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box turtle,hard-shelled land turtleturtle,
a reptile of the order Chelonia, with strong, beaked, toothless jaws and, usually, an armorlike shell. The shell normally consists of bony plates overlaid with horny shields.
..... Click the link for more information. of the genus Terrapene, native to North America. Its lower shell, or plastron, has a hinge dividing it into front and rear sections; the animal can raise these sections to meet the upper shell, or carapacecarapace
, shield, or shell covering, found over all or part of the anterior dorsal portion of an animal. In lobsters, shrimps, crayfish, and crabs, the carapace is the part of the exoskeleton that covers the head and thorax and protects the dorsal and lateral surfaces.
..... Click the link for more information. , forming a secure box around its body. It is primarily a vegetarian, although it also eats insects, earthworms, and slugs. The box turtle hibernates during cold winters and mates in the spring. In summer the female buries from two to seven eggs, which hatch out in the early fall. The young often remain in the nest until the following spring. The Eastern box turtle, Terrapene carolina, is a woodland species found in the eastern and central United States. The Western species, T. ornata, is found in the grasslands of the central United States and northern Mexico. There are also several rare Mexican species. Box turtles are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
..... Click the link for more information. , subphylum Vertebrata, class Reptilia, order Chelonia, family Emydidae.