Keywords

Green turtle, Sea turtles

Abstract

The seasonal and diel movements of fourteen immature green turtles (Chelonia mydas) in Mosquito, Lagoon, Florida were monitored using sonic telemetry. The feeding ecology of this turtle population was also studied using dissection and stomach flushing techniques. An attempt was made to relate the movement patterns of the turtles to their feeding habits. The immature green turtles were found to make seemingly random, long distance movements (X̄km moved/day=7.79) and to remain in deeper waters (X̄depth=1.63m), apparently not feeding, when water temperatures fell below 19°C. When average water temperatures ranged between 19-25°C, the turtles were found primarily in shallow waters (X̄depth=1.1m) and demonstrated a decrease in agility (X̄km moved/day=3.14). At water temperatures above 25°C, the animals became even less agile (2.58 km moved per day) and adopted a home range area that included a "center of activity" and a "home site." A "shuttling" behavior was observed when water temperatures averaged 31°C and higher. In the early mornings, turtles were found feeding on the grass flats. When shallow water temperatures rose above 30°C at midday, the turtles would relocate to deeper water. In late afternoon, they would return to the grass flats for a short period of time. Sea grasses made up 88% of the lagoonal turtle diet, with manatee grass (Syringodium filirorme) alone constituting 77%. No significant difference was found in per cent composition of stomach contents obtained in January via dissection and August via pumping.

Notes

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Graduation Date

Fall 1981

Advisor

Ehrhart, Llewellyn M.

Degree

Master of Science (M.S.)

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Program

Biological Sciences

Format

PDF

Pages

79 p.

Language

English

Rights

Public Domain

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

Identifier

DP0013445

Included in

Biology Commons

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