Because what’s better than a tortoise? A tortoise that’s a keystone species!
Gopherus polyphemus, or the gopher tortoise, is part of a genus that includes the only true tortoises native to North America.
an excellent dirt-weathered gentleman
also their babies look like this
Oh also they’re super important keystone species. These little friends build burrows for living in, and not just for tortoises! Lots of different creatures end up using these burrows!
Dig that hole!
Look how snug!
It is gopher tortoise appreciation hours!
These lovelies, aside from being the state reptile for Georgia and Florida, also ranges from threatened to vulnerable, due to a combination of human and animal predation, habitat destruction, traffic mortality, and the pet trade.
Please support your local tortoise conservation efforts!