Do Box Turtles Bite – You Might know about box Turtles?
Box turtle is one of the popular pets amongst the turtle species. Most people choose them as a pet because they don’t become huge at size with age. One of the impressive things about it is they are accessible as a pet, and their behaviors are also impressive. Especially the kids are very fond of the box turtles because of their unique shape and appearance.
So, if you are considering gifting a box turtle to your kid, you may want to know do box turtles bite? Well, keep reading this article to know whether or not the small cute species can bite.
Introduction to the Box Turtles
The box turtles, also widely known as the box tortoises, are a genus of the turtle. They are usually found in the United States as well as in Mexico. Currently, there are four species of the box turtles, which include common box turtle, spotted box turtle, ornate box turtle, and coahulian box turtle. You can easily recognize a box turtle by its domed shell. Usually, the shell is hinged at the bottom to let the turtle become fully sealed their body into the shell when the predator attracts.
The box turtles can eat a variety of things. That happened due to the landscape changes in Eastern North America in the last few centuries. Usually, the wild box turtle easts caterpillars, spiders, slugs, snakes, snails, eggs, plants, and different fruit and berries. The box turtle also plays an important role in the better germination of different seeds by eating and releasing it. As an example, the germination rate of the seed increase to 38% of the blackberry, grape, pokeweed, pulpit, etc. by a turtle when the rate is only 8% for the raw seeds.
As we said earlier, the box turtle is smaller than size when compared to the other species of the turtle. However, they have an exceptional lifespan when compared to their size. As per different sources, a box turtle can live from 30 years to 50 years in a wild condition. That becomes possible by the power sealing shell of it. You can know the aging of a box turtle by counting its plates on the shell.
Do Box Turtles Bite?
Okay, now let’s move to the main point of the article. Yes, the box turtle bites. The box turtle doesn’t have teeth, but it has a beak that they can use to bite you. However, note that the box turtles are mostly harmless. They will only try to bite as natural instincts if they feel they are under attack.
As like as the other turtles, box turtle tries biting if they find the situation threatening. However, at first, they will withdraw the entire body in the shell for protection. They shell become almost sealed to protect the soft part of the turtle. So, if you bring box turtles at home as pets, then make sure to warn your child about it. As a general precaution, the kid should keep the fingers away from the mouth of the little species.
More so, you will also require to be careful while moving or picking up the turtle. The turtles become extremely stressed when humans are handling them. It can affect the health of the box turtle. So, give them space and ask the kids to avoid touching them unnecessarily. Even when the turtle is withdrawn to the shell, if you try picking it up from the ground, it will become panicked and tries to claw and bite.
As the turtles are not a great fan of the human, be assured that you are giving it enough space for a maneuver. It will ensure the well-being of the species. However, that doesn’t mean you can never pick it. As required, your or the kid can pick and move the turtle. However, be sure to clean the hands after touching the turtle.
Can the Box Turtles be a Good Pet?
Even though the box turtle is popular as a pet, they are not recommended as a pet. That is because of their nature, mostly. More so, the total number of box turtles is also declining. In some states, it is illegal to keep the box turtle as a pet. As some sources, around half of the box turtles die when in captivity. Around 300,000 box turtle has been removed from nature to be traded as a pet.
If you are still considering having the box turtle as a pet, then you must know how to take proper care of them. It requires exposure to real sunlight or suitable artificial lights to stay healthy. An appropriate diet is also essential for the box turtle. The primary food source of the box turtle is invertebrates, such as the won and insects. They also eat a lot of vegetables, including leaves, berries, and fruit, as we said earlier. In captivity, it is vital to offer an equally varied diet to the turtle to ensure adequate nutrition.
Though you can make them a pet, they are mostly wild animals, even when in captivity. However, if the human from an early age has handled the box turtle, then it can be a little easier to pet them. So, it is essential to give them a suitable space. The tank or aquarium of the turtle should stimulate a wild environment to help them live longer by reducing stress.
The box turtles are not considered suitable to be handled by the small children. That is because they are going to handle the turtle roughly and move them too much. These actions can cause too much stress in the little turtle. It requires a calm and gentle adult to handle the species. That’s why you will notice most of the researchers and experts are against giving the box turtle to the small children.
The box turtle is an integral part of your eco-system as it plays a significant role in the germination of a variety of plants. Hopefully, after reading the article, you get the answer to the question, “do box turtles bite.”