<p>The Reimann’s snake-necked turtle (<i>Chelodina reimanni</i>) is so named because of its long neck.</p>

The Reimann’s snake-necked turtle (Chelodina reimanni) is so named because of its long neck.

Photograph by Joel Sartore, National Geographic Photo Ark

17 Surprisingly Cute Photos of Turtles

See snakelike necks, alligatorish backs, and a turtle with two heads.

May 23 is World Turtle Day, a date that advocates for the protection and conservation of the world’s hundreds of turtle species. Turtles are threatened by the illegal pet trade, habitat destruction, and global warming. According to the World Wildlife Fund, nearly all sea turtles are endangered.

To celebrate turtles, we’ve collected pictures that show the incredible diversity of these amazing reptiles. All of the images come from the National Geographic Photo Ark, photographer Joel Sartore's project to document the world's captive species. (Find out which Photo Ark animal is most like you.)

Sartore has traveled around the world and photographed more than 9,000 species with the studio lighting and black-and-white backgrounds that give the collection its iconic look. Photo Ark aims to inspire people not just to care about the natural world, but also to help protect these animals for future generations.

Read This Next

This tomb held the treasures of Greece's 'Griffin Warrior'
What do we owe horseshoe crabs?
Can food crops grow in the dark? Scientists are working out how.

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet