An Examination of the Accuracy of Using Plastral Scute Rings to Age Spotted Turtles (Clemmys guttata)

An Examination of the Accuracy of Using Plastral Scute Rings to Age Spotted Turtles (Clemmys... AbstractThe use of plastral scute rings to age turtles is a widely practiced technique, but a lack of rigorous field testing of this method has led to critiques of its usefulness and accuracy. We tested the method's effectiveness for aging spotted turtles (Clemmys guttata) by calculating an Age-Increase Ratio and by recording changes in the number of scutes within a year. We found no correlation between the change in the number of scute rings and the number of years between captures, which likely stems from the observer error associated with the difficulty of accurately counting scutes on older turtles; however, we did record a significant correlation between the number of scute rings and body size. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Chelonian Conservation and Biology Allen Press

An Examination of the Accuracy of Using Plastral Scute Rings to Age Spotted Turtles (Clemmys guttata)

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Publisher
Allen Press
Copyright
2018 Chelonian Research Foundation
ISSN
1071-8443
D.O.I.
10.2744/CCB-1282.1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractThe use of plastral scute rings to age turtles is a widely practiced technique, but a lack of rigorous field testing of this method has led to critiques of its usefulness and accuracy. We tested the method's effectiveness for aging spotted turtles (Clemmys guttata) by calculating an Age-Increase Ratio and by recording changes in the number of scutes within a year. We found no correlation between the change in the number of scute rings and the number of years between captures, which likely stems from the observer error associated with the difficulty of accurately counting scutes on older turtles; however, we did record a significant correlation between the number of scute rings and body size.

Journal

Chelonian Conservation and BiologyAllen Press

Published: Jun 21, 2018

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