[Coral-List] Sea Turtle Imprinting on Natal Beach

Booth, Charles E. (Biology) booth at easternct.edu
Sat Jul 26 12:45:22 EDT 2014

   John Ware asked when sea turtles imprint on their natal place.  You might
   want to check out the following:

The Imprinting Hypothesis and Sea Turtle Reproduction

   David W. Owens, Mark A. Grassman and John R. Hendrickson
   Vol. 38, No. 1, Reproductive Biology of Reptiles (Mar., 1982), pp. 124-135
   (available through JSTOR

Geomagnetic imprinting: A unifying hypothesis of long-distance natal homing in
salmon and sea turtles

   PNAS  December 9, 2008   vol. 105 no. 49
   [1]Kenneth J. Lohmann[2]^1,
   [3]Nathan F. Putman, and
   [4]Catherine M. F. Lohmann
   Here we propose that salmon and sea turtles imprint on the magnetic field of
   their natal areas and later use this information to direct natal homing.
   This novel hypothesis provides the first plausible explanation for how
   marine animals can navigate to natal areas from distant oceanic locations.
   The hypothesis appears to be compatible with present and recent rates of
   field  change  (secular  variation); one implication, however, is that
   unusually rapid changes in the Earth's field, as occasionally occur during
   geomagnetic  polarity  reversals,  may  affect ecological processes by
   disrupting natal homing, resulting in widespread colonization events and
   changes in population structure.


   1. http://www.pnas.org/search?author1=Kenneth+J.+Lohmann&sortspec=date&submit=Submit
   2. http://www.pnas.org/content/105/49/19096.full#corresp-1
   3. http://www.pnas.org/search?author1=Nathan+F.+Putman&sortspec=date&submit=Submit
   4. http://www.pnas.org/search?author1=Catherine+M.+F.+Lohmann&sortspec=date&submit=Submit

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