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box turtle

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noun

any of several chiefly terrestrial turtles of the genus Terrapene, of North America, having a hinged plastron that can be tightly shut to enclose and protect the body.

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Also called box tortoise.

Origin of box turtle

An Americanism dating back to 1795–1805
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

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