Painted Turtle

Uploaded by dupageforest on 28.09.2011

Painted turtles are a typical species of basking turtle you're likely to see in
the forest preserves of DuPage.
such as this right over my shoulder, a little pond,
a quick glancing over the shoreline of any fallen logs and limbs
will probably reveal at least one, if not many more,
painted turtles up basking.
That's a behavior that being reptiles, they need to do,
because they need to thermoregulate. They can live in the water,
but if they spend too much time in the cooler portions of the pond,
they'll need to come back out into the sun and
set up on a log or even up onto the shore at times and bask. They they raise their body temperature
by putting themselves in a situation where the sun can
strike their carapace
and uh... warm
warm the body temperature to a suitable level.
And of course, if they get a bit too warm, they just slide back into the water
and go about their business.
These animals eat a lot of different kinds of aquatic life
not the least of which is carrion, so they help to clean up
water bodies and any dead material. They'll also eat a lot of insects.
They'll eat fish, snails,
and a lot of plant vegetation, as well.
They are an interesting species, and in the spring of the year, we get a lot of
calls from concerned citizens
that they're seeing a lot of turtles crossing roads.
Usually, if that's the case,
either with painted turtles or snapping turtles
or any of the turtle species for that matter, it's typically the females coming up
to lay their eggs. They lay their eggs on land.
And they'll find a suitable location,
dig a nest, lay their eggs and then cover them up and go away. And that's all mom
has to do.
She's done her part.
And uh... unfortunately after that, then once the babies emerge from the
nest, they've got to go
that same route that mom took back to the water body that she came from.
They're quaint little animals, and a lot of people like them.
And it's very tempting for a lot of people who find them on their vacations to bring them home and
try to keep them in captivity.
Unfortunately, I think that that was probably the origins of this little friend here.
And as you can see, it didn't work out well for this guy. He survived a long time and he
seems to be fine, but there's nothing that we can do to reverse the situation.
His shell is too small for his body mass.
He's just going to look funny for the rest of his life.
It's difficult to meet all of the needs for these animals, and of course,
one of the problems that this guy probably had was that he didn't get
enough natural sunlight.
They need a lot of ultraviolet rays from the sun, the UVA, UVB, UVC.
And those rays really can't be replicated in captivity.
People say, "Well, we have them next to a window."
But one thing that we found is that
glass filters out almost all the usable
ultraviolet rays. So, it doesn't really do much good other than perhaps provide
some additional warmth to their water.
And, perhaps not even that much.
So, as with all wild animals, we encourage people to just leave them alone,
and enjoy the experience for what it is.
It's a nice chance to get up close to nature,
but it's always best to leave nature to itself.