The Flattened Musk Turtle (Sternotherus depressus) is endemic to Alabama, meaning it’s only found here. In fact, the Flattened Musk Turtle is the only reptile endemic to the state of Alabama. This small turtle featuring a flat carapace, or top shell, lives in clean, clear, free-flowing streams and rivers of the upper Warrior River Basin. The Flattened Musk Turtle is highly evolved to live amongst and under rocks and in rocky crevices of their preferred waterways. There, it specializes in feeding on snails, mussels, clams, and aquatic insect larvae. Due primarily to habitat degradation, including pollution and siltation, the Flattened Musk Turtle now clings to a wild existence in Alabama. Its population is now so imperiled that it receives protection by Alabama state law, is listed as federally threatened under the Endangered Species Act, and is regarded by the IUCN Red List as Critically Endangered.