Painted Turtle - Chrysemys picta
This turtle was really not shy. In fact, every time I tried to back up to get a better shot, it quickly scurried up to me. I have no idea why, but it was weird. I think it may have been begging? There are lots of turtles in the area and the nature center that owns the property has classes for children. So, maybe the kids feed the turtles?
I never noticed the two, small tooth-like projections on their mouth before. I wonder what they are for?
The painted turtle is the most widespread native turtle of North America. It lives in slow-moving fresh waters, from southern Canada to northern Mexico, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The turtle is the only species of the genus ''Chrysemys'', which is part of the pond turtle family Emydidae. Fossils show that the painted turtle existed 15 million years ago.