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Animal Information

Desert Box Turtle Great Southwest

Desert Box Turtle

Terrapene ornata

Biome: Great Southwest

Classification: Reptiles

Biography: In the cool of the morning, a desert box turtle basks in the sunshine and then begins looking for food. It will search through piles of cow dung for beetles, but also eats grasshoppers, caterpillars, cicadas, berries, leaves, fruit and carrion. By midday, a desert box turtle seeks the shelter of the shade to avoid temperature extremes. When feeling threatened, a box turtle closes its tough shell to protect the more delicate head and legs.

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