The biology and reproductive anatomy of male loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) have been difficult to study. The principle method for evaluation of the coelomic cavity in both adult and juvenile male sea turtles is celioscopy. The purpose of this study was to describe the technique and structures seen when scanning the inguinal region of live, wild-caught, adult male loggerhead sea turtles and to compare these findings to those resulting from celioscopy and necropsy. Twenty-one adult male loggerhead sea turtles were collected by trawling in the Cape Canaveral shipping channel in April 2007. All turtles were placed in dorsal recumbency and imaged with a Sonosite 180 Vet Plus (Sonosite, Inc., Bothell, Washington 98021, USA) and a microconvex, 4–7-MHz curvilinear array probe. The inguinal region was divided into four quadrants: cranial, lateral, medial, and caudal. Celioscopy was performed on 13 turtles, and biopsies were obtained of the testes and the epididymides to confirm correct identification of the structures. In the cranial aspect of the inguinal region, the urinary bladder and large and small intestines were identified. In the lateral inguinal region, the lung and kidney were seen. In the medial aspect of the inguinal region, the testis and epididymis were routinely identified. In the caudal aspect of the inguinal region, the coxofemoral joint was seen. A small learning curve was required; however, correlation with celioscopy and biopsy showed that consistent, repeatable identification of caudal coelomic structures was easily achieved. Ultrasound provided an inexpensive, rapid, noninvasive method to evaluate the reproductive anatomy of live-captured, male loggerhead sea turtles.
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