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Unit III Reptiles and Turtles Information. Introduction to Snakes Class Reptilia, Order Squamata Class Reptilia, Order Squamata 38 species of snakes in.

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Presentation on theme: "Unit III Reptiles and Turtles Information. Introduction to Snakes Class Reptilia, Order Squamata Class Reptilia, Order Squamata 38 species of snakes in."— Presentation transcript:

1 Unit III Reptiles and Turtles Information

2 Introduction to Snakes Class Reptilia, Order Squamata Class Reptilia, Order Squamata 38 species of snakes in Kansas 38 species of snakes in Kansas Only 4 are venomous: Copperhead, Timber Rattlesnake, Western (Prairie) Rattlesnake, Massasauga Only 4 are venomous: Copperhead, Timber Rattlesnake, Western (Prairie) Rattlesnake, Massasauga The venomous snakes we have are pit vipers, meaning they have heat-sensing pits between their nostrils and mouth, and they are like infra- red detectors. The venomous snakes we have are pit vipers, meaning they have heat-sensing pits between their nostrils and mouth, and they are like infra- red detectors.

3 Snakes, cont. Many snakes are quite beneficial because they keep rodent populations down. This is important for us because not only do rodents eat our crops, but since we and they are mammals, we share many diseases, so we don’t want to live with rodents in our environments. Many snakes are quite beneficial because they keep rodent populations down. This is important for us because not only do rodents eat our crops, but since we and they are mammals, we share many diseases, so we don’t want to live with rodents in our environments. Snakes are very fragile—they are ribs all the way down and can be hurt very easily. Snakes are very fragile—they are ribs all the way down and can be hurt very easily. No reason to kill them! They are very beneficial to us, and only the venomous ones need to be carefully relocated by an expert handler. No reason to kill them! They are very beneficial to us, and only the venomous ones need to be carefully relocated by an expert handler.

4 Snakes, cont. Many die on roadways by cars and the summertime heat can burn them. Many die on roadways by cars and the summertime heat can burn them. Human are main predator because of ignorance. Human are main predator because of ignorance. Many birds of prey eat snakes, some turtles and mammals like raccoons and skunks will also eat them. Many birds of prey eat snakes, some turtles and mammals like raccoons and skunks will also eat them.

5 Snakes, cont. Snakes are either constrictors, bite and grab, or venomous. This describes the way they eat: Snakes are either constrictors, bite and grab, or venomous. This describes the way they eat: Constrictors tighten around their prey so that their prey cannot draw a full breath of air (ribs expand when you breathe), and they eventually suffocate. Constrictors tighten around their prey so that their prey cannot draw a full breath of air (ribs expand when you breathe), and they eventually suffocate. Bite and grab snakes simply swallow their prey whole and alive. Bite and grab snakes simply swallow their prey whole and alive. Venomous snakes inject venom that actually begins the digestive process, and by doing so, kills the prey. They can track their prey by using the heat-sensing pits and find them after they have stumbled off to die. They usually don’t get very far. Venomous snakes inject venom that actually begins the digestive process, and by doing so, kills the prey. They can track their prey by using the heat-sensing pits and find them after they have stumbled off to die. They usually don’t get very far.

6 Snakes, cont. Snakes have an excellent sense of smell. They used a forked tongue (greater surface area) and a special organ called a Jacobson’s organ, which they insert their tongue into at the roof of their mouth and “taste” the air. It is kind of a combination of smelling and tasting. Snakes have an excellent sense of smell. They used a forked tongue (greater surface area) and a special organ called a Jacobson’s organ, which they insert their tongue into at the roof of their mouth and “taste” the air. It is kind of a combination of smelling and tasting. Snakes typically have poor eyesight. They usually detect movement rather than seeing the clear animal. Snakes typically have poor eyesight. They usually detect movement rather than seeing the clear animal. Snakes have either keeled (rough) or smooth scales. Snakes have either keeled (rough) or smooth scales.

