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Leatherback turtles: The menace of plastic
Mrosovsky, N.; Ryan, G.D.; James, M.C. (2009). Leatherback turtles: The menace of plastic. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 58(2): 287-289.
In: Marine Pollution Bulletin. Macmillan: London. ISSN 0025-326X, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Author keywords
    Conservation; Food intake; Jellyfish; Leatherback; Plastic; Sea turtle

Authors  Top 
  • Mrosovsky, N.
  • Ryan, G.D.
  • James, M.C.

    The leatherback, Dermochelys coriacea, is a large sea turtle that feeds primarily on jellyfish. Floating plastic garbage could be mistaken for such prey. Autopsy records of 408 leatherback turtles, spanning 123 years (1885-2007), were studied for the presence or absence of plastic in the GI tract. Plastic was reported in 34% of these cases. If only cases from our first report (1968) of plastic were considered, the figure was 37%. Blockage of the gut by plastic was mentioned in some accounts. These findings are discussed in the context of removal of top predators from poorly understood food chains.

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