The Thermal Biology, Water Relations, And Selected Substrate Of The Blanding's Turtle (Emydoidea blandingi)
Eckert, Douglas H.
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Aspects of the thermal biology, water loss rates and substrate preference of Emydoidea blandingi were investigated. Eggs from near the E.S. George Reserve in Livingston County, Michigan were hatched. Hatchlings were then acclimated to 25°C for 14 d. A hexagonal behavior arena was constructed for substrate choice experiments. Hatchlings showed a tendency towards substrates of clay-soil (32%) and water (25%). Thermal gradients were constructed for selected temperature experiments. The thermal preferendum ranged from 23°C to 34.1°C (x=27.44°C, SE=0.987) with the animals falling into three groups of similar selected temperatures. Water loss experiments were conducted in a wind tunnel. Water loss (x=46.62 mg/(g h)) showed little correlation to initial mass (r2=0.17, p=0.24) or vapor deficit (r2=0.000138, p=0.92). Critical thermal maximum, defined as the onset of muscular spasm, occured at 41. 7°C. These results have important implications for the analysis of habitat use.