Nov 18, 2008

Analysis of prey capture and food transport kinematics in two Asian box turtles, Cuora amboinensis and Cuora flavomarginata (Chelonia, Geoemydidae), with emphasis on terrestrial feeding patterns

Zoology : Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Nikolay NatchevJosef Weisgram


This study examines the kinematics and morphology of the feeding apparatus of two geoemydid chelonians, the Malayan (Amboina) box turtle (Cuora amboinensis) and the yellow-margined box turtle (Cuora flavomarginata). Both species are able to feed on land as well as in water. Feeding patterns were analysed by high-speed cinematography. The main focus of the present study is on the terrestrial feeding strategies in both Asian box turtles, because feeding on land has probably evolved de novo within the ancestrally aquatic genus Cuora. During terrestrial feeding (analysed for both species), the initial food prehension is always done by the jaws, whereas intraoral food transport and pharyngeal packing actions are tongue-based. The food uptake modes in Cuoras differ considerably from those described for purely terrestrial turtles. Lingual food prehension is typical of all tortoises (Testudinidae), but is absent in C. amboinensis and C. flavomarginata. A previous study on Terrapene carolina shows that this emydid turtle protrudes the tongue during ingestion on land, but that the first contact with the food item occurs by the jaws. Both Asian box turtles investigated here have highly movable, fleshy tongues; nonetheless, the hyolingual ...Continue Reading

  • References16
  • Citations10


  • References16
  • Citations10


Mentioned in this Paper

Entire Oral Cavity
Chromis amboinensis
Lingual - Oral Site Descriptor
Genus Terrapene
Depressed - Symptom
Extinction, Species

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