Diet and feeding behaviour of Snapping Turtles (Chelydra serpentina) and Midland Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta marginata) in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario
Keywords:Amphibian larvae, Snapping Turtle, Chelydra serpentina, Midland Painted Turtle, Chrysemys picta marginata, diet, ephemeral pond, odonate, seed dispersal
We compare diet and feeding behaviour of Snapping Turtles (Chelydra serpentina) and Midland Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta marginata) in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada. We observed young Chelydra and Chrysemys turtles feeding on insect and amphibian larvae in ephemeral ponds, adult Chrysemys terrestrially foraging on odonate larvae, and adult Chelydra consuming aquatic vegetation and seeds. These and other observations highlight the importance of seasonally available habitat and food for juvenile turtles. We also discuss the evidence for, and importance of, turtles as seed-dispersal agents for aquatic vegetation. Illustrative video recordings accompany our dietary observations.
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