Title
Temperature effects on snapping performance in the common snapper **Chelydra serpentina** (Reptilia, Testudines) Temperature effects on snapping performance in the common snapper **Chelydra serpentina** (Reptilia, Testudines)
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Publication type
article
Publication
Bognor Regis ,
Subject
Biology
Source (journal)
Journal of experimental zoology: part A: comparative experimental biology. - Bognor Regis
Volume/pages
315(2011) :1 , p. 41-47
ISSN
1548-8969
ISI
000285310600005
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Studies on the effect of temperature on whole-animal performance traits other than locomotion are rare. Here we investigate the effects of temperature on the performance of the turtle feeding apparatus in a defensive context. We measured bite force and the kinematics of snapping in the Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) over a wide range of body temperatures. Bite force performance was thermally insensitive over the broad range of temperatures typically experienced by these turtles in nature. In contrast, neck extension (velocity, acceleration, and deceleration) and jaw movements (velocity, acceleration, and deceleration) showed clear temperature dependence with peak acceleration and deceleration capacity increasing with increasing temperatures. Our results regarding the temperature dependence of defensive behavior are reflected by the ecology and overall behavior of this species. These data illustrate the necessity for carefully controlling Tb when carrying out behavioral and functional studies on turtles as temperature affects the velocity, acceleration, and deceleration of jaw and neck extension movements. More generally, these data add to the limited but increasing number of studies showing that temperature may have important effects on feeding and defensive performance in ectotherms.
E-info
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