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Direct Evidence for Gradual Ontogenetic Dietary Shift in the Green Turtle, Chelonia mydas
- Morais, Renato Araujo, dos Santos, Robson Guimarães, Longo, Guilherme Ortigara, Yoshida, Eduardo Tadashi Estevam, Stahelin, Gustavo David, Horta, Paulo Antunes
- Chelonian Conservation and Biology 2014 v.13 no.2 pp. 260-266
- Chelonia mydas, carnivores, diet, habitats, herbivores, juveniles, linear models, nutrition information, ontogeny, turtles, wildlife management
- Here we provide information on the diet of juvenile green turtles from neritic developmental habitats in the South Atlantic that indicates the existence of a gradual dietary shift from a primarily carnivorous to a primarily herbivorous diet. Linear regression showed a relation between the size of turtles (n = 22) and the proportion of vegetal matter in the diet, with smaller animals being predominantly carnivorous. We propose 3 hypotheses that could explain these observations.