Eastern Box Turtle
Terrapene carolina carolina

f5.6 @ 1/250s, ISO:800, NIkon D300 w 55mm

"Eastern Box Turtle," Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.Eastern box turtles have a high, dome-like carapace and a hinged plastron that allows total shell closure. The carapace can be of variable coloration, but is normally found brownish or black and is accompanied by a yellowish or orangish radiating pattern of lines, spots or blotches. Skin coloration, like that of the shell, is variable, but is usually brown or black with some yellow, orange, red, or white spots or streaks. This coloration closely mimics that of the winter leaf of the tulip poplar. In some isolated populations, males may have blue patches on their cheeks, throat, and front legs. Furthermore, males normally possess red eyes (irises) whereas females usually display brown eyes. Eastern box turtles feature a sharp, horned beak, stout limbs, and their feet are webbed only at the base. Eastern box turtles have 5 toes on each front leg, and normally 4 toes on each hind leg, although some individuals may possess 3 toes on each hind leg. Staying small in size, most range from 4.5 to 6 inches, but occasionally reach over 7 inches. In the wild, box turtles are known to live over 100 years, but in captivity, often live much shorter lives. Virtually all turtles have a covering of scutes, or modified scales, over the bony shell. The number, size, form,and position of these scutes can help in identifying the turtle. Only in the soft-shelled turtles and leatherback sea turtles are obvious scutes absent, leaving skin to cover the bones.
East Falmouth, Massachusetts