Panther turtle ( Stigmochelys pardalis )
|Batsch , 1788|
True tortoises (Testudinidae) are the most adapted to a terrestrial lifestyle family of turtles . The ancient turtle Chinlechelys tenertesta already lived terrestrially, as finds from the late Triassic show. From the Eocene , they are widespread in tertiary deposits. The genus Chinlechelys is not closely related to the recent tortoises, which are predominantly found in the tropics and subtropics of the Old World . There are only a few tortoises in North , Central and South America and none at all in Australia . The Moorish tortoise Testudo graeca , the Greek tortoise Testudo hermanni and the wide-brimmed tortoise Testudo marginata live in southern Europe .
The size of the recent tortoises ranges from a few centimeters to just under a meter. The largest known tortoise of all time was the extinct Colossochelys atlas with a shell length of up to 2.5 meters.
Up to now 16 recent genera and 59 species of tortoises have been distinguished, plus the genus Cylindraspis , whose 5 species became extinct in historical times.
Tortoises usually have a domed shell. Exceptions to this are the East African column turtles and the South African flat turtles, which seek refuge in narrow crevices while fleeing from predators. The legs of the tortoises are wide, the hind legs are columnar. Some ground-digging turtles, such as the gopher tortoises , have their front legs flattened and covered with scales. In all species, fingers and toes do not have more than two phalanges and are fused up to the claws. Most species exhibit pronounced sexual dimorphism , with males having thicker tails and a concave belly armor that makes mating easier. In many female turtles, on the other hand, there is a V-shaped incision in the plastron below the tail, which favors egg-laying.
The sawn flat turtle with an average shell length of 7 - 9 centimeters and the Egyptian tortoise with 12 centimeters are considered the smallest species of tortoise . The largest are the Galápagos giant tortoise ( Chelonoidis nigra ) and the Seychelles giant tortoise ( Dipsochelys ) at 70–95 centimeters
Female tortoises carefully choose where to lay their eggs, but do not care for the brood after they have laid their eggs. The sun provides the necessary incubation temperature. The females dig nesting holes with their hind legs, in which they lay between one and thirty eggs, depending on the species and age. The egg size also depends on the species, or on the size and age of the individual mother animal. For some species, multiple clutches are possible per season, depending on the supply situation of the dams. Eggs are usually laid during the day. After the clutch has been deposited, the nest cavity is carefully closed again and the ground leveled to make it more difficult for nest robbers to find it. The time it takes for the young to hatch depends on the climatic conditions and can be between 60 and 150 days.
Young turtles are already physically fully developed by the time they hatch. After hatching, they dig themselves to the surface of the nesting pit and immediately begin an independent life. After hatching, they pull in remnants of the yolk sac and are still supplied with nutrients for some time after hatching. After that, like the adult animals, they eat mostly vegetarian food.
Up to now 16 recent genera and 59 species of tortoises have been distinguished, in addition there is the genus Cylindraspis , whose 5 species became extinct in historical times and several fossil tortoises such. B. the Atlas turtle. In addition to several newly described species, the main differences to older classifications are that the spurred turtle was placed in the new genus Centrochelys and the Galápagos giant tortoise ( Chelonoidis nigra ) is now considered a species complex , which means that 9 of its subspecies have been granted species status.
