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Turtle

For other uses, see Turtle (disambiguation).
Families
Testudines, Chelonia

Turtles are reptiles of the order Testudines (all living turtles belong to the crown group Chelonia), most of whose body is shielded by a special bony or cartilagenous shell developed from their ribs. The term turtle is usually used for the aquatic species, though aquatic fresh water turtles are also called terrapins. The term is sometimes used (esp. in North America) to refer to all members of the order, including tortoises, which are predominantly land-based. The order of Testudines includes both extant (living) and extinct species. About 300 species are alive today. Some species of turtles are highly endangered.

Description

All turtles have a protective shell around their bodies. The top part of the shell is called the carapace, the bottom is called the plastron, and the two are connected by a bridge. Some are known to be able to breathe through their rectums as well. Reference the Rheodytes leukops species.

Sea turtles grow to large sizes and live in the oceans in the temperate and tropical regions of Earth. Pond turtles (terrapins) are usually much smaller, while some land terrapins (tortoises) are as large as sea turtles. The sizes of turtles vary from a few centimetres (forest and jungle species) to two metres (the leatherback turtle and the Galapagos tortoise).

Turtles generally live a long time; some individuals are known to have lived longer than 150 years. The oldest tortoise on record is Tui Malila, known to have lived at least 188 years.

Sea turtles lay their eggs on dry sandy beaches. The eggs of the largest species are spherical, while the eggs of the rest are elongated. Their albumen is white and will not coagulate when cooked because of the protein it contains which is different to that of bird eggs. Turtle eggs prepared to eat consist mainly of yolk. In some species, temperature of the egg during development determines whether an egg develops into a male or a female: a higher temperature causes a female, a lower temperature causes a male.

Although they spend large proportions of their lives underwater, turtles are air-breathing reptiles, and must surface at regular intervals to refill their lungs with fresh air. However, aquatic respiration in Australian freshwater turtles is currently being studied. Some species have large cloacal cavities lined with many finger-like projections. These projections, called "papillae", have a rich blood supply, and increase the surface area of the cloaca. The turtles can take up dissolved oxygen from the water through these papillae, in much the same way that fish use gills.

Turtles have a gelatinous substance in their upper and lower shell, called calipash and calipee respectively, the calipash being of a dull greenish and the calipee of a light yellow color.

Evolution

The first turtles are believed to have existed in the era of the dinosaurs, 200 million years ago. Their exact ancestry is disputed. It was believed that they are the only surviving branch of the ancient clade Anapsida, which includes groups such as procolophonoids, millerettids, protorothyrids and pareiasaurs. All Anapsid skulls lack a temporal opening, while all other extant amniotes have temporal openings (although in mammals the hole has become the zygoid arch). Most anapsids became extinct in the late Permian period, except procolophonoids and possibly the precursors of the testudines (turtles).

However, it was recently suggested that the Anapsid-like turtle skull may be due to convergent evolution rather than to anapsid descent. More recent phylogenetic studies with this in mind placed turtles firmly within diapsids, slightly closer to Squamata than to Archosauria. All molecular studies have strongly upheld this new phylogeny, though some place turtles closer to Archosauria. Re-analysis of prior phylogenies suggests that they classified turtles as anapsids both because they assumed this classification (most of them studying what sort of anapsid turtles are) and because they did not sample fossil and extant taxa were broadly enough for constructing the cladogram. While the issue is far from resolved, most scientists now lean towards a Diapsid origin for turtles.

Order Testudines - Turtles

Gulf Coast Box Turtle, Terrapene carolina major (Emydidae) A slider of genus Trachemys A Leatherback Sea Turtle. Photo credit: NOAA

Suborder Paracryptodira (extinct)

Suborder Cryptodira

Suborder Pleurodira


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Suborder Pleurodira. Indians incidentally wear. Suborder Cryptodira. With Indians in Western countries, the bride often wears the red sari at the wedding ceremony and change into traditional Indian wear afterwards (like Lengha, choli etc). Suborder Paracryptodira (extinct)
. Also in India the traditional colour of female wedding garments is red. While the issue is far from resolved, most scientists now lean towards a Diapsid origin for turtles. In modern Chinese weddings, particularly in Western countries, the bride usually opts for the white Western dress or changes from a red gown to a white gown later in the day.

