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Age and growth rates of Hawaiian hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) using skeletochronology
Snover, M.L.; Balazs, G.H.; Murakawa, S.K.K.; Hargrove, S.K.; Rice, M.R.; Seitz, W.A. (2013). Age and growth rates of Hawaiian hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) using skeletochronology. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 160(1): 37-46.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Snover, M.L.
  • Balazs, G.H.
  • Murakawa, S.K.K.
  • Hargrove, S.K.
  • Rice, M.R.
  • Seitz, W.A.

    The Hawaiian hawksbill population has fewer than 20 females nesting per year; hence, there is a need to monitor this population closely and basic biological information on individual growth and age to maturity is critical. We present a skeletochronology analysis of Hawaiian hawksbills using humeri recovered from 30 dead stranded hawksbills, plus 10 dead hatchlings. Growth mark morphology shows readily distinguishable marks similar in appearance to other species, though some animals displayed more diffuse marks. Growth rates remained high (average 2.24–4.77 cm year-1) from 20 to 80 cm straight carapace length (SCL). Hawksbills larger than 80 cm SCL had average growth rates of 0.3 cm year-1. There were few adult turtles in the sample; however, results indicate hawksbills have faster growth rates than loggerhead or green turtles, with probable average age to maturity (at size 78.6 cm SCL) occurring between 17 and 22 years.

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