Faculty Publications

Title

Gregarious behavior of nesting turtles (Carettochelys insculpta) does not reduce nest predation risk

SelectedWorks Author Profiles:

J. Sean Doody

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2003

Date Issued

December 2003

Date Available

December 2003

ISSN

0045-8511

Abstract

Gregarious behavior among oviparous female animals just prior to oviposition can be explained by several mechanisms, including a benefit to offspring survival. By clustering eggs together in one area, females may dilute the probability of egg predation. We tested the hypothesis that nest density influences egg survival in the Pig-Nosed Turtle (Carettochelys insculpta) along a river in northern Australia. Beaches with multiple nests were three times more likely to experience a predation event than beaches with single nests. However, the number of nests on a beach did not influence the probability of predation of individual nests, when considering either beaches with single versus groups of nests, or when comparing beaches with single nests, small groups of nests (n = 2-5), and large groups of nests (n = 6-8). Therefore, gregarious behavior of reproductive females during the nesting period did not dilute predation risk to nests. Four other hypotheses might explain the behavior: (1) nesting areas are limited; (2) nesting in groups dilutes predation risk to nesting females; (3) nesting in groups dilutes predation risk to hatchlings; and (4) social interactions in aggregations of nesting females provide additional information on nesting beaches/sites, reducing some cost associated with independent assessments of nesting beaches/sites.

Comments

Citation only. Full-text article is available through licensed access provided by the publisher. Members of the USF System may access the full-text of the article through the authenticated link provided.

Language

en_US

Publisher

AMER SOC ICHTHYOLOGISTS & HERPETOLOGISTS

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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