Painted turtles sun themselves to regulate their body temperature, get rid of parasitic leeches, absorb calcium and dry their shell.
Coloration of the body and upper portion of the shell is greenish brown to black shell with red and yellow markings
Shell is smooth with a relatively flat upper portion
Feet are webbed, with a claw on each digit
Head and legs can be retracted into the animal’s shell
Painted turtles are able to retract their head and legs into their shell for protection, but they cannot leave their shell completely because their ribs are fused to the shell. This fusing prevents these turtles from moving their ribcage in order to inhale or exhale. Instead, the painted turtle will alternate contractions of the flank and shoulder muscles in order to force air into and out of the lungs.
The temperature of the nest is what determines whether the turtle hatchlings will be male or female. Higher temperatures, which can be found towards the top of the nest, will result in females, while cooler temperatures found at the bottom of the nest, will result in males.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed the painted turtle population as Least Concern as there are minimal threats to the population and it is the most abundant and widespread turtle in Canada and the U.S. Least Concern populations are those that are unlikely to become extinct in the near future.
3.5 to 10 inches (9 to 25i centimeters)
Diet Plants, fish, crustaceans, and aquatic insects
Southern Canada to northern Mexico