Tortoise family (Testudinidae)
- Genus Seychelles giant tortoises Aldabrachelys Loveridge & Williams, 1957
- Genus Astrochelys Gray, 1873
- Genus Centrochelys Gray, 1872
- Spurred Tortoise ( Centrochelys sulcata (Miller, 1779)) (previously Geochelone sulcata )
- Genus Chelonoidis Fitzinger, 1835
- Pinta giant tortoise ( Chelonoidis abingdonii (Günther, 1877)) (previously a subspecies of Chelonoidis nigra )
- Wolf giant tortoise ( Chelonoidis becki (Rothschild, 1901)) (previously subspecies of Chelonoidis nigra )
- Cabbage tortoise ( Chelonoidis carbonarius (Spix, 1824))
- San Cristóbal giant tortoise ( Chelonoidis chathamensis (Van Denburgh, 1907)) (previously subspecies of Chelonoidis nigra )
- Patagonian tortoise ( Chelonoidis chilensis (Gray, 1870))
- Santiago giant tortoise ( Chelonoidis darwini (Van Denburgh, 1907)) (previously subspecies of Chelonoidis nigra )
- Forest turtle ( Chelonoidis denticulatus (Linnaeus, 1766))
- Chelonoidis donfaustoi Poulakakis & Edwards, 2015
- Pinzón giant tortoise ( Chelonoidis duncanensis (Garman, 1996)) (previously subspecies of Chelonoidis nigra )
- Española giant tortoise ( Chelonoidis hoodensis (Van Denburgh, 1907)) (previously subspecies of Chelonoidis nigra )
- Galápagos giant tortoise or Floreana giant tortoise ( Chelonoidis nigra (Quoy & Gaimard, 1824)) (extinct nominate form)
- † Fernandinha giant tortoise ( Chelonoidis phantastica (Van Denburgh, 1907)) (previously subspecies of Chelonoidis nigra )
- Santa Cruz giant tortoise ( Chelonoidis porteri (Rothschild, 1903)) (previously subspecies of Chelonoidis nigra )
- Cerro-Azul giant tortoise ( Chelonoidis vicina (Günther, 1874)) (previously a subspecies of Chelonoidis nigra )
- Genus Chersina Gray, 1831.
- African beak- breasted turtle ( Chersina angulata (Schweigger, 1812))
- Genus † Colossochelys Falconer & Cautley, 1844.
- † Atlas turtle ( Colossochelys atlas Falconer & Cautley, 1844)
- Genus † Cylindraspis Fitzinger, 1835
- Genus Geochelone Fitzinger, 1835
- Genus gopher tortoises ( Gopherus rafinesque, 1815)
- California gopher tortoise ( Gopherus agassizii ( Cooper , 1863))
- Texas gopher tortoise ( Gopherus berlandieri ( Agassiz , 1857))
- Gopherus evgoodei Edwards, Karl, Vaughn, Rosen, Meléndez-Torres & Murphy, 2016
- Yellow-tipped gopher tortoise ( Gopherus flavomarginatus Legler , 1959)
- Sonoran gopher tortoise ( Gopherus morafkai Murphy, Berry, Edwards, Leviton, Lathrop & Riedle, 2011)
- Georgia gopher tortoise ( Gopherus polyphemus ( Daudin , 1802))
- Genus flat turtles ( Homopus Duméril & Bibron, 1834)
- Genus Asian tortoises ( Indotestudo Lindholm, 1929)
- Genus kinixys ( Kinixys Bell, 1827)
- Smooth- edged jointed turtle ( Kinixys belliana Gray, 1831)
- Spiny- edged jointed turtle ( Kinixys erosa (Schweigger, 1812))
- Stutz jointed turtle ( Kinixys homeana Bell, 1827)
- Lobatse jointed turtle ( Kinixys lobatsiana (Power, 1927))
- Natal jointed turtle ( Kinixys natalensis Hewitt, 1935)
- West African jointed turtle ( Kinixys nogueyi (Lataste, 1886))
- Spekes jointed turtle ( Kinixys spekii ) Gray, 1863
- Southeast African jointed turtle ( Kinixys zombensis Hewitt, 1931)
- Genus Malacochersus Lindholm, 1929.
- Tortoise ( Malacochersus tornieri (Siebenrock, 1903))
- Genus Asian forest turtles ( Manouria , Gray, 1854)
- Genus South African tortoises ( Psammobates Fitzinger, 1835)
- Genus spider turtles Pyxis Bell, 1827
- Genus Panther turtles ( Stigmochelys Gray, 1873)
- Panther turtle ( Stigmochelys pardalis (Bell, 1828))
- Genus Real tortoises ( Testudo Linnaeus, 1758)
- WG Joyce, SG Lucas, TM Scheyer, AB Heckert, AP Hunt: A thin-shelled reptile from the Late Triassic of North America and the origin of the turtle shell. In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 2008.
- Tortoise Trust Egg FAQ ( Memento of the original from September 5, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Tortoise egg incubation ( Memento of the original from September 5, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- N. Poulakakis, DL Edwards, Y. Chiari, RC Garrick, MA Russello, E. Benavides et al: Description of a New Galapagos Giant Tortoise Species (Chelonoidis; Testudines: Testudinidae) from Cerro Fatal on Santa Cruz Island. In: PLoS ONE. 10 (10), 2015, p. E0138779, doi: 10.1371 / journal.pone.0138779 .
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