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Diet of two freshwater turtles, Chelodina rugosa and Elseya dentata (Testudines: Chelidae) from the wet-dry tropics of northern Australia

Kennett, Rod M. and Tory, Oswald (1996). Diet of two freshwater turtles, Chelodina rugosa and Elseya dentata (Testudines: Chelidae) from the wet-dry tropics of northern Australia. Copeia,(2):409-419.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 27 times in Scopus Article | Citations

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Title Diet of two freshwater turtles, Chelodina rugosa and Elseya dentata (Testudines: Chelidae) from the wet-dry tropics of northern Australia
Author Kennett, Rod M.
Tory, Oswald
Journal Name Copeia
Publication Date 1996
Issue Number 2
ISSN 0045-8511   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-0030424591
Start Page 409
End Page 419
Total Pages 11
Place of Publication United States of America
Publisher American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists
Field of Research BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
Abstract Chelodina rugosa occupies seasonally ephemeral waterholes on the coastal freshwater floodplains of the wet-dry tropics of northern Australia. It is an obligate carnivore and feeds primarily on fish, fast-moving aquatic invertebrates, and carrion. Differences between wet-season and dry-season diets, notably an increase in fish consumption and a decrease in consumption of odonate nymphs, reflect changes in abundance or accessibility of prey items. Elseya dentata occupies permanent water riverine habitats and is primarily herbivorous. The bulk of its diet consists of fruit and leaves of riparian rainforest trees, and seasonal changes in fruit species consumed reflected fruiting patterns. Filamentous algae comprised 30% by mass of the dry-season diet but was absent from the river during wet-season flooding and hence was absent from the diet. Elseya dentata readily feed on meat and fish carrion when available, but animal prey such as shrimp (Macrobrachium sp.) and freshwater sponge formed only a small proportion of their diet. Because E. dentata relies on riparian trees for most of its dietary intake, it is extremely vulnerable to land management practices that have adverse impacts on riparian forests.
Keywords Turtles
Fresh water
Dry season
Stomach
Fruits
Diet
Rainy seasons
Species
Food
Carrion
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1446857   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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Created: Fri, 29 Aug 2014, 20:17:57 CST by Anthony Hornby