Turtles & TortoisesPets


The Testudines are the only shelled species of reptile or amphibians. All Turtles and Tortoises have a carapace (upper shell) and a plastron (lower shell) to some degree.   Sea turtles have a very aerodynamic shell which is thoroughly connected while tortoises have large, dome-shaped shells which look quite cumbersome.

There are two main groupings of turtles. The Pleurodira and the Cryptodira. The Pleurodira include the Chelus and Pelomedusa species and retract their heads by bending their necks horizontally. Conversely, the Cryptodira, which comprise most of the Testudines, retract their heads by bending their necks vertically.

Order Testudines (Turtles)
Suborder Cryptodira
Suborder Pleurodira
Superfam. Testudinoidea
Superfam. Trionychoidea
Superfam. Chelonioidea
Family Chelydridae (Snapping Turtles)

Family Emydidae

(Pond Turtles / Box

and Water Turtles)

Family Testudinidae (Tortoises)
Family Dermatemydidae (River Turtles)

Family Kinosternidae (Mud and Musk Turtles)

Family Carettochelyidae (Pig Nosed Turtles)

                           Family Trionychidae

(Softshell Turtles)
Family Cheloniidae

(Sea Turtles)

Family Dermochelyidae

(Leatherback Turtles) 
Family Pelomedusidae (Afro-American Sideneck Turtles)

Family Chelidae (Austro-American Sideneck Turtles)

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