Terrapene coahuila, the Coahuila box turtle, is a rare and unique creature.
All other box turtles (so named because the two halves of the lower shell can raise up and close off the shell like a box) are mostly land-living, but this species from the semi-desert of northern Mexico has gone back to living permanently in freshwater. In particular, the Coahuila box turtle lives in the springs and marshes of Cuatro Cienegas, a desert oasis complex in Mexico.
But this habitats is under significant threat from desiccation – drying out – through groundwater pumping for agriculture and residential use, as well as agricultural land conversion within the Cuatro Cienegas basin.
IN PHOTOS: View a photo gallery of endangered turtles.