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Fast Fact: Painted Turtles

Painted turtles are among the most common turtles in the United States. They are easy to identify from the yellow and red markings on their heads, necks and legs, and they also have red markings on the underside of their shells. If you’ve ever seen a big group of turtles sunning themselves on a rock or log in a pond, it was very likely painted turtles. They like to bask in the sun to warm themselves up, and it also helps them get rid of leeches on their bodies.

A painted turtle. (Photo via Shutterstock)

Turtles have a long lifespan compared to many wild animals. Painted turtles can live to be 35 or 40 years old, although not all of them will live this long. Turtles don’t have teeth, but they have plates on their jaws to help them grip food. Painted turtles have to eat in the water, and they eat a combination of plants and animals such as fish, insects and crustaceans like crayfish.


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