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Adult Chicken Turtle

Florida Chicken Turtle

The Chicken Turtle (Deirochelys reticularia) is an uncommon freshwater turtle found in the southeast of the United States. The name "chicken" turtle refers to the taste of their meat, which used to be popular in southern markets. The chicken turtle is similar in appearance to the Eastern Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta picta), but has an unusually long, striped neck that is close to the length of its shell, with a yellow stripe on both the forelegs and rear legs. It has a distinguishable net-like pattern on its carapace. The carapace is pear-shaped, and is an olive to dark brown. Females are usually larger than the males, and males have a longer, thicker tail. Males also have longer front claws. At birth, chicken turtles are one inch in diameter, and adults reach from 10.2-25.4 cm. The chicken turtle is medium in size compared to other turtles. During the first year of their life they are almost completely carnivorous. Although they are mostly carnivorous at birth they will still eat plants. Chicken turtles use their well-developed hyoid apparatus to create suction that pulls food items into their throat, which is very unusual.

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Chicken Turtles

Florida Chicken Turtle