The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

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pdf 02. Brooding in the Malayan pit viper, Caloselasma rhodostoma temperature, relative humidity, and defensive behaviour

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Open Access

pp.210-214

Authors: Daniel S. York And Gordon M. Burghardt

Abstract: A female Malayan pit viper ( Calloselasma rhodostoma) laid a clutch of 27 eggs and remained coiled atop them until hatching. Possible functions of brooding were evaluated; these include regulation of temperature, regulation of moisture, and protection. The brooding female was not found to regulate the clutch's temperature but was found to vary t he degree of egg exposure in accordance with fluctuations in the level of relative humidity. Body-jerking movements could be elicited in the female while she was brooding but not while she was off the nest. Body-jerking was elicited by prodding with an inanimate object as well as from a conspecific, and it is felt that this behaviour could function to ward off a potential predator.

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