Eastern Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta picta)
Native to Fairfax County
Matisse has visited with many school children and helped them learn more about reptiles. Many visitors are taken with Matisse because of the beautiful red patches on the edge of the turtle's shell. It almost looks like someone painted on the color. Matisse was born at a neighboring nature center and given to Riverbend Park shortly after birth.
In the wild, painted turtles can often be found in sunny spots basking on logs or rocks in ponds, lakes or rivers. After warming, they may be observed eating tadpoles, fish, aquatic plants or even carrion. At the end of their day, painted turtles return to the pond bottom for a night's sleep.
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