Thesis Title

Food Habits, Starvation and Growth in the Hellbender, Cryptobranchus Alleganiensis

Date of Graduation

Summer 1976

Degree

Master of Science in Biology

Department

Biology

Committee Chair

Robert Wilkinson

Subject Categories

Biology

Abstract

Cryptobranchus alleganiensis were captured from the Niangua River of Missouri throughout 1974 for a food habits study. Crayfish were the dominant food item, with fish secondary; together, they constituted over 90 percent of stomach content weights in all months. Both fish and crayfish showed seasonal patterns of occurrence in the samples. Ten animals were starved up to 220 days, exhibiting very gradual decreases in weight. Eight animals were maintained at constant weights to determine subsistance levels. Growth sufficient for determination of conversion ratios and efficiencies was attained five times. All but one animal showed conversion ratios between 4 and 5. Animals very closely followed growth rate predictions of Taber, Wilkinson and Topping (1975).

Copyright

© Jamie Nevelle Wiggs

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