1. Soil water potentials in natural nests of the Cuban iguana Cyclura nubila were monitored throughout incubation, and the energy stores of young iguanas from the nest were examined after hatching. There was a strong negative correlation between %yolk and %fat (percentage of whole hatchling mass) in hatchlings demonstrating the conversion of yolk to fat during development.
2. The sizes of the carcasses (excluding yolk and fat) of hatchlings were not related to soil water potential of the nest.
3. However, hatchlings from drier nests had more yolk and less fat than hatchlings from wetter nests.
4. Inter-nest variability in soil water potential has previously been shown to influence the survival of hatchling Galapagos iguanas. This study suggests that the mechanism by which soil water potential influences subsequent survival is through its effect on the amount of yolk that is converted into fat before hatching.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - A Physiology|
|Publication status||Published - 1991|