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Blood oxygen stores of olive ridley sea turtles, Lepidochelys olivacea are highly variable among individuals during arribada nesting.

Journal of comparative physiology. B, Biochemical, systemic, and environmental physiology (2020-10-17)
B Gabriela Arango, Martha Harfush-Meléndez, José Alejandro Marmolejo-Valencia, Horacio Merchant-Larios, Daniel E Crocker
ABSTRACT

Sea turtles dive with a full lung of air and these O2 stores are supplemented by O2 stored in blood and muscle. Olive ridley sea turtles exhibit polymorphic nesting behavior, mass nesting behavior called arribada, where thousands of turtles will nest at once, and solitary nesting behavior. The potential physiological differences between the individuals using these strategies are not well understood. We measured blood volume and associated variables, including blood hemoglobin content and hematocrit, to estimate total blood O2 stores. There were no significant differences in mean values between nesting strategies, but arribada nesting individuals were more variable than those performing solitary nesting. Mass-specific plasma volume was relatively invariant among individuals but mass specific blood volume and blood oxygen stores varied widely, twofold and threefold, respectively. Blood O2 stores represented 32% of total body O2 stores. Under typical mean diving conditions of 26 °C and high levels of activity, blood stores confer ~ 14 min to aerobic dive times and are likely critical for the long duration, deep diving exhibited by the species. Individual differences in blood O2 stores strongly impact estimated aerobic dive limits and may constrain the ability of individuals to respond to changes on ocean climate.

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Sigma-Aldrich
Drabkin′s reagent, for the determination of hemoglobin