Understanding growth patterns is critical for determining age and size at sexual maturity and longevity in species that are severely threatened by over-collection and habitat loss, particularly in poorly understood species in tropical East Asia. Using data collected during a 9-year mark–recapture study, we fit the von Bertalanffy and logistic growth models to examine growth patterns of the endangered Big-headed Turtle (Platysternon megacephalum). Growth rate of P. megacephalum was best described by the von Bertalanffy model. Mean age at maturation for female and male P. megacephalum was 8 and 13 years. At maturity for female and male P. megacephalum, mean carapace length was 100 mm and 130 mm, respectively. We determined that counting growth rings on the carapace and plastron was not a reliable method for estimating ages. The long time to maturation in P. megacephalum may be costly in harvested populations, with individuals potentially being removed from populations prior to first reproduction. The growth patterns we have documented, and associated information on body size and age at sexual maturity, yield metrics that may be used to assess the effects of harvesting in populations and may contribute to conservation efforts for this endangered species.
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. 49 • No. 1