Food Imprinting in the Snapping Turtle, Chelydra serpentina

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Science  07 Jan 1966:
Vol. 151, Issue 3706, pp. 108-109
DOI: 10.1126/science.151.3706.108


Three groups of hatchling snapping turtles, totaling 20, were fed either meat, fish, or worms. When they were tested for preference after 12 daily feedings, each preferred the diet to which it was accustomed. After 12 more days of eating a different food, each still preferred its original diet. A form of imprinting may be operative in the feeding behavior of this species.