The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

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pdf 04. Sleep like behaviour in the Galapagos tortoise (Geochelone elephantopus)

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Open Access

pp.51-53

Authors: Floyd E. Hayes, William K. Hayes, Kent R. Beaman, And Lester E. Harris, Jr

Abstract: Sleep-like behaviour of Galapagos tortoises (Geochelone elephantopus) was studied at Volcan Alcedo, Isabela Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. At midday, most tortoises found asleep were in the open with head and limbs extended; during cooler evening hours, sleeping tortoises usually occupied forms with head and limbs withdrawn. Variability in sleep-like postures during different periods of inactivity probably reflects alternative thermoregulatory strategies. Forms occupied by inactive tortoises (n = 53) comprised vegetation (5 1%), soil (30%) and other tortoises (19%). The absence of native predators on Galapagos implies a thermoregulatory rather than antipredator function for form use.

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