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10 Fascinating facts about Box Turtles

Box turtles are fascinating creatures. They have been around for over 170 million years, and they can live to be well into their 80s. Box turtles make great pets because of their low maintenance, friendly personalities, and long lifespan. They have a unique ability to live in both fresh and saltwater and on land or in the air! 

If you have ever wanted to find out more about these little guys, then this post is for you. This guide will discuss ten facts that you won’t have heard about the box turtles.

Let’s have a look at these facts.

Coahuilan box turtle (Terrapene Coahuila)

Box Turtles consist of rounded upper shell

Box turtles consist of a broad, rounded upper shell known as the carapace. The carapace has three ridges running along its length and is brown or olive with black stripes unique to each turtle. On either side of the head lies two large eyes which can sense movement very well near them. They have a long, snake-like neck that can be entirely withdrawn into the shell and two tiny front feet.

They are from North America and belong to ‘Terrapene’ 

They are from North America and belong to the terrapene family. The first box turtle was discovered during an expedition in 1787 by George Washington Jr., who found a nest of eggs on his father’s estate called Mount Vernon, near Alexandria, Virginia. Box turtles have no teeth but do possess large tongues, which they use for feeding and grooming.

Eastern Box Turtle (terrapene carolina)

Box Turtles are member of American Pond Turtle family and look like tortoise

Box turtles are a member of the American pond turtle family and resemble tortoises. They have their unique way of defending themselves from predators by withdrawing into their shell, which is difficult to penetrate because it has so many ridges around its circumference. They can also lash out with their long necks if they feel threatened and will bite to defend themselves.

They’re like walking jawbreakers

Box turtles are like walking jawbreakers and have a low-maintenance diet that consists primarily of plants such as watermelon, strawberries, clover leaves, cherry tomatoes. 

Box Turtle hiding in its shell

Box Turtles can hide them inside their shell

Box turtles can often hide inside their shell when they feel threatened or want to rest for a while. The carapace is soft and rounded on the top, which means it has many areas that can fold over one another like an accordion. 

They have a lifespan of 100 years

Box turtles have a lifespan of 100 years and grow slowly, which means that they are difficult to find in the wild. They can live for well over 80 years because of their long lives, low-maintenance diet, and ability to hide inside their shell when threatened.

Eastern Box Turtle lays upto 8 eggs in a clutch

Eastern box turtles lay up to eight eggs in a clutch. The female turtle selects a cool, moist place on the ground and digs out an area for laying her eggs with her hind feet. After she has finished burying them, she piles dirt over them, which protects them from being eaten by predators or drying out too much while they are incubating.

Box Turtle Terrapene Nelsoni – Image: Wild Sonora

Currently, there are 4 species of Box Turtles

Currently, there are four species of box turtles in the world. The three that live on land and one that lives both on water and land. One common trait shared by all four is a beautiful shell that can be brown or olive green with black stripes unique to each turtle. They also have two large eyes located on either side of their head and have a long neck that can be withdrawn entirely into the shell.

Box Turtle are more active when it’s warm during the day

Box turtles are more active when it’s warm during the day and spend their time sleeping or hiding inside their shell at night. They also have a shallow metabolic rate which means they don’t require much energy for sustenance as with other animals, so they can afford to sleep most of the day. The only time they will be awake is to soak up some sun and eat.

Western Box Turtle (Terrapene ornata)

The length of their tail can determine their gender

The length of its tail can determine the gender of a box turtle. If the tail is long, they are male, and if it’s short, then the female. Male turtles will also have red eyes, while females don’t always display this trait.

Summing Up

Box turtles have been around for millions of years. They make great pets because they are low-maintenance and friendly animals that can live well into their 80s! We hope you enjoyed learning ten facts about these little guys.

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