7 Snakes, cont. Most are active in spring and fall. They hibernate in winter underground or in rock crevices, and they aestivate in summer (this is like hibernation but not as prolonged—if it is a nice day, they will be out and about). Most are active in spring and fall. They hibernate in winter underground or in rock crevices, and they aestivate in summer (this is like hibernation but not as prolonged—if it is a nice day, they will be out and about). Snakes mostly lay eggs, but some give “live” birth, where they retain the eggs inside and the babies emerge from the mother. Snakes mostly lay eggs, but some give “live” birth, where they retain the eggs inside and the babies emerge from the mother. Snakes have weak jaw muscles. If you get bitten by a non-venomous snake, they basically open their mouth and hit you with their teeth. The bigger the snake, the bigger their teeth, so it hurts more, but not like getting bitten by a mammal with strong jaw muscles. Snakes have weak jaw muscles. If you get bitten by a non-venomous snake, they basically open their mouth and hit you with their teeth. The bigger the snake, the bigger their teeth, so it hurts more, but not like getting bitten by a mammal with strong jaw muscles.

8 Snakes, cont. Snakes can unhinge their jaws to swallow prey items larger than themselves. Snakes can unhinge their jaws to swallow prey items larger than themselves. Snakes are ectothermic, meaning “cold-blooded”. Their body temperature same as the environment, they must regulate their temperature by either basking in the sun to warm up or by going underground to cool off. Snakes are ectothermic, meaning “cold-blooded”. Their body temperature same as the environment, they must regulate their temperature by either basking in the sun to warm up or by going underground to cool off. Snakes shed their skin periodically—timing not based on anything, they shed the outer layer as they grow. They shed more often when more food is available and they grow faster. Snakes shed their skin periodically—timing not based on anything, they shed the outer layer as they grow. They shed more often when more food is available and they grow faster. Snakes lay an amniote egg, it has the embryo inside with a yolk sac for food, various membranes to protect the growing embryo. They have a leathery-like shell. Snakes lay an amniote egg, it has the embryo inside with a yolk sac for food, various membranes to protect the growing embryo. They have a leathery-like shell.

9 Snakes, cont. How to identify snakes: How to identify snakes: Observe the scales: they will either be smooth or “keeled”, where there is a ridge that runs down the middle. Observe the scales: they will either be smooth or “keeled”, where there is a ridge that runs down the middle. Most field guides are arranged by the pattern you see on snakes. Most field guides are arranged by the pattern you see on snakes. Solid colors, blotchy pattern, or stripes Solid colors, blotchy pattern, or stripes

10 Venomous snakes in Kansas As mentioned, we have four species of venomous snakes in Kansas: As mentioned, we have four species of venomous snakes in Kansas: Copperhead—eastern 1/3 of KS (pictured in the slide show) Copperhead—eastern 1/3 of KS (pictured in the slide show) Timber Rattlesnake—eastern 1/3 of KS (pictured below and in the slide show) Timber Rattlesnake—eastern 1/3 of KS (pictured below and in the slide show) Western (Prairie) Rattlesnake— western ½ of KS Western (Prairie) Rattlesnake— western ½ of KS Massasauga—eastern 2/3 of KS Massasauga—eastern 2/3 of KS

11 Venomous snakes in Kansas The only place that Cottonmouth snakes have ever naturally occurred in Kansas is the Spring River in eastern Cherokee County (extreme southeast corner of Kansas). This area is part of the Ozark Plateau. Cottonmouths are common in the Ozarks. The only place that Cottonmouth snakes have ever naturally occurred in Kansas is the Spring River in eastern Cherokee County (extreme southeast corner of Kansas). This area is part of the Ozark Plateau. Cottonmouths are common in the Ozarks. Western Diamondbacks have been introduced for rattleshake round-ups, however they do not survive here. Western Diamondbacks have been introduced for rattleshake round-ups, however they do not survive here. All venomous snakes in the U.S. (except coral snakes) have a triangular-shaped head. This is because they have large venom glands located at the back of their heads that make their heads so much wider than their neck. All venomous snakes in the U.S. (except coral snakes) have a triangular-shaped head. This is because they have large venom glands located at the back of their heads that make their heads so much wider than their neck.

