Ted Turner’s Armendaris Ranch in southern New Mexico is home to many amazing Chihuahuan Desert animals, including a number of desert box turtles. These highly elusive animals seem to materialize out of nowhere after the monsoon rains form ephemeral puddles in the desert in July, August, and September. Following a brief period of high activity during which they feast on insects and plants and carrion to fuel up for long periods of “waiting it out”, box turtles mostly disappear from view once again by hiding in burrows made by rodents – preferably by kangaroo rats, which are abundant in the northern Chihuahuan desert grasslands.

The easiest way to distinguish male from female box turtles is to look deep into their eyes: male box turtles have striking red eyes, while the eyes of the female – equally as beautiful upon closer inspection – range from brown to yellow.”