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Basking Behavior of the Hawaiian Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas)

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Title: Basking Behavior of the Hawaiian Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas)
Authors: Whittow, G.C.
Balazs, G.H.
Issue Date: Apr 1982
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Citation: Whittow GC, Balazs GH. 1982. Basking behavior of the Hawaiian green turtle (Chelonia mydas). Pac Sci 36(2): 129-139.
Abstract: Observations were made on green turtles basking on the white
sand beaches at French Frigate Shoals in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
The highest rectal temperature recorded from the basking turtles was 31.3°C, but
the surface temperature of the carapace attained values as great as 42.8°C.
During basking, the turtles flipped sand onto their carapaces, but they did not
appear to orientate their position in relation to the sun. The duration of basking
was inversely related to the mean temperature of a black globe, and the basking
beaches were relatively cool. The pattern of breathing during basking consisted
of periods of breath-holding alternating with single breaths. The amount of time
that the turtles basked varied from 0.3 to 7.5 percent of the total time they were
under observation. The biological significance of basking and the advantages
that might accrue to Hawaiian green turtles from their unique basking behavior
are discussed.
ISSN: 0030-8870
Appears in Collections:Pacific Science Volume 36, Number 2, 1982

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