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Turtles and Tortoises (Testudines)


The order Testudines includes turtles, tortoises and terrapins, divided into 14 families, 97 genera, and 346 extant species. All species possess a bony or cartilaginous protective shell. The majority of turtles (ca. 280-290 species) are freshwater or semi-aquatic, 50 species are terrestrial, and eight species (2 families) are marine. Turtle species richness is highest in Southeast Asia, and the southeastern United States.

Turtles and tortoises face many threats, including habitat destruction, collisions with boats and vehicles, net entanglement, harvesting for consumption, and the pet trade. Between 48 and 54% of all species are considered threatened, and the turtles and tortoises are at a much higher risk of extinction than many other groups of vertebrates.

Images of turtles and tortoises are temporarily offline. Please check the list of Reptile Species in Our Collection for available images. This page will be rebuilt as soon as "Mammals" has been completed.



    Snapping Turtles
    Sea Turtles
    Leatherback Turtles
    Mud and Musk Turtles
    Pond Turtles
    Softshell Turtles
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