pleurodira

2

Eastern Long-necked Turtle (Chelodina longicollis)

Also known as the Common or Eastern Snake-necked turtle, the eastern long-necked turtle is a species of turtle endemic to eastern Australia. Noted for its extremely long neck this turtle is an expert swimmer and predator. Laying dormant on the bottom of the water waiting for an unsuspecting prey item ,like a crustacean or small fish, to swim within range it will then extend its neck at incredible speeds and feed on its catch. When threatened this turtle can emit a bad smelling fluid from musk glands in an attempt to deter a potential predator

Phylogeny

Animalia-Chordata-Reptilia-Testudines-Pleurodira-Chelidae-Chelodininae-Chelodina-longicollis

Image Source(s)

Eodortoka morellana by Carlos De Miguel Chaves:

"Paleoillustration for a new scientific article about a new turtle: Eodortoka morellana, a Pleurodira turtle from the Lower Cretaceous of Morella (Spain). It’s characteristic in Eodortoka a fluted decoration in the shell. In the fossil site has been found fishes, sharks, crocodiles, urtles, spinosaurs and, as you can see, iguanodontians (in fact, Iguanodon).

Pérez-García, A.; Gasulla, J.M.; Ortega, F. 2014. Eodortoka morellana gen. et sp. nov., the first pan-pleurodiran turtle (Dortokidae) defined in the Early Cretaceous of Europe. Cretaceous Research.”

More information at Godzillín (Spanish)

This Stupendemys geographicus carapace has a straight-line carapace length of 2.18 meters (7’2”) and appears to be fairly on the small side for this species. Another specimen measures 2.18 meters wide and 3.3 meters in SCL, but unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find any photographs. While Archelon is frequently stated to be the largest turtle ever, I’d bet on it actually being this species.

Wood, G. (1982) The Guinness Book of Animal Facts and Feats. Third Edition.

Ref for the super-big specimen:
Scheyer, T. & Sánchez−Villagra, M (2007) Carapace bone histology in the giant pleurodiran turtle Stupendemys geographicus: Phylogeny and function. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 52(1) 137–154.

#622 - Chelodina (Macrodiremys) colliei - Southwestern Snake-necked Turtle

One of the reasons I’ve got so many species in my list of Perth wildlife is the simple fact that SW Australia is ridiculously species-diverse. The Southwest Australia Ecoregion is one of the world’s 34 Biodiversity Hotspots. And Perth itself does pretty well - it’s got 71 species of reptile within the city limits, which is a gigantic number for an urbanised area. This article at WWF has a few more details.

The Southwestern Snake-necked Turtle is a fairly common species - certainly doing better than the critically endangered Western Swamp Turtle which is ONLY found around Perth - but the taxonomic history is a bit complicated. For one thing it’s only recently been split off from the genus Chelodina, and its other common name Oblong Turtle is a holdover from confusion with the Northern Snake-necked Turtle, Chelodina oblonga.

Either way, the snake-necked turtles are carnivores that hide and then lunge at passing fish and invertebrates with a gape attack. Despite that, not at all aggressive, and will much prefer to flail helplessly if handled, rather than bite.

I found this one lumbering noisily through undergrowth near a small pond - they tend to wander in breeding season, which is bad news near roads.

anonymous asked:

Do you know much about Australian turtles? I have acquired an eastern long neck and am paranoid that I'm doing something wrong, as she's my first turtle. As far as I'm aware, she's about a year old. Any advice?

I’ve never raised any turtles native to Australia, though I’ve read extensively about them. Whenever I want to know more about a turtle I usually head to Chelonia.org first, since their articles are well-researched and I’m pretty sure they have a care guide for most species. 

So if you haven’t already seen their care sheet for the Eastern Long Neck Turtle, you should definitely check that out. Paranoia, or really, caution, is a good sign that you’re actively thinking about your pet’s needs. Don’t make yourself nuts fretting over problems that don’t exist, though!

The La Puente turtle, Puentemys (2012 )

Phylum : Chordata
Class : Reptilia
Order : Testudines
Suborder : Pleurodira
Family : Bothermydidae
Genus : Puentemys
Species : P. mushaisaensis

  • Late Paleocene (60 Ma)
  • 2,3 m long and 1 800 kg (size)
  • Cerrejón formation, Colombia (map)

Every week, it seems, paleontologists discover a new plus-sized reptile that prowled the warm, wet swamps of middle Paleocene South America. The latest entry (hot on the heels of the even bigger Carbonemys) is Puentemys, a prehistoric turtle that was distinguished not only by its enormous size, but by its unusually large, round shell. Like Carbonemys, Puentemys shared its habitat with the biggest prehistoric snake yet identified, the 50-foot-long Titanoboa. (Oddly enough, all of these one- and two-ton reptiles thrived only five million years after the dinosaurs went extinct, a good argument that size alone was not the cause of the dinosaurs’ demise).

Why did Puentemys possess such a geometrically perfect shell? The most likely theory is that, being cold-blooded, Puentemys needed to fuel its ectothermic metabolism via exposure to sunshine—and a round shell was the most efficient way both to harvest light during the day, and to dissipate excess heat at night. It also didn’t hurt that Puentemys’ enormous shell would have been a difficult pill for any prehistoric snakes, birds or crocodiles to swallow, thus sparing full-grown individuals of this genus from predation.

citizen-naught asked:

The problem with the whole turtle, tortoise, terrapin distinction is that some of those groups aren't monophyletic. You could say tortoises are only Family Testudinidae But that would still be in Order Testudines which would make tortoises a type of turtle. If you wanted to say that turtles are Testudiniae except for Testudines you have the problem that tortoises would be more closely related to some turtles that some turtles are to each other cryptodira vs pleurodira. the whole thing is complex

Yeah yeah yeah but people think they are the same. Like… no.