Thursday, July 15, 2010

Who Says Turtles are Chelonians?

"Reptiles: Turtle & Tortoise"
Animal Bytes, San Diego Zoo

"Range: found in temperate and tropical regions of all oceans and all continents except Antarctica
"Habitat: aquatic species—oceans, swamps, freshwater lakes, ponds, and streams; terrestrial species—deserts, forests, and grasslands"

"Turtle, tortoise, and terrapin: what's the difference?

"All turtles, tortoises, and terrapins are reptiles. Scientists often refer to them as chelonians, because they are in the taxonomic order called Chelonia (from the Greek word for tortoise)...."

There's more: quite a bit more. Including the fact that the Galápagos tortoises at the San Diego Zoo like having their necks rubbed.

The San Diego Zoo's page on chelonians is fairly light reading - but has a favorable fluff-to-fact ratio. And, at the end, there's a paragraph about how roads and trash make life hard-to-impossible for turtles.

About that: I'd appreciate the 'save the turtle' stuff more if there were more of a clue as to what could be done. I doubt that there are too many people in the English-speaking world today who don't know that some species of just about everything are supposedly endangered. Okay, so we know there's a problem: what can we do about it?

That's as close to a rant as the Lemming is likely to get today.

1 comment:

Greek Tortoise said...

Tortoises ( /ˈtɔːr.təs.ɪz/, Testudinidae) are a family of land-dwelling reptiles of the order of turtles (Testudines). Like their marine cousins, the sea 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 tortoise has both an endoskeleton and an exoskeleton. Tortoises can vary in size from a few centimeters to two meters. Tortoises are usually diurnal animals with tendencies to be crepuscular depending on the ambient temperatures. They are generally reclusive animals.

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