Painted Turtle

The Painted Turtle, Chrysemys picta, is a reptile common to North America. It is a water turtle 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.

This turtle spends most of its time in the water but often lies on floating logs in the sun, or on rocks by the shore. During the colder months it will hibernate, burying itself for months in the mud beneath streams and ponds. The mud acts as an insulator and helps to keep the turtle warm in the harshest of winter months. They can survive long periods in ice covered ponds because they can live for several months without breathing oxygen. Painted turtles can live up to thirty years in the wild.

Young turtles eat larvae, crickets, beetles and maggots. As they mature, their diet consists mostly of duckweed, water lilies, algal matter, as well as insects, worms, leeches, crayfish, tadpoles, snails and small fish. Painted Turtles make great pets since they reproduce quickly and pose no threat of becoming extinct.