The Beautiful Shell of a Painted Turtle

This Can You Guess It?? photo appears in the August 2005 Nebline Newsletter.

Painted TurtleTurtles occur on all continents except Antarctica. Over 240 species occur worldwide but turtles are most abundant in eastern North America.

Turtles feed on a combination of plant and animal material that includes items such as aquatic weeds, crayfish, carrion, insects, fish, and other small organisms.

All turtles reproduce by laying eggs in early spring. Hatching begins in late summer and extends into the fall, depending on summer temperatures associated with the climate of the range.

An interesting fact: There are no genetic males or females painted turtles. Their sex is determined by external temperature during embryogenesis (when the embryo is being formed). Colder temperatures produce males and hotter ones make females.

During winter in Nebraska, painted turtles hibernate. Scientists estimate that painted turtles can live up to 40 years in the wild, but in captivity they do not live as long.


Reptiles and Amphibians of Nebraska

Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management

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