The newest kid on the playground: a box turtle

box turtleOur newest playmate at recess is this Eastern box turtle. Ms. Bradley photographed the turtle today, although some students reported seeing it yesterday. The box turtle is the D.C. metro area’s only completely land turtle, which explains how it can live at Belvedere, which doesn’t have a creek, stream or pond. Box turtles are omnivores, eating insects, plants, berries and mushrooms. They almost never bite and have been known to live more than 100 years. At least one box turtle reached the age of 138, according to Arlington naturalist Alonso Abugattas.

Females lay 2-11 eggs from May through July. Could our turtle be a mother-to-be?

Although it’s very tempting to pick up the turtle, please don’t. Reptiles have sensitive skin and can easily be sickened if you have bug spray on your hands. Also, turtles carry the bacteria salmonella, which can make YOU sick.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Terri Lamb on June 4, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    How exciting to see the wildlife return to the school grounds.


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