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1 December 2009 Habitat Selection of the Alligator Snapping Turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) in Arkansas
C. A. F. Howey, S. A. Dinkelacker
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Habitat selection in adult Alligator Snapping Turtles (Macrochelys temminckii) is known for only a few populations. Given that habitat availability can vary in different geographical locations, we used radiotelemetry to study habitat selection in a riverine habitat in central Arkansas by attaching radio transmitters to 14 female and four male Alligator Snapping Turtles. We tested the hypothesis that males and females select different habitats throughout the year because of differences in reproductive cycles and higher thermoregulatory requirements for females prior to nesting. Our results indicated that males and females selected similar habitats with similar thermal properties, but both sexes selected submerged structure. The tendency for Alligator Snapping Turtles to select sites with structure may be caused by higher prey densities (e.g., fish and crayfish) in these areas, protection from predators (e.g., American Alligators), or as an aid in surfacing to breathe rather than for thermoregulatory purposes.

C. A. F. Howey and S. A. Dinkelacker "Habitat Selection of the Alligator Snapping Turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) in Arkansas," Journal of Herpetology 43(4), 589-596, (1 December 2009).
Accepted: 1 January 2009; Published: 1 December 2009
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