The painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) is the most widespread native turtle of North America. It lives in slow-moving fresh waters, from southern Canada to Louisiana and northern Mexico, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Fossils show that the painted turtle existed 15 million years ago.
A cold-blooded reptile, the painted turtle regulates its temperature through its environment, notably by basking. All ages bask for warmth, often alongside other species of turtle.
Adults in the wild can live for more than 55 years.
Courtship begins when a male follows a female until he meets her face-to-face. He then strokes her face and neck with his elongated front claws, a gesture returned by a receptive female.