Age and body size of captive hawksbill turtles at the onset of follicular development

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
2015
Authors:
Isao Kawazu, Masakatsu Kino, Konomi Maeda, Hideshi Teruya
Publication/Journal:
Zoo Biology
Keywords:
, ,
ISBN:
1098-2361
Abstract:

The aim of this study was to record the age and body size of 23 captive female hawksbill turtles at the onset of follicular development. The age, straight carapace length (SCL), and body mass (BM) of the turtles were recorded between 2006 and 2014 at follicular development (determined via ultrasonography) these parameters were 17.7 ± 1.7 years (range: 13–20 years), 77.7 ± 3.3 cm (73.3–83.5 cm), and 61.1 ± 8.0 kg (48.2–76.1 kg), respectively. When the year of the onset of follicular development was designated year 0, the increase in SCL in years -7–0 and 0–3 averaged 2.2 cm and 1.0 cm, respectively. Correspondingly, the increase in BM in years -7–0 and 0–3 averaged 5.0 kg and 2.2 kg, respectively. This is the first study to report the age and body size of captive female hawksbill turtles at the onset of follicular development, which indicates the beginning of sexual maturation. The reduction in growth after follicular development suggests that at the onset of sexual maturation, female hawksbills may utilize energy for follicular development rather than growth. Zoo Biol. 34:178–182, 2015. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals Inc.

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