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Common Name: Painted Turtle

Scientific Name: Chrysemys picta


Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Reptilia

Order: Testudines

Family: Emydidae

Genus: Chrysemys

Species: C. picta

The Chrysemys picta, more commonly known as the painted turtle, grow to be about 10inches (225mm) or 25cm in shell length.  On the underside of this amazing creature is a beautiful design that looks like it was painted. The design can vary between a solid yellow, mostly yellow with a pattern in the center, or a complicated pattern of yellow and red.  It has yellow or red lines on its head and body.  The skin tone can either be an olive green or solid black. Its shell protects it from its predators and is also a beautiful sight.  An easy way of identifying this creature is the underside of its shell, in which we talked about earlier in this report.


This turtle can be sold as a wonderful pet almost anywhere, because they are a beautiful creature that anyone who wants a turtle would buy.  This turtle is commonly found in southern Canada, the United States, and northern Mexico and is related to other water turtles such as sliders and cooters.  It lives in ponds, lakes, marshes, and in slow-moving rivers that have soft, muddy bottoms.  It needs dirt nearby, because in the winter this turtle will hibernate by burying itself in the dirt or in the mud.


There are still many of these creatures left. Their species is not threatened at all. In fact its species is the least of all our concerns right now.  Their population is growing, because their shell protects them from predators that want to eat them.  You see the way these turtles are brought into existence is fascinating.  The females go onto land and dig a nest. They prefer soft, sandy soil with good exposure to the sun for their nest site.  The nest is dug with its hind feet. It’s usually about 200 meters from the water


 The nest is no deeper than 10-12cm then they will lay 4-15 oval shaped eggs in the nest hole.  Then the mother will bury them and leave the hole unattended.  Then in about 72-80 days the baby turtles will hatch a dig themselves out and immediately become independent.


Baby painted turtles have a carnivorous diet of larvae, crickets, beetles, small worms and maggots. In captivity (at a zoo, as a pet, ect.) they are fed commercially-made, *low fat* turtle food along with a varied diet.  As they grow older they prefer more plant material.  The creatures that compete for food are other small creatures that feed on the same thing. The creatures that compete with the adults are any common plant eater.


The creatures that prey on the hatchling are, squirrels, chipmunk, woodchucks, skunk, badger, foxes, fish crows, garter snakes, deer, ants, beavers, and humans, these creatures usually prey on the nest.  Newly hatched turtles are eaten by rats, muskrat, mink, raccoons, snapping turtles, snakes, bullfrogs, large fish, herons and water bugs. Adult turtles are threatened by, alligators, raccoons, bald eagles, osprey, and red shouldered hawks.  A thing it may do to evade being eaten is kick, bite, scratch, urinate, and go in its shell. Going in its shell is probably its best defense, because it’s hard for predators to get the while they are safe in their shell.


Things that stood out during this report are, its shell colors,

how it protects itself from predators, and the babies diet. I learned quite

a bit while writing this report such as, how many eggs it lays, what it eats, how big it is, where it is most commonly found, and much more.


Author: John L.

Published: 03/2009


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