Abstract

We evaluated the diets of 81 Carolina diamondback terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin centrata) from northeastern Florida by analyzing fecal samples. Female diets were significantly different from male diets (p < 0.01); fecal samples from females contained crabs, marsh periwinkles (Littorina irrorata), and dwarf surf clams (Mulinia lateralis) in that order of occurrence, whereas fecal samples from males had dwarf surf clams and crabs in that order. We suggest that head-size dimorphism is advantageous to females during nesting forays when they experience a shift in prey availability.

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