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Do leatherback turtles Dermochelys coriacea forage during the breeding season? A combination of data-logging devices provide new insights

Myers, Andrew E. and Hays, Graeme C. 2006, Do leatherback turtles Dermochelys coriacea forage during the breeding season? A combination of data-logging devices provide new insights, Marine ecology progress series, vol. 322, pp. 259-267, doi: 10.3354/meps322259.

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Title Do leatherback turtles Dermochelys coriacea forage during the breeding season? A combination of data-logging devices provide new insights
Author(s) Myers, Andrew E.
Hays, Graeme C.ORCID iD for Hays, Graeme C. orcid.org/0000-0002-3314-8189
Journal name Marine ecology progress series
Volume number 322
Start page 259
End page 267
Total pages 9
Publisher Inter-Research
Place of publication Oldendorf, Germany
Publication date 2006
ISSN 0171-8630
1616-1599
Keyword(s) Leatherback
turtle
diving
foraging
seal
penguin
data logger
Summary Animals which undertake migrations from foraging grounds to suitable breeding areas must adopt strategies in these new conditions in order to minimise the rate at which body condition deteriorates (which will occur due to oogenesis or provisioning for young). For some animals this involves continuing foraging, whereas for others the optimal strategy is to fast during the breeding season. The leatherback turtle undertakes long-distance migrations from temperate zones to tropical breeding areas, and in some of these areas it has been shown to exhibit diving behaviour indicative of foraging. We used conventional time–depth recorders and a single novel mouth-opening sensor to investigate the foraging behaviour of leatherback turtles in the southern Caribbean. Diving behaviour suggested attempted foraging on vertically migrating prey with significantly more diving to a more consistent depth occurring during the night. No obvious prey manipulation was detected by the mouth sensor, but rhythmic mouth opening did occur during specific phases of dives, suggesting that the turtle was relying on gustatory cues to sense its immediate environment. Patterns of diving in conjunction with these mouth-opening activities imply that leatherbacks are attempting to forage during the breeding season and that gustatory cues are important to leatherbacks.
Language eng
DOI 10.3354/meps322259
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 ©2006, Inter-Research
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30058372

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.