Community housing manager
gopher tortoise Gopherus polyphemus

There's a park quite close to where I used to live in Florida where I'd find gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus) like this fairly often. They can get to be quite massive – I've seen them up to 60 cm (24") long and 20 cm (8") high at the top of their domed shells, though this one is average sized at about 30cm (12") long. They're non-aquatic and strictly vegetarian.

Their burrows, which I have yet to find firsthand, can provide housing to a variety of species at the same time – the tortoises don't mind. So, many get to benefit from the excellent digging skills of these reptiles. You can see the shape of the front feet, which not only optimizes their burrowing ability, it also serves to block off the opening of the shell when danger threatens, though predators capable of making a meal from them are few.

But if you're on a nature trip around Florida, your goal hasn't been met until you've greeted at least one of these docile residents. And a small tip when you find a turtle, anywhere, in the middle of the road: If you want to move them from traffic, make sure you do it safely (snapping turtles have an amazing reach, so stay towards the back of the shell) and always move them in the direction they were heading. They were going that way for a reason, and even if it means crossing five more lanes of traffic, they'll still proceed that way after you're gone.