Tree of Life
Plant Flower, Tree
Invertebrate Octopus, Ant, Bee, Butterfly, Spider, Lobster
Vertebrate Fish, Seahorse, Ray, Shark, Frog, Turtle, Tortoise, Dinosaur
Bird, Ostrich, Owl, Crow, Parrot
Mammal Bat, Rabbit, Giraffe, Camel, Horse, Elephant, Mammoth
Whale, Dolphin, Walrus, Seal, Polar Bear, Bear, Cat, Tiger, Lion, Dog, Wolf
Monkey, Chimpanzee, Human
These are organized by a classification scheme developed exclusively for Cosma. More…
tortoise : any of a family (Testudinidae) of terrestrial turtles — Webster
Tortoises are a family, Testudinidae. Testudinidae is a Family under the order Testudines and suborder Cryptodira. There are fourteen extant families of the order Testudines, an order of reptile commonly known as turtles, tortoises, and terrapins. The suborder Cryptodira is a suborder of Testudines that includes most living tortoises and turtles. Cryptodira differ from Pluerodia in that they lower their necks and pull the heads straight back into the shells, instead of folding their necks sideways along the body under the shells’ marginals. The testudines are some of the most ancient reptiles alive. Tortoises are shielded from predators by a shell. The top part of the shell is the carapace, the underside is the plastron, and the two are connected by the bridge.
The carapace is fused to both the vertebrae and ribcage, and tortoises are unique among vertebrates in that the pectoral and pelvic girdles are inside the ribcage rather than outside. Tortoises can vary in dimension from a few centimeters to two meters. They are usually diurnal animals with tendencies to be crepuscular depending on the ambient temperatures. They are generally reclusive animals. Tortoises are the longest living land animal in the world, although the longest living species of tortoise is a matter of debate. Galápagos tortoises are noted to live over 150 years, but an Aldabra giant tortoise named Adwaita may have been the longest living at an estimated 255 years. In general, most tortoise species can live 80–150 years. — Wikipedia
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Peculiar behavior of the beetle Toramus larvae,...
on May 22, 2020 at 2:07 pm
When studying the larval morphology of Toramini (Coleoptera: Erotylidae) we found that larvae of the genus Toramus attach their exuviae to their distal abdomen, with each exuvia from the preceding instar attached to the next to form a vertical pile. Exuvial attachment is facilitated by modified hook-like setae with flattened shafts inserted into the exuvia of the previous instar. We discuss the possibility that the exuvial attachment serves as a kind of autotomy—"exuvial autotomy."
Desert mystery: Why have pronghorn antelope...
on May 13, 2020 at 2:20 pm
More than a century after railroads, ranchers and hunters vanquished their ancestors, pronghorn antelope are returning to this unforgiving expanse of desert along the California-Nevada border.
New Mexico badlands help researchers understand...
on April 28, 2020 at 1:50 pm
Planetary scientists are using a volcanic flow field in New Mexico to puzzle out how long past volcanic eruptions on Mars might have lasted, a finding that could help researchers determine if Mars was ever hospitable to life.
Neanderthals were pioneers in marine resource...
on March 26, 2020 at 6:00 pm
The journal Science has published a study led by the ICREA researcher João Zilhão from the University of Barcelona on the excavation in Cueva de Figueira Brava, Portugal, which was used as shelter by Neanderthal populations about between 86,000 and 106,000 years ago. The study reveals fishing and shellfish gathering contributed significantly to the subsistence economy of the inhabitants of Figueira Brava. The relevance of this discovery lies in the fact that so far, there was […]
Small horses got smaller, big tapirs got bigger...
on March 24, 2020 at 1:15 pm
The former coalfield of Geiseltal in eastern Germany has yielded large numbers of exceptionally preserved fossil animals, giving palaeontologists a unique window into the evolution of mammals 47 million years ago. At that time—the middle Eocene—the Earth was much warmer and the area was a swampy subtropical forest whose inhabitants included ancestors of the horse, ancient tapirs, large terrestrial crocodiles, as well as giant tortoises, lizards and ground-dwelling birds. So rich are […]