Florida Box Turtle

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The Florida Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina bauri) was photographed at the south Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area at the final session of the 2012 Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory – Pelican Island Audubon Society class. Dr. Jon Moore, Florida Atlantic University professor of biology, identified this turtle for us during his herpetofuana of ORCA talk on 2/22/2015.

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This high-domed turtle grows to be from 4 to 6 inches in size, as you can see in the photo of its plastron (nearly flat part of its shell) in which Dr. Richard Baker provides scale. It can completely enclose its body inside its shell, as it did when we came upon, so we were not able to see the sharp claws that allow it to be a good climber. Though it likes to be near water, it rarely swims.

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These omnivorous turtles can live as long as fifty years. Insects make up the largest part of its diet, though it eats berries, moss, and mushrooms, too.

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