It is turtle season in the Hudson Valley. This means we will be seeing turtles of all kinds in our yards and along the road. The information I am about to share with you about turtles might seem weird at first but it is very important.

Various types of Turtles call New York State home. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has a great link that shows you all the turtles of New York including a brief description of each type.

Why People Paint Turtles

The most common turtle you encounter on the side of the road in the Hudson Valley might be the snapping turtle but there are many others as you can see from this picture shared by the NYS DEC.

New York State Dept of Environmental Conservation
New York State Dept of Environmental Conservation

Box turtles and painted turtles are popular in our area as well. And speaking of paint have you ever heard about the practice of painting a turtle shell? It is more common than you think and it is not a good idea.

People often paint a turtle so they can track it in their yard. Some people do it so they can see if a turtle returns year after year. Others do it because they want to decorate the turtles they see, the simple truth is no one should ever paint a turtle, and certainly not their shell.

Why Do Turtles Sit on Logs?

Most people don't realize that a turtle's shell is a live part of the turtle. They don't shed their shell, it grows with them. Painting the shell will cause the shell to develop improperly. It will also deprive the turtle of vitamins and nutrients that it absorbs through its shell.

Did you ever see turtles all lined up on a log? That is because they are soaking up oxygen and vitamins from the air and the sun. Painting a turtle's shell will interrupt this important process that the turtle counts on to survive.

Never Paint a Turtles Shell Even if it is Your Pet

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LOOK: Can you tell the difference between these common pets?

Can you tell the difference between a hamster and a guinea pig? How about a betta and a guppy? Test your pet ID skills in our cute quiz. 

Gallery Credit: Stephen Lenz

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