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Cushetunk Mountain Nature Preserve
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Female Eastern Box Turtle. Box Turtles can be found throughout Hunterdon County. "Box turtles forage for food, primarily plant matter, on land and spend much of their sleep time dug into burrows or wedged under fallen trees or rocks, safe from predators. They do, however, require plenty of fresh shallow water (one quarter to one third their shell height); while they are not as adept at swimming and diving as the water turtles, they can paddle around. While this water time is generally used for rehydration and voiding body wastes, some are know to do a bit of foraging of aquatic plants and invertebrates at that time. Omnivorous when young, adults eat mostly vegetation" (Melissa Kaplan). This is a female due to the flat plastron (lower shell) of the turtle.

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Photographs by Valerie Lykes