chapter  5
28 Pages

Reproductive Cycles of Males and Females

Reproductive biology and some aspects of endocrinology in sea turtles have been widely investigated and reviewed over the last two decades (Owens, 1980; 1982; Ehrhart, 1982; Owens and Morris, 1985; Miller, 1997; Owens, 1997; also see Kuchling, (1999) for a review on turtle reproduction). Similar to most ectotherms, sea turtles are seasonal breeders, although in some populations nesting occurs year round (Witzell, 1983; Marquez, 1994; Hirth, 1997). Most populations have reproductive cycles constrained by proximal environmental conditions, aiding both survival of the parents and offspring while allowing maximal reproductive effort (Miller, 1997). A percentage of males from at least some populations can breed annually in the wild (Limpus, 1993; Wibbels

et al.