Day 90: Scutes. Scoots.

Smart. Sensitive. Sociable (at least with lady box turtles and anything you want to eat). Flexible. Multi-talented. Strong. Speedy. Great climber. Good swimmer. Five-star hibernator.

These are just some of the many awesome things about being a 3-toed box turtle.

But one of the coolest is your scutes (pronounced “scoots”).  The scutes are located on the top portion of your two-part shell, or carapace.

Scutes are actually a type of hard scales – plates of armor that fit together like pieces of a perfect jigsaw puzzle to protect their valuable contents – aka YOU.

It is rumored that 3-toed box turtles usually have 13 big inner scutes along with an outer ring of smaller up-turned scutes.

A proud (and well-protected) adult male box turtle shows off his 13 perfect inner scutes on his upper shell, or carapace.
Pearl, Malti, Bruce & Shannon

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