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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