Body Temperature Variation in the Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta) and Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina)

Kristine Grayson and Michael E. Dorcas

View Power Point Presentation Here

Beginning in September of 2001, I put i-Button Thermochron (Dallas Semiconductor, Dallas,TX) data loggers on painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) and snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) captured in a local farm pond. The Herpetology Lab has been trapping this pond since 1999 (go to the pond page) and the majority of the turtle population individually marked with a three letter code. Our high recapture rates allowed retrieval of the data loggers without the use of radio telemetry in C. picta.

The Attachment Technique:

Loggers are attached to a cable tie and dipped in Plasti-Dip to protect them from water damage. Two small holes are drilled into the carapace to thread the cable tie through. Additional Plasti-Dip is applied around the logger and painted black (the red dot is for recapture identification)


Putting a logger on a large snapping turtle All turtles are photographed with their code before being released

Thermochron dataloggers record 2048 time and date stamped temperature readings. To record an entire season of temperature data, dataloggers were set for a three hour sampling interval. Due to a low recapture rate, using data loggers on snapping turtles was not continued in this study. For more details and results see the powerpoint presentation on this project, presented at the 2003 meetings of the North Carolina Academy of Scientists and the Association of Southeastern Biologists. This project was also defended for high honors with the Davidson College Department of Biology.

Funding was provided by The Davidson College Department of Biology, a Sigma Xi Grant-in-Aid-of-Research and North Carolina Academy of Science-Yarbrough Grant to KLG, and a National Science Foundation grant to MED.

Related Documents:

Honor's Thesis project proposal

Long-Term Monitoring of Semi-Aquatic Turtles in the Western Piedmont of North Carolina - presentation at the North Carolina Herpetological Society Meeting in 2002

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