Common Map Turtle

Common Map


Graptemys geographica  



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!


Common Map Turtle



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


20 to 50 years


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


Aquatic molluscs, mostly snails. Crayfish, insects and plants


1 clutch per year; 10 to 16 eggs

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