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Title: You can go your own way : no evidence for social behavior based on kinship or familiarity in captive juvenile box turtles
Authors: Tetzlaff, Sasha J.
Sperry, Jinelle H.
DeGregorio, Brett A.
Keywords: Box turtle
Social behavior in animals
Publisher: Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: Miscellaneous Paper (Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)) ; no. ERDC/CERL MP-22-3
Is Version Of: Tetzlaff, Sasha J., Jinelle H. Sperry, and Brett A. DeGregorio. "You can go your own way: No evidence for social behavior based on kinship or familiarity in captive juvenile box turtles." Applied Animal Behaviour Science 248 (2022): 105586.
Abstract: Behavioral interactions between conspecific animals can be influenced by relatedness and familiarity. To test how kinship and familiarity influenced social behavior in juvenile Eastern Box Turtles (Terrapene carolina), 16 captive-born individuals were reared under semi-natural conditions in four equally sized groups, where each group comprised pairs of siblings and non-siblings. Using separation distance between pairs of turtles in rearing enclosures as a measure of gregariousness, we found no evidence suggesting siblings more frequently interacted with one another compared to non-relatives over the first five months of life. Average pair separation distance decreased during this time but may have been due to turtles aggregating around resources like heat and moist retreat areas as colder temperatures approached. At eight months old, we again measured repeated separation distances between unique pair combinations and similarly found no support for associations being influenced by kinship. Agonistic interactions between individuals were never observed. Based on our results, group housing and rearing of juvenile box turtles did not appear to negatively impact their welfare. Unlike findings for other taxa, our results suggest strategically housing groups of juvenile T. carolina to maintain social stability may not be an important husbandry consideration when planning releases of captive-reared individuals for conservation purposes.
Description: Miscellaneous Paper
Gov't Doc #: ERDC/CERL MP-22-3
Rights: Approved for Public Release; Distribution is Unlimited
Appears in Collections:Miscellaneous Paper

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