The Northern Map turtle has a low shell with a serrated rear margin. The shell is brown in colour and has an intricate network of map like yellow lines giving it its name. The feet are large and fully webbed and it is an excellent swimmer.
The Map turtle inhabits large bodies of water in and around the Great Lakes. It has large crushing surface in its mouth that helps it eat its preferred prey of crustaceans and mollusks. Map turtles like to bask on logs and deadfalls but are very wary and flee to the water at the slightest movement.
The Map turtle has a status of special concern both provincially and federally. They are protected from collection and ownership in Ontario under the Fish & Wildlife Conservation Act.