Thesis Title

Ecology of the Tropical Freshwater Turtle Rhinoclemmy's Funerea in Caribbean Costa Rica

Date of Graduation

Summer 1993

Degree

Master of Science in Biology

Department

Biology

Committee Chair

Daniel Beckman

Subject Categories

Biology

Abstract

The black river turtle, Rhinoclemmys funerea, has a small, strictly neotropical distribution from the Isthmus of Panama northward along the Caribbean drainage to southern Honduras. Ecological studies of this species were conducted at Tortuguero, Costa Rica from 1990 to 1992. Adult R. funerea were the dominant aquatic turtle and occupied lotic habitats ranging from clearcut areas with abundant aquatic vegetation to primary rainforest devoid of aquatic vegetation, while juveniles were terrestrial forest dwellers. Food habits were almost totally herbivorous and included both aquatic and terrestrial plants. Observational and biotelemetry data indicated frequent migrations to land in late afternoon and evening to forage for terrestrial vegetation and fallen fruits. Reproductive data suggested one nesting season from May through at least June. Eggs per clutch ranged from two to four and has an average measurement of 68.8 X 32.6 mm. The population at Tortuguero was characterized by males outnumbering females (1.87:1) and males being the larger sex.

Copyright

© Kevin P Jansen

Citation-only

Dissertation/Thesis

Share

COinS