wood turtle_ JessicaPiispanen_usfws.jpeg

Photo By/Credit

Jessica Piispanen/USFWS

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Public Domain
Wood turtle, Glyptemys insculpta. Combination of the Greek words Glyptos, meaning ‘carved’, and emys, meaning ‘freshwater tortoise’; insculpta, from the Latin word insculptus, meaning ‘engraved’. Lives along permanent but shallow, clear-water streams with compacted sand and cobble bottoms. Spends much of its time on land and can be found in deciduous woods, cultivated fields, and marshy pastures, earning it the nickname ‘tortoise’ (land-dwelling) rather than ‘turtle’ (water-dwelling.) Endemic to North America, it has survived multiple southward glacial encroachments and now ranges from Nova Scotia to Virginia.