Common Map Turtle

Common Map

Turtle

Graptemys geographica  

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DESCRIPTION

With a name like that, I hope I don’t get lost! The designs on my shell and yellow lines covering my head, my legs and my neck look like the contours of a topographical map. I also have yellow birth marks behind each eye and a bright white beak. Yep, for turtles, they call it a beak! I am a champion swimmer. Look at my big webbed feet. I can swim for miles in one day.


I spare no effort to hide my nest. I use my breastplate, called a plastron, as a broom and, presto, I cover the eggs with sand. However, it is often a waste of time because, with their legendary sense of smell, raccoons easily find the eggs. These raccoon predators are more and more numerous; all these fields of corn growing in the region allow them to thrive. And let’s not forget the effect of urban development. I’m not at the end of my troubles...

I give a helping hand to control invasive aquatic species; I am fond of the Zebra Mussel. Yum!

Location

Common Map Turtle

Caracteristics

dimension

Shell Length M : 9,9 - 16,8 cm; F : 13,6 - 27,3 cm
Weight 150 - 800 g

Lifespan

20 to 50 years

Habitat

Large bodies of water with shallow bays with emergent trunks and rocks for sun bathing

Diet

Aquatic molluscs, mostly snails. Crayfish, insects and plants

Reproduction

1 clutch per year; 10 to 16 eggs

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