12 Copperhead, venomous

13

14 Family Crotalidae, the pit vipers Family Crotalidae, the pit vipers 22-36” in length ” in length. These are pit vipers, and have infrared, heat-sensing pits between their nostrils and their mouth. They sense the warmth of their prey extremely efficiently. These are pit vipers, and have infrared, heat-sensing pits between their nostrils and their mouth. They sense the warmth of their prey extremely efficiently. Very common in the eastern 1/3 of Kansas, but very secretive, docile snake. Very common in the eastern 1/3 of Kansas, but very secretive, docile snake. Most bites are from stepping on one or harassing one. Most bites are from stepping on one or harassing one. Venom is a neurotoxin. Affects the local area of the bite. No deaths have been reported in Kansas from being bitten, but it does require going to the hospital and it involves incredible pain. Venom is a neurotoxin. Affects the local area of the bite. No deaths have been reported in Kansas from being bitten, but it does require going to the hospital and it involves incredible pain. Eats insects (especially cicadas), frogs, lizards, small birds, and other snakes. Eats insects (especially cicadas), frogs, lizards, small birds, and other snakes.

15 Timber Rattlesnake, venomous

16 Family Crotalidae, the pit vipers. Family Crotalidae, the pit vipers ” in length ” in length. They also are pit vipers and have infrared, heat-sensing pits between their nostrils and their mouth. They sense the warmth of their prey extremely efficiently. They also are pit vipers and have infrared, heat-sensing pits between their nostrils and their mouth. They sense the warmth of their prey extremely efficiently. Threatened species in Kansas, although probably never very numerous. Occurs in roughly the eastern 1/3 of Kansas. Threatened species in Kansas, although probably never very numerous. Occurs in roughly the eastern 1/3 of Kansas. Highly venomous. Has a hemotoxin—whole body responds to venom. Very dangerous. Highly venomous. Has a hemotoxin—whole body responds to venom. Very dangerous. Will usually warn first by rattling its tail. Will usually warn first by rattling its tail. Lives on south-facing rocky slopes and ravines, but also found at woodland edge. Lives on south-facing rocky slopes and ravines, but also found at woodland edge. Eats primarily rodents. Eats primarily rodents.

17 Prairie Rattlesnake, venomous

18 Family Crotalidae, the pit vipers. Family Crotalidae, the pit vipers ” in length ” in length. They also are pit vipers and have infrared, heat-sensing pits between their nostrils and their mouth. They sense the warmth of their prey extremely efficiently. They also are pit vipers and have infrared, heat-sensing pits between their nostrils and their mouth. They sense the warmth of their prey extremely efficiently ” in length ” in length. Lives in western half of Kansas. Lives in western half of Kansas. Active from April to October. Active from April to October. Unlike the Timber Rattlesnake, is quite aggressive and has a nasty disposition. It invariably rattles when approached too closely, and should be avoided. Unlike the Timber Rattlesnake, is quite aggressive and has a nasty disposition. It invariably rattles when approached too closely, and should be avoided. Eats rats, mice, gophers, and young prairie dogs. Eats rats, mice, gophers, and young prairie dogs.

19 Black Rat Snake

20 Juvenile black rat snakes have a distinct pattern that they lose as adults.

21 Black Rat Snake (Western Rat Snake) Family Colubridae, harmless egg-laying snakes. Family Colubridae, harmless egg-laying snakes ” in length ” in length. Able to digest feathers; most snakes cannot. Able to digest feathers; most snakes cannot. Patterned when young, solid black with whitish belly as adult. Patterned when young, solid black with whitish belly as adult. The black rat snake is a good tree climber and will eat birds and bird eggs, and also eats rodents. The black rat snake is a good tree climber and will eat birds and bird eggs, and also eats rodents.

22 Yellow-bellied Racer

23

24 Juvenile Yellow- bellied Racers have a distinct pattern that they lose as adults.

25 Yellow-bellied Racer (Eastern Racer) Family Colubridae, harmless egg-laying snakes. Family Colubridae, harmless egg-laying snakes ” in length ” in length. Constrictor Constrictor One of the fastest snakes in Kansas. One of the fastest snakes in Kansas. Will thrash about before disappearing into the brush. Will thrash about before disappearing into the brush. Folk tale that it will “chase” you, but it doesn’t actually chase you. Folk tale that it will “chase” you, but it doesn’t actually chase you. Difficult to catch because they are so fast. Difficult to catch because they are so fast. Eats any small animal that moves. Eats any small animal that moves.

26 Northern Watersnake

27 Above is a juvenile, to the left is an adult. Notice the pattern is very evident on the juvenile and faded on the adult.

