The Everglades

Box Turtle

The box turtle has a humped shell with a design on it. The design looks like many tiny yellow firecrackers. The rest of the shell is brown with a yellow stripe on the top of the shell. On its neck it has small brown stripes. Also its legs, tail, and head are a yellow-brownish color.

Box turtles eat plants and vegetables. They eat blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries. A box turtle sometimes feed on mango plants. Other turtles eat meat or live animals. The meat they eat is like snails, slugs, and crickets. If a turtle lives in your home, you can get the items and feed them to the turtle, or go to the grocery store and buy fresh vegetables. A turtle in the wild catches its food by looking for plants and dead insects in a pond, river, or garden.

Turtles have no teeth at all and must swallow each bite without chewing. A turtle has a tongue which it uses to move the food around in its mouth.

Turtles lay their eggs, hide them, and leave them. When the baby turtles hatch from their eggs they are left to take care of themselves. There are many dangers in the wild for a newborn turtle. It is sad, but a lot of turtles do not make it to full life.

A turtle's ears are flat against its head. Some people used to think they they could not hear, only feel, but that is not true, turtles CAN hear.

A turtle can hear as good as a cat. The turtle can see well also, this should tell you that turtles are as smart as dogs and sometimes kids.

Unlike many animals, the box turtle can see in color, but mostly see red.

Unlike their cousin, the snake, they have mobile eyelids, this means that the turtle can look in all directions without turning its head; the eyes will dart back and forth, seeing it all.

When a turtle gulps air into its mouth, it is to smell.

The Box Turtle lives in the hammock habitat.

by Crystal

Produced by students and
teachers at Avocado Elementary

 Miami Museum of Science

 Museum of Science, Inc./Science Learning Network
 Science Learning Network

 ©1997 Museum of Science, Inc. (Miami, Florida)