The Yellow-margined Box Turtle is a very rare species of turtle. Not only can it retract its head, arms, and legs, but it can also conceal itself in a way that resembles a lid on box. This turtle is on the brink of extinction because many people capture them for pets.
Shell size: Up to 19cm
(Source: Doubutsu Sekai-isan* Red Data Animals Kodansha) (*World Animal Heritage)
The Yellow-margined Box Turtle lives only in the Southern part of China, Taiwan, and the Okinawa Islands of Ishigaki and Iriomote.
The Yellow-margined Box Turtle eats insects, worms, tree nuts and fruits.
The family of Box Turtles has the ability to hide their head, arms, and legs in a way that resembles covering a box with a lid. The Yellow-margined Box Turtle is unique in that it can press its back shell flat against its abdomen shell.
A rare turtle that protects itself by shutting its own lid
The Yellow-margined Box Turtle lives only in the Southern part of China, Taiwan, and the Okinawa Islands of Ishigaki and Iriomote. Just like other turtles, Box Turtles retract their head, arms, and legs when sensing danger. But Box Turtles go a step further by folding their abdominal shell over their head and rear end, closing like box. This novel trait is what makes the Box Turtle popular as a pet.
Their numbers have diminished in all remaining countries...
In Japan, deforestation and other factors caused the number of wild Yellow-margined Box Turtles to diminish from an early stage, leading to a restriction on their breeding from 1972. Soon after, people captured Yellow-margined Box Turtles in Taiwan and China for pets, and shipped many of them to Japan. Consequently, the Yellow-margined Box Turtle's numbers fell so low that now they are on the brink of extinction in Taiwan and China as well. Currently, there are international restrictions on the export and import of wild Yellow-margined Box Turtles.
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