Abstract

We report emergence dates for 38 alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) hatchlings from 6 naturally incubated nests laid during the 2008 and 2009 nesting seasons in northeastern Louisiana. Per capita emergence success for 2008 and 2009 combined was 19.5%. Hatchling emergence occurred from 28 August to 25 September and was asynchronous for 80% of nests that had multiple hatchlings emerge, with emergence duration as long as 12 days. We found no evidence of delayed emergence; some hatchlings may remain in the nest for up to 3 weeks before successfully emerging.

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