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Posted by dingoblue on March 30, 2003 at 20:28:30:
Several weeks ago, a friend contacted me and said that she had two snappers in her sludge pond (lateral lines and laundry water drqain into this place).
Anyway, she called again about a week ago and said they had died.
I removed the carcasses, and one indiviual had a 10 inch carapace, while a smaller one had a carapace of 6 inches.
Both animals had no external wounds or lesions and looked to be in good health before their deaths, and carried a good amount of weight for the spring season.
I did an autopsy this afternoon, and their internal organs, muscles, and bones looked intact.
Another possible reason that these animals could have died was by hibernating in too shallow water, and in Kentucky where my friend lives, they had a very harsh winter.
She told me that temperatures were in the single digits and teens throughout the past months, and that ice had totally covered this pond. She is not sure of the actual depth of the pond (maybe3-4 feet inthe center), but thinks that it may be more shallow due to the siltation that has occurred over the past ten years. I am aware of the geographic range that snappers populate, but this particular locality may not have been able to tolerate the extreme temperatures in this little body of water.
Does anyone else have an alternate idea as to why these snappers could have died?
I appreciate the ideas.
By the way, I save the heads and shells of the victims, and will bleach them out. If I can get a picture of these relics, I'll post them for comparison.