Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Sexing Turtles
Name: Isaac
Status: student
Age: 12
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 6/25/2003

How do you tell land turtles apart from male and female?

There are several species of terretrial turtles in the eastern US. Two of the more common:

Wood Turtles: "Males have long, thick tails with the cloacal opening, or anus, located outside the shell's edge. Females have slighter tails with the cloacae opening within shell boundaries."

(from Eastern Box Turtle: "The head, neck, and legs of the box turtle are also brightly colored with yellow and orange, particularly in the males. Male box turtles usually have bright red or orange colored eyes while the eyes of the females are usually dark red or brown. Male box turtles also have a slight depression in the middle of their lower shells while that of the female's is flat." (from

J. Elliott

Click here to return to the Zoology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory