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Anthropogenic forest fragmentation increases the amount of edge habitat. Although edges are harsh environments for many native species, ratsnakes often prefer this habitat. We examined thermoregulatory effectiveness of Central Ratsnakes (Elaphe spiloides) using forest edges preferentially to determine if edge preference is driven by increased thermoregulatory efficiencies. Six male subjects were located every 1-2 days using radio-telemetry and temperature sensitive transmitters. Subjects did not thermoregulate more efficiently in edges than in forest. Snakes were thermoconformers in both habitat types suggesting edge preference might be driven by other factors.


Foster, C. Drew, Sarabeth Kleuh, and Stephen J. Mullin. "Thermoregulation of male Elaphe spiloides in an agriculturally-fragmented forest in Illinois." Transactions of the Illinois State Academy of Science (2009): 65.

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