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COMPORTAMIENTO DE APAREAMIENTO AL AZAR EN TORTUGAS GIGANTES JUVENILES EN CAUTIVERIO EN LAS ISLAS GALAPAGOS

ABSTRACT If it is assumed to be a reproductive attempt for a young tortoise deliberately to mount another, using its front legs to raise the anterior portion of the body, and then to bring together the cloacas of the two individuals, along with the groaning vocalizations produced by males when they attempt copulation with females, such vocali zations were noted in the possible reproduct ive attempts before copulation among juvenile tortoises in the pre-adaptation corrals of the Raising Center of the Galapagos National Park Service (GNPS) and the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS). To our knowledge, copulation did not occur in any of the torto ises involved were sexually mature when tho bservations werte made. We interpret these behaviors as representing pre-copulatory reproductive attempts in young tortoises, regardless of sexual maturity. In all cases, the observations occurred during the warm season in Galápagos, January to March, which is the time when copulation occurs under natural conditions.

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