28 Northern Watersnake Family Natricidae, harmless live-bearing snakes. Family Natricidae, harmless live-bearing snakes ” in length ” in length. Very often mistaken for a copperhead or sometimes a cottonmouth (we don’t have cottonmouths in Kansas!). Very often mistaken for a copperhead or sometimes a cottonmouth (we don’t have cottonmouths in Kansas!). Lives in and around water. Bites aggressively Lives in and around water. Bites aggressively Has anticoagulant in saliva so you bleed a bit from the bites. Has anticoagulant in saliva so you bleed a bit from the bites. Active in colder weather than most snakes, as cold as 47 degrees. Active in colder weather than most snakes, as cold as 47 degrees. Mainly eats fish, but also frogs and toads. Mainly eats fish, but also frogs and toads.

29 Rough Green Snake

30 Family: Colubridae, harmless egg-laying snakes. Family: Colubridae, harmless egg-laying snakes ” in length ” in length. Slender, graceful snake lives in trees and shrubs, usually near water. Slender, graceful snake lives in trees and shrubs, usually near water. Found in roughly eastern 1/3 of Kansas. Found in roughly eastern 1/3 of Kansas. Eats insects and spiders. Eats insects and spiders.

31 Red-sided Garter Snake

32 Red-sided Garter Snake (Common Garter Snake) Family Natricidae, harmless live-bearing snakes. Family Natricidae, harmless live-bearing snakes ” in length ” in length. Extremely common in E. Kansas, and often found near water. Live birth Extremely common in E. Kansas, and often found near water. Live birth Females much larger than males. Several males will follow scent of female for mating. Females much larger than males. Several males will follow scent of female for mating. Eats mainly fish and frogs. Eats mainly fish and frogs.

33 Prairie Kingsnake

34 Family Colubridae, harmless egg-laying snakes. Family Colubridae, harmless egg-laying snakes ” in length ” in length. Like all kingsnakes, they are immune to venom. Like all kingsnakes, they are immune to venom. Similar to great plains rat snake, but smaller head, smaller eyes, and has a darker triangle mark on top of head. Similar to great plains rat snake, but smaller head, smaller eyes, and has a darker triangle mark on top of head. Eats primarily small mammals, small snakes and lizards. They will eat other snakes, including venomous snakes. Eats primarily small mammals, small snakes and lizards. They will eat other snakes, including venomous snakes.

35 Milk Snake

36 Note the vibrating tail. Many snake species will vibrate their tails when feeling threatened.

37 Milk Snake Family Colubridae, harmless egg-laying snakes. Family Colubridae, harmless egg-laying snakes ” in length ” in length. A type of kingsnake A type of kingsnake SINC species in Kansas—Species In Need of Conservation. One step below Threatened species SINC species in Kansas—Species In Need of Conservation. One step below Threatened species Is not venomous, but mimics the highly venomous coral snake, so it is protected simply by looking like something dangerous. Is not venomous, but mimics the highly venomous coral snake, so it is protected simply by looking like something dangerous. Eats small lizards, snakes and newborn mice. Eats small lizards, snakes and newborn mice.

38 Common Kingsnake

39 Family Colubridae, harmless egg-laying snakes. Family Colubridae, harmless egg-laying snakes ” in length ” in length. Also called a speckled kingsnake. Also called a speckled kingsnake. Found throughout Kansas, in moist areas such as woodland edge, low prairies, rocky hillsides with trees. Found throughout Kansas, in moist areas such as woodland edge, low prairies, rocky hillsides with trees. Eats rodents, small birds, eggs and lizards and snakes. Eats rodents, small birds, eggs and lizards and snakes.

40 Bullsnake

41 Bullsnake

42 Bullsnake Family Colubridae, harmless egg-laying snakes. Family Colubridae, harmless egg-laying snakes ” in length ” in length. Largest snake in Kansas Largest snake in Kansas Can get up to 9 feet long, but commonly around 5-6 feet long. Can get up to 9 feet long, but commonly around 5-6 feet long. Often found in grazed prairie with shorter grasses. Often found in grazed prairie with shorter grasses. Thick bodied snake, often when threatened it lets out a long, loud hiss that sounds similar to a rattlesnake rattle. Thick bodied snake, often when threatened it lets out a long, loud hiss that sounds similar to a rattlesnake rattle. One of the most beneficial snakes around due to the large amount of rodents that it eats. One of the most beneficial snakes around due to the large amount of rodents that it eats.

