Hybridization among the ancient mariners: characterization of marine turtle hybrids with molecular genetic assays.
SA Karl, BW Bowen, JC Avise
Journal of Heredity | Published : 1995
Reports of hybridization between marine turtle species (family Cheloniidae) have been difficult to authenticate based solely on morphological evidence. Here we employ molecular genetic assays to document the sporadic, natural occurrence of viable interspecific hybrids between species representing four of the five genera of cheloniid sea turtles. Using multiple DNA markers from single-copy nuclear loci, eight suspected hybrids (based on morphology) were confirmed to be the products of matings involving the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) x Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) (N = 1 specimen), loggerhead turtle x hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) (N = 2), loggerhead turtle x green turtle ..View full abstract