• 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.
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Tortuga Gazette 53(2) | March/April 2017

Pleurodire and Cryptodire Differences Linked to Prey Capture
Turtles are classed as either side-necked or hidden-necked. New fossil indicates that the way turtles withdraw their head and necks is linked to how they capture prey.

Fossil of Extinct Bahaman Tortoise Yields DNA
A specimen of an extinct tortoise species that fell into a water-filled sinkhole in the Bahamas about 1,000 years ago has been recovered with some of its DNA intact.

The Big Turtle Year
New initiative of the Florida Turtle Conservation Trust seeks to raise awareness of the rich diversity, ecology, and conservation needs of turtle species occurring in the United States.

Lonesome George Goes Home
The preserved remains of Lonesome George have been returned to the Galapagos.

Tortoises Have Long Memories
Most tortoise owners already knew this, but now scientists have learned that red-footed tortoises trained to recognize specific visual cues still remember the cues when retested 18 months later.

Red Cliffs Plan Excludes New Freeway
Not sure how long this good news will last but the Bureau of Land Management’s latest plan for Red Cliffs Conservation Area excludes a right-of-way for a new freeway through the desert tortoise preserve.

Marines Plan to Displace More Desert Tortoises
Despite the ongoing population declines, yet again the agencies are allowing largescale translocation of West Mojave desert tortoises.

Green Sea Turtle Counts Overestimated?
New research indicates that green sea turtles may re-nest many more times than originally thought. Population estimates of the threatened species based on counting females on nesting beaches may have overestimated numbers by twofold.

Marine Turtle Newsletter
The latest issue of the Marine Turtle Newsletter (January 2017) is now available.

Kemp's Ridley Science
The journal Gulf of Mexico Science has a special issue on the Kemp's Ridley sea turtle available for free download.

2014 Sea Turtle Symposium Proceedings
The Proceedings of the Thirty-Fourth Annual Symposium On Sea Turtle Biology And Conservation held in New Orleans, 2014 are available for free download.

Climate Change Effects on Sea Turtles
A couple of interesting studies illustrate the need to look at the whole scenario when making predictions about turtle and tortoises.
The good news is that study of seven sea turtle species shows that while increased temperatures may increase the proportion of female hatchlings the better survival of newly hatched males and more frequent mating by adult males mean that population size will not be compromised.
The bad news is that increased sand temperatures are detrimental to all hatchlings...

Sea Turtle Hatchlings Dying in Extreme Heat On a related note, turtle hatchlings were found dying in extreme heat on Queensland's famous Mon Repos beach where a heatwave pushed the sand’s temperature to a record 75 degrees Celsius (167 degrees Farenheit).

Science of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Endangered Species Research has a special issue on the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on protected marine species including sea turtles. This is open access so downloads are free.

Box Turtle Life
On the lighter side, Fred Seitz interviews a box turtle he met while walking in a Maryland Park.