According to the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, this turtle is named after Dr. William Blanding, the Philadelphia naturalist who first observed this mid-sized species. Easily recognized by its bright yellow throat and jaw, the Blanding’s turtle appears to have a permanent “smile,” due to a notch in its upper jaw.
As one of the longest-lived turtles in the world, it is also one of the slowest to mature. It does not reach reproductive maturity until about 16 to 17 years of age. The average lifespan is over 70 years.