• A varied selection of recent articles, stories and sites on the Web that is compiled by Michael J. Connor, Ph.D.
  • The links are listed as published in the relevant issue of the Tortuga Gazette.
  • Please note that all links were functioning when posted. My apologies if any are no longer available. Disabled links are present for informational purposes.

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Tortuga Gazette 51(1) | January/February 2015

Sea Turtles Suffer From the Bends
Medical research finds that loggerhead sea turtles can suffer from decompression sickness.

Gabon Protects 18,000 Square Miles of Sea Turtle Habitat
In a first for central Africa, Gabon has established a network of ten marine parks covering 18,000 square miles.

Jairo Mora Murder Trial Underway
The trial of seven suspects accused of murdering Costa Rican sea turtle conservationist Jairo Mora finally began on November 3, 2014.

Pig-nosed Turtle Trade
This article on the all-too-sad illegal turtle trade includes a fantastic video on the pig-nosed turtle narrated by the late David Attenborough.

Giant Pandas and Giant Tortoises
Seychelles and Chinese experts are working together to make giant tortoises as emblematic as giant pandas are to conservation and tourism.

Giant Tortoise Reintroduction A Success
Major study shows the effectiveness of the five-decade-long population restoration program for Española giant Galapagos tortoise.

But Will the Charles Darwin Station Survive?
Local government’s closure of gift shop could doom the Charles Darwin Foundation.

New Turtle Phylogeny
In a major study of turtle phylogeny, researchers use new testing techniques to reconcile the information from DNA and fossils.
And the actual paper is at:
A phylogenomic analysis of turtles

How Tortoises' Breathing Evolved
Researchers say the turning point when tortoises lost their flexible ribcage and changed from using an expandable thorax to a muscle sling for breathing is exhibited in a fossil of Eunotosaurus africanus.
And the actual paper in Nature communications is at:
Origin of the unique ventilatory apparatus of turtles

New Giant Tortoise Genus
Titanochelon was 2 meters long and roamed Madrid 2-20 million years ago.

Digging Up Adocus
New Mexico paleontologists excavate a 90 million year old Adocus fossil. With video.

Permit Proposed for US Food Trade Turtles
The US Fish and Wildlife Service will require exporters to get permits before shipping common snapping turtles, Florida softshell turtles, smooth softshell turtles, or spiny softshell turtles.

Tortuga Gazette 51(2) | March/April 2015

Biology of the Reptilia Online
If you want to know your turtle inside out, this is the place to go.

Galapagos Tortoise Hatchlings on Pinzon Island
Biologists found 10 hatchling saddleback tortoises on Pinzon Island.

Box Turtle Account
New monograph on the eastern or common box turtle from the IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group.

Identifying Juvenile Hawksbills
Facial recognition software is being used to identify young hawksbill turtles.

Sea Turtles Use Magnetic Fields to Find Home
Sea turtles use Earth's magnetic field to guide them at sea. A new study shows that loggerhead sea turtles actually use local magnetic signatures along the coast to find their natal beaches.

Jairo Mora Murder Defendants Acquitted
Shockingly, the court acquitted all seven defendants in the murder of Costa Rican turtle conservationist Jairo Mora citing “discarded evidence and an ineffective investigation”.

Desert Tortoise Translocation Facilitates Disease Transmission
Translocated desert tortoises alter disease dynamics through host population social networks.

Protection From Grazing and Vehicles Good For Tortoises
New study confirms that areas which exclude livestock and vehicles such as the DTNA benefit desert tortoise recovery.

CTTC Adoptions

Abigail DeSesa commentary on the overabundance of sliders and sulcata.

• KCET video of CTTC desert tortoise adoptions.

Tortuga Gazette 51(3) | May/June 2015

Esio Trot
Yes, that’s tortoise backwards. But did you know that Dustin Hoffman has a tortoise named Seventy?

Jonathan in Action!
Jonathan may be one of the oldest Aldabra tortoises in captivity but he still knows how to ham it up for the cameras. Click on the link and scroll down the page to find the must-see video.

Green Sea Turtle Conservation
Federal agencies propose re-designating 11 populations of green sea turtle as threatened with continued listing of the Hawaii populations.

The Federal Register proposal provides background information and public comment opportunities.

Los Angeles County Green Sea Turtles
Green sea turtles are now using the mouth of the San Gabriel River year-round!

Olive Ridley in San Simeon Bay
Eastern Pacific olive ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) spotted off San Simeon.

African Sea Turtle Newsletter
The latest and back issues of African Sea Turtle Newsletter are now available from Ocean Ecology Network.

Record Gopher Tortoise
At a hefty 32 pounds, this Sanibel Island gopher could be the largest wild tortoise in the USA.

Bellinger River Turtles Devastated by Disease
Major die-off of Australia’s Bellinger River turtle, Myuchelys georgesi.

Climate-Change Clues From the Turtles of Tropical Wyoming
Long extinct turtles can still teach us a thing or two.

Paleontologist Helps Crack Smuggling Case
Canadian paleontologist helps crack turtle smuggling case from bone analysis.

Inspirational Chelonians
Turtle anatomy inspires new suitcase line!