43 Lined Snake

44 Family Natricidae, harmless live-bearing snakes. Family Natricidae, harmless live-bearing snakes. 9-15” in length. 9-15” in length. Lives in about the eastern ¾ of Kansas, in hillside prairies and woodland edge, and in towns beneath debris. Lives in about the eastern ¾ of Kansas, in hillside prairies and woodland edge, and in towns beneath debris. Feeds exclusively on earthworms. Feeds exclusively on earthworms.

45 Ringneck Snake

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47 Family Dipsadidae, slender rear-fanged snakes. Family Dipsadidae, slender rear-fanged snakes ” in length ” in length. Curls tail up to show colorful underside as a defense posture Curls tail up to show colorful underside as a defense posture Very common under rocks and fallen logs, especially in wooded areas. Very common under rocks and fallen logs, especially in wooded areas. Eats insects and worms, extremely hard to keep in captivity because it eats food too small for people to catch and keep. Eats insects and worms, extremely hard to keep in captivity because it eats food too small for people to catch and keep.

48 Texas Brown Snake

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50 Texas Brown Snake (Brown Snake) Family Natricidae, harmless live-bearing snakes. Family Natricidae, harmless live-bearing snakes. 9-13” in length. 9-13” in length. Lives in moist woodlands and woodland edge (like ringnecks) Lives in moist woodlands and woodland edge (like ringnecks) Eats only native earthworms—not the European kind found in yards and bait shops (yes, there is a difference). Eats only native earthworms—not the European kind found in yards and bait shops (yes, there is a difference). Non-native worms have very, very small “hairs” on them called setae so these snakes won’t eat them. Non-native worms have very, very small “hairs” on them called setae so these snakes won’t eat them.

51 Western Hognose Snake

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53 Family Xenodontidae, robust rear-fanged snakes. Family Xenodontidae, robust rear-fanged snakes ” in length ” in length. Western Hognose found throughout western 2/3 of the state. Eastern Hognose rarer, but found throughout most of the state. Western Hognose found throughout western 2/3 of the state. Eastern Hognose rarer, but found throughout most of the state. Both are protected—Threatened species Both are protected—Threatened species Plays dead when predators mess with them: they flatten out their heads, roll onto their backs, musk and can even pop blood vessels in their mouths to “bleed” so they look very dead. Plays dead when predators mess with them: they flatten out their heads, roll onto their backs, musk and can even pop blood vessels in their mouths to “bleed” so they look very dead. Eastern Hognose eats primarily toads, while the Western Hognose eats mostly rodents. Eastern Hognose eats primarily toads, while the Western Hognose eats mostly rodents.

54 Western Worm Snake

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56 Family Xenodontidae, robust rear-fanged snakes. Family Xenodontidae, robust rear-fanged snakes ” in length ” in length. Lives in eastern 1/3 of Kansas. Lives in eastern 1/3 of Kansas. Found beneath limestone rocks or in the loose, damp soil of wooded or partly wooded hillsides. Found beneath limestone rocks or in the loose, damp soil of wooded or partly wooded hillsides. Mates during April and May. Mates during April and May. Eats earthworms, almost exclusively. Eats earthworms, almost exclusively.

57 Great Plains Rat Snake

58 Family Colubridae, harmless egg-laying snakes. Family Colubridae, harmless egg-laying snakes ” in length ” in length. Lives throughout most of Kansas. Lives throughout most of Kansas. Primarily nocturnal, prowling for food; during the day remains hidden beneath rocks or in caves and crevices. Primarily nocturnal, prowling for food; during the day remains hidden beneath rocks or in caves and crevices. Eats small rodents and birds. Eats bats in areas where caves are near. Eats small rodents and birds. Eats bats in areas where caves are near.

59 Coachwhip

60 Coachwhip Family Colubridae, harmless egg-laying snakes. Family Colubridae, harmless egg-laying snakes ” in length ” in length. Lives throughout southwest Kansas and a few places in northwest Kansas. Lives throughout southwest Kansas and a few places in northwest Kansas. Found in open grassland, pasture, and prairie areas in summer and rocky hillsides in summer and fall. Found in open grassland, pasture, and prairie areas in summer and rocky hillsides in summer and fall. Mates in May. Mates in May. Hunts by sight and eats any small animal that moves. Hunts by sight and eats any small animal that moves.

