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Your Position :Home->Past Journals Catalog->2021 Vol.40 No.4

A Review on the Study of Chelonian Coloration
Author of the article:BU Rongping, XIAO Fanrong*, DING Daer, SHI Haitao*
Author's Workplace:Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Ecology of Tropical Islands, Key Laboratory of Tropical Animal and Plant Ecology of Hainan Province, College of Life Sciences, Hainan Normal University, Haikou 571158, China
Key Words:Chelonian; camouflage; courtship; communication; pattern
Abstract:Coloration is an important morphological feature of animals, and is helpful for communication, thermoregulation and anti-predation. In the past two centuries, animal coloration study has made great breakthroughs in the field of evolution and adaptation, and opened new trends of behavioral ecological study and greatly promoted the development of applied psychology, computer science and military science. There are various colorations among the 356 known chelonian species. However, due to the special structure of their carapaces, study on chelonian colorations started late. Hence, the ecological adaptive significance of various colorations is still mysterious. Since the 1950s, breakthroughs have been made in studying the formation and regulation of animal coloration, communication and camouflage strategies. These studies showed that chelonian coloration is mainly influenced by the deposition of melanin due to hormonal regulation. Aquatic species were greatly affected by environmental color, while terrestrial species were less influenced. Chelonian coloration has various functions. For example, male individuals with dimorphism show their spots to females for courting. Three camouflage strategies including background matching, disruptive coloration and masquerade have been proved to provide anti-predation advantages. Dark-colored chelonians have advantages over light-colored individuals in both thermoregulation and intraspecific competition. Currently, the study progress on the formation of patterns, the functional adaptation of the color of plastron and the special chelonian coloration is relatively slow. Furthermore, there is no relevant study to test whether chelonian coloration conforms to the Gloger's rule. Further studies focus on these aspects will promote the understanding of the ecological adaptation and evolution of chelonian coloration.
2021,40(4): 469-480 收稿日期:2021-01-09
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