Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Burrowing

Bruce is a native Texas box turtle, which means his species naturally lives in the southern and central parts of our home state, as well as elsewhere (including in Missouri, which had the good taste to pick the 3-toed box turtle as their state reptile).

But even though he is quite literally at home here and has adapted over millennia to the odd sort-of seasonal climate we enjoy (endure), Bruce isn’t keen on temperature extremes.

When it gets too hot out, which for Bruce is over about 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, he will estivate by digging a hole into the dirt and hay in his outdoor enclosure to stay cool.

When it gets too cold, which means night time temperatures dip below 60 degrees Fahrenheit on a regular basis, he will do the same – dig a hole and burrow in to stay warm.

In either case, this behavior always elicits complementary behavior from his mama, who will then periodically go digging around in the dirt to find her boy, check him out all over, dunk him in his swimming pool and give him a snack (if it is hot out only) and then carefully put him right back where she found him.

Bruce is an expert at digging into his dirt and hay and then somehow turning himself 180 degrees around so his head faces out!

And remember…..

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