; order Chelonia, suborder Cryptodira)
A family of turtles that bask on land but enter slow-moving water to feed. Usually there is no reduction of the shell. The limbs are flattened with webbed, clawed toes. Emydidae are mainly carnivorous. Emys orbicularis (European pond terrapin or European pond tortoise) is native to central and southern Europe, south-western Asia, and north-western Africa; it was present in Britain during the last (Ipswichian) interglacial. Terrapene carolina (Carolina box turtle or eastern box turtle) of the eastern USA is omnivorous and lives on land; its plastron is hinged allowing the shell to be closed. There are about 80 species, distributed widely in temperate zones, except southern Africa and Australia.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.