Hartog, J.C. den
|Authors||M.M. van Nierop, J.C. den Hartog|
|Title||A study on the Gut contents of live Juvenile Loggerhead Turtles, Caretta Caretta (Linnaeus) (Reptilia, Cheloniidae), from the South-Eastern part of the North Atlantic Ocean, with emphasis on Coelenterate Identification|
|Keywords||Cheloniidae; Caretta caretta; food; nematocysts; Siphonophora; Hydromedusae; Scyphozoa; Crustacea; Mollusca; Tunicata; south-eastern North Atlantic|
|Abstract||The gut contents of five juvenile individuals of the loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta (L.) from waters around Madeira, Selvagem Grande (Selvagens Islands) and São Miguel (Azores) were analysed macro- and microscopically.|
Macroscopic investigations showed that epipelagic salps (e.g., Pyrosoma atlanticum Péron) and gastropods (e.g., Ianthina spp. and Pterotrachea spp.) constituted an important part of the food remains present in these loggerheads. To a lesser extent this also holds for organisms such as goose-barnacles (Lepas spp.). and Idotea metallica Bosc, which live on drifting materials, including algae.
Microscopic examination revealed the presence in all turtles of large numbers of nematocysts, deriving mainly from Siphonophora and to a lesser extent from Scyphomedusae and Hydromedusae, indicating that pelagic coelenterates also formed an important, if not the most important part of the food consumed.
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