Map Turtle

Map Turtle

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Caption: Map turtle (Graptemys geographica). The map turtle is so named for the pattern on its carapace that resembles an intricate map of waterways. The pattern consists of yellowish or orangish lines with dark borders. While the pattern is generally very prominent, it may be dark and faded on adults. The upper surface of the carapace also features low, rolling vertebral keels. In juveniles the keels are more prominent. The head, neck and limbs are dark olive, brown or black in coloration and are highlighted with thin yellow, green or orangish stripes. Behind the eye there is often a small oval or triangular light spot. Adult female map turtles are larger than males and have a broader head. Males, in contrast, possess longer tails. Map turtles are distributed across much of the midwest from the northern portion of Michigan's lower peninsula, east to northwestern Vermont through southern Ontario, west to central Minnesota and south to southern Arkansas and southwestern Georgia. Optimum habitat for these turtles includes large creeks with slow to moderate currents, lakes, rivers, reservoirs, sloughs, marshes and bays.

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Keywords: animal, fauna, graptemys, graptemys geographica, map turtle, nature, reptile, tortoise, turtle, wildlife

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