TurtleFest is coming up. In preparation, I am designing a sampler of the common turtles of the Piedmont, which is rather tricky as there are WAY too many turtles and most of them look like brown slimy rocks. Here’s the first, Terrapene carolina carolina, the Eastern Box Turtle:
Yes, they really are that orange. And just so you know, the free transform command in pixlr is much, much faster than blocking.
I like box turtles. Everybody likes box turtles. In honor of box turtles, here are some basics:
1. They are known to live at least 120 years but no one is really clear how long.
2. They can be semi-frozen, surviving -2 °C for 44 hours. Really. Someone did this.
3. They eat pretty much anything.
4. They will sit in place for weeks for no good reason, apparently just contemplating life.
5. They are homebodies. Home ranges can be less than an acre and they will attempt to return to them if displaced.
6. Sex determination is controlled by nest temperature, with females requiring warmer nests.
7. Counting scute rings sort of will tell you the age of the turtle, and sort of won’t.
8. Sexing a box turtle is pretty easy. Females have brown eyes and males have bright red or orange eyes. There are other differences, but the eyes are easier, as it doesn’t require flipping the turtle, which they would really rather you didn’t do.
Dodd, C. K. Jr., North American Box Turtles. 2001. University of Oklahoma Press.
“Eastern Box Turtle.” Wikipedia, available from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_box_turtle. Accessed 24, March 2014.
“Terrapene carolina carolina.” Encyclopedia of life, available from http://eol.org/pages/1263662/overview. Accessed 24, March 2014.