Box turtle Facts

Box turtle Facts
Box turtle is a type of reptile that belongs to the group of marsh turtles. There are 6 subspecies of box turtles. They are all native to North America. Box turtles inhabit woodlands, brushy grasslands, floodplains, pasture, meadows and areas near the streams and ponds. Habitat destruction and excessive collecting of turtles from the wild (due to pet trade) negatively affect number of remaining box turtles. These animals are listed as vulnerable, which means that they may become endangered in the near future.
Interesting Box turtle Facts:
Box turtle can grow to the size of 8 inches.
Box turtle has high domed carapace (upper part of the shell) and hinged plastron (lower part of the shell) which allows almost complete closure of the shell. Most turtles are tan to brown colored and covered with spots, blotches, lines and bars.
Males are larger than females. They have thicker tails, red eyes, short and curved claws on the hind legs and concave plastron. Females have yellow-brown eyes, long, straight claws and convex plastron.
Box turtles are diurnal animals (active during the day). During the spring and fall, they are active all day. During the summer, box turtles are active in the morning and after the rain.
Box turtles hide in the mud, under decaying logs or in the abandoned burrows of mammals during the hottest part of a day.
Box turtles are omnivores (eat other animals and plants). Their diet consists of slugs, worms, insects, salamanders, fish, birds, frogs, eggs, fungi, berries and roots.
Young and old turtles prefer different types of food. Young turtles are true carnivores and they hunt in the water. Old turtles feed on the ground and they mostly consume plants.
Box turtles eat poison mushrooms and retain toxins in the body. Their flesh may induce poisoning of humans.
Box turtles have soft shell until the age of 7 years. During that period, they are easy prey of skunks, raccoons, minks, dogs, rodents and snakes.
Box turtles hibernate in the shallow holes in the ground or mud from October-November to April (in areas with cold winters).
Box turtles occupy territory of 750 feet in diameter. They are not aggressive and freely walk through neighboring territories.
Mating season lasts from spring to October. During courtship, males circulate around females, bite their shells and produce pulsating effects using throats.
Male can accidently fall on his back after copulation. This will end fatally in the case he fails to return on the feet.
Females are able to store and use sperm for the fertilization of eggs during a period of 4 years. They lay 3 to 8 (usually 4 to 5) eggs from May to July in the nests in the sand. Incubation period lasts 3 months.
Box turtles can survive over 100 years in the wild, but most animals live until the age of 30 years.

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