The chelonia comprises about 230 different species. Their diversity is very astounding to note. At first one would think that a body encased in a shell would limit the amount of diversity these animals could have, yet these animals live in nearly every type of habitat in the world. They can be found in areas as different as the Brazilian rainforests to the arctic.The chelonia are divided into two suborders. There is the Pleurodires which are commonly called the side-necked turtles. They of course get this name for the way their head and neck fold into their shell. These turtles have the longest necks compared to body size than almost any other animal. The other group is the Cryptodires which are the turtles and tortoises that fold their heads and necks in a U curve which allows for better protection. These are the more numerous of the chelonians alive today, but each suborder is fascinating to learn about.
The chelonia, at 230 different species are the third largest order of reptilians and are too large for me to devote an entire page to each species. So instead I have broken them up into their respective families followed by their genera. Afterwards I will give a basic description of each genus and possibly point out the most unique species in that genus. Enjoy!
|CARETTOCHELYDIAE = The Fly River Turtle||CHELIDAE = The Snake Necked Turtles|
|CHELYDRIDAE = The Snapping Turtles||PELOMEDUSIDAE The Afro-American Side Necked Turtles|
|DERMATEMYDIDAE = The Central American River Turtle|
|CHELONIIDAE = The Marine Turtles|
|DERMOCHELYDAE = The Leatherback|
|EMYDIDAE = The Freshwater Turtles|
|KINOSTERNIDAE = The American Mud and Musk Turtles|
|STAUROTYPIDAE = The Mexican Musk Turtles|
|TESTUDINIDAE = The Tortoises|
|TRIONYCHIDAE = The Soft Shelled Turtles|
|PLATYSTERNIDAE = The Big Headed Turtles|