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The Columbia Trail: Part of the South Branch Reservation
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Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina).  Box turtles are easily identified by their bright markings. They have a high, dome-shaped carapace (top part of shell) and a hinged plastron (bottom part). They are usually dark brown or olive-colored with bright orange or yellow patterns. They can grow up to eight inches long and have a down-turned beak. Turtle populations are in danger in many states because of pesticides and people taking them out of the wild for pets (Stratford Landing Elementary School).

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Photographs by Valerie Lykes