The shingle back is an omnivore that would be considered an opportunistic feeder. Its main diet typically consists of vegetable matter, such as herbs and seedlings, with any blossoms or fruits that it may come across included. The rest of the diet can consist of insects and other arthropods, snails, carrion, and basically any other edible thing that it is fortunate enogh to come across (Cogger, 1975). One of the greatest hardships that T. rugosa is adept at overcoming are periodic droughts and famines Typically, much food is available during the spring months after the winter rains, but that soon plummets during the following summer and fall months. As was discussed above, the tail acts as a fat store to help the shingle back survive in times if little or no sustenance. Its opportunistic feeding habits also aid in its survival (although the tendency to venture out into the road to consume carrion and then be struck and killed by motor vehicles is a leading cause of death in this species) (Vitt and Pianka, 1994).
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