61 Introduction to Lizards Class Reptilia 13 native species of lizards in Kansas. 13 native species of lizards in Kansas. Lizards are a highly variable group. Lizards are a highly variable group. They all have teeth, scales covering their bodies, eyelids covering their eyes, and external ear openings. They all have teeth, scales covering their bodies, eyelids covering their eyes, and external ear openings. Lizards are very similar to snakes, and are currently classified in the same order: Squamata. Lizards are very similar to snakes, and are currently classified in the same order: Squamata. Many lizards have fracture planes in their tails that allow their tails to pop off if a predator grabs a hold, and the body can then get away. They will grow new tails. Many lizards have fracture planes in their tails that allow their tails to pop off if a predator grabs a hold, and the body can then get away. They will grow new tails.

62 Five-lined Skink

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64 Family Scincidae, the skinks Family Scincidae, the skinks 5-7” in length. 5-7” in length. Found in eastern 1/3 of Kansas Found in eastern 1/3 of Kansas Habitat is open, rocky, cut-over forests with patchy leaf cover. Habitat is open, rocky, cut-over forests with patchy leaf cover. Carnivorous; eats invertebrates and very small vertebrates such as baby mice or smaller lizards. Carnivorous; eats invertebrates and very small vertebrates such as baby mice or smaller lizards.

65 Great Plains Skink

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67 Family Scincidae, the skinks Family Scincidae, the skinks 6 ½-9” in length 6 ½-9” in length Habitat is open rocky hillsides with low vegetation. Avoids sandy areas. Habitat is open rocky hillsides with low vegetation. Avoids sandy areas. Eats beetles, roaches, grasshoppers, spiders and snails. Eats beetles, roaches, grasshoppers, spiders and snails.

68 Western Slender Glass-lizard

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70 Family Anguidae, the glass lizards Family Anguidae, the glass lizards The largest lizard in Kansas. Does not have legs. The tail makes up about 2/3 of the total length. The largest lizard in Kansas. Does not have legs. The tail makes up about 2/3 of the total length ” in length ” in length. Habitat is tallgrass prairie, sand prairie, open woodlands and woodland edge, frequently near streams or ponds. Habitat is tallgrass prairie, sand prairie, open woodlands and woodland edge, frequently near streams or ponds. Called a glass lizard because it habitually loses its tail when grabbed, and sometimes the tail breaks into several squirming pieces that attract the predators attention while the body gets away. The lizard will grow a new tail, but never as long as the original one. Called a glass lizard because it habitually loses its tail when grabbed, and sometimes the tail breaks into several squirming pieces that attract the predators attention while the body gets away. The lizard will grow a new tail, but never as long as the original one. Eats insects, spiders, snails, frogs, snakes and newborn small mammals. Eats insects, spiders, snails, frogs, snakes and newborn small mammals.

71 Collared Lizard

72 Family Crotaphytidae, the Collared and Leopard Lizards Family Crotaphytidae, the Collared and Leopard Lizards Males are more brightly colored than the females. Males are more brightly colored than the females. 8-12” in length. 8-12” in length. Habitat is rocky areas on plains and near woodlands. Habitat is rocky areas on plains and near woodlands. Breeds in May and June. Breeds in May and June. Eats grasshoppers, moths, beetles, spiders, wasps, cicadas, and smaller lizards. Eats grasshoppers, moths, beetles, spiders, wasps, cicadas, and smaller lizards.

73 Six-lined Racerunner

74 Family Teiidae, the Racerunners and Whiptails Family Teiidae, the Racerunners and Whiptails Has seven light stripes running down the back, one in the middle and three on each side. Has seven light stripes running down the back, one in the middle and three on each side. 6-8” in length. 6-8” in length. Habitat is dry, open, sandy areas with little leafy vegetation. Habitat is dry, open, sandy areas with little leafy vegetation. Requires warmer weather than most other species. Requires warmer weather than most other species. Breed in May and June. Breed in May and June. Eats spiders, snails, and small insects. Eats spiders, snails, and small insects.

75 Introduction to Turtles, cont. Teeth are absent in all turtles, and rather they have a sharp ridge along the beak. Teeth are absent in all turtles, and rather they have a sharp ridge along the beak. They do have jaw muscles, and can bite very hard. They do have jaw muscles, and can bite very hard. Snapping turtles and soft-shell turtles can extend their extremely long necks and bite hands holding them along the sides of their shells. The only way to safely move one of these turtles is by holding them by the base of the tail and lifting gently to move a short distance (such as across a road). Snapping turtles and soft-shell turtles can extend their extremely long necks and bite hands holding them along the sides of their shells. The only way to safely move one of these turtles is by holding them by the base of the tail and lifting gently to move a short distance (such as across a road). Turtles are in great decline across the country, primarily due to being killed trying to cross roads. Turtles are in great decline across the country, primarily due to being killed trying to cross roads.

