In laboratory tests, young Chelydra serpentina and Trachemys scripta altered their distribution in the presence of a temperature gradient. Selection of temperatures in the gradient for hatchlings and yearlings showed that body temperatures (Tbs) of C. serpentina were lower than T. scripta, but the difference was insignificant. Relatively low Tbs could allow greater activity range and reduced metabolic maintenance cost for C. serpentina, which seldom leaves water.
Additional publication details
Response of hatchling and yearling turtles to thermal gradients: Comparison of Chelydra serpentina and Trachemys scripta