The navigational feats of green sea turtles migrating from Ascension Island investigated by satellite telemetry

Luschi, P., Hays, G.C., del, Seppia C., Marsh, R. and Papi, F. 1998, The navigational feats of green sea turtles migrating from Ascension Island investigated by satellite telemetry, Proceedings of the Royal Society B : biological sciences, vol. 265, no. 1412, pp. 2279-2284.

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Title The navigational feats of green sea turtles migrating from Ascension Island investigated by satellite telemetry
Author(s) Luschi, P.
Hays, G.C.
del, Seppia C.
Marsh, R.
Papi, F.
Journal name Proceedings of the Royal Society B : biological sciences
Volume number 265
Issue number 1412
Start page 2279
End page 2284
Total pages 6
Publisher Royal Society Publishing
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 1998-12-07
ISSN 0962-8452
Keyword(s) green turtles
migration
orientation
Ascension Island
sea currents
Summary Previous tagging studies of the movements of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) nesting at Ascension Island have shown that they shuttle between this remote target in the Atlantic Ocean and their feeding grounds on the Brazilian coast, a distance of 2300 km or more. Since a knowledge of sea turtle migration routes might allow inferences on the still unknown navigational mechanisms of marine animals, we tracked the postnesting migration of six green turtle females from Ascension Island to Brazil. Five of them reached the proximity of the easternmost stretch of the Brazilian coast, covering 1777 to 2342 km in 33 to 47 days. Their courses were impressively similar for the first 1000 km, with three turtles tracked over different dates following indistinguishable paths for the first 300 km. Only the sixth turtle made some relatively short trips in different directions around Ascension. The tracks show that turtles (i) are able to maintain straight courses over long distances in the open sea; (ii) may perform exploratory movements in different directions; (iii) appropriately correct their course during the journey according to external information; and (iv) initially keep the same direction as the west–south–westerly flowing current, possibly guided by chemical cues.
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 ©1998, Royal Society Publishing
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30058268

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