Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Hunting

When you keep company with turtles and tortoises, you have plenty of opportunities to make new neural connections. This, of course, is because they are full of brain-enriching surprises. For instance, never in a million years would I have guessed how very different one shelled being can be from another - at least not until …

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Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Shell Rot

By the time Bruce was rescued to me as an adult, Malti had been living with me for about two years. During that time, I had made a LOT of mistakes in pretty much every area where a newbie tortoise owner can make a mistake. But I was also working overtime to correct those mistakes …

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Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Diet

Different species of turtles and tortoises like to eat different types of victuals. For instance, if you are a box turtle, you like protein. You especially like it when it is live and wriggling and you can hunt it. If you are a box turtle named Bruce and you see a plump, live, wriggling prey, …

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Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Hibernation (Brumation)

Not all turtles and tortoises hibernate. Among the species that do, the technical term for what happens when a reptile (rather than a mammal) does this is called "brumation." If you are a herpetologist (reptile expert), you will know to use the term "brumation" instead of "hibernation" when referring to a reptile's traditional period of …

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Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Swimming

While box turtles are definitely "land" turtles, in the sense that in many ways, their habits and environments more closely resemble that of tortoises or terrapins than of true aquatic turtles, they also love to swim. Some box turtles will swim several times a day, taking time between swims to dry off and warm up …

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Bruce Explains Box Turtles: The Shell

I've lost count of the number of times people have asked me if turtles (or tortoises, for that matter) outgrow their shells and need new ones. This is actually a great question, especially for anyone who has ever been lucky enough to watch hermit crabs battling it out for a bit of prime "found" real …

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Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Turtle Versus Tortoise Versus Terrapin

If there is anything more confusing than box turtle taxonomy (that is, classification)....well, let's just say that here at Casa Feathers n Beak n Shells, we are pretty sure there isn't. For example, why are some turtles called "turtles," while other turtles are called "tortoises" or "terrapins?" The simplest explanation would be that "turtles" live …

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Bruce Explains Box Turtles: About the “Box”

Box turtles, regardless of how many toes they have, are called "box turtles" because of one unique trait they all share in common. That trait is quite amazing. Every box turtle is able to pull all of its body parts - head, tail, legs and feet and claws, all of it - inside its shell …

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Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Boy Versus Girl

One of the first tasks I faced after I rescued Bruce and he joined our little flock was to figure out if he was a girl box turtle or a boy box turtle. This was an especially pressing issue, since my 17-year-old parrot, Pearl, had spent a whopping 11 of his 17 years to date …

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Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Shell Color

3 toed box turtles don't look like other species of box turtles. Not only do they have 3 toes on each of their back feet (instead of 4 or 5 toes per foot like other species of box turtles), but they also have different shell and skin colors. To further complicate matters, boy 3 toed …

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