Growth and Maturity of Spiny Softshell Turtles (Apalone Spinifera) in a Small Urban Stream
Herpetological Conservation and Biology
We studied the natural somatic growth of Apalone spinifera using mark-recapture in a population inhabiting a small urban stream for 16 y. Growth was rapid and variable in hatchlings and young juveniles, but as body size increased, growth slowed, more rapidly in males than in females. Growth in the largest turtles was slow or immeasurable. Von Bertalanffy growth models indicated that males typically matured in their 4th or 5th year and females in their 12th or 13th year. The general growth pattern of A. spinifera was similar to that reported for many sexually dimorphic freshwater turtles, including A. mutica, the sister species of A. spinifera. Individual growth rate in turtles has important implications for science-based conservation efforts because of its effect on maturation, reproductive output, survivorship, and population recruitment.
Copyright held by
Plummer, M. V., & Mills, N. E. (2015). Growth and Maturity of Spiny Softshell Turtles (Apalone Spinifera) in a Small Urban Stream. Herpetological Conservation and Biology, 10 (2), 688-694. Retrieved from https://scholarworks.harding.edu/biology-facpub/2