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Title: Migration patterns in a population of cottonmouths (Agkistrodon piscivorus) inhabiting an isolated wetland

Abstract

No abstract prepared.

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL), Aiken, SC
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
898806
Report Number(s):
SREL-3010
TRN: US200706%%263
DOE Contract Number:
DE-FC09-07SR22506
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Zoology; Journal Volume: 271
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; WETLANDS; HABITAT; SNAKES; MIGRATION; POPULATION DYNAMICS

Citation Formats

Glaudas, X., K. M. Andrews, J. D. Willson and J. W. Gibbons. Migration patterns in a population of cottonmouths (Agkistrodon piscivorus) inhabiting an isolated wetland. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.2006.00232.x.
Glaudas, X., K. M. Andrews, J. D. Willson and J. W. Gibbons. Migration patterns in a population of cottonmouths (Agkistrodon piscivorus) inhabiting an isolated wetland. United States. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.2006.00232.x.
Glaudas, X., K. M. Andrews, J. D. Willson and J. W. Gibbons. Mon . "Migration patterns in a population of cottonmouths (Agkistrodon piscivorus) inhabiting an isolated wetland". United States. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.2006.00232.x.
@article{osti_898806,
title = {Migration patterns in a population of cottonmouths (Agkistrodon piscivorus) inhabiting an isolated wetland},
author = {Glaudas, X., K. M. Andrews, J. D. Willson and J. W. Gibbons},
abstractNote = {No abstract prepared.},
doi = {10.1111/j.1469-7998.2006.00232.x},
journal = {Journal of Zoology},
number = ,
volume = 271,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}
  • Warning displays are defined as signals designed to intimidate predators or indicate a proclivity to fight. However, support for the idea that warning behaviors signal an intent to fight is largely based on anecdotes and isolated observations, and a complete understanding of antipredator behavior will only be achieved if specific hypotheses are experimentally tested. Herein, we tested in a North American viperid snake, the cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus), the hypothesis that warning displays serve as a reliable signal to potential predators that a snake will strike. The cottonmouth exhibits two stereotypical warning displays during predator confrontation, i.e., mouth gaping and tailmore » vibrations, making it an ideal study organism to experimentally test the relationship between warning displays and defensive striking. To test this idea, we recorded the sequence of defensive behavior--gaping, tail vibrating, and striking--of cottonmouths towards a standardized predatory stimulus in the laboratory. As predicted, snakes that gaped during the trials were subsequently more likely to strike than snakes that did not. In contrast, striking behavior was independent of the occurrence of tail vibrations. Our results suggest that gaping behavior--but not tail-vibrating behavior--may provide an honest signal to would-be predators.« less
  • No abstract prepared.
  • A mean population of 20 cotton rats inhabited the banks of a small radioactive liquid waste pond (=0.39 ha) in Tennessee during the summer of 1977. Radiocesium concentrations in common shoreline plants (Eleocharis, Juncus, Typha, and Polygonum) ranged from 80 pCi/dry g in Juncus to 35,800 pCi/dry g in Eleocharis. The mean (+/-S.E.) 137Cs concentration in cotton rat GI tracts was 2283 (+/-591) pCi/dry g (N = 14). The mean (+/-S.E.) whole-body burden of 137Cs in 14 rats sampled from June to September was 44467 (+/-13,142) pCi. Mean 137Cs body burdens in cotton rats increased from 32 pCi/g live weightmore » in May to 208 pCi/g live weight in August and declined to 3 pCi/g live weight in December. The mean (+/-S.D.I) percent distribution of the whole-body contents among pelt, GI tract, and carcass was 12 (+/-3), 28 (+/-12), and 60 (+/-9), respectively. The calculated mean (+/-S.E.) ingestion rate of 137Cs, assuming rats recaptured on the pond's banks for longer than 42 days were at equilibrium, was 1792 (+/-504) pCi/day. The concentration of 137Cs in shoreline plants, rat GI tracts, and rat bodies indicated that cotton rats, which are herbivores, accumulated their body burdens by foraging along the contamination zone bordering the pond shoreline. A maximum mean estimate of the amount of 137Cs annually exported by cotton rats from the pond is 8719 nCi or =10-6% of the total amount estimated to be present in the pond's sediments.« less