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Life Sciences Commons

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Zoology

2015

Butler University

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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

The Ontogenetic Effects On The Shell Strength Of Turtles, Dakota Wayne Speck Jan 2015

The Ontogenetic Effects On The Shell Strength Of Turtles, Dakota Wayne Speck

Undergraduate Honors Thesis Collection

The shell of a turtle acts as its first line of defense by resisting the compressive forces applied by a potential predator. Changes in shell size and shape that are associated with ontogenesis and sexual dimorphism have been shown to greatly impact the strength a turtle's shell in a variety of species. Here I have tested the effects of ontogenetic changes on the shell strength of Graptemys geographica. The results suggest that the morphological changes that occur during ontogenesis work to increase the overall strength of the shell. The data did not show any obvious morphological or mechanical differences ...