Thierry M Work, Qing X Li, Melannie J Bachman, Jennifer M Lynch
In addition to eating contaminated prey, sea turtles may be exposed to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) from ingesting plastic debris that has absorbed these chemicals. Given the limited knowledge about POPs in pelagic sea turtles and how plastic ingestion influences POP exposure, our objectives were to: 1) provide baseline contaminant levels of three species of pelagic Pacific sea turtles; and 2) assess trends of contaminant levels in relation to species, sex, length, body condition and capture location...
August 11, 2017: Science of the Total Environment
Claire Goiran, Paco Bustamante, Richard Shine
Although classically associated with urban environments in invertebrates, melanism in terrestrial snakes is more often linked to occupancy of cool climates [1-3]. Thermal advantages to melanism do not apply in aquatic snakes [4], but although turtle-headed seasnakes (Emydocephalus annulatus) are banded or blotched across a wide geographic range [5], most individuals are melanic in polluted inshore bays of the Pacific island of New Caledonia [4]. Why has melanism evolved in these urban sites? Because trace elements bind to melanin, darker feathers enhance a bird's ability to shed pollutants [6]...
August 21, 2017: Current Biology: CB
Mustafa Yipel, İbrahim Ozan Tekeli, Cafer Tayer İşler, Muhammed Enes Altuğ
The aim of the present study was to determine the concentrations of the most investigated environmentally relevant heavy metals in two highly endangered sea turtle species (Caretta caretta and Chelonia mydas) from the important nesting area on the Northeast Mediterranean Sea. The highest mean concentration was of Fe, while Hg and Pb were lowest. All tissue concentrations of Al, As, Fe and Mn were significantly different between the species. In particular, As, Cd, Cu, Mn, Ni, Se, Zn concentrations were lower in Caretta caretta and Cd, Hg, Mn, Zn concentrations were lower in Chelonia mydas than those reported in other parts of the world...
August 9, 2017: Marine Pollution Bulletin
Shohei Kobayashi, Yukari Morimoto, Satomi Kondo, Takayuki Sato, Hiroyuki Suganuma, Katsuhiko Arai, Gen Watanabe
Although scute pattern abnormalities in sea turtle species are considered to be strongly correlated with survival rate, there is little information available regarding these abnormalities and the primary cause for their development is unclear. For the conservation of sea turtle species, accumulating basic knowledge of scute pattern abnormalities is a fundamental step towards a better understanding of the causes of these abnormalities. In the present study, we counted vertebral and costal scutes from adults hunted for food (male and female) (n = 899), nesting females (n = 155), and hatchlings (n = 44,537) of the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) from the Ogasawara Archipelago, Japan...
August 2017: Zoological Science
Linda R Harris, Ronel Nel, Herman Oosthuizen, Mike Meyer, Deon Kotze, Darrell Anders, Steven McCue, Santosh Bachoo
Harnessing the economic potential of the oceans is key to combating poverty, enhancing food security, and strengthening economies. But the concomitant risk of intensified resource extraction to migratory species is worrying given that these species contribute to important ecological processes, often underpin alternatively livelihoods, and many are already threatened. We thus sought to quantify the potential conflict between key economic activities (five fisheries and hydrocarbon exploitation) and sea turtle migration corridors in a region with rapid economic development: Southern and East Africa...
August 2, 2017: Conservation Biology: the Journal of the Society for Conservation Biology
Alexandra Lolavar, Jeanette Wyneken
Many reptiles have temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD). Sex determination in marine turtles is described by a cool-male, warm-female pattern. Nest sand temperature strongly influences sea turtle embryo development and sex differentiation. Yet, variation in hatchling sex ratios is explained only partially by nest temperature and can be predicted only at the warmest and coolest temperatures. Hence, other factors during development influence sex determination. Rainfall is a common environmental variable that may impact development and sex determination...
June 17, 2017: Zoology: Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Maria Wilson, Anton D Tucker, Kristian Beedholm, David A Mann
To improve conservation strategies for threatened sea turtles more knowledge on their ecology, behavior, and how they cope with severe and changing weather conditions is needed. Satellite and animal motion datalogging tags were used to study the inter-nesting behavior of two female loggerhead turtles in the Gulf of Mexico, which regularly has hurricanes and tropical storms during nesting season. We contrast the behavioral patterns and swimming energetics of two turtles, the first tracked in calm weather and a second tracked before, during, and after a tropical storm...
July 28, 2017: Journal of Experimental Biology
Philippe Gaspar, Maxime Lalire
Oceanic currents are known to broadly shape the dispersal of juvenile sea turtles during their pelagic stage. Accordingly, simple passive drift models are widely used to investigate the distribution at sea of various juvenile sea turtle populations. However, evidence is growing that juveniles do not drift purely passively but also display some swimming activity likely directed towards favorable habitats. We therefore present here a novel Sea Turtle Active Movement Model (STAMM) in which juvenile sea turtles actively disperse under the combined effects of oceanic currents and habitat-driven movements...
2017: PloS One
Rachel Bittencourt Ribeiro, Hassan Jerdy, Raphael Mansur Medina, Mariah Bianchi, Max Werneck, Eulógio Carvalho
Spirorchiids (family Spirorchiidae Stunkard 1921) are a group of flukes that inhabit the circulatory system of turtles. Infection by members of the family Spirorchiidae involves egg deposition in the host blood stream, accumulation in tissues, which cause inflammatory reactions and embolisms, leading or contributing to the death of the host. Reports of Spirorchiids eggs lesions on loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta Linnaeus, 1758) were observed only in the USA hosts. In the present report a female loggerhead sea turtle was found dead on the beach in north State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil...
July 24, 2017: Journal of Parasitology
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