Good vibrations? Sibling embryos expedite hatching in a turtle

Jeremiah Doody, Keith Christian

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    18 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    A rare and remarkable animal behaviour is communication among embryos within a clutch of eggs. For example, embryonic vocalizations facilitate synchronous hatching in some birds and crocodilians. Synchronous hatching in nonvocalizing turtles suggests a different mechanism of embryonic communication: vibration-induced hatching. We addressed the idea that embryos can communicate with one another via vibrations that expedite hatching in the pig-nosed turtle, arettochelys insculpta, a species that has evolved rapid hatching in response to hypoxia during nest flooding. Laboratory experiments tested the hypotheses that groups of (sibling) embryos can hatch and emerge more rapidly than solitary embryos, and that a vibration cue can expedite hatching relative to a hypoxic cue alone. We first demonstrated a vibration cue for hatching: vibration-induced hatching latency (ca. 8 min) was shorter than the hypoxia-induced hatching latency (ca. 16 min). Second, latency to both hatching and emergence from experimental nests was significantly shorter in groups of eggs than solitary eggs, when subjected to hypoxic conditions (perfusion in gaseous nitrogen or immersion in water, respectively). Although we did not directly link vibrations and the sibling effect, leaving open the possibility of embryo vocalizations, our experiments, along with a simple mathematical model, suggest that pig-nosed turtle embryos can detect and respond to sibling vibrations, and that these embryonic signals may increase the survival of siblings by reducing the latency to hatch and emerge under flood conditions. Our results are also novel in revealing multiple hatching cues in a single species within a single environmental context.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)645-651
    Number of pages7
    JournalAnimal Behaviour
    Volume83
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

    Fingerprint

    vibration
    turtle
    turtles
    hatching
    embryo
    embryo (animal)
    vocalization
    hypoxia
    egg
    pig
    animal communication
    nest
    nests
    Crocodylia
    communication
    animal behavior
    anaerobic conditions
    egg masses
    mathematical models
    flooding

    Cite this

    Doody, Jeremiah ; Christian, Keith. / Good vibrations? Sibling embryos expedite hatching in a turtle. In: Animal Behaviour. 2012 ; Vol. 83, No. 3. pp. 645-651.
    @article{89d4a98dfeab40f4848d9ecced6c83ed,
    title = "Good vibrations? Sibling embryos expedite hatching in a turtle",
    abstract = "A rare and remarkable animal behaviour is communication among embryos within a clutch of eggs. For example, embryonic vocalizations facilitate synchronous hatching in some birds and crocodilians. Synchronous hatching in nonvocalizing turtles suggests a different mechanism of embryonic communication: vibration-induced hatching. We addressed the idea that embryos can communicate with one another via vibrations that expedite hatching in the pig-nosed turtle, arettochelys insculpta, a species that has evolved rapid hatching in response to hypoxia during nest flooding. Laboratory experiments tested the hypotheses that groups of (sibling) embryos can hatch and emerge more rapidly than solitary embryos, and that a vibration cue can expedite hatching relative to a hypoxic cue alone. We first demonstrated a vibration cue for hatching: vibration-induced hatching latency (ca. 8 min) was shorter than the hypoxia-induced hatching latency (ca. 16 min). Second, latency to both hatching and emergence from experimental nests was significantly shorter in groups of eggs than solitary eggs, when subjected to hypoxic conditions (perfusion in gaseous nitrogen or immersion in water, respectively). Although we did not directly link vibrations and the sibling effect, leaving open the possibility of embryo vocalizations, our experiments, along with a simple mathematical model, suggest that pig-nosed turtle embryos can detect and respond to sibling vibrations, and that these embryonic signals may increase the survival of siblings by reducing the latency to hatch and emerge under flood conditions. Our results are also novel in revealing multiple hatching cues in a single species within a single environmental context.",
    keywords = "Carettochelys insculpta, egg, environmentally cued hatching, flooding, hypoxia, survival, turtle, vibration",
    author = "Jeremiah Doody and Keith Christian",
    year = "2012",
    doi = "10.1016/J.ANBEHAV.2011.12.006",
    language = "English",
    volume = "83",
    pages = "645--651",
    journal = "The British Journal of Animal Behaviour",
    issn = "0003-3472",
    publisher = "Academic Press Inc.",
    number = "3",

    }

    Good vibrations? Sibling embryos expedite hatching in a turtle. / Doody, Jeremiah; Christian, Keith.

