Time-restricted orientation of green turtles

Shimada, Takahiro, Jones, Rhondda, Limpus, Colin, and Hamann, Mark (2016) Time-restricted orientation of green turtles. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 484. pp. 31-38.

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Sea turtles have an exceptional ability to travel accurately between known habitats as well as from unknown areas back to familiar habitats. Previous studies indicate that their ability to migrate long distances depends upon geomagnetic cues, but that they may rely on other undetermined cues once they are close to their destination. It has been suggested that they may then use visual cues for orientation during daylight hours, but detailed analysis of their movements when approaching their destination, particularly in relation to time of day, are lacking. This study examined the orientation behaviour of 22 displaced green turtles (Chelonia mydas), tracked en route back to their foraging habitats in eastern Australia. Study turtles tended to alternate stationary and travelling states during their trip home. Orientation corrections predominantly occurred immediately after a stationary state and after sunrise. This is the first study to demonstrate time-restricted orientation by sea turtles and provided a new insight into their sophisticated way-finding abilities.

Item ID: 47899
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0022-0981
Keywords: orientation; sunrise; satellite telemetry; sea turtle; behavior; Chelonia mydas
Funders: National Environmental Research Program (NERP), Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility (MTSRF), Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC), Queensland Environmental Heritage and Protection (QEHP), James Cook University (JCU), Ito Foundation for International Education Exchange
Projects and Grants: NERP Project 1.2, MTSRF Project 1.4.1, GPC CA12000293
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2017 22:34
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310301 Behavioural ecology @ 50%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3109 Zoology > 310901 Animal behaviour @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
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