Basking Turtles

turtlesA pile-up of turtles. But not all of these are Red-eared Sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans), which dominate the waters in Prospect Park. If you look closely, you’ll notice one of the shells is rather smoother than the others, and, although out of focus, its red highlights on the underside sing out “Painted Turtle” (Chrysemys picta).Chrysemys pictaHere’s another, one of half a dozen amid the dozens of RES. A gorgeous shell, I think you will agree (no filtering here, btw).Chrysemys pictaAnd another. The most Painteds I’ve ever seen in the Lullwater.Chrysemys pictaLots of flaming red underneath, the Painteds, but no red on the head. (Older RES tend to lose their red “ear” mark, though.)turtlesAre you ready to pick out the Painted now?

This one, however, is baffling me:turtleBeautifully patterned carapace. Note how smooth it is in comparison to the gnarly RES one.turtleAny ideas on what this is? The park’s waters are used as a dumping ground by fools and idiots, as in the case of this never solved soft-shell I spotted last October.

1 Response to “Basking Turtles”

  1. 1 elwnyc April 28, 2014 at 8:48 am

    I’m no reptile expert, but there are some out there. In case this is an escaped/released pet, maybe the New York Turtle and Tortoise Society ( could help. They would agree that pets shouldn’t be dumped in local waters. And there’s always the American Museum of Natural History and the Bronx Zoo.

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