Wake Forest 27587 Magazine

Summer 2018

The quarterly 27587 MAGAZINE is a must-read, in-you-hands publication that strives to give a deeper identity to rapidly growing Wake Forest, N.C. It highlights in-depth stories, targeting higher-income households.

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62 Summer 2018 | Wake Forest 27587 Magazine Turtle Talk WORDS AND PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF JEFF BEANE / NORTH CAROLINA MUSEUM OF NATURAL SCIENCES, RALEIGH Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) Our largest freshwater turtle (up to 60 lbs.), the snapper is unmistakable with its large head; powerful, heavily clawed limbs; small, cross- shaped plastron, or underside of the shell; and long, dorsally saw-toothed tail. Highly aquatic and omnivorous, it occurs statewide Snappers have powerful jaws and short fuses; large adults can inflict serious injury and should be handled cautiously. Snapping turtles are often used as food by humans. Their eggs are spherical; those of most other freshwater turtles are oval-shaped. Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina) Our only fully terrestrial turtle, the box turtle is North Carolina's official state reptile, occurring statewide. Once abundant, it has declined due to habitat loss and fragmentation and road mortality. The domed carapace is adorned with yellow or orange markings. Box turtles can enclose their bodies completely within their shells, via their hinged plastrons. They are omnivorous, and one of our few species able to feed out of water (most turtles must have their heads underwater to swallow). T urtles — in particular the Eastern box turtle designated as the official state reptile of North Carolina in 1979 — are commonly spotted this time of year, crossing roads to reach favorite feeding grounds and in many cases becoming the victims of "road morality" and thus declining in population in many areas, says the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. What to do? A box turtle can be successfully moved off a road as long as the turtle is put on the side of the road it is heading toward. Box turtles are commonly taken from the wild and kept as pets, the commission says with this cautionary note about the longevity of the commitment: ey can live more than 50 years.

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