SREL Reprint #0742




Digestive Turnover Rates in Freshwater Turtles:  The Influence of Temperature and Body Size

Robert R. Parmenter



1.      The digestive turnover times (ingestion to defecation) of five species of North American freshwater turtles were examined in the laboratory.

2.      Pond sliders (Pseudemys s. scripta) and painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) exhibited similar digestive turnover times (61 and 59 hr, respectively) at 25C.

3.      Snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) had a significantly faster turnover time (31 hr) at 25C, which was considered to be an adaptation for living in a cool, benthic habitat.

4.      Single specimens of a loggerhead musk turtle (Sternotherus minor) and stinkpot turtle (Sternotherus odoratus) had turnover times of 57 and 49 hr, respectively.

5.      Digestive turnover times were inversely correlated with temperature in C. picta between 16 and 34C (Y= -3.33X + 131.53, r2=0.76).

6.      Body size and digestive turnover times in P. scripta were not correlated at 25C.


SREL Reprint #0742

Parmenter, R.R. 1981. Digestive turnover rates in freshwater turtles: the influence of temperature and body size. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology 70A:235-238.

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