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Article Dans Une Revue Journal of The Royal Society Interface Année : 2023

Uncovering loggerhead (Caretta caretta) navigation strategy in the open ocean through the consideration of their diving behaviour

Résumé

While scientists have been monitoring the movements and diving behaviour of sea turtles using Argos platform terminal transmitters for decades, the precise navigational mechanisms used by these animals remain an open question. Until now, active swimming motion has been derived from total motion by subtracting surface or subsurface modelled ocean currents, following the approximation of a quasi-two-dimensional surface layer migration. This study, based on tracking and diving data collected from 25 late-juvenile loggerhead turtles released from Reunion Island during their pre-reproductive migration, demonstrates the importance of considering the subsurface presence of the animals. Using a piecewise constant heading model, we investigate navigation strategy using daily time-at-depth distributions and three-dimensional currents to calculate swimming velocity. Our results are consistent with a map and compass strategy in which swimming movements follow straight courses at a stable swimming speed (approx. 0.5 m s−1), intermittently segmented by course corrections. This strategy, previously hypothesized for post-nesting green and hawksbill turtles, had never been observed in juvenile loggerheads. These results confirm a common open-ocean navigation mechanism across ages and species and highlight the importance of considering diving behaviour in most studies of sea turtle spatial ecology.
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Dates et versions

hal-04432193 , version 1 (02-02-2024)

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Antoine Laforge, Philippe Gaspar, Anne Barat, Julien Temple Boyer, Tony Candela, et al.. Uncovering loggerhead (Caretta caretta) navigation strategy in the open ocean through the consideration of their diving behaviour. Journal of The Royal Society Interface, 2023, 20 (209), pp.20230383. ⟨10.1098/rsif.2023.0383⟩. ⟨hal-04432193⟩
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