Masks encouraged, but not required.

  • Leonardo 2
  • Leonardo 1
  • Leonardo 3

Fast Facts

  • Class: Reptilia
  • Order: Testudines
  • Family: Emydidae
  • Genus and Species: Terrapene carolina carolina
Leonardo 1

Lifespan

Usually 25-35 years, but can live more than 100 years!

Natural Habitat

Native to Eastern U.S., found near ponds, fields, meadows and woodlands; predominantly terrestrial as adults.


Features

All have a High-domed, rounded carapace (hard upper shell) with a plastron (underside of shell) that is hinged: this allows retraction of the head and all 4 limbs into the shell and almost complete closure. This provides an excellent defense when threatened by predators. Another unique feature is that if the shell becomes damaged it can actually regenerate!


Diet

Omnivorous with large variety in the wild from berries, roots and flowers to insects, eggs and small amphibians; here at TSZ they are fed salad with leafy greens, veggies, fruits, pellets and occasional earthworms and mealworms

Fun Facts

  • Eastern box turtles can be distinguished from other sp. by their 4 toes on the hind feet and orange/yellow markings on a dark brown shell. This coloring provides camouflage among the soil, fallen leaves and debris in their natural habitat.
  • In colder climates they will find a safe insulated resting site called a hibernaculum and will enter into a hibernation-like state called “brumation”
  • Leonardo and DaVinci serve as ambassadors for box turtles in the wild which are listed as a species of concern in multiple states and as endangered in Maine. Habitat loss, traffic accidents and collection for the pet trade all contribute to diminishing numbers of these exceptional creatures.