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Karyotype of the sea-turtle Dermochelys coriacea (Vandelli, 1761)

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Chromosomes of Dermochelys coriacea were prepared from kidney, spleen and lung cells of three neonates hatched from eggs incubated at 26.5 ± 0.5° C (a temperature yielding 100% phenotypic males). A study of the karyotype shows a diploid number of 56 chromosomes consisting of 14 meta- and submetacentrics, 10 telo- and subtelocentrics, and 32 microchromosomes. This karyotype, which is similar to those previously described for Chelonia mydas, Caretta caretta, and Eretmochelys imbricata, has been considered to be primitive for cryptodiran turtles. The implication of our results for the phylogenetic classification of Dermochelys coriacea is discussed.

Affiliations: 1: Departamento Biologia Celular, Universitat Autõnoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Barcelona Espana; 2: Laboratoire de Biochimie du Développement, Institut Jacques Monod, C.N.R.S. et Université Paris 7, 2 place Jussieu, 75251 Paris Cedex 05, France; 3: Laboratoire de Zoologie (Reptiles et Amphibiens), Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, 25 rue Cuvier, 75005 Paris, France


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