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Body condition and physiological changes in male green turtles during breeding

journal contribution
posted on 2004-08-02, 00:00 authored by Tim Jessop, M Hamann, C J Limpus
Investigations were made into the body condition, energy metabolite and endocrinal changes of male green turtles Chelonia mydas prior to and during their vernal breeding period in the southern Great Barrier Reef. Prior to migration, breeding males exhibited a higher body condition index than non-breeding males. However, during the migratory reproductive period, breeding males lost significant body condition. Concurrent with these physical changes, breeding males showed a reduction in plasma triglycerides and an increased level of total protein towards the mid- to late breeding period. The plasma steroids corticosterone and testosterone increased and decreased, respectively, during the migratory/breeding phase. The pattern of change in body condition and physiology allude to a high-activity fasting period during the migratory/breeding phase of the male green turtle's life history. These marked physiological events during breeding suggest a proximate basis for terminating seasonal reproductive events, and a potential basis for phenotypic variation in male reproductive tactics.

History

Journal

Marine ecology progress series

Volume

276

Pagination

281 - 288

Publisher

[Inter Research]

Location

Oldendorf/Luhe, Germany

ISSN

0171-8630

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2004, Inter-Research