box turtle on the move. Any minute now....
photo: Jonathan Zander, Wikimedia Commons
In warm summer months, many people travel across continents in mobile homes (a.k.a. campers or caravans), so they can visit new places and outdoor spaces with the convenience of always having their familiar nightly shelter nearby.
In nature, many critters just grow their own homes and carry them along. Not just turtles, but also snails and myriad species of shellfish carry their supportive structure on the outside.
Shells are actually the exoskeletons of various types of invertebrates (animals with no backbone), including snails, conch, clams, and oysters. Shells protect the soft mushy critter inside and give it structural support.
So where are the animals in all those shells we see on the beach?