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|All Authors / Contributors:||Gary L Breitenbach; Justin D Congdon; Richard C van Loben Sels|
|Notes:||Fig. 1.-The arrangement of hatchling Chrysemys picta in their nest. Left, top view; right, side view.|
Winter temperatures of the nests of Chrysemys picta were rarely below -2.0 C, although one nest reached -3.3 C. There was no significant difference between nest and soil temperatures at the same depth, indicating the absence of observable metabolic heat production by hatchlings. Two nests were excavated in February. The hatchlings were responsive to touch and symmetrically arranged in the nest with their heads directed upwards. Snow cover is an important insulator of soil. Data of hatchling survivorship over 5 yr suggests winter-kill may be an important source of hatchling mortality during winters with little snow cover. No hatchlings died during a winter (1981-1982) characterized by deep snow cover.