CLASSIFICATION OF TESTUDO : GIANT TURTLE

PHYLUM :- CHORDATA (Notochord, dorsal tubular nerve cord present and gill slits present )

Group :- CRANIATA ( Definite head. Cranium with brain present )

Sub-phylum :- VERTEBRATA ( vertebral column present)

Division :- GNATHOSTOMATA ( Jaws and paired appendages present )

Super class :-  TETRAPODA ( Paired limbs, lungs, bony skeleton and cornified skin)

Class :- REPTILIA ( Scaly vertebrates with right and left aortic arches. Single condyle, pulmonary respiration. Embryo with amnion and allantois ).

Sub-class :- ANAPSIDA ( Primitive reptiles. Skull completely roofed over ).

Order :- CHELONIA ( Turtles, tortoises and terrapins ).

Sub-order :-  THECOPHORA ( Thoracic vertebrae and ribs fused to carapace ).

Family :-  TESTUDINIDAE ( Toes not webbed, hindlegs cylindrical, shell high ).

Genus :-  Testudo

GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION

 Testudo is widely distributed in Galapagos Islands, Africa, Europe, India and Sri Lanka.

HABIT AND HABITAT

Testudo is found in fresh-water or salt water or on land. It feeds on small worms and insects. It also hibernates during winter season.

TESTUDO : GIANT TURTLE

GENERAL CHARACTERSTICS OF TESTUDO : GIANT TURTLE

  • Commonly known as Giant turtle. Body divided into head, neck, trunk and tail.
  • Body is encased in an oval shell consisting of closely sutured plate-like bones in definite manner. Over the shell is a layer of leathery skin or cornified scutes also in definite pattern. Dorsal convex portion or carapace and the flatter ventral portion or plastron are joined on sides by skin.
  • Head, mounted on retractile neck, tail, and limbs protrude between two parts of the shell and in most species can be withdrawn completely within the margins of the shell. Head contains mouth, nostril and eyes. Behind eye is external ear opening.
  • Jaws lack teeth but bear stout cornified sheaths to crush their food. Quadrate immovable.
  • Thoracic vertebrae and ribs consolidated with bony carapace.
  • Feet are stumpy. Toes end in horny claws that are useful in crawling and digging.
  • They are uricotelic.
  • Male has an erectile penis on the ventral wall of the cloaca.
  • Oviparous.

Special features

 The feet are adapted for walking on land. The limbs are massively built with sprawling gait. The clawed digits contain only two phalanges. Eggs are laid in holes (nests) in ground, dug and covered by females. Toes not webbed.

Identification

This tortoise contains polygonal scales and above features, hence it is Testudo.

TESTUDO : GIANT TURTLE
TESTUDO : GIANT TURTLE

REFERENCES

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