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Turtles, Tortoises & Terrapin

A275 Turtles, Tortoises, & Terrapin
   These are the reptiles of the order Chelonii. All have a bony or cartilaginous shell, and many species withdraw into it for protection. Fossils have been dated to 220 million years ago, making turtles older than lizards, snakes, and crocodiles. Like other amniotes (reptiles, dinosaurs, birds, and mammals), they breathe air and do not lay eggs underwater, although many species live in or around water. The largest turtles are aquatic.
   Technically, all animals in this order are turtles, and the term can refer to the entire order or to any individual species. In common usage, the term tortoise refers to those that live only on land, and a terrapin is a turtle that lives in fresh or brackish water. These are common usage terms, not biological ones. There is only one terrapin species.
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