Turtles: Shells All Around

African Spurred Tortoise

Centrochelys sulcata

My name is “Josie”. You see, I eat a ton, and Randy allowed the person that donates food to me, the privilege of naming me, and Kristi chose Josie!  I’m so happy she did, or else Randy would’ve had to start pillaging dumpsters, growing vegetables, or waving a magic wand. Right now I’m 18 inches wide, but I can get to be over three feet wide. Oh, and I live for 125 years. Please know what you are getting into before you buy a cute little baby tortoise…we tend to outlive our owners!

Common snapping turtle

Chelydra serpentina

My name is “Frassati” and I am currently one of those cute little baby turtles Randy is always warning consumers about. Adult snappers would never let a human being pick them up without a defensive display (or bite) so don’t test this on my wild relatives! We snappers have huge heads that don’t fit all of the way into our shells, so we use our behavior to protect us from potential threats. Right now I am too cute for my own good, but I will grow (like all turtles) so don’t buy us if you’re not ready for 40 plus years of cleaning our stinky tanks!

Red-Eared Slider

Trachemys scripta

My name is “Bob” and I am a female red-eared slider. My first owner named me without knowing my sex, but Party Safari staff will teach you how to differentiate between adult male and adult female pond turtles. Speaking of males and females, did you know that all adult female turtles lay eggs to reproduce? Based upon that fact, do you think we are bigger or smaller than our male counterparts?

Yellowbelly Slider

Trachemys scripta scripta

My name is “Lemon Head” and I am a male yellowbelly slider. I am closely related to the red-eared species above, and I have been known to breed with females. Do you think our hatchlings would be orange turtles?

Mississippi Map

Graptemys pseudogeographica kohnii

My name is “Kayla” and I am a female Mississippi map turtle. Compare me with the tortoise to see the differences between aquatic turtles and land-trapped tortoises. I’m a bit calmer than the two sliders above, but we are all faster than the fables would make you think.

African Side Neck

Pelusios castaneus

My name is “Little Foot” because I have a really long neck (Land Before Time). As I get older, my neck will grow so long I will have to fold it against the outside of my shell! I am a neat representative of turtle biodiversity.

Western Box Turtle

Terrapene ornata

My name is “Chip” because I was ran over by some farming equipment out west (I have the scar to prove it). How do you think I survived? The same way all of my turtle ancestors have! We’ve been rocking a tough shell since the time of dinosaurs. (It’ll take more than one tractor to get rid of me.) Oh, and I look like a tortoise, but you’ve got to know my ancestors before you judge me. The Party Safari staff can explain more if you choose me for your event.

An ancient animal group that puts all of their eggs in one basket!

Ask our staff how they survive.

Thank you Haley Martin for your photos!