Eastern Box Turtle

Eastern Box Turtle

Terrapene carolina Carolina

Conservation Status:

Vulnerable

Origin:

Native to eastern North America and Central America. (It is a subspecies of the Common Box Turtle)

Size:

Average at 6 to 7 inches (males are typically larger than females)

Lifespan:

100 years

Diet:

Omnivorous

Invertebrates (insects and worms) make up the majority of their diet and they eat vegetation as well.

During their first 5-6 years they tend to consume more protein. Once they mature, they eat more vegetation and fruits.

Activity:

Diurnal

Reproduction:

Normal clutch size is 1-7 eggs.

Egg laying occurs in May and June.

A female can lay 1 to 5 clutches a year.

The babies hatch at about 50 to 70 days.

Extra Facts:

Their shells are made of Keratin. Unlike water turtles, their “scutes” grow for the rest of their life.

Males tend to have red or dark orange eyes, while females tend to have brown.

The bottom of the male’s shell is concave, while the female’s is flat.

They are capable of fully retracting into their shell. They have a hinged flap that closes when hiding.

The average eastern box turtle has 5 toes on the front feet and 4 toes on the back.

The markings on each turtle’s shell (carapace) are unique from turtle to turtle.

Their biggest threat is habitat loss and being ran over by automobiles.

Most box turtle hibernate for three to five months of the year depending on their geographical region.