World Turtle Day
With distinctive markings on their shells, western box turtles, such as the one seen here, are among the most widely recognized turtle species and one of two box turtle species in the US. Box turtles are named after their dome-shaped shells which are hinged at the bottom, allowing the shell to close like a box if it needs to hide from predators. They generally live for around 25 years but can survive for more than 50, and there have been reports of some living for 100 years.
Some turtles may have existed more than 100 million years ago but while they outlived the dinosaurs, more than half of all turtle and tortoise species are now on the verge of extinction. Today is World Turtle Day, an event set up to celebrate these incredible creatures and highlight their disappearing habitats.