Environmental and ecological factors influencing dive behaviour in the freshwater snake Acrochordus arafurae: A field-based telemetric study

Pratt, Kirstin L., Campbell, Hamish A., Watts, Matthew E. and Franklin, Craig E. (2010) Environmental and ecological factors influencing dive behaviour in the freshwater snake Acrochordus arafurae: A field-based telemetric study. Marine and Freshwater Research, 61 5: 560-567. doi:10.1071/MF09194


Author Pratt, Kirstin L.
Campbell, Hamish A.
Watts, Matthew E.
Franklin, Craig E.
Title Environmental and ecological factors influencing dive behaviour in the freshwater snake Acrochordus arafurae: A field-based telemetric study
Formatted title
Environmental and ecological factors influencing dive behaviour in the freshwater snake Acrochordus arafurae: A field-based telemetric study
Journal name Marine and Freshwater Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1323-1650
1448-6059
Publication date 2010-05-28
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/MF09194
Volume 61
Issue 5
Start page 560
End page 567
Total pages 8
Place of publication Collingwood, Vic., Australia
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Subject C1
970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
060699 Physiology not elsewhere classified
Formatted abstract
Acrochordus arafurae is a fully aquatic, freshwater snake distributed throughout tropical Australia. To better understand the ecological factors influencing their behavioural repertoire, we remotely monitored field body temperature and diving in snakes free-ranging within their natural habitat. The body temperatures of A. arafurae exhibited a diel profile similar to the surface water temperature, and reflected the high proportion of time that snakes remained <1 m from the surface. The average dive depth was 0.62 m and 95% of dives had an average depth of 1 m or less. Snakes occasionally ventured into deeper water (>6 m), and there was a positive correlation between dive depth and duration. Average dive duration was 6.6 min and 84% of dives were terminated within 10 min, but all snakes performed dives >50 min during the 14-day observation period. We hypothesise that the dive behaviour was strongly influenced by predation pressure. The snakes partake in short dives within the aerobic dive limit to reduce the amount of time they need to spend at the surface on each breathing bout, reducing the risk of predation by birds. Predation is a strong selective force that might alter the time allocation during dive cycles.
© CSIRO 2010
Keyword Acoustic telemetry
Aerobic dive limit
Body temperature
Dive depth
Predation
Bimodally respiring turtle
Diving behavior
Rheodytes-leukops
Surfacing frequency
Leatherback turtles
Optimal allocation
Pelamis-platurus
Elseya-albagula
Metabolic-rate
Habitat use
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
Ecology Centre Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 6 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 13 Jun 2010, 00:02:16 EST