The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

The 2017/18  impact factor of the Herpetological Journal is 1.268

pdf 03. Measurement of time budgets from continuous observation of thread trailed tortoises (Kinixys spekii)


Open Access


Authors: Adrian Hailey And Ian M. Coulson

Abstract: Five thread-trailed hingeback tortoises (Kinixys spekii) were observed continuously for a total of 260 hr on four hot days (at intervals of 1 -2 weeks) in the rainy season. Activity occurred in all hours from 06.00-19.00 hr; the population daily activity period was 13 hr. The daily duration of surface activity of individuals was on average 8.2 hr day·' between first and last daily movement. The daily time budget included 1 .95 hr locomotion, 0.86 hr feeding, and 5.2 hr stationary above ground (including long periods in indistinct surface refuges). There were no significant differences in total activity between individual tortoises or study days. Combining the daily activity period of the population and data from single sightings would greatly overestimate the amount of time spent active; observations over complete days are necessary for a true time budget. Increasing the number of days of observation of each individual decreased the variability of the data only slightly.

Key words: Kinixys, tortoise, time budget, activity pattern

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