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 03. Individual growth and allometry of young Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas L )

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pp.19-25

Authors: John Da Yenport And Colin R. Scott

Abstract: Twelve young green turtles (Chelonia mydas L. ) varied considerably in growth rate when fed satiation rations (mean specific growth rate ranged from 0.01045-0.0l462), but individual animals had constant specific growth rates. The following mean morphometric relationships were found: log y = -3.42 + 2.94 log x (where y = live weight (g) and x = carapace length mm)); log y = 0.069 + 0.93 log x (where y = carapace width (mm) and x = carapace length (mm)); log y = -0. 1 15 + 1 .01 log x (where y = plastron length (mm) and x = carapace length (mm)); log y = -0.417 + 2.04 log x (where y = plastron area (mm2) and x = plastron length (mm)). Growth was isometric throughout the period of study. There was no significant relationship between the allometric coefficients of the individual turtles and their specific growth rates or between carapace length/width ratios and specific growth rates. No turtle shape, or pattern of shape/weight change is associated with high or low rates of specific growth. The plastral scute patterns of green turtles are stable over time and are individually identifiable. Carapace scutes grow asymmetrically, with little posterior or medial growth, most scutal growth taking place anteriorly and laterally. Photocopying of the plastron and scute patterns as a growth/ identity technique was shown to be effective and inexpensive.

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