    In: Animal Behaviour, Vol. 83, No. 3, 2012, p. 645-651.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Good vibrations? Sibling embryos expedite hatching in a turtle

    AU - Doody, Jeremiah

    AU - Christian, Keith

    PY - 2012

    Y1 - 2012

    N2 - A rare and remarkable animal behaviour is communication among embryos within a clutch of eggs. For example, embryonic vocalizations facilitate synchronous hatching in some birds and crocodilians. Synchronous hatching in nonvocalizing turtles suggests a different mechanism of embryonic communication: vibration-induced hatching. We addressed the idea that embryos can communicate with one another via vibrations that expedite hatching in the pig-nosed turtle, arettochelys insculpta, a species that has evolved rapid hatching in response to hypoxia during nest flooding. Laboratory experiments tested the hypotheses that groups of (sibling) embryos can hatch and emerge more rapidly than solitary embryos, and that a vibration cue can expedite hatching relative to a hypoxic cue alone. We first demonstrated a vibration cue for hatching: vibration-induced hatching latency (ca. 8 min) was shorter than the hypoxia-induced hatching latency (ca. 16 min). Second, latency to both hatching and emergence from experimental nests was significantly shorter in groups of eggs than solitary eggs, when subjected to hypoxic conditions (perfusion in gaseous nitrogen or immersion in water, respectively). Although we did not directly link vibrations and the sibling effect, leaving open the possibility of embryo vocalizations, our experiments, along with a simple mathematical model, suggest that pig-nosed turtle embryos can detect and respond to sibling vibrations, and that these embryonic signals may increase the survival of siblings by reducing the latency to hatch and emerge under flood conditions. Our results are also novel in revealing multiple hatching cues in a single species within a single environmental context.

    AB - A rare and remarkable animal behaviour is communication among embryos within a clutch of eggs. For example, embryonic vocalizations facilitate synchronous hatching in some birds and crocodilians. Synchronous hatching in nonvocalizing turtles suggests a different mechanism of embryonic communication: vibration-induced hatching. We addressed the idea that embryos can communicate with one another via vibrations that expedite hatching in the pig-nosed turtle, arettochelys insculpta, a species that has evolved rapid hatching in response to hypoxia during nest flooding. Laboratory experiments tested the hypotheses that groups of (sibling) embryos can hatch and emerge more rapidly than solitary embryos, and that a vibration cue can expedite hatching relative to a hypoxic cue alone. We first demonstrated a vibration cue for hatching: vibration-induced hatching latency (ca. 8 min) was shorter than the hypoxia-induced hatching latency (ca. 16 min). Second, latency to both hatching and emergence from experimental nests was significantly shorter in groups of eggs than solitary eggs, when subjected to hypoxic conditions (perfusion in gaseous nitrogen or immersion in water, respectively). Although we did not directly link vibrations and the sibling effect, leaving open the possibility of embryo vocalizations, our experiments, along with a simple mathematical model, suggest that pig-nosed turtle embryos can detect and respond to sibling vibrations, and that these embryonic signals may increase the survival of siblings by reducing the latency to hatch and emerge under flood conditions. Our results are also novel in revealing multiple hatching cues in a single species within a single environmental context.

    KW - Carettochelys insculpta

    KW - egg

    KW - environmentally cued hatching

    KW - flooding

    KW - hypoxia

    KW - survival

    KW - turtle

    KW - vibration

    U2 - 10.1016/J.ANBEHAV.2011.12.006

    DO - 10.1016/J.ANBEHAV.2011.12.006

    M3 - Article

    VL - 83

    SP - 645

    EP - 651

    JO - The British Journal of Animal Behaviour

    JF - The British Journal of Animal Behaviour

    SN - 0003-3472

    IS - 3

    ER -