Western Painted Turtle Chrysemys picta belli
Painted turtles are the most wide-spread turtles in the United States.
The undersides or plastrons of the painted turtle are what give these turtles
their name. They are very brightly colored with a large black patch mottled
with yellow on a red background. The backs or carapaces of painted turtles
vary from black, to greenish or brown, and may contain a few light yellow
lines on each plate. Distinctive yellow stripes adorn the head and neck.
Smooth Softshell Turtle Apalone mutica
Smooth softshell turtles, also known as "leathernecks", are
found in the Missouri River System of North Dakota. They are characterized
by their nearly circular carapace covered with a soft leathery type of skin.
The color of their shells may vary from olive-gray to orange-brown. The
underside or plastron is gray to creamy white. The markings on their heads
consist of pale swipes on the snout in front of the eyes, and pale stripes
behind the eyes with dark borders.
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