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Behavior Coding and Ethogram Of Juvenile Domesticated Asian Giant Softshell Turtles, Pelochelys cantorii

Xiaoyou Hong, Huitong Chen, Chenqing Wei, Chen Chen, Yakun Wang, Minmin Xie, Wei Li, Xinping Zhu


The Asian giant softshell turtle, Pelochelys cantorii, is a Class I protected animal in China and a CITES Appendix II species. In this paper, the behavior of 15 cultivated 4-month-old Asian giant softshell turtles was recorded in 1 day by a surveillance camera. Focusing on the posture act environment (PAE) and based on ecological functions, a PAE behavior ethogram of juvenile P. cantorii was constructed and analyzed. The results showed that there were 10 postures of young turtles, including floating, hanging, swimming, and lying, and 48 postures of the head and neck, mouth, eyes and nose, etc. Forty-six kinds of behaviors, such as ingestion, elimination, exploration, locomotive, rest, amicable, group and conflict, were recorded under 8 environmental codes. These findings will be helpful for the study of the behavior and conservation of P. cantorii and can also provide a reference for the study of the behavior ethograms of other soft-shelled turtles.


Artificial cultivation; juvenile Asian soft-shelled turtle; Behavior ethogram; PAE coding system

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