Identification of Turtles - Scituate Science

Identification of Turtles - Scituate Science

Identification of Turtles BY KAYTE SOUSA AND RACHEL FORTIER Wood Turtle (Glyptemys insculpta) An immature turtle (aged 15 to 20) produces 1 ring per year. The growth rings and grooves known as annuli can give an accurate age reading within a couple years of its age. The upper head is usually brown

and the lower head is either yellow or orange. The color of the turtle ranges from where it can be found but they are mostly the same colors. Wood Turtle (continued) Wood turtles can be found anywhere ranging from Canada to the United States. The range goes from southern Nova Scotia, south to northern Virginia in the east. Then from southern Quebec and the Great Lakes region to eastern Minnesota and north-eastern Iowa in the

West. They are also semi-aquatic so they can be found along forested rivers and streams. Wood turtles are omnivores so the eat anything from plants to animals both in and out of the water. Eastern Box Turtle Eastern Box Turtles are small to medium sized turtles and can be 8 inches long.

**The bottom of their shell can be shut completely to exclude predators** The Eastern Box Turtle ranges from Texas throughout the southeast and north to Michigan and southern Mass. They also have a variety in shell shape, pattern and coloration. (Terrapene Carolina) Eastern Box Turtle (continued)

Eastern Box Turtles are animals so they can live anywhere from wooded swamps to dry, grassy fields. Although they arent aquatic they will sometimes go into shallow water such as the edge of ponds or streams or even puddles. Being omnivores, they will eat almost anything, animal or plant, that will fit in their mouth. Spotted Turtle (Clemmys guttata) The spotted or polka-dot turtle has yellow spots on its head,

neck, legs and upper shell. The background color is black. Spotted Turtles can be found in many different habitats such as vernal pools, swamps, bogs, and marshes. They can also be found in small streams, wet meadows, and wet forests. They also feed on small prey, some fruits, and filamentous algae. Eastern Painted Turtle picta)

Eastern Painted Turtles can grow up to 9 inches long and have black, smooth, flattened shells. It also has red markings all the way around its shell. The top part of the turtles shells are known as carapace and the small plates are called scutes. The bottom part of the turtles

shell (plastron) is yellow. Its legs, neck and tail have yellow and red stripes. (Chrysemys picta Eastern Painted Turtle (continued) The eastern painted turtle can be found in marshes, lakes, ponds, rivers, and slow-moving streams. They live water with a lot of plants and logs they can climb out on.

Eastern painted turtles eat plants like duckweed, algae and water lilies as well as earthworms, insects, leeches, snails, crayfish, frogs, fish, tadpoles and carrion (dead matter). Red-eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) The red-eared slider is a medium sized turtle that has a dark green oval shell. Younger turtles have yellow in them.

They also have green legs with thin yellow stripes and a green head with a red strip behind the eye. Red-eared Slider (continued) They can be found in places such as ponds, lakes, swamps, creeks, streams, or slow-moving streams. They like being able to leave the water easily so they can climb onto rocks or tree trunks.

Although being omnivores, their main source of food is a variety of different plants. Northern Diamond-backed Terrapin (Malaclemys t. terrapin) Diamond-backed Terrapins can have a gray, light-brown, or black shell. They can also be patterned with concentric rings or ridges on their shell.

The under shell can be either yellowish or grayish-green. Northern Diamond-backed Terrapin (continued) They live in the brackish water of salt marshes, estuaries and tidal creeks. They eat fish, marine snails, crabs, marine and tidal mollusks, carrion, clams and worms

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