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The diving behaviour of green turtles undertaking oceanic migration to and from Ascension Island: dive durations, dive profiles and depth distribution

Hays, G.C., Akesson, S., Broderick, A.C., Glen, F., Godley, B.J., Luschi, P., Martin, C., Metcalfe, J.D. and Papi, F. 2001, The diving behaviour of green turtles undertaking oceanic migration to and from Ascension Island: dive durations, dive profiles and depth distribution, Journal of experimental biology, vol. 204, no. 23, pp. 4093-4098.

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Title The diving behaviour of green turtles undertaking oceanic migration to and from Ascension Island: dive durations, dive profiles and depth distribution
Author(s) Hays, G.C.ORCID iD for Hays, G.C. orcid.org/0000-0002-3314-8189
Akesson, S.
Broderick, A.C.
Glen, F.
Godley, B.J.
Luschi, P.
Martin, C.
Metcalfe, J.D.
Papi, F.
Journal name Journal of experimental biology
Volume number 204
Issue number 23
Start page 4093
End page 4098
Total pages 6
Publisher Company of Biologists
Place of publication Cambridge, England
Publication date 2001-12
ISSN 0022-0949
1477-9145
Keyword(s) satellite telemetry
turtle
Chelonia mydas
diving
migration
Summary Satellite telemetry was used to record the submergence duration of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) as they migrated from Ascension Island to Brazil (N=12 individuals) while time/depth recorders (TDRs) were used to examine the depth distribution and dive profiles of individuals returning to Ascension Island to nest after experimental displacement (N=5 individuals). Satellite telemetry revealed that most submergences were short (<5 min) but that some submergences were longer (>20 min), particularly at night. TDRs revealed that much of the time was spent conducting short (2–4 min), shallow (approximately 0.9–1.5 m) dives, consistent with predictions for optimisation of near-surface travelling, while long (typically 20–30 min), deep (typically 10–20 m) dives had a distinctive profile found in other marine reptiles. These results suggest that green turtles crossing the Atlantic do not behave invariantly, but instead alternate between periods of travelling just beneath the surface and diving deeper. These deep dives may have evolved to reduce silhouetting against the surface, which would make turtles more susceptible to visual predators such as large sharks.
Language eng
Field of Research 069999 Biological Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2001, Company of Biologists
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30058249

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