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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. Liflander also details the life of Edgar Leeteg (1904-1953), "the father of American black velvet kitsch," whose "raucous and bawdy" life was previously captured by James Michener in Rascals in Paradise (1957). Suborder Cryptodira. These paintings were religious in nature, portraying the iconic artwork of the Caucasus region by Russian Orthodox priests." She further wrote that Marco Polo and others introduced the West to this art form, and that some of these early works still hang in the Vatican. Suborder Paracryptodira (extinct)
. She notes that "The birthplace of black velvet paintings can be traced to ancient Kashmir, which is considered to be the fabric's original homeland. While the issue is far from resolved, most scientists now lean towards a Diapsid origin for turtles. A brief history of black velvet paintings is presented by Pamela Liflander in Black Velvet Artist, a booklet published by Running Press, Philadelphia, 2003, and included in an identically-titled art kit.

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. Somewhat later the art was taken up by Flemish weavers, and in the 16th century Bruges attained a reputation for velvets not inferior to that of the great Italian cities. All molecular studies have strongly upheld this new phylogeny, though some place turtles closer to Archosauria. The earliest sources of European artistic velvets were Lucca, Genoa, Florence and Venice, and Genoa continues to send out rich velvet textures. More recent phylogenetic studies with this in mind placed turtles firmly within diapsids, slightly closer to Squamata than to Archosauria. These were ornamentated by such techniques as varying the color of the pile, by producing pile of different lengths (pile upon pile, or double pile), and by brocading with plain silk, with uncut pile or with a ground of gold tissue, etc. However, it was recently suggested that the Anapsid-like turtle skull may be due to convergent evolution rather than to anapsid descent. The most magnificent textiles of medieval times were Italian velvets.

Most anapsids became extinct in the late Permian period, except procolophonoids and possibly the precursors of the testudines (turtles). The peculiar properties of velvet, the splendid yet softened depth of dye colour it exhibited, made it obviously fit for official robes and sumptuous hangings. 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). Earliest references occur about the beginning of the 14th century. 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. In all probability the art of velvet-weaving originated in the Far East. Their exact ancestry is disputed. Corduroy and velveteen were considered the "poor man's velvet" when they were first produced.

The first turtles are believed to have existed in the era of the dinosaurs, 200 million years ago. Velvet was very expensive and was considered to be among the luxury goods together with silk. 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. Velvet's knitted counterpart is velour. The turtles can take up dissolved oxygen from the water through these papillae, in much the same way that fish use gills. The two pieces are then cut apart and the two lengths of fabric are wound on separate take-up rolls. These projections, called "papillae", have a rich blood supply, and increase the surface area of the cloaca. It is woven on a special loom that weaves two pieces of velvet at the same time.

Some species have large cloacal cavities lined with many finger-like projections. Velvet can be made from any fiber. However, aquatic respiration in Australian freshwater turtles is currently being studied. Velvet is a type of tufted fabric in which the cut threads are very evenly distributed, with a short dense pile, giving it its distinct feel. 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. 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.

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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