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Turtle mating systems: behavior, sperm storage, and genetic paternity.

  • Author(s): Pearse, DE
  • Avise, JC
  • et al.

As evidenced by the articles in this volume, a recent increase in interest in the mating systems of poikilothermic vertebrates has focused primarily on fishes, a few amphibians, and squamate reptiles. Turtles by contrast have received relatively little attention, yet they display a wide variety of mating behaviors and life-history characteristics that make them excellent candidates for addressing several aspects of genetic parentage that should contribute to a broader understanding of animal reproductive strategies. Here we focus on genetic studies of the mating systems and reproductive patterns of turtles, specifically with respect to multiple paternity and long-term sperm storage. These phenomena highlight the importance of a temporally extended perspective on patterns of individual reproductive success.

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