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Change in body mass associated with long-term fasting in a marine reptile : the case of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) at Ascension Island

Hays, Graeme C., Broderick, Annette C., Glen, Fiona and Godley, Brendon J. 2002, Change in body mass associated with long-term fasting in a marine reptile : the case of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) at Ascension Island, Canadian journal of zoology, vol. 80, no. 7, pp. 1299-1302, doi: 10.1139/z02-110.

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Title Change in body mass associated with long-term fasting in a marine reptile : the case of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) at Ascension Island
Author(s) Hays, Graeme C.ORCID iD for Hays, Graeme C. orcid.org/0000-0002-3314-8189
Broderick, Annette C.
Glen, Fiona
Godley, Brendon J.
Journal name Canadian journal of zoology
Volume number 80
Issue number 7
Start page 1299
End page 1302
Total pages 4
Publisher NRC Research Press
Place of publication Ottawa, Ont.
Publication date 2002-07
ISSN 0008-4301
1480-3283
Summary Female green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) nesting at Ascension Island (7°57'S, 14°22'W) in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean had a mean body mass (post oviposition) of 166.3 kg (range 107.5–243.5 kg, n = 119). Individuals lost mass slowly during the nesting season (mean mass loss 0.22 kg·d–1, n = 14 individuals weighed more than once). Gut-content analysis and behavioural observations indicated a lack of feeding. Females of equivalent-sized pinniped species that also do not feed while reproducing (nursing pups) on islands lose mass about 17 times faster. This comparatively low rate of mass loss by green turtles probably reflects their ectothermic nature and, consequently, their low metabolic rate. We estimate that a female turtle would lose only 19% of her body mass during the 143-day, 4400-km round trip from Brazil if she did not eat, laid 3 clutches of eggs, and lost 0.22 kg·d–.
Language eng
DOI 10.1139/z02-110
Field of Research 069999 Biological Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C4.1 Letter or note
Copyright notice ©2002, NRC Research Press
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30058238

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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