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. The effect of surgically implanted transmitters upon the locomotory performance of the checkered garter snake, Thamnophis m marcianus


Open Access


Authors: William I. Lutterschmidt

Abstract: The effect of both surgery and implanted transmitters upon sprint time of Thamnophis m. marcianus from two populations was assessed under laboratory conditions using a circular racetrack. The mean sprint times of snakes before surgery were 7.52 s (SE = 0.393, n = 8) and 9.69 s (SE = 0.358, n = 5) for the Arizona and Texas populations, respectively. Mean sprint times of the same snakes following surgery were 7.55 s (SE = 0.387, n = 8) for the Arizona population and 9.83 s (SE = 0.408, n = 5) for the Texas population. A repeated measures ANOV A indicated that sprint time for both non-surgery and surgery treatments did not differ significantly. Transmitter treatments consisted of implanting transmitters equalling 1 0% or 1 5% of the snake's body mass. The mean sprint times for snakes receiving either 1 0% or 1 5% transmitter treatments were statistically compared to the mean sprint time of snakes receiving the surgery treatment. A two-way ANCOV A accounting for body mass indicated that the mean sprint time was significantly reduced for snakes carrying implanted transmitters equal to 1 5% of their body mass. These results suggest that surgical techniques have no effect upon locomotory performance and that implanted transmitters for radiotelemetry of snakes should probably not exceed 1 0% of the snake's body mass.


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