Growth and age at maturity of loggerhead sea turtles: review and prospectus
Marine Turtle Newsletter
Students of the life history of any species soon become interested in determining the mean age at maturity because demographic models are especially sensitive to fluctuations in this parameter (Lewontin, 1965). Obtaining such data for marine turtles is difficult. Although little is known about juveniles in the wild, survivorship of young sea turtles is probably low (Birth and Schaffer, 1974; Frazer, 1982). Bustard (1979) suggested that one million or more hatchlings must be marked to ensure an adequate sample returning at maturity. To date, no one has followed marked hatchlings long enough to determine maturation time in nature. Although recent developments with internal tags are promising (Schwartz, 1981), at present we must rely on other means of estimating age at maturity.
Frazer, N. B. 1982. Growth and age at maturity of loggerhead sea turtles: review and prospectus. Marine Turtle Newsletter 22:5-8.