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FRESHWATER TURTLE Family (Emydidae) Freshwater turtles form the largest family, including 31 genera and 85 species. These are small and medium-sized animals, the carapace of which is in most cases low, has a round-oval streamlined shape. Their limbs are usually swimming, have more or less developed membranes and are armed with sharp claws. The head is covered on top with smooth skin, only occasionally there are small shields on the back of the head. Many species have a very bright, beautiful coloring of the head and legs, and often the shell. The family is extremely widespread - in Asia, Europe, North Africa, North and South America. Two main nodes are distinguished in their geography. The main, most ancient center lies in Southeast Asia, where 20 genera are concentrated, the second center was formed, apparently, later in eastern North America, where there are 8 genera of freshwater turtles.

Most species are aquatic inhabitants inhabiting bodies of water with a weak current. They cleverly move both in water and on land, feed on a variety of animal and plant foods. Only some species secondarily switched to living on land, which affected their appearance and behavior (the clumsy, high-shell Terrapene box turtles). Although carnivores are characteristic of aquatic turtles, some species are strict vegetarians (articulated turtles - batagur, etc.). In India and Pakistan, roofing turtles (the genus Kachuga) live with a relatively high roof-like shell, in the middle of which there is a clearly visible keel. There are 6 species known, decorated turtles (genus Pseudemys) among 8 species distributed from southern Canada to Brazil. All of them are small water turtles with a flattened, streamlined shell, covered with small wrinkles. Their legs have developed membranes and sharp claws, reaching in males a particularly impressive length. The head and neck of these turtles are always decorated with a characteristic pattern of yellow crimped stripes and spots. Most species are numerous and dominate among the turtle “population” in freshwater lakes and rivers in North America. Humpback turtles (genus Graptemys) are common in the eastern states of the United States. Most have a roof-like carapace with a serrated crest along the ridge. Of the 6 species, only one has a very low and notched crest - a geographic tortoise. Water turtles (genus Clemmys) are one of the central groups of the described family. The range of the genus covers southern Europe, Asia, Northwest Africa and North America. Of the 8 species, one (Caspian tortoise) lives in our country. In swamp turtles (genus Emys), unlike all the previously considered species, the dorsal and abdominal shields are connected movably by means of a tendon ligament. In addition, the abdominal shield is divided by the tendon layer into the front and back, but their mutual mobility is more or less limited. The genus of marsh turtles includes only two species - European and American marsh turtles. The vast genus Geoemyda includes 15 species and has two isolated geographical centers. 9 species are common in Southeast Asia, and 6 in Central and South America. Among these turtles there are both aquatic species, and quite terrestrial with thickened legs without swimming membranes. Articulated turtles (genus Cuora) are common in Southeast Asia. In these turtles, the abdominal shield is movably connected to the dorsal and is divided into two halves by the transverse ligament. In case of danger, strong muscles pull up the halves of the plastron and tightly close the shell in front and behind. Five species of articulated turtles are known. The ability to close the shell tightly with the movable plastron lobes is also well developed in box turtles (genus Terrapene) living in North and Central America. The shell holes in them are closed so tightly that it is impossible to stick even a thin sliver between the dorsal and abdominal shields. All 6 species of box turtles are small animals, with a shell up to 14-16 cm long. Although in their origin and basic structural features they belong to freshwater turtles, their modern way of life is exclusively land. In this regard, they have lost some features of freshwater animals and look very much like land turtles. Their carapace is tall, dome-shaped, the toes of the hind legs are only connected at the very base by a narrow membrane, and on the front legs, covered in front with large scales, there are no membranes at all.

American freshwater turtles (family) Emydidae

Small and medium, rarely large tortoises (carapace length up to 80 cm). The carapace is always completely ossified, without fountains, from above it is covered with horn shields. Neural bone plates located along the middle of the back are 6-angled. The plastron is wide, connected to the carapace by the bridge motionlessly using a bone suture or movably thanks to the cartilaginous ligament. Edge (marginal) shields. The tip of the muzzle is not extended into the proboscis, the jaws do not have fleshy lips. The head is completely hidden under the shell. The upper side of the head is smooth, not divided into horny shields. Between the fingers are well-developed swimming membranes. The hind limbs are not pillar-shaped. The vast majority of species is associated with water, omnivores. Distributed in temperate and tropical areas on all continents except Australia.

The largest family of turtles, including 90 species and 34 genera. It is divided into 2 subfamilies: Batagurinae (56 species, 24 genera) and Emudinae (34 species, 10 genera). Recently, it has been suggested that the first of these should be transferred to the Testudinidae family of tortoises or allocated to an independent family. Sometimes, along with this family and a number of other freshwater turtles, are combined into the superfamily Testudinoidea.

In the fauna of the former USSR and Russia, there are 2 species related to 2 genera and both subfamilies, i.e. about 2%, 6% and 100% of the family’s volume, respectively. Source and other animals >>

Description:

Freshwater turtles form the largest family, including 25 genera and 77 species. These are small and medium-sized animals, the carapace of which is in most cases low, has a round-oval streamlined shape. Their limbs are usually swimming, have more or less developed membranes and are armed with sharp claws. The head is covered on top with smooth skin, only occasionally there are small shields on the back of the head. Many species have a very bright, beautiful coloring of the head and legs, and often the shell.

The family is extremely widespread - in Asia, Europe, North Africa, North and South America. Two main nodes are distinguished in their geography. The main, most ancient center lies in Southeast Asia, where 17 genera are concentrated, the second center was formed, apparently, later in eastern North America, where there are 8 genera of freshwater turtles.

Most species are aquatic inhabitants inhabiting bodies of water with a weak current. They cleverly move both in water and on land, feed on a variety of animal and plant foods. Only some species secondarily switched to living on land, which affected their appearance and behavior (clumsy, boxy turtles with a high shell, Teggarepe). Although carnivores are characteristic of aquatic turtles, some species are strict vegetarians (articulated turtles - batagur, etc.).

American freshwater turtles (lat. Emydidae) - a family of turtles. Prior to separation from the Geoemydidae family, the family was called Freshwater turtles.

These are small and medium-sized animals, the carapace of which is in most cases low, has a round-oval streamlined shape. Their limbs are usually swimming, have more or less developed membranes and are armed with sharp claws. The head is covered on top with smooth skin, only occasionally there are small shields on the back of the head. Many species have a very bright, beautiful coloring of the head and legs, and often the shell.

The family is extremely widespread - North and South America. The genus Emys is also represented in Europe and Asia.

Most species are aquatic inhabitants inhabiting bodies of water with a weak current. They cleverly move both in water and on land, feed on a variety of animal and plant foods. Only some species secondarily switched to living on land, which affected their appearance and behavior. Although carnivores are common in aquatic turtles, some species are vegans.

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