Behavioral thermoregulation by turtle embryos

Wei Guo Du*, Bo Zhao, Ye Chen, Richard Shine

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


Mobile ectothermic animals can control their body temperatures by selecting specific thermal conditions in the environment, but embryos - trapped within an immobile egg and lacking locomotor structures - have been assumed to lack that ability. Falsifying that assumption, our experimental studies show that even early stage turtle embryos move within the egg to exploit small-scale spatial thermal heterogeneity. Behavioral thermoregulation is not restricted to posthatching life and instead may be an important tactic in every life-history stage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9513-9515
Number of pages3
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


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