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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)

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