Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Sun compass orientation in juvenile green sea turtles
by Mott, Cody Robert, M.S., Florida Atlantic University, 2010, 37; 1486224
Abstract (Summary)

Recent studies show that sea turtles use both magnetic and visual cues to successfully orient. Juvenile green sea turtles from the near shore reefs of Palm Beach County, Florida were brought to the lab to determine whether the sun could serve as a visual orientation cue. When tethered during the day in a large outdoor tank west of the ocean, the turtles oriented east to northeast. To determine whether the sun's position was used to maintain their heading, I altered the turtles' perception of time by entraining them to a light cycle advanced by 7 h relative to the natural cycle. When tested afterward in the same outdoor tank the turtles oriented northwest, the predicted direction after compensating for the sun's movement over 7 h across the sky. Orientation was unchanged when the turtles bore magnets that negated the use of magnetic cues. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that the turtles used the sun for orientation.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Salmon, Michael
School: Florida Atlantic University
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: MAI 49/01M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Wildlife Conservation, Biology, Behavioral Sciences
Publication Number: 1486224
ISBN: 978-1-124-23773-2
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