sea turtles
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2022 ◽  
Vol 217 ◽  
pp. 106017
Charalampos Dimitriadis ◽  
Antonios D. Mazaris ◽  
Stelios Katsanevakis ◽  
Andreas Iosifakis ◽  
Efthimios Spinos ◽  

Vasiliki Almpanidou ◽  
Vasiliki Tsapalou ◽  
Anastasia Chatzimentor ◽  
Luis Cardona ◽  
Françoise Claro ◽  

2022 ◽  
pp. 118849
Yelim Moon ◽  
Won Joon Shim ◽  
Gi Myung Han ◽  
Jongwook Jeong ◽  
Youna Cho ◽  

2022 ◽  
Vol 292 ◽  
pp. 118274
Andrea Camedda ◽  
Marco Matiddi ◽  
Alvise Vianello ◽  
Stefania Coppa ◽  
Jessica Bianchi ◽  

2021 ◽  
Vol 169 (1) ◽  
Lucía Díaz-Abad ◽  
Natassia Bacco-Mannina ◽  
Fernando Miguel Madeira ◽  
João Neiva ◽  
Tania Aires ◽  

AbstractUnderstanding sea turtle diets can help conservation planning, but their trophic ecology is complex due to life history characteristics such as ontogenetic shifts and large foraging ranges. Studying sea turtle diet is challenging, particularly where ecological foraging observations are not possible. Here, we test a new minimally invasive method for the identification of diet items in sea turtles. We fingerprinted diet content using DNA from esophageal and cloacal swab samples by metabarcoding the 18S rRNA gene. This approach was tested on samples collected from green turtles (Chelonia mydas) from a juvenile foraging aggregation in the Bijagós archipelago in Guinea-Bissau. Esophagus samples (n = 6) exhibited a higher dietary richness (11 ± 5 amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) per sample; average ± SD) than cloacal ones (n = 5; 8 ± 2 ASVs). Overall, the diet was dominated by red macroalgae (Rhodophyta; 48.2 ± 16.3% of all ASVs), with the main food item in the esophagus and cloaca being a red alga belonging to the Rhodymeniophycidae subclass (35.1 ± 27.2%), followed by diatoms (Bacillariophyceae; 7.5 ± 7.3%), which were presumably consumed incidentally. Seagrass and some invertebrates were also present. Feeding on red algae was corroborated by field observations and barcoding of food items available in the benthic habitat, validating the approach for identifying diet content. We conclude that identification of food items using metabarcoding of esophageal swabs is useful for a better understanding of the relationships between the feeding behavior of sea turtles and their environment.

2021 ◽  
Vol 88 (2) ◽  
Stephanie Köhnk ◽  
Claire Petros ◽  
Claire Lomas ◽  
Enas Mohamed Riyad ◽  
Ibrahim Shameel ◽  

2021 ◽  
Vol 9 ◽  
Liberty L. Boyd ◽  
John D. Zardus ◽  
Courtney M. Knauer ◽  
Lawrence D. Wood

Epibionts are organisms that utilize the exterior of other organisms as a living substratum. Many affiliate opportunistically with hosts of different species, but others specialize on particular hosts as obligate associates. We investigated a case of apparent host specificity between two barnacles that are epizoites of sea turtles and illuminate some ecological considerations that may shape their host relationships. The barnacles Chelonibia testudinaria and Chelonibia caretta, though roughly similar in appearance, are separable by distinctions in morphology, genotype, and lifestyle. However, though each is known to colonize both green (Chelonia mydas) and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) sea turtles, C. testudinaria is >5 times more common on greens, while C. caretta is >300 times more common on hawksbills. Two competing explanations for this asymmetry in barnacle incidence are either that the species’ larvae are spatially segregated in mutually exclusive host-encounter zones or their distributions overlap and the larvae behaviorally select their hosts from a common pool. We indirectly tested the latter by documenting the occurrence of adults of both barnacle species in two locations (SE Florida and Nose Be, Madagascar) where both turtle species co-mingle. For green and hawksbill turtles in both locations (Florida: n = 32 and n = 275, respectively; Madagascar: n = 32 and n = 125, respectively), we found that C. testudinaria occurred on green turtles only (percent occurrence – FL: 38.1%; MD: 6.3%), whereas the barnacle C. caretta was exclusively found on hawksbill turtles (FL: 82.2%; MD: 27.5%). These results support the hypothesis that the larvae of these barnacles differentially select host species from a shared supply. Physio-biochemical differences in host shell material, conspecific chemical cues, external microbial biofilms, and other surface signals may be salient factors in larval selectivity. Alternatively, barnacle presence may vary by host micro-environment. Dissimilarities in scute structure and shell growth between hawksbill and green turtles may promote critical differences in attachment modes observed between these barnacles. In understanding the co-evolution of barnacles and hosts it is key to consider the ecologies of both hosts and epibionts in interpreting associations of chance, choice, and dependence. Further studies are necessary to investigate the population status and settlement spectrum of barnacles inhabiting sea turtles.

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