Belongs within: Testudinidae.Contains: Geochelone. The Testudininae contains the land tortoises most closely related to the type genus, Testudo, with many species having been referred in the past to either that genus or Geochelone. Among the members of the group are the giant tortoises of the Seychelles islands in the genus Aldabrachelys. The genus Testudo includes… Continue reading Testudininae


Belongs within: Centrocryptodira. The Emydidae are a family of mostly aquatic tortoises found primarily in the Americas. The only representatives native elsewhere are species of the genus Emys found in the western Palaearctic region. However, the red-eared slider Trachemys scripta has, through the pet trade, become an invasive species in many parts of the world.… Continue reading Emydidae


Belongs within: Testudininae. Tortoise sorting Published 25 October 2014 As a whole group, the ‘true’ tortoises of the family Testudinidae are easily recognised, with a usually terrestrial habitus (though at least one species, the serrated hinge-back tortoise Kinixys erosa, is a capable swimmer), columnar legs with short heavy-clawed feet, and a relatively high carapace. But… Continue reading Geochelone


Belongs within: Neodiapsida.Contains: Casichelydia. The Testudinata are the turtles and tortoises, a clade of reptiles unmistakeable through the enclosure of the body in a bony shell. The shell incorporates the ribcage of the animal, and the shoulder girdle has become enclosed within the ribcage. The relationships of testudinates to other reptiles remain rather uncertain due… Continue reading Testudinata


Belongs within: Pancryptodira.Contains: Pantrionychia, Emydidae, Pantestuguria, Kinosternidae, Dermochelyoidae, Cheloniidae. The clade Centrocryptodira unites the crown cryptodiran tortoises with the extinct Meiolaniidae, the horned turtles. The Cryptodira are the larger of the two major clades of living testudinates. Living cryptodires are characterised by the ability to draw the head directly backwards within the shell, but this… Continue reading Centrocryptodira


Belongs within: Centrocryptodira.Contains: Batagurinae, Testudinidae, Geoemyda. The Testudinoidae is a proposed clade uniting the land tortoises of the Testudinidae with the Asian pond turtles of the paraphyletic ‘Bataguridae’. The monophyly of this clade is unsettled, as proposed synapomorphies are also found in other testudinates, and are not universal within testudinoidaens (Gaffney & Meylan 1988). Pond… Continue reading Pantestuguria


Belongs within: Pantestuguria. The Batagurinae are a clade of freshwater turtles found in Asia. Synapomorphies (from Gaffney & Meylan 1988): Fissura ethmoidalis oval and broad; frontals sometimes excluded from orbital rim by prefrontal-postorbital contact; foramen palatinum posterius small, excluded from pterygoid. <==Batagurinae |–+–Orlitia borneensis (Gray 1873)GM88, JPG04 | `–Siebenrockiella crassicollis (Gray 1831)GM88, JPG04 `–+–+–Geoclemys hamiltonii… Continue reading Batagurinae


Belongs within: Pantestuguria.Contains: Testudininae. The Testudinidae are the land tortoises, the most entirely terrestrial group of the Testudinata. Synapomorphies (from Gaffney & Meylan 1988): Two or fewer phalanges in manus and pes; only four digits in pes; quadrate usually enclosing stapes; axillary and inguinal glands absent; slightly wide fissura ethmoidalis; cloacal bursae absent; coracoid blade… Continue reading Testudinidae


Belongs within: Centrocryptodira. The Kinosternidae of North and South America include the musk turtles, so called because of their production of a foul-smelling substance from glands under the tail when disturbed. Synapomorphies (from Gaffney & Meylan 1988): Ten pairs of peripherals; abdominal scales absent; no ribs connecting ninth and tenth vertebrae to eight costal; frontal… Continue reading Kinosternidae


Belongs within: Pantestuguria. Geoemyda (leaf turtles) is a genus of freshwater turtles found in eastern Asia. Characters (from Rooij 1915): Head covered with smooth skin, undivided. Alveolar surfaces narrow, without median ridge; choanae between the eyes. Neural plates hexagonal, short-sided behind or alternately tetragonal and octagonal. Plastron united to the carapace by suture. Digits with… Continue reading Geoemyda