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Turtle & Tortoise Terms (A-E)

A glossary of turtle and tortoise terminology

  • Amazon swords: A freshwater aquatic plant
  • Anachris: A freshwater weed
  • Anal scutes: The scutes on the rear plastron; can be different shapes for male or female
  • Annuli: Pattern of growth rings on the scutes of tortoises
  • Anterior: Towards the head, the front
  • Antibiotic: A chemical substance derivable from a mold or bacterium that kills microorganisms and cures infections
  • Aquatic: Living in the water
  • Basking: Behavior that allows a cold-blooded animal to absorb warmth from sunshine or another heat source
  • Basking light: A heat lamp where turtles get heat from while basking
  • Beak: The hard outer covering of the jaws
  • Bridges: Sides of the shell connecting the carapace and the plastron
  • Breeder: A person who breeds animals
  • Breeding: The act of reproduction
  • Calcium: Essential element for living organism;  needed for good shell growth
  • Carapace: The top part of the shell of a turtle or tortoise
  • Carnivore: An animal or reptile that eats meat
  • Caudal: Pertaining to the tail region
  • Chelonian: Tortoises and turtles
  • CITES: Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species
  • Cloaca: Chamber near the anal opening where digestive and urinary wastes are excreted and where the reproductive tract is located
  • Clutch: All the legs laid by a female at one time; the equivalent to a litter of puppies
  • Dime store turtle: A nick name that was widely used for red ear sliders
  • Diurnal: Active during the day
  • Ecosystem: A system formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their physical environment
  • Ectothermic: Cold-blooded
  • Endangered species: A species present in such small numbers that it is at risk of extinction
  • Epoxy: A thermo-setting resin; used chiefly in strong adhesives, coatings and laminates
  • Estivate: A summer period of inactivity similar to hibernation that can be an animal’s means of surviving in extremely hot and/or dry weather
  • Extinction: No longer in existence

A glossary of turtle and tortoise terminology

Turtle & Tortoise Terms (F – P) | Turtle & Tortoise Terms (S – W)

What Next well… check out the links below!

Coughing Turtle
Different Turtles
Different types of turtles
Pet Turtle Care
Pet Turtle Care
Turtle First Aid
Sick or injured turtle
Sea Turtle Facts
Sea Turtle Facts
Turtle Terms
Turtle Definitions
Painted Turtles Climbing
Turtle Rescue and Adoption
Turtle Questions
Frequently Asked Questions