Freshwater Turtles

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Freshwater Turtles

Hi! Good Morning! I am Deirochelys reticularia, nick name – Chicken turtle, because of my long, striped, neck. I am a freshwater turtle and belong to a reputed family Emydidae. I inhabit the calm and quiet weedy freshwater ponds, swamps or marshes.

Look at the fine grooves and yellow network on the surface of my brown carapace (4 to 10 inches long). Whenever I get bored, I come out and enjoy moving on the land. I relish both non-vegetarian and vegetarian foods. Remember, never ever try to irritate me, else I will bite!

Let me introduce other family members:

Mr. Clemmys marmorata, (Pacific/Western Pond turtle)
Miss Emys orbicularis (European pond turtle/Swamp turtle)
Mr. Emydoidea blandingii (Blanding’s turtle).
Mrs. Graptemys geographica (Common Map turtle)
Baby Graptemys pseudogeographica (False Map turtle)
Master Clemmys guttata (Spotted turtle)
Miss Pseudemys concinna (River Cooter)
Ma’m Trachemys scripta elegans (Red-eared Slider) look at the significant red stripe behind the eyes.
Mr.Chrysemys picta picta (Eastern Painted Turtle)
Mrs. Pseudemys rubriventris (Eastern Red-bellied Turtle)
Mr. Calemys insculpta (Wood Turtle)

They are basically carnivorous but sometimes nibble on plants and seeds for a change of palate. They all inhabit shallow lakes, weedy marshes, ponds etc.

Let’s go over there; Kinosternidae family is having a great picnic on tadpoles, snails, worms and crayfish-

There are -Mr. Kinosternon subrubrum (Mud turtle and Eastern Mud Turtle) and Mrs. Kinosternon flavescents (Yellow Mud turtle) with yellow throat, smooth brown carapace and a big double hinged dull colored plastron.

Meet young and energetic Musk turtle, Common Musk Turtle and Loggerhead Musk Turtle. Though close kins, they are different species under the genus Sternotherus. They have short tail, grey, brown or dull colored oval-shaped shell, a single hinged plastron and white stripes on the two sides of the head.

But don’t dare to disturb them, else they may emit a strong foul smell from the glands which can knock you out (…just between you and me, we call them “stinkpot” because of the odor…yuck)! They don’t grow beyond 6 inches and have characteristic fleshy barbels on the chin.

There, basking on the sandbars, are the ace swimmers – Miss Apalone ferox and Apalone spinifera (Spiny- and Florida soft-shell turtles) of the Family Trionychidae. They are big (5-24 inches), carnivoresand have leathery shells.

Wow! There is Mr.Chelydra serpentina (Snapping Turtle) of Chelydridae family; largest of our kind (8-20 inches) with strong snapping jaws. How majestic!

Aren’t we fascinating? Then why do you gobble us? Why eh…?

For more information about pet turtles visit: Freshwater Turtles.

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