76 Red-eared Slider

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78 Red-eared Slider (juvenile)

79 Red-eared Slider Family Emydidae, the box and basking turtles Family Emydidae, the box and basking turtles Semi-aquatic. Semi-aquatic. 5-8” in length. 5-8” in length. Found in nearly every permanent body of water. Found in nearly every permanent body of water. Prefers quiet water with soft mud bottoms. Prefers quiet water with soft mud bottoms. Omnivorous: eats plants and animals with equal preference. Known to consume insects, tadpoles, fishes, snails, crayfishes, and aquatic vegetation. Omnivorous: eats plants and animals with equal preference. Known to consume insects, tadpoles, fishes, snails, crayfishes, and aquatic vegetation.

80 Western Painted Turtle

81 Painted Turtle Laying Eggs

82 Western Painted Turtle Family Emydidae, the box and basking turtles Family Emydidae, the box and basking turtles Semi-aquatic Semi-aquatic 3 ½ - 7” in length. 3 ½ - 7” in length. Habitat is slow-moving shallow streams, ponds and lakes with soft bottoms and an abundance of aquatic plants and half-submerged logs, and often seen basking on logs. Habitat is slow-moving shallow streams, ponds and lakes with soft bottoms and an abundance of aquatic plants and half-submerged logs, and often seen basking on logs. Omnivorous, eats plants and animals, dead or alive. Omnivorous, eats plants and animals, dead or alive.

83 Spiny Softshell

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85 Family Trionychidae, the softshell turtles Family Trionychidae, the softshell turtles Semi-aquatic. Semi-aquatic. Upper shell is flexible with soft edges Upper shell is flexible with soft edges 5-17” in length. 5-17” in length. Fast swimmer, has an aggressive, nasty temper and will bite readily. Fast swimmer, has an aggressive, nasty temper and will bite readily. Carnivorous, eats insects, worms, crayfish, fish, tadpoles and frogs. Carnivorous, eats insects, worms, crayfish, fish, tadpoles and frogs.

86 Common Snapping Turtle

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88 Photo by Charles H. Warren/NBII This turtle developed with a pop can ring stuck around its shell

89 Common Snapping Turtle Family Chelydridae, the snapping turtles Family Chelydridae, the snapping turtles Semi-aquatic. Semi-aquatic. Has rigid upper shell and much smaller lower shell; very long, saw-toothed tail. Has rigid upper shell and much smaller lower shell; very long, saw-toothed tail. 8-14” in length. 8-14” in length. Snapping turtles have a nasty disposition and large individuals can inflict an incredibly painful bite. They can extend their necks roughly the length of their shell and can reach to both sides of their shell. Snapping turtles have a nasty disposition and large individuals can inflict an incredibly painful bite. They can extend their necks roughly the length of their shell and can reach to both sides of their shell. Omnivorous, and eats whatever is available including plants, small vertebrates and invertebrates, and carrion. Omnivorous, and eats whatever is available including plants, small vertebrates and invertebrates, and carrion.

90 Ornate Box Turtle

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92 Family Emydidae, the box and basking turtles Family Emydidae, the box and basking turtles Kansas State Reptile Kansas State Reptile 4-5” in length. 4-5” in length. Has a short tail and rigid shells, a distinct movable hinge on lower shell allowing it to close around body, four claws on hind foot. Upper shell is dark brown with yellow lines. Has a short tail and rigid shells, a distinct movable hinge on lower shell allowing it to close around body, four claws on hind foot. Upper shell is dark brown with yellow lines. During an entire day, an individual may travel between 200 and 300 feet. During an entire day, an individual may travel between 200 and 300 feet. Primarily carnivorous, eating many invertebrates, but will also eat fruits and berries. Primarily carnivorous, eating many invertebrates, but will also eat fruits and berries.

93 References Species information from: Species information from: Amphibians & Reptiles in Kansas, by Joseph T. Collins.Amphibians & Reptiles in Kansas, by Joseph T. Collins.


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