Thursday, June 16, 2011

Painted Turtle

Painted Turtles are found from the northwest United States, across the northern Central Pains, east to New England and the Southeast. They are commonly kept as pets, and feral populations are established outside their native range in California, Arizona, Florida and even worldwide to Germany, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Spain. In these exotic locations, Painted Turtles have been known to out compete native turtle species.

I encountered this Painted Turtle near Circle Lake, Rice Co., on 12 April 2011.  These turtles hibernate during the winter and warm themselves with radiant heat in the spring.  To be active, the turtle must maintain an internal body temperature between 63 and 73 degrees F.  As adults they have few predators aside from raccoons; adult Painted Turtles have lived up to 55 years in the wild. They are prone to being hit by cars, suffer from habitat loss, and, in some locations, are adversely affected by the pet trade. Nevertheless, Painted Turtles are our most abundant turtle (Wikipedia).

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