Postprandial thermophily occurs because snakes presumably select body temperatures to maximize digestive functions. However, there seems to be little to no literature available on meal size affecting the degree of postprandial thermophily in snakes. We were interested in determining if meal size influenced post-feeding thermoregulation. To test this, we placed individual snakes into linear thermal gradients with floor temperatures ranging from 10 ± 0.5 °C to 40 ± 1.0 °C. After a 24 h habituation period, substrate temperatures were measured underneath the snake's body, 1/3 of the way down its length, at 3-hour intervals from 0900 to 1800 h. Each snake was monitored under three different conditions: during a fast, after ingesting a 5% body mass meal, and after ingesting a 10% body mass meal. The size of the meal had a significant effect (P=0.0365) on selected substrate temperatures.
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Vol. 109 • No. 3