Although the orientation cues used by hatchling sea turtles have been studied extensively, little is known about the mechanisms of orientation and navigation that guide older turtles. To investigate the orientation cues used by juvenile loggerheads Caretta caretta L., captured turtles were tethered in a water-filled arena located outdoors. Turtles tested under these conditions established and maintained headings in specific directions in the absence of wave cues, familiar landmarks and chemical gradients. Distorting the magnetic field around the anterior part of a turtle's body did not disrupt orientation if vision remained unimpaired. Similarly, eliminating visual cues by attaching frosted goggles did not disrupt orientation if the magnetic environment was undisturbed. However, when turtles experienced a simultaneous disruption of magnetic and visual cues, their orientation was altered. These results imply that sea turtles, like migratory birds and homing pigeons, are able to maintain headings using multiple sources of directional information.
Use of Multiple Orientation Cues by Juvenile Loggerhead Sea Turtles, Caretta caretta
Title: Use of Multiple Orientation Cues by Juvenile Loggerhead Sea Turtles, Caretta caretta
August 11, 2003
Journal: Journal of Experimental Biology
Publisher: The Company of Biologists
Avens, L.; Lohmann, K. (2003). Use of Multiple Orientation Cues by Juvenile Loggerhead Sea Turtles, Caretta caretta. Journal of Experimental Biology, 206(23), 4317-4325.