European Pond Turtle

The European Pond Turtle (Emys orbicularis) is a medium-sized freshwater wetland chelonian, and a reptile. It is also known as the European Pond Terrapin because it lives some of the time on land and some of the time in water. It has webbed toes to enable it to swim and walk on land.

The European Pond Turtle has a brown flattish shell, called a carapace, with a green tinge and radiating black lines. It has large brown eyes.

It grows to 12-38 centimetres (5-15 inches) in length. The male is smaller than the female. 

European Pond Turtle

The European Pond Turtle is native to southern and central Europe, west Asia, and North Africa. It prefers wetlands of slow-moving freshwater lakes, streams, ponds, and water ways near natural woods. 

It is omnivoruous, eating a mixed diet, such as plants, insects, and snails.

The female lays eggs on land, near water. She buries the eggs and the young push themselves to the surface after they hatch.  

European Pond Turtle

[Location of photographs: Parc Zoologique de Paris in Bois de Vincennes, France]

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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