Adaptations to terrestrial overwintering of hatchling northern map turtles, Graptemys geographica.
PJ Baker, JP Costanzo, JB Iverson, RE Lee
Journal of Comparative Physiology B | Published : 2003
We conducted a 3-year field and laboratory study of winter biology in hatchlings of the northern map turtle ( Graptemys geographica). At our study area in northern Indiana, hatchlings routinely overwintered in their natal nests, emerging after the weather warmed in spring. Winter survival was excellent despite the fact that hatchlings were exposed frequently to subfreezing temperatures (to -5.4 degrees C). In the laboratory, cold-acclimated hatchlings exhibited low rates of evaporative water loss (mean=2.0 mg g(-1) day(-1)), which would enable them to conserve body water during winter. Laboratory-reared hatchlings were intolerant of freezing at -2.5 degrees C for 24 h, conditions that are re..View full abstract