Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator) behaviour, interactions with Snapping Turtles (Chelydra serpentina), and their Pleistocene history

Harry G. Lumsden


Snapping Turtles (Chelydra serpentina) prey on and injure Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator) cygnets. Adult Trumpeter Swans stamp on and attack turtles, and this sometimes saves the lives of cygnets. Stamping behaviour, duetting, clamouring, and mobbing are directed at predators. The stamping behaviour may be derived from the water treading display. During the Pleistocene ice sheet maxima, all Trumpeter Swans east of the Rockies nested within the range of the Snapping Turtle. Snapping Turtle predation may have selected for the stamping behaviour.


Snapping Turtle; Chelydra serpentina; predation; Trumpeter Swan; Cygnus buccinator; injuries, stamping attack; duetting; clamouring; mobbing behaviour; water treading display; Pleistocene distribution; Wisconsin glaciation; Yellowstone glacier; Ontario

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