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Meet Tortuga Tex: A Texas Map Turtle - Text Version

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Hoo-whee! It’s a stormy night here on the Colorado River! I better get out of this flood plain! No place to be if the river rises, even for us turtles!

Howdy! My name is Tortuga Tex! I’m a Texas map turtle (Graptemys versa).

We’re river turtles, but we also like ponds and leafy places. We eat mollusks, insects and plant matter and we like to bask on logs and rocks!

Texas map turtles have a j-shaped yellow or orange stripe behind our eyes. Our carapace (shell) is olive green with yellow marks that kind of look like a map. That’s how we got the name “map turtle”!

We’re small turtles. Males get about 4-1/2 inches long. Females are 8 inches. Females are bigger to make room to carry the eggs they lay!

Us map turtles liver here on the Colorado River. Matter of fact, this is the only place in the world that we do live!

That’s a pretty small home range! If we lose even a little habitat we lose a big part of our home!

It looks like the rain is letting up, so I best be on my way.

I hope you will join me next time when I head down to the Edwards Aquifer!

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