Growth of wild juvenile Caribbean green turtles, Chelonia mydas
Journal of Herpetology
Investigators have reported growth rates for wild juvenile green turtles, Chelonia mydas, from a variety of locations, including the Gulf of California (Mar- quez and Doi, 1973), Australia (Limpus and Walter, 1980), the Indian Ocean (LeToquin et al., 1980), the Hawaiian archipelago (Balazs, 1982), eastern Florida (Mendon:a, 1981; Frazer and Ehrhart, 1985), Bermuda (Burnett-Herkes et al., 1984) and the Bahamas (Bjorn- dal and Bolten, 1988). Thus, it is now possible to com- pare growth rates of juvenile green turtles from these locations. For example, previous investigations in- dicate that growth rates are much faster in Atlantic and Caribbean waters than in the Pacific (Bjorndal and Bolten, 1988). Frazer and Ladner (1986) provided a growth curve based on data gathered by Schmidt (1916) on Chelonia in waters near the U.S. Virgin Is- lands (then the Danish West Indies) early in this cen- tury. They suggested that such data might allow the first assessment of any long-term changes in growth rate if compared to growth data gathered in the same waters in more recent years. The present study was undertaken to estimate a growth curve for juvenile green turtles in waters surrounding St. Thomas and St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. We compared our ob- servations on growth rates with Schmidt's (1916) for green turtles of similar size in the same waters 65 years earlier.
Boulon, R. H. and N. B. Frazer. 1990. Growth of wild juvenile Caribbean green turtles, Chelonia mydas. Journal of Herpetology 24:441-445.