Regional endothermy in the sea turtle, Chelonia mydas
Edward A. Standora*
James R. Spotila and Robert E. Foley
of Georgia, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Aiken, SC 29801, U.S.A.
2. A turtle swimming vigorously had a body temperature (pectoral region) of 37.1°C in water at 29.1°C. Inactive adults are 1–2°C above water temperatures.
3. Temperatures telemetered from other parts of the body of swimming turtles and temperatures of resting individuals suggest that only the active tissues, and not the entire body, are at an elevated temperature.
4. Heat is retained in the active tissues due to large body size and insulatory properties of the shell.
5. Warm pectoral muscles (7°C above water temprature) probably increase this turtle's swimming ability and may facilitate its long-distance migrations.
Author Keywords: Chelonia mydas; thermoregulation; biotelemetry; regional endothermy; sea turtles
* Present address: Department of Biology, State University College at Buffalo, 1300 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14222, U.S.A.
SREL Reprint #0805
Standora, E.A., J.R. Spotila, and R.E. Foley. 1982. Regional endothermy in the sea turtle, Chelonia mydas. Journal of Thermal Biology 7:159-165.