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1 March 2003 DEMOGRAPHY AND DIET OF THE PAINTED TURTLE (CHRYSEMYS PICTA) AT HIGH-ELEVATION SITES IN SOUTHWESTERN COLORADO
Christopher R. Cooley, Aaron O. Floyd, Amy Dolinger, Paul B. Tucker
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Abstract

We collected data on diet and population ecology of painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) at 2 high-elevation sites in southwestern Colorado during 1996 and 2000. Painted turtles from both sites fit previously reported patterns of delayed maturity and increased body size for C. picta at more northerly latitudes. Minimum body size at sexual maturity was similar at both sites for males (93 to 95 mm plastron length) and females (165 to 177 mm plastron length). Males appeared to reach sexual maturity at 2 to 3 years of age, whereas the onset of sexual maturity in females was delayed until 7 to 8 years of age. Average adult female body size (183 mm) exceeded any previously reported values for this latitude and might reflect an adaptive response to cooler climates and shorter growing seasons. Our analysis of dietary data indicated that painted turtles from these sites did not exhibit the same degree of carnivory (53.8% and 71.7% animal material) compared to more northerly populations of C. picta.

Christopher R. Cooley, Aaron O. Floyd, Amy Dolinger, and Paul B. Tucker "DEMOGRAPHY AND DIET OF THE PAINTED TURTLE (CHRYSEMYS PICTA) AT HIGH-ELEVATION SITES IN SOUTHWESTERN COLORADO," The Southwestern Naturalist 48(1), 47-53, (1 March 2003). https://doi.org/10.1894/0038-4909(2003)048<0047:DADOTP>2.0.CO;2
Accepted: 10 May 2002; Published: 1 March 2003
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