False Map Turtle

Graptemys pseudogeographica

Reptiles Alive Name: Atlas

Hisssstory: Atlas was an unwanted pet that someone released into a Fairfax VA pond.  A park naturalist was able to capture the turtle and then transferred it to Reptiles Alive.

RA Diet: Atlas eats a diet of crickets, superworms, earthworms, and special zoo turtle pellet food.

Natural Diet: In the wild, false map turtles will eat a variety of aquatic insects, mollusks, and fish.

Range: False map turtles range all along the Mississippi river and its tributaries in the mid-western United States.

Habitat: False map turtles prefer rivers and streams with a current and plenty of vegetation to hide in and fallen logs to bask on.

Size: Male map turtles grow to around 6 inches in length.  Females grow larger, up to 12 inches long.

Lifespan: False map turtles can live 35 years or more.

Reproduction: False map turtle mate twice a year in spring and then again in fall.  Males wiggle their front feet to get the female’s attention.  Clutches of 8-22 eggs are laid in burrows dug by the females in sandy soil.  Like many reptiles, the temperature at which the eggs are incubated determines if the baby turtles will be male or female.

Conservation Issues: Although false map turtles are not currently listed as threatened, their populations are subject to the same threats as other aquatic species including water pollution and habitat destruction,

Cool Facts: False map turtles belong to the same genus Graptemys as all other map turtles, so their is nothing false about calling them a map turtle.  Map turtles are also known sawback turtles because of the pointy protrusions along the back of their shell.  



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We had a great experience with Reptiles Alive for my daughter’s 6th birthday party. Rachel arrived exactly on time, set up quickly, and immediately engaged the group of curious children. We had an impromptu dance party while waiting for last minute guests and Rachel was very accommodating. The children LOVED the show!! And my soon-to-be 11 year old wants them to come for his birthday! I highly recommend Reptiles Alive for your next event!read more

Kelly Maguire

Kelly Maguire

22:57 12 Mar 18

We just had Reptiles Alive come to our preschool and the kids loved it!! We had 4 shows over 2 days to accommodate all our children and everything went great! Caroline was very easy to work with and quick to respond to all my emails. She was our presenter too and was early each day and ready to go when the kids arrived. She really geared her show towards our audience (2-5yr olds) and had them laughing and answering her questions and touching the animals. It was perfect… we would definitely book them again!!read more

Lauren Dolinski

Lauren Dolinski

20:47 01 Mar 18

We booked Reptiles Alive for our son’s 7th birthday party. Miss Rachel put on an amazing show for the 20 kids we had over. The highlight was when my son and I had the chance to hold a long and surprisingly heavy boa constrictor named Sunflower. The show was both educational and fun for the kids, and it kept them captivated for a full hour – priceless!!read more

Rick Jandrain

Rick Jandrain

01:53 06 Feb 18

Rachel is an awesome instructor and very good with many kids. The reptiles were fascinating. This was a great birthday party for my daughter and her second grade class.read more

Robert McKeon

Robert McKeon

23:26 26 Feb 18

We invited Reptiles Alive for our birthday party. Ms. Rachel did a wonderful job to educate the kids about the fun facts of Reptiles and also kept them entertained and focused. It’s not a easy job facing a bunch of 7-year-old boys and 3-year-old preschoolers. We highly recommend Reptiles Alive show. It’s fun and full of knowledge!read more

Tianchan Niu

Tianchan Niu

22:09 17 Dec 17