The box turtle, like others of it’s kind, lacks teeth. It’s jaws, though, are covered with a horny sheath equipped with a sharp cutting edge.
The turtle is one of the unclean creatures mentioned in Leviticus 11:29, which the Israelites were not to eat. The Moorish tortoise is common through Palestine, and it’s flesh is enjoyed by the ossifrage. In order to reach the flesh, these birds carry the tortoise high into the air and drop it to the ground until the shell shatters.
The Hebrew word for tortoise means “canopy”.
The average life expectancy of a turtle is about 40 years, but some have lived to be 138.
Although the meat of the box turtle might be eaten, it is not generally used for that purpose. Years ago, miners in need of food caught and ate these turtles. Many of them became sick. It is believed that the flesh of the reptiles may have become temporarily poisonous because of the turtle’s diet of poisonous toadstools. The turtle is very fond of the toadstools and their poison does not seem to affect it.