ALLIGATOR & TURTLE SPECIMEN PHOTOS

Biol. 452 - Vertebrate Natural History

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ALLIGATOR PHOTOS
ORDER CROCODYLIA

Family Alligatoridae

American Alligator

Broad, rounded snout; no bony ridge between eyes.

ORDER CROCODYLIA

Family Alligatoridae

American Alligator

Close up of alligator's head, with mouth open.

EXTRA BITS ON TURTLES
The feet of painted turtles have slight webbing between the toes. The larger foot on top is a female's & the smaller, lower one is a male's. These male's have longer claws than the females.

A close up look inside the carapace of the youngest box turtle carapace (left) shows the growth pattern of the flattened ribs. The ribs have not yet fully contacted the marginals.

FAMILY DIVERSITY
ORDER TESTUDINES

Family Chelydridae - snapping turtle

Carapace has 3 faintly observable ridges running anteriorly to posteriorly.

Interior of the carapace.

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ORDER TESTUDINES

Family Chelonidae - sea turtle

Green Sea Turtle

It has paddle-like limbs its carapace has 4 costal & non-overlapping scutes.

The head has 2 large pre-frontal scales.

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ORDER TESTUDINES

Family Chelonidae - sea turtle

Hawksbill

It has paddle-like limbs & a tortoise shell pattern on its scutes.

It's head has 4 pre-frontal shields and a narrow, hawklike beak.

Anterior scutes overlap posterior scutes in the carapace & the posterior border is saw-toothed.

ORDER TESTUDINES

Family Kinosternidae - mud or musk turtle

Two different species are shown here. Both have the characteristic small body with a smooth oval shell.

This member of the family has 2 hinges on the plastron for closing it's shell.

ORDER TESTUDINES

Family Emydidae - pond turtle

Painted Turtle

It has a smooth carapace with red bars or crescents on it's marginal scutes.

The plastron may be yellow, unpatterned or intricately marked. Marks are here but have faded.

The head & neck are marked with yellow stripes.

ORDER TESTUDINES

Family Emydidae - shells

The carapace of this box turtle has lost most of the keratinized scutes & shows a depression which marks a healed puncture wound from a predator.

These are the carapaces of 2 young box turtles, note the rapid increase in size visible in the layers of the keratinized scutes.

This is the carapace & plastron of a painted turtle, note the patterning of the marginals & the plastron.

ORDER TESTUDINES

Family Emydidae - box turtle

Western Box Turtle

Box turtles have a high domed carapace. This species has a distinctive pattern of yellow on the scutes.

Box turtles have a single hinge in the plastron that may be patternless or some dark blotches.

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ORDER TESTUDINES

Family Testudinidae

Desert Tortoise

The carapace is high domed with pronounced growth rings in the keratinized scutes.

The legs have thick conical shields (smoothed off in this specimen) & blunt heavy claws.

These herbivores have a strongly serrated jaw to help cut plants. Elongated gular scutes are visible underneath the head. of this male.

ORDER TESTUDINES

Family Testudinidae

Desert Tortoise

Dorsal view of the carapace of a tortoise without the keratin.

Ventral view of the plaston of the tortoise shows the slightly enlarged gular scutes to your left.

Lateral view of the shell of a tortoise. It is high domed & "humped" under each major scute.

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