Mississippi Map turtles can be found all the way along the Mississippi river which is where their name originates as their pattern looks similar to the contour lines around the river basin. They thrive in this habitat as the water is deep enough to allow them plenty of space to swim around, as well as a constant flow of clean fresh water. The surrounding plains also provide lots of vegetation and a warm environment which they need to stay healthy.

The body of the turtle will range in colour from brown to olive and will be covered in distinct yellow or orange lines and patterns. Young turtles also have a very distinct pattern on their shells which fades as they get older and it becomes worn down. One of their most notable features is their head as their eyes are outlined with a line behind and under each eye. Their eyes are round and bright which gives many people the feeling of an intense stare when they come eye to eye with them.

These turtles may not be fussy when it comes to what they eat but they are about where they eat it. They are rarely seen eating on land and prefer to eat whilst swimming and will even knock food from land into water to consuming there. They are omnivores and will happily eat fish and insects along with plants and fruit. Our Mississippi Map Turtles are happiest when they are in a big group and in the wild will all hibernate together when temperatures fall.


Reptile: active aquatic Turtle

What do they eat?

fish, insects and plants


Max 26cm

Water Type

Fresh Water

Where are we?


Get Tynemouth Aquarium news and offers right to your inbox!