Cryptodira


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Cryptodira

[‚krip·tə′dī·rə]
(vertebrate zoology)
A suborder of the reptilian order Chelonia including all turtles in which the cervical spines are uniformly reduced and the head folds directly back into the shell.

Cryptodira

 

an order of turtles of the subclass Testudinata. The carapace consists of bony plates covered with horny scales. The neck and head can be withdrawn into the carapace by a vertical flexure of the neck.

There are 140 species, making up 30 genera from six families. The turtles represent about two-thirds of all living turtle species. The six families are Emydidae (common freshwater turtles), Kinosternidae (mud turtles and musk turtles), Chelydridae (snapping turtles), Dermatemydidae (with a single species, the Central American river turtle), Platysternidae (with a single species, the big-headed turtle), and Testudinidae (land tortoises). The USSR has two species of common freshwater turtles and two species of land tortoises.

Some zoologists consider the Cryptodira a suborder.