Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Eastern Box Turtle

Terrapene carolina
The Eastern Box Turtle is quite common throughout its range in the eastern United States. In fact, they are the most abundant species of terrestrial turtle in that part of the Country.

Box Turtles are named for their hinged plastrons, (the bottom part of the shell) which allows them to draw in their arms and head and close up completely to stay safe from predators.

Eastern Box Turtles are most active at dawn and dusk, and spend their days cooling off in logs and mud. They also will enter pools of water during the warmest weather, despite the fact that they are a terrestrial species. In the northern parts of their range, the Eastern Box Turtle hibernates during the winter.

Mating for Eastern Box Turtles can take place at any time between April and October. What is quite remarkable about their mating process is that a female can store up the sperm and lay the eggs up to four years later!

IUCN Status :  Vulnerable
Location : Eastern United States
Size : Body length up to 6.5in (16.5cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Reptilia -- Order : Testudines
Family : Emydidae -- Genus : Terrapene -- Species : T. carolina

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