Seasonal Timing of Consumption of Calcium-Rich Caliche in the Sonoran Desert Tortoise (Gopherus morafkai) in Central Arizona

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Mohave Desert Tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) actively consume calcium-rich soil, bones, and stones, but this "mining" behavior is not well described for Sonoran Desert Tortoises (Gopherus morafkai). Over 8 yrs of study, we observed female G. morafkai consuming small white fragments of calcium-rich and phosphorus-poor caliche, but only during late May and June in an upland Sonoran Desert site in central Arizona. The temporal restriction of caliche consumption coincides with clutch development and egg deposition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-101
Number of pages4
JournalChelonian Conservation and Biology
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019

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Gopherus morafkai
Gopherus agassizii
caliche
Sonoran Desert
desert
calcium
Mojave Desert
bone
highlands
bones
egg
phosphorus
consumption
tortoise
soil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this

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