Welcome to Word of the Week! Stay tuned for a new word each Friday to amp up your nature vocabulary!
Carapace [kar-uh-peys] (noun): A shield, or shell covering, found on the back or part of the back of an animal.
Animals like insects, arachnids, crustaceans, as well as tortoises and turtles will have this interesting feature on their bodies. The Nature Centre’s resident turtle Houdini is no exception!
Unlike in the cartoons, turtles like Houdini can’t take on and off their shells or trade it in for another one if it gets damaged or doesn’t fit anymore. A turtle’s rib cage and spine is actually fused to it’s carapace! This means that the shell never falls off and is never too large or too small because it grows with the turtle.