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Reproduction of the cabezon turtle peltocephalus tracaxa testudines pelomedusidae in colombia



Reproduction of the cabezon turtle peltocephalus tracaxa testudines pelomedusidae in colombia



Lozania (41): 1-12



For the 1st time a successful breeding of the turtle P. tracaxa was accomplished. Eggs (28) were collected on the sand banks of the upper Rio Tomo, a tributary of the Orinoco (Vichada), Colombia, on Dec. 5 and 7, 1981. The following measurements were made: maximum length, 6.1 .times. 3.6 cm; minimum length, 5.6 .times. 3.4 cm; maximum weight, 53.6 g; minimum weight, 42.2 g. On March 17 and 18, 1982, 9 hatchings were born. Their umbilical scars were already closed. Carapase length (straight) was measured at maximum: 5.3 cm, minimum: 4.7 cm; weight at maximum: 33 g, minimum: 25 g. The incubation period lasted between 100 and 101 days. The egg carucle at the tip of snout is white and markedly pointed. They fell off between April 8-May 2, 1982. The color of the head and shell ranges from dark brown to grey and blackish. Several yellowish spots are found at the edge of the tympanum. From May 18 on, these blotches became more numerous and ranged foreward to the orbital region. The hatchlings started to feed on fish and vegetable matter after 9-11 days. Another 10 specimens were born at the same datum. They developed prematurely, possessed still a large vitelline sack and were too weak to abandon the shell by their own effort; they died several days later. This was probably caused by excessive heat.

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