Skip to main content
Select Source:

box turtle

box turtle, hard-shelled land turtle of the genus Terrapene, native to North America. Its lower shell, or plastron, has a hinge dividing it into front and rear sections; the animal can raise these sections to meet the upper shell, or carapace, forming a secure box around its body. It is primarily a vegetarian, although it also eats insects, earthworms, and slugs. The box turtle hibernates during cold winters and mates in the spring. In summer the female buries from two to seven eggs, which hatch out in the early fall. The young often remain in the nest until the following spring. The Eastern box turtle, Terrapene carolina, is a woodland species found in the eastern and central United States. The Western species, T. ornata, is found in the grasslands of the central United States and northern Mexico. There are also several rare Mexican species. Box turtles are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Reptilia, order Chelonia, family Emydidae.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"box turtle." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"box turtle." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/box-turtle

"box turtle." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved September 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/box-turtle

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Emydidae

Emydidae (freshwater turtles, terrapins; order Chelonia, suborder Cryptodira) A family of turtles that bask on land but enter slow-moving water to feed. Usually there is no reduction of the shell. The limbs are flattened with webbed, clawed toes. Emydidae are mainly carnivorous. Emys orbicularis (European pond terrapin or European pond tortoise) is native to central and southern Europe, southwestern Asia, and north-western Africa; it was present in Britain during the last (Ipswichian) interglacial. Terrapene carolina (Carolina box turtle or eastern box turtle) of the eastern USA is omnivorous and lives on land; its plastron is hinged allowing the shell to be closed. There are about 80 species, distributed widely in temperate zones, except southern Africa and Australia.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Emydidae." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Emydidae." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/emydidae

"Emydidae." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Retrieved September 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/emydidae

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.