TITLE

Body temperatures of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) in temperate waters off Nova Scotia, Canada

AUTHOR(S)
James, Michael C.; Mrosovsky, N.
PUB. DATE
August 2004
SOURCE
Canadian Journal of Zoology;Aug2004, Vol. 82 Issue 8, p1302
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The leatherback sea turtle, Dermochelys coriacea (Vandelli, 1761), has the most extensive range of any reptile, migrating from tropical and subtropical nesting areas to distant foraging habitats, including those in temperate and even boreal waters. This implies flexible thermal functioning. It has been inferred that leatherbacks support active foraging by keeping warm in cold water, rather than becoming lethargic as other marine turtles do. However, data consistent with this view have come from captive turtles in unnatural and stressful conditions. In the present case, foraging leatherbacks were captured at sea off Nova Scotia and their body temperature recorded within 10 min, before such large animals could change their body temperatures appreciably. Mean excess temperature over that of the sea surface (15.0–16.7 °C) averaged 8.2 °C. These results attest to, but underestimate, the capacity of free-swimming leatherbacks to keep warm in northern waters, as data from another turtle that was instrumented to record ocean temperature while diving revealed that leatherbacks foraging in this area at the same time of year may spend 40% of their time diving to waters cooler than the surface.
ACCESSION #
15665600

 

Related Articles

Share

Read the Article

Courtesy of THE LIBRARY OF VIRGINIA

Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics