Hatchling marine turtles emerge at night from underground nests, enter the ocean, and swim offshore. Here, we measured the intensity (hours swimming) and the temporal patterning (diurnal vs. nocturnal expression) of activity shown by Malaysian (Sulu Sea) hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) and green turtle (Chelonia mydas) hatchlings tethered inside pools for six days, postemergence. The results were compared to the activity shown during the same period of development by sea turtles in Florida. The two species from Malaysia showed significant differences in activity both from one another and from the Florida (leatherback, Dermochelys coriacea; loggerhead, Caretta caretta; and green turtle) species. Hawksbills were less active than the hatchlings from Florida, swimming on average < 6 h/d. Hawksbills did not show a frenzy period of hyperactive swimming, typical of the first day of offshore migration by the hatchlings from Florida. Green turtles swam on average about 17 h each day during a two-day frenzy period that was one day longer than the frenzy period shown by green turtles from Florida; thereafter, activity showed a significant decline. These results suggest the two species use different strategies to avoid predators near shore. Hawksbills may hide in flotsam or remain inactive to minimize detection; whereas, green turtles may reduce their exposure time by rapid locomotion through shallow water. We conclude that the frenzy period shown by hatchlings during offshore migration is a variable trait both among marine turtle species and between green turtle populations nesting on Western Atlantic and Sulu Sea beaches.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 8 • No. 1