Journal of Comparative Physiology B

, Volume 177, Issue 6, pp 623–630

Metabolic and respiratory status of cold-stunned Kemp’s ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii)

  • Charles J. Innis
  • Michael Tlusty
  • Constance Merigo
  • E. Scott Weber
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00360-007-0160-9

Cite this article as:
Innis, C.J., Tlusty, M., Merigo, C. et al. J Comp Physiol B (2007) 177: 623. doi:10.1007/s00360-007-0160-9

Abstract

“Cold-stunning” of sea turtles has been reported as a naturally occurring stressor for many years; however, the physiologic status of cold-stunned turtles has only been partially described. This study investigated initial and convalescent venous blood gas, acid-base, and critical plasma biochemical data for 26 naturally cold-stunned Kemp’s ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii) from Cape Cod, MA, USA. Samples were analyzed for pH, pCO2, pO2, bicarbonate, plasma osmolality, sodium, potassium, chloride, ionized calcium, ionized magnesium, glucose, lactate, and blood urea nitrogen using a clinical point-of-care analyzer. Data were corrected for the patient’s body temperature using both species-specific and more general correction methods. In general, venous blood gas, acid-base, and plasma biochemical data obtained for surviving cold-stunned Kemp’s ridley sea turtles were consistent with previously documented data for sea turtles exposed to a wide range of temperatures and physiologic stressors. Data indicated that turtles were initially affected by metabolic and respiratory acidosis. Initial pH-corrected ionized calcium concentrations were lower than convalescent concentrations, and initial pH-corrected ionized magnesium concentrations were higher than convalescent concentrations.

Keywords

Kemp’s ridley sea turtleLepidochelys kempiiCold-stunningAcid-base statusBlood gas

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles J. Innis
    • 1
  • Michael Tlusty
    • 1
  • Constance Merigo
    • 1
  • E. Scott Weber
    • 1
  1. 1.New England Aquarium, Central WharfBostonUSA