The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

 ISSN 0268-0130

2020 Impact Factor for the Herpetological Journal is 0.862

pdf 01. A struvite faecolith in the leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea Vandelli A means of packaging garbage


Open Access


Authors: John Davenport, George H. Balazs, John V. Faithfull And Don A. Williamson

Abstract: A large stone-like object was collected from the rectum of a leatherback turtle beached at Midway Atoll. Hawaiian Islands. It consisted of biomineralized faecal material, the mineral being struvite (NH4MgPO4.6H2O). Much material of anthropogenic origin (plastics in sheet and linear form, plus other packaging materials and monofilament nylon) was incorporated into the faecolith structure. It is hypothesized that the formation of struvite stems from the interaction of the leatherback's osmotic physiology with the metabolism of faecal bacteria. While the formation of the faecolith may be pathological, it could alternatively be an adaptive response to package garbage (whether natural or man-made).

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Please note that as from Volume 31 Number 1 (January 2021) on, the Herpetological Journal will be available as an online publication only - the last print edition will be Volume 30 Number 4.   

Aligning with this change, it is now no longer possible to purchase a subscription that includes a print copy of the HJ.  All members who have existing HJ print subscriptions that remain active as at end June 2020 will receive the full four 2020 print editions.  New subscribers or renewals after this time will only have option to subscribe to the online only subscription package.  Subscription pricing has been amended to reflect the content changes.