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A Dietary Variety: Analyzing the Impacts of Diverse vs Worm-Exclusive Diets on the Blanding’s Turtle (<i>Emydoidea blandingii</i>)

Authors
  • Copenhaver, Caitlin F.
Publication Date
Mar 01, 2024
Source
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Keywords
License
Unknown
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Abstract

The endangered Blanding’s turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) is a species with a generally diverse diet in their freshwater wetland habitats; they consume prey such as crayfish and snails. In captivity, these options often become more limited due to logistical reasons. As ex situ conservation efforts such as captive rearing and head-starting are becoming more popular for this species, it will be important to gain more insight on how these more limited diets might affect these turtles. This study describes a comparison between diets in six captive Blanding’s turtles from September to November of 2023, with three turtles receiving only common earthworms (Lumbricus terrestris) and the other three receiving a varied diet consisting of crayfish and superworms (Dermestid spp.). It was found that there was no significant difference in growth rates between turtles consuming solely worms vs turtles consuming more varied diets over this time period.

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