Arakan Forest Turtle, Illustration

Arakan Forest Turtle, Illustration

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Credit: Biodiversity Heritage Library/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: The Arakan forest turtle (Heosemys depressa) is an extremely rare turtle species which lives only in the Arakan hills of western Myanmar (Burma). The Arakan forest turtle is a semiterrestrial turtle, meaning it can survive in aquatic as well as terrestrial habitats, but as adults, they prefer living in terrestrial habitats. The turtle remains dormant the majority of the time by hiding in leaves and debris if they are not foraging for food. The Arakan forest turtle is an omnivore, feeding on both animals and plants. The Arakan forest turtle was believed extinct (last seen in 1908), but in 1994 was rediscovered when a few specimens turned up in Asian food markets. Like most Asian turtles, it is collected yearly as a food source or for traditional Chinese medicine. Only a handful of these conservation-reliant turtles are in captivity, and their status in the wild, which is dubious at best, is listed as critical. Taken from Anatomical and zoological.

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