Eastern Box Turtle


ANIMAL:                                  Eastern Box Turtle     Terrapene carolina
Type of Animal: Turtle
Habitat: Fields & edges, grasslands, forests, lake margins, pastures, shallow streams & nearby areas, ponds, puddles, forest edges, meadows & edges, wetland edges, thickets, woodlands, gardens, swampland, gardens, creek sides
Location(s): Found in E half of US in extreme S Maine, SE New Hampshire, S New England, SE New York as well as extreme SW area bordering extreme NW Pennsylvania, most of Pennsylvania, Mid-Atlantic states, SE US to CN Florida, Ohio, Indiana, S Illinois, & W & S Michigan
Appearance: High domed upper shell (carapace), hinged bottom shell (plastron), carapace usually brownish or black w/ yellowish/orangish radiating pattern of lines/spots/blotches, skin usually brown or black w/ some yellow, orange, red, or white spots/streaks, males in some populations have blue patches on cheeks/throat/front legs, males usually have red irises while females have brown irises, sharp horned beak, stout limbs, feet webbed only at base
Food/Diet: Slugs, snails, worms (especially earthworms), berries, mushrooms, grasshoppers, crickets, carrion, grasses, fruit, caterpillars, grubs, beetles, flowers, eggs, baby mice, fish, vegetables, greens, leaves, legumes, spiders, flies, crayfish, sow bugs, centipedes, pill bugs, moss, stones, sand, millipedes, melons, root vegetables, insect larvae, stink bugs, bread, duckweed, roots, cactus pads, grains, amphibians, small snakes, small birds, young box turtles
Status in Wild: Threatened
Conservation: Breeding from zoos, aquariums, & breeders
Lifestyle: Solitary or small groups of a male w/ 2-6 females
Additional Info:
Males: Females: Young: Group:
Called: Male Female Hatchling Bale
Weight: 1 lb 2 lbs Gestation:


Life Span:

3 months
Height: N/A N/A
Body Length: 6 in 5.9 in 50-100 years
Tail Length: 2 in 1 in
Main predators of adults are bobcats, bears, alligators, snapping turtles, foxes, coyotes, birds of prey, snakes, raccoons, dogs, skunks, pigs, otters, cats, mink, fire ants, corvids, rats, badgers, opossums, weasels, & bullfrogs. Young preyed on by many birds, adult box turtles, rodents, armadillos, & shrews.
Threatened due to pet trade, vehicle collisions, & habitat destruction/alteration.
In N areas, they go into hibernation in October or November & usually emerge in April.
State reptile of North Carolina & Tennessee.
Fun Fact(s): Many American Indian cultures ate meat, used shells for ceremonial rattles, & buried them w/ dead.
They can retract almost completely inside their shell.
Their shells can completely regenerate.
Dangerous for humans & perhaps other animals to eat due to possibility of poisonous mushrooms & toxins lingering in flesh.

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