ABSTRACT

Diet quality and body size affected passage time of 2 diets (higher and lower in fiber) in hatchling and juvenile desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii). Mean retention time of the liquid fraction of each diet was significantly shorter than that of the solid fraction, and hatchlings had shorter passage times than juveniles. Habitat disturbances that limit access of hatchlings to diets lower in fiber may negatively impact the physiological and behavioral ecology of young desert tortoises.

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