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Curious about box turtle

Discussion in 'Turtles' started by BlackJack, Mar 2, 2005.

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  1. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    I was at the zoo today and watched a box turtle eat a mouse!
    As most of you know I'm a snake-person and so excuse the ignorance... I was surprised; I thought turtles and tortoises were vegetarians or maybe fish-eaters. :confused:
    It was pretty interesting to watch!
    Here's a picture: not great quality cuz I had to take it through the glass, but the light pink tail of the mouse is sticking out of it's mouth.
    This turtle was being housed in the same enclosure as a Chinese Water Dragon.
    Is this an unusual pairing?
    See pics

    Attached Files:

  2. kenman1963

    kenman1963 Moderator

    Eastern box turtles are veggies. And i do not think that pairing one with a water dragon makes sense as there environments are different. Is it possibly an Asian Box ?? I really am not sure as to how an Asian would pair. Did the zoo identify which type of Box it was ?,,,,,none the less,,,great pics.
  3. kenman1963

    kenman1963 Moderator

    Ooops,,,,Eastern Box will eat an occasional earthworm so it is possible to take a mouse
  4. Dawson

    Dawson Active Member

    North American box turtles are omnivorous. Protein from earthworms/bugs and so forth should make up nearly half their diet. Some are more carnivorous (like the Desert box) and some are more herbivorous (like the Eastern box). In the wild scavenging is pretty common, when its available. I'm sure they would eat rodents if you let them, but should probably be done so in moderation.

    Asian boxes are also omnivorous, but tend to eat more meats. Mice is probably the simplest whole-prey source of nutrition for the zoo.

    All tortoises I can think of off hand are vegetarians. Some are even more specific than that, eating only grasses, and not much for broad-leafy vegetables.

  5. topjaw

    topjaw Member

    That looks like an asian species of turtle. I know my snapping turtles ate mice
  6. furryscaly

    furryscaly Elite Member

    Yeah, that's a malayan box turtle. They're not related to the american ones though. They're also more aquatic, so I'm surprised to see it on land. He even looks a little dry. As for eating mice, maybe a pinkie, but I don't think an adult mouse would be a good idea, they're not THAT carnivorous. Is it possible its a worm and not a mouse? They love worms.
  7. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    Thanks everyone: it is some sort of Asian variety: I'll go back and get the Latin name for you. I usually see it in the water, but it just came out to eat this mouse (not a pinkie!). I'm sure it was a mouse because I saw it lying in there before and saw the lower half of it's body sticking out of the turtle's mouth... by the time I got over my surprise and pulled out my camera only the tail was sticking out, though.
    It must have been feeding day in the Vivarium because a lot of the enclosures had handfulls of dead mice dropped into them.
    The BRB enclosure had about 6-9 mice dropped in a pile for 3 BRBs! I guess they don't worry about who eats them all or if each animal gets enough... or if they swallow substrate. (Talyn would make quick work of that pile of mice and STILL want more! -- Q wouldn't have a chance!)
    Boy my snakes have a great life -- carefully weighed, thawed rats (not mice!), warmed up just right and dropped in front of their nose (even wiggled to make the "kill" more interesting) all in a safe plastic container with NO feeding competition.
  8. furryscaly

    furryscaly Elite Member

    That's so interesting. I never thought a malayan box turtle would go for a full sized mouse like that. Cool :D Scientific name: Cuora amboinensis;)
  9. KrokadilyanGuy3

    KrokadilyanGuy3 Elite Member

    As for the original question; Terrapene often will eat a mouse. Basically, if it moves and they can over power it they will eat it. This goes for all of the Genus. I include rodents in the diet of my Boxies, sparingly, since the normal food items aren't exactly healthful in long term affects. Nothing surprising, nor harmful.

    As for Cuora, I haven't the slightest idea on what's good, so Matt, you better be right. heh.
  10. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    Yes, that's exactly it! I went to the zoo again today to check and that was the Scientific name for this mouse-eating turtle.
    You really know your stuff furryscaly!!! :D
  11. samantha

    samantha Elite Member

    yep that is cool! i dont feed my boxies mice or pinkies but they do love earthworms and nightcrawlers, they make a mess otu of them

    feeding like that without making sure all get some is why they have such underwieght animals sometimes one will be cast out and not allowed to eat and then it dies.sad but true.
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