Hide and Seek
You may have a tough time finding the Central American wood turtles in our South American house in Dublin Zoo, as they like to burrow into the soft soil.
Wooden pattern for camouflage
Central American wood turtles are best known for their beautiful colouration. They have been given many common names including ornate wood turtle and painted wood turtle.
These turtles tuck their head straight back into their shell when they are threatened. To do this, turtles need an incredibly flexible neck, as their backbone is fused to their shell. There is another group of turtles that turn their head to the side instead, with the shell providing cover.
Male or female?
The gender of turtles all over the world is decided before they hatch. If the nest stays below 27°C males will hatch out, while temperatures above 31°C will hatch females. Ideally the nest will stay somewhere between the two to get a good mix of males and females. As climate change results in warmer annual temperatures, females will become more and more abundant in nests. In the future, finding male turtles in the wild could become very difficult.