Friday, January 27, 2012

Missouri Box Turtles

      Ever since I was little I have been fascinated by turtles. During May in 2011 I had the opportunity to photograph a few turtles that I found while walking in the woods. In Missouri we have two species of Box Turtles, the Three Toed box turtle and the Ornate box turtle. I was lucky enough to find both species. 


Three-toed box turtles, as their name implies, typically have three hind toes - but some individuals have four. They are a forest species, although they may also be found along forest edges and brushy fields. They consume earthworms and insects, but adult three-toed box turtles tend to be more vegetarian, eating a variety of plants, berries and mushrooms. This is the common box turtle of Ozark woodlands. (http://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/outdoor-recreation/nature-viewing/amphibians-and-reptiles/turtles/box-turtles)




The ornate box turtle prefers more open country: pastures, prairie and open woodland. Although ornate box turtles consume some plant matter (especially berries), 90 percent of their diet is insects - made up mostly of grasshoppers, beetles and caterpillars. (http://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/outdoor-recreation/nature-viewing/amphibians-and-reptiles/turtles/box-turtles)

  Ornate box turtles have the coolest designs and colors on their shells.

















      If you find a box turtle the best thing you can do for it is to not take it from where you found it. If you ever find a box turtle pick it up and take a close look at it and observe the colors and designs on it, just don't take it from where you found it. Box turtles are truly beautiful animals and are always a surprise to find while walking around the woods.

4 comments:

  1. I love all the nature pictures you take Austin!! It will be great to keep this blog and have a place to start posting them!! Great job!!

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  2. Thank you for posting this. It helped me id the one I found today.

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  3. Anonymous6/28/2013

    I found one in my yard today in independence. What should we do with it?

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  4. Great pictures, thanks for sharing. We have seen more box turtles this year than past years.

    Michael
    A Few Pictures of Eastern Box Turtles

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