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Mississippi Map Turtle (Graptemys pseudogeographica kohni).

In the US the term turtle is used for both the marine turtles and semi-aquatic terrapins. In the UK a turtle is a marine animal that spends all its time in the water, whereas a terrapin spends time on land and water. The Mississippi Map Turtle would be classed as a terrapin in the UK.

This terrapin gets its name from the river rather than the state, and is found all along the Mississippi river and its tributaries. The ‘map’ part of their name comes from the lines and markings which look like the contour lines on an elevation map.

Mississippi map turtles prefer to be in the water when they feel safe, not going too far from a body of water so they can always make a quick dart back if they feel threatened. They are excellent swimmers, even in stronger currents and like having deeper areas in which they can hide.

During terrapin breeding, the male tries to impress the female by vibrating his long claws on their face, this is known as “chin tickling”. Females are larger than males and males have longer tails.

Mississippi map turtles are not suitable pets due to the expense of the set up and maintenance, the large space they require and their timid temperament which can lead them to get stressed easily and even bite.

Type

Reptiles

What do they eat?

Insects, crustaceans, fish, plants and fruit

Size

30 cm

Water Type

Tropical Fresh Water

Where are we?

Northern America

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