Re-analysis of prior phylogenies suggests that they classified turtles as anapsids both because they assumed this classification (most of them studying what sort of anapsid turtles are) and because they did not sample fossil and extant taxa were broadly enough for constructing the cladogram. Many wedding dresses in China are colored red, the traditional colour of good luck. All molecular studies have strongly upheld this new phylogeny, though some place turtles closer to Archosauria. A bridal train is the part of the wedding dress that trails behind the bride, the term is derived from similar train worn by Kings & Queens, which themselves are derived from seeing a Peacock, which were used as royal birds. More recent phylogenetic studies with this in mind placed turtles firmly within diapsids, slightly closer to Squamata than to Archosauria. Originally in the Middle Ages wedding parties were simply called Bride-al's. However, it was recently suggested that the Anapsid-like turtle skull may be due to convergent evolution rather than to anapsid descent. "Brides Party Gown".

Most anapsids became extinct in the late Permian period, except procolophonoids and possibly the precursors of the testudines (turtles). The term Bridal Gown originates from the word al which means party combined with bride is Bridal i.e. All Anapsid skulls lack a temporal opening, while all other extant amniotes have temporal openings (although in mammals the hole has become the zygoid arch). Later attribution suggested that the colour white symbolized virginity. It was believed that they are the only surviving branch of the ancient clade Anapsida, which includes groups such as procolophonoids, millerettids, protorothyrids and pareiasaurs. The white dress came to symbolize purity of heart and the innocence of childhood. Their exact ancestry is disputed. (See white wedding.) Prior to the Victorian era a bride was married in any colour except black (the colour of mourning) or red (which was connected with prostitutes).

The first turtles are believed to have existed in the era of the dinosaurs, 200 million years ago. The tradition continues today. Turtles have a gelatinous substance in their upper and lower shell, called calipash and calipee respectively, the calipash being of a dull greenish and the calipee of a light yellow color. The official wedding portrait photograph was widely published and many brides opted for a similar dress in honor of that choice. The turtles can take up dissolved oxygen from the water through these papillae, in much the same way that fish use gills. The Queen chose to wear a white gown for the event. These projections, called "papillae", have a rich blood supply, and increase the surface area of the cloaca. The popularity of this color can be traced back to 1840 and the marriage of Queen Victoria to Albert of Saxe-Coburg.

Some species have large cloacal cavities lined with many finger-like projections. Used in this sense, 'white' or 'wedding white' includes creamy shades such as eggshell, ecru and ivory. However, aquatic respiration in Australian freshwater turtles is currently being studied. In modern tradition, the color of western-culture wedding dresses is white. Although they spend large proportions of their lives underwater, turtles are air-breathing reptiles, and must surface at regular intervals to refill their lungs with fresh air. Color, style and ceremonial importance of the gown depends on the religion and culture of the participants. In some species, temperature of the egg during development determines whether an egg develops into a male or a female: a higher temperature causes a female, a lower temperature causes a male. A wedding dress or wedding gown is clothing worn by a bride during a wedding ceremony.

Turtle eggs prepared to eat consist mainly of yolk. Their albumen is white and will not coagulate when cooked because of the protein it contains which is different to that of bird eggs. The eggs of the largest species are spherical, while the eggs of the rest are elongated. Sea turtles lay their eggs on dry sandy beaches.

The oldest tortoise on record is Tui Malila, known to have lived at least 188 years. Turtles generally live a long time; some individuals are known to have lived longer than 150 years. The sizes of turtles vary from a few centimetres (forest and jungle species) to two metres (the leatherback turtle and the Galapagos tortoise). Pond turtles (terrapins) are usually much smaller, while some land terrapins (tortoises) are as large as sea turtles.

Sea turtles grow to large sizes and live in the oceans in the temperate and tropical regions of Earth. Reference the Rheodytes leukops species. Some are known to be able to breathe through their rectums as well. The top part of the shell is called the carapace, the bottom is called the plastron, and the two are connected by a bridge.

All turtles have a protective shell around their bodies. . Some species of turtles are highly endangered. About 300 species are alive today.

The order of Testudines includes both extant (living) and extinct species. in North America) to refer to all members of the order, including tortoises, which are predominantly land-based. The term is sometimes used (esp. The term turtle is usually used for the aquatic species, though aquatic fresh water turtles are also called terrapins.

Turtles are reptiles of the order Testudines (all living turtles belong to the crown group Chelonia), most of whose body is shielded by a special bony or cartilagenous shell developed from their ribs. Superfamily Pelomedusoidea. Superfamily Chelonioidea. Superfamily Kinosternoidea.

Superfamily Trionychoidea. Superfamily Testudinoidea.

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