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Leatherback Sea Turtles (Dermochelys Coriacea)

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by HamEggOnToast, 21 Nov 2016.

  1. HamEggOnToast

    HamEggOnToast New Member

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    I'm looking some information on Leatherback Turtles. I'm trying to gather information on the diet provided for these animals in zoos for an assignment. If anyone has access to detailed nutritional information or maybe even a captive feeding plan I'd be grateful.

    Thanks in advance to those who post.
     
  2. Zoovolunteer

    Zoovolunteer Well-Known Member

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    Given that Dermochelys are specialist jellyfish predators I doubt there are any in captivity - there are none on zootierliste. Other species of marine turtles are much more widely kept - could you switch your assignment to one of those?
     
  3. temp

    temp Well-Known Member

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    Today food is not a major problem (easy enough to source jellyfish and substitutes can be used), but their extremely pelagic behavior is a huge problem and the reason adults never have been kept successfully for a longer period in an aquarium. Few cases have been attempted. Some weren't healthy to begin with and rapidly demised. Even seemingly healthy animals don't manage, as they end up rubbing their flippers/body on the edges, eventually causing serious infection. Juveniles/immatures are apparently easier to keep and have been kept for a longer period. A few years ago, scientists were able for the first time to keep a larger leatherback alive in captivity by fitting it with a harness that suspended it in the middle of a pool, even though it swam all the time. Not really something that would be suitable for display in a public aquarium!

    * Harnessing Turtle Power - UBC Reports
    * https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081027204545.htm
    * www.seaturtle.org/pdf/JonesTT_2011_JExpMarBiolEcol.pdf (see "Animal husbandry", page 85)
    etc

    Similar techniques have been used for shorter periods to keep stranded leatherbacks alive until they can be released.
     
    Last edited: 21 Nov 2016
  4. HamEggOnToast

    HamEggOnToast New Member

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    Thanks, this was exactly what I was looking for!