Carapace diameter: Up to 23.5 cm
Up to 600 g
Unknown: Populations declining
A variety of habitat types throughout the eastern U.S.A.
Slow going. Over the course of a lifetime as long as 80 years, the eastern box turtle does everything slowly. It lays eggs every other year and is content with a "slow food" diet that includes fruits, seeds, flowers, roots and grasses. This diet makes it an important seed disperser. When threatened, the turtle can seal itself away completely thanks to a hinge in the lower part of the shell, but even built-in protection is powerless against habitat loss, vehicle strikes and the pet trade. Populations are falling fast.