Thesis Title

Age and Growth of the Ozark Hellbender

Date of Graduation

Summer 1979

Degree

Master of Science in Biology

Department

Biology

Committee Chair

Robert Wilkinson

Subject Categories

Biology

Abstract

Length-specific growth rates of Ozark hellbenders, Cryptobranchus alleganiensis bishopi, from the North Fork of the White River, Missouri, were calculated by regression from growth of marked and recaptured hellbenders. Growth rates declined steadily after transformation, going from about 74 mm total-length increase per year at 18 months to about one mm annual increase at 18 years of age. Male and female hellbenders grew at similar rates, although more females lived longer and were larger. The growth model predicts longevity in excess of 20 years and a maximum length of 447 mm, although 5.9% of the population collected in July and fall of two years exceeded this length. The population was dominated by long-surviving, slow-growing hellbenders. Analysis of covariance indicated a significant difference in the length-growth and length-weight relationships of hellbenders from the North Fork and Niangua Rivers in Missouri.

Copyright

© Chris L Peterson

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