Posthatchling green (Chelonia mydas) and loggerhead (Caretta caretta) turtles overlap ecologically but differ morphologically. This study compared hydrodynamic stability between the two species during swimming to test for functional differences in body shape. Flipper movement paths, four stability measures (yaw, pitch, heave, and sideslip), and the relative positions of the centers of buoyancy and gravity were compared between species. Both centers of buoyancy and gravity lie in the anterior body; their positions relative to one another differed with species, but showed no functional consequences. Neither species demonstrated substantial yaw, sideslip, or pitch. Both experienced upward heave with the flippers' downstroke and downward heave with the upstroke; however phase relationships differed between these limb and body motions.
No differences were found between the two species. Despite obvious morphological differences, loggerheads and green turtles were similarly stable during swimming, suggesting that the species use different mechanisms to achieve stability.
|School:||Florida Atlantic University|
|School Location:||United States -- Florida|
|Source:||MAI 47/05M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Biological oceanography, Organismal biology|
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