The head of an Eastern box turtle

Eastern box turtle

Eastern box turtles are only found along the eastern side of North America. They live near streams and ponds in the woodlands and marshy meadows. To hide from danger, box turtles have a hinged shell into which they retreat before clamping it shut. This regenerating body armour is incredibly effective at keeping out even the most determined of predators. Nest temperature plays a crucial role in determining whether the young are male (below 27 centigrade) or female (above 27 degrees).

Scientific name: Terrapene carolina

Rank: Species

Common names:

Common box turtle

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Map showing the distribution of the Eastern box turtle taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Eastern box turtle can be found in a number of locations including: North America. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Eastern box turtle distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Near Threatened

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Year assessed: 1996

Classified by: IUCN 2.3


  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Reptiles
  5. Turtles, terrapins and tortoises
  6. Emydidae
  7. Terrapene
  8. Eastern box turtle