North Carolina State Reptile
Eastern Box Turtle
The General Assembly of 1979 designated the Eastern Box Turtle as the official State Reptile for North Carolina.
The turtle is one of nature's most useful creatures. Through its dietary habits it serves to assist in the control of harmful and pestiferous insects and as a clean-up crew, helping to preserve the purity and beauty of our waters. At a superficial glance, the turtle appears to be a mundane and uninteresting creature; however, closer examination reveals it to be most fascinating, ranging from species well-adapted to modern conditions to species which have existed virtually unchanged since prehistoric times. Derided by many, the turtle is really a culinary delight, providing the gourmet food enthusiast with numerous tasty dishes from soups to entrees.
The turtle watches undisturbed as countless generations of faster "hares" run by to quick oblivion, and is thus a model of patience for mankind, and a symbol of our State's unrelenting pursuit of great and lofty goals.
Courtesy of State of North Carolina
Image by Art Explosion 600,000.