Turtles are part of that group of animals we call reptiles. So, they are related to snakes, lizards and alligators and have similar habits and characteristics.
Most Ohio turtles such as snapping turtles, painted turtles, and map turtles (to name just a few) live in the water. On a sunny day in almost any state park, you can find these turtles out sunning themselves on a floating log. Use binoculars to get a good look at them from a distance. They are really quick to get away if you get too close!
One Ohio turtle that lives on land is the box turtle. The box turtle gets his name because the bottom of his shell, which is called the “plastron”, is hinged. So, he can just close himself up inside if he feels threatened.
If you find a box turtle, look at his eyes. A male’s eyes are reddish in color while a female’s eyes are usually brown. Some box turtles have been known to reach an age of over 100 years! So, just think—your grandparents may have met the same turtle as you.
Box turtles are easy to catch, but remember…you are not allowed to take them out of the park.
Turtles can show a wide variety of patterns and colors on the top part of their shell (called the “carapace”), even if they are the same species! Try your hand at helping Homely Homer make his carapace a showcase!
How many words can you make using the letters in the word:
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