Incubation temperature and satiety influence general locomotor and exploratory behaviors in the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina).


:Temperature during embryogenesis determines sex and has been shown to influence other physiological traits in reptiles. The common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) is an ideal model for testing how temperature impacts behavior in species that display temperature-dependent sex determination. Behavioral assays are crucial to understanding how a changing climate may affect whole organism function in the snapping turtle. Currently, there are few behavioral assays for semi-aquatic vertebrates like turtles. In this study, we used digital cameras to record behavior of fed and fasted hatchling turtles from different incubation temperatures in an open field setting for 20 min in 2018 and repeated the experiment in 2019. Open fields were circular tanks filled with water to a depth of 3.5 cm. Each field was split into four quadrants and two zones (inner and outer). The amount of time turtles spent actively moving, total distance travelled, and several other measures were collected and summarized automatically from videos with open source image analysis software (ImageJ). Satiety and incubation temperature had significant effects on total distance moved, time spent moving, and time moving in the outer zone. These findings indicate that temperature during embryogenesis has a long-lasting effect on neural mechanisms underlying exploratory or general locomotor behavior in turtles.


Physiol Behav


Physiology & behavior


Miller S,Derenne A,Ellis-Felege S,Rhen T




Has Abstract


2020-06-01 00:00:00












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