Chapter

Turtles and Tortoises

L. Lee Grismer

in Amphibians and Reptiles of Baja California, Including Its Pacific Islands and the Islands in the Sea of Cortes

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2002 | ISBN: 9780520224179
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520925205 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520224179.003.0005
Turtles and Tortoises

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This chapter discusses the diversity of turtles and tortoises in Baja California and the Gulf of California. It examines their characteristics, distribution, and natural history. The Emylidae (pond turtles and sliders) are represented by two genera and two species: Clemmys marmorata (Western Pond Turtle), Trachemys nebulosa (Baja California Slider). The Testudinae (land tortoises) has only one living Baja California representative, Gopherus agassizii (Desert Tortoise). The Gulf of California and the west coast of Baja California peninsula are important nesting sites for the Cheloniidae family (sea turtles), represented by four genera and four species. The Dermochelyidae (leatherbacks) family has the largest and most distinctive of all living turtles, Dermochelys coriacea. This species is rare in the Gulf of California. The Trionychidae family (soft-shell turtles) is represented by Apalone spinifera, a freshwater turtle occurring in Río Colorado and associated drainages of northeastern Baja California.

Keywords: turtles; tortoises; Emylidae; sliders; Testudinae; Cheloniidae; sea turtles; Dermochelyidae; leatherbacks; Trionychidae

Chapter.  12826 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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