Common Box Turtle

The Common Box Turtle is a very strikingly colored turtle found in most of the United States East of the Mississippi. Through much of its range, it is the only terrestrial turtle to be found. Almost all other turtles found in the same areas are either partially or entirely aquatic. The main exception is in Florida, where it shares space with the Gopher Tortoise. Interestingly, in American English the Common Box Turtle is not considered to be a tortoise but in British English it is. The difference being that American English defines “tortoise” as any member of the Family Testudinidae while British English defines it as any terrestrial turtle. It’s a very subtle but distinct example of the differences that can occur in different dialects within the same language.

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