Malayan box turtle
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Malayan box turtles have unique markings3 yellow stripes on their headsthat distinguish them from other species of box turtles. Its dome-shaped carapace (upper shell) is olive, brown or nearly black and its plastron (bottom shell) is yellow or cream colored. Females have a flat plastron while males have a concave one. The plastron of most species of box turtles is hinged, allowing the turtle to withdraw into its shell and ”box” itself inleaving no body part exposed. It’s not uncommon for these semi-aquatic creatures to hide on the bottom of lakes or ponds when threatened. They prefer such habitats as marshes, swamps, rice paddies and ponds with little water movement. They do not need to hibernate, unlike turtles in colder surroundings.
International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) lists C. amboinensis as vulnerable.
The turtle population is declining due to habitat destruction and exploitation by humans, who are seeking large numbers of box turtles as gourmet food and for medicinal purposes, as well as souvenirs. Additionally, exporters collect box turtles for the pet trade. Many turtles die while being transported or receive poor care from collectors.
Malayan box turtles are sexually mature in four to five years. After mating, females dig a nest in a moist, well-drained area where they lay a clutch of one to five eggs. The eggs hatch in about two months. They breed several times a year during their life span of 30-35 years.
Turtles are ancient reptiles that first appeared 200 million years ago, long before the dinosaurs. They have changed little in at least 150 million years.