Event Title

Strength in Numbers

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Maddisen McKenzie

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Faculty Advisor: Dr. Deby L. Cassill

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In the Gulf of Mexico there are 5 different species of sea turtles, all of which are on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. For sea turtle hatchlings only 1 out of every 1,000 will survive to reach adulthood. Due to their low survival rate, nesting females lay large clutches of abandoned eggs in nests on the beach. In this study, clutch sizes of 5 different species of sea turtles was recorded to determine what species has the largest clutch size and what factors contribute to clutch size. This study’s findings show that smaller species averaged larger clutch sizes than larger species, with averages well over 100 eggs per clutch. These findings suggest the smaller species have larger clutches of eggs due to the fact that their eggs are roughly half the diameter of those from the largest species, suggesting they can carry more eggs per clutch, ensuring the survival of their species.

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Strength in Numbers

In the Gulf of Mexico there are 5 different species of sea turtles, all of which are on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. For sea turtle hatchlings only 1 out of every 1,000 will survive to reach adulthood. Due to their low survival rate, nesting females lay large clutches of abandoned eggs in nests on the beach. In this study, clutch sizes of 5 different species of sea turtles was recorded to determine what species has the largest clutch size and what factors contribute to clutch size. This study’s findings show that smaller species averaged larger clutch sizes than larger species, with averages well over 100 eggs per clutch. These findings suggest the smaller species have larger clutches of eggs due to the fact that their eggs are roughly half the diameter of those from the largest species, suggesting they can carry more eggs per clutch, ensuring the survival of their species.

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