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Favorite Images of Turtles & Tortoises #1
Animals list created by kathy
A list of my favorite images of turtles and tortoises.
List #2 may be viewed here: http://www.listal.com/list/favorite-images-turtles
Turtles are reptiles of the order Chelonii or Testudines characterised by a special bony or cartilaginous shell developed from their ribs and acting as a shield.
Turtle may refer to the chelonian order as a whole (American English) or to fresh-water and sea-dwelling chelonians (British English).
The order Chelonii or Testudines includes both extant (living) and extinct species. The earliest known turtles date from 220 million years ago, making turtles one of the oldest reptile groups and a more ancient group than lizards, snakes or crocodiles. Of the many species alive today, some are highly endangered.
Turtles are ectotherms—their internal temperature varies according to the ambient environment, commonly called cold-blooded. However, because of their high metabolic rate, leatherback sea turtles have a body temperature that is noticeably higher than that of the surrounding water.
Turtles are classified as amniotes, along with other reptiles (including birds) and mammals. Like other amniotes, turtles breathe air and do not lay eggs underwater, although many species live in or around water.
Tortoises are a family of land-dwelling turtles in the order Testudines. Contrary to popular belief, tortoises are in fact turtles rather than part of a separate group.
Like most turtles, tortoises are shielded from predators by a shell. The top part of the shell is the carapace, the underside is the plastron, and the two are connected by the bridge. The carapace is fused to both the vertebrae and ribcage, and turtles are unique among vertebrates in that the pectoral and pelvic girdles are inside, rather than outside, the ribcage.
Tortoises can vary in size from a few centimeters to two meters. They are usually diurnal animals with tendencies to be crepuscular depending on the ambient temperatures. They are generally reclusive animals.
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