Saturday, September 5, 2009

Painted Turtle

The painted turtle, Chrysemys picta, family Emydidae, is an attractively marked turtle that measures 10-25 cm (4 - 10 in) in length, with females attaining a large size males. This species has red markings on the margin of its shell, dark limbs that are streked with red or yellow, and a black head marked with yellow. The smooth, oval carapace unserrated along its posterior margin. The males have long claws on the fore-feet that presumbly are used in courship display.
Painted turtles are found throughout the northern United States and southern Canada; part of their range extends to Florida, Lousiana, and Arizona. They prefer quite, shallow waters with a heavy growth of vegetation. These turtles are fond of basking. They usually hibernate underwater, burried in the mud, but in southern states may not hibernate every year. They are mainly carnivorous.

The Painted turtle is perhaps the most numerous small pond turtle found in the northern United States and southern Canada. Its shell usually has bright red or yellow markings.

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