During this time of year many injured turtles make their way into new England Wildlife Center. While on vacation in Pennsylvania, our very own Dr. Lisa Trout ran into one of her favorite species, the Wood turtle. The Wood turtle used to occur in eastern Massachusetts, but due to human encroachment they are now only found to the west and south. Partial to woodlands, the Wood turtle prefers to spend its time on land, and will not venture into the water. They are a hearty breed and frequently end up wandering around the woodland in search of food. Their major defense is, like most turtles, their shell (which is a fused version of a rib cage!!). They pair this defense with their spectacular patience, and are able to out-wait their would-be predators who will have to move along in order to find their next meal.
Turtles are an amazing species of animal. They have existed for over 210 million years, the time before dinosaurs. There are about 256 different species of turtle which considering the differentiation of other species, is a very small number. Their differentiation is so small in number because they have quite literally perfected the way in which they are able to survive in a multitude of habitats, from desert to ocean. Awesome!