Skip all navigation and jump to content Jump to site navigation
About MODIS News Data Tools /images2 Science Team Science Team Science Team

   + Home
MODIS Publications Link
MODIS Presentations Link
MODIS Biographies Link
MODIS Science Team Meetings Link



James, MC, Davenport, J, Hays, GC (2006). Expanded thermal niche for a diving vertebrate: A leatherback turtle diving into near-freezing water. JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL MARINE BIOLOGY AND ECOLOGY, 335(2), 221-226.

The global distribution of extant reptiles is more limited than that of mammals or birds, with low reptilian species diversity at high latitudes. Central to this limited geographical distribution is the ectothermic nature of reptiles, which means that they generally become torpid at cold temperatures. However, here we report the first detailed telemetry from a leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) diving in cold water at high latitude. An individual equipped with a satellite tag that relayed temperature-depth profiles dived continuously for many weeks into sub-surface waters as cold as 0.4 degrees C. Global warming will likely increase the foraging range of leatherback turtles further into temperate and boreal waters. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.



NASA Home Page Goddard Space Flight Center Home Page