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Dazet, N., & Moll, D. (2014). Chemical signals in vertebrate predator-prey systems involving common musk turtles, sternotherus odoratus, and their predators. Journal of North American Herpetology, 2014(1), 69–75. 
Added by: Sarina Wunderlich (06 Jul 2014 16:10:39 UTC)
Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Dazet2014
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Categories: General
Keywords: Clemmys guttata, Emydidae, Ernährung - nutrition, Fressfeinde - predators, Habitat - habitat, Nordamerika - North America, Schildkröten - turtles + tortoises
Creators: Dazet, Moll
Collection: Journal of North American Herpetology
Views: 6/659
Views index: 27%
Popularity index: 6.75%
Sternotherus odoratus Rathke’s gland secretions (RGS) of Common Musk Turtles have a variety of proposed functions including predator deterrence and attraction, but experimental studies testing these hypotheses are lacking. This study used laboratory and field experiments to test whether RGS had attraction or repellent effects on two natural predators, the Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus), and the Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina). In a laboratory experiment, we examined latency to feed and consumption times for Cottonmouths offered RGS-treated minnows and control minnows. In a field study, we investigated the ratio of snapping turtles appearing in traps with and without RGS-treated bait. The latency to feed times for Cottonmouths offered RGS-treated minnows were not significantly different from those offered control minnows. However, prey consumption times for Cottonmouths feeding on RGS-treated minnows were significantly greater than those feeding on control minnows. These results suggest that the RGS may lengthen the time of a predation sequence, possibly allowing the turtle more time to escape from the predator. The number of snapping turtles appearing in traps with RGS-treated bait was significantly greater than the number of snapping turtles in traps without RGS-treated bait. These results support the predator attraction hypothesis, where the signal may attract additional predators that interfere with a predation event, providing an opportunity for the prey to escape.
Added by: Sarina Wunderlich  
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