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.

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Annam Leaf Turtle

The Annam Leaf Turtle (Mauremys annamensis) is a small, rare reptile in the chelonian family of tortoises, turtles, and terrapins. It is also known as the Vietnamese Pond Turtle. It is actually a terrapin, and not a turtle, because it does not have flippers. It lives some of the time on land and some of the time in water. It has webbed toes (instead of flippers) to enable it to swim in water and walk on land.

The Annam Leaf Turtle has a dark-brown flattish carapace (upper shell) and a yellow-orange plastron (lower shell) with a black blotch on each scale. The scale is called a scute. It has a wide head with a pale-yellow stripe from its nostrils, through its eyes, and along its neck.

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Colchis Pond Terrapin

The Colchis Pond Terrapin (Emys orbicularis colchica) is a semi-aquatic freshwater chelonian, and a reptile.

The Colchis Pond Terrapin has a light-brown and dark-brown top shell, called a carapace, with a distinctive pattern and a slight dome. Its bottom shell, called a plastron, is beige to light-brown. It has an oval-shaped head with large dark eyes. Its feet have claws with webbing in between to enable it to walk on land and swim in water.

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African Helmeted Terrapin

The African Helmeted Terrapin (Pelomedusa subrufa) is also known as the Marsh Terrapin, the Crocodile Terrapin, or the African Side-Necked Terrapin. It is a semi-aquatic reptile from Africa, like tortoises and turtles – a chelonian.

The African Helmeted Terrapin looks like a helmet. Instead of its neck sticking in and out, it has a side-necked position where it places its head sideways in its shell. It black or brown shell (carapace) is slightly domed. Its tail and legs are grey-brown, and its underbelly is yellowish. The male has a long thick tail. The female has a shorter tail.

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Red-Eared Slider

The Red-Eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) is also called the Red-Eared Terrapin. It is a semi-aquatic chelonian, living in water and also on land. A chelonian is a reptile that is a turtle, tortoise or terrapin.

The Red-Eared Slider has a small red stripe around its ears. Its carapace (upper shell) is about 20 centimetres (8 inches) in length, and is oval-shaped and flat on top. The carapace changes colour, but it is mostly black. Its plastron (under shell) is light yellow with dark markings. It has a green-black head, legs, and tail.

It has partially webbed-feet that enable it to swim and walk on land. Its claws are very sharp, and used for digging.

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Tortoises and Turtles: Flat shell or domed shell?

What is the difference between flat-shelled or dome-shelled tortoises and turtles?

The tortoise has a domed shell. The tortoise lives on land. The domed shell is heavy and acts like a shield or armour to protect them from predators.

The turtle has a flat shell. The turtle lives in water. Flat shells are lighter and better for swimming in water.

The terrapin has a flat shell. The terrapin lives partly on land and partly in the water.

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