Preferences of small snapping turtles were determined by the relative number of locations in each of several experimental habitats. Nine juvenile turtles in one test showed some preference for a sand rather than a gravel substrate, but these results were not replicable in a second test with 8 of these turtles. There was no significant relationship between substrate preference and water temperature. Juvenile turtles preferred obstructed pool areas to open areas during darkness, whereas recently hatched turtles preferred obstructed pool areas to open areas during light and darkness. These experimental habitat preferences resemble field observations of snapping turtles. Mud substrates likely provide advantages similar to those provided in obstructed areas: concealment, enhanced protection, and locations from which to obtain food. The snapping turtle may be opportunistic in selecting aquatic habitats, provided that some cover is available.
The Journal of Herpetology publishes original research articles on the biology of amphibians and reptiles, with emphasis on behavior, conservation, ecology, evolution, morphology, physiology, and systematics. The purpose of the Journal is to increase knowledge about amphibians and reptiles and promote communication among herpetologists and other biologists interested in amphibians and reptiles.
The Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles (SSAR) is a not-for-profit organization established to advance research, conservation, and education concerning amphibians and reptiles. It was founded in 1958 and is currently the largest international herpetological society. The Society meets annually, usually in joint venues with other herpetological societies. Members receive the Society's primary research publication, the Journal of Herpetology, and its news-journal, Herpetological Review. SSAR also publishes book length monographs, facsimiles, and a catalogue of American reptiles and amphibians. Grant programs support student research. Conservation and Education committees have extensive outreach components. In order to promote publication of research on amphibians and reptiles, the SSAR has an editorial assistance program for herpetologists who do not have English as their first language.