side-necked turtle

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side-necked turtle,

name for the long-necked turtleturtle,
a reptile of the order Chelonia, with strong, beaked, toothless jaws and, usually, an armorlike shell. The shell normally consists of bony plates overlaid with horny shields.
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 of the families Chelidae and Pelomedusidae, found only in the Southern Hemisphere. The neck in these two families is of a different structure from that of other turtles and is folded sideways under the shell for concealment instead of being pulled straight back. Members of the family Chelidae, sometimes called snake-necked turtles, are river turtles of South America and the Australia–New Guinea region. Several species have slender, elongated snouts. Among these is the matamata (Chelys fimbriata) of Brazil and N South America. The matamata is a weak-jawed turtle that lies in wait for its prey, chiefly fish, and sucks it up with the snout. Its shell has high bumps and is covered with moss and water plants, so that when motionless the turtle looks like a rock. The family Pelomedusidae includes two African genera, Pelomedusa and Pelusios. Members of the latter genus resemble the North American box turtles, with a hinged shell. A third genus, Podocnemis, is found in rivers of South America and Madagascar. Side-necked turtles are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Reptilia, order Chelonia.
References in periodicals archive ?
The turtle in question is Carbonemys cofrinii, which means "coal turtle," and is part of a group of side-necked turtles known as pelomedusoides.
In Brazil, Geoffroy's side-necked turtles (Phrynops geoffroanus) caught in a stream with inputs of sewage from humans, pesticides, and domestic waste reached densities that were among the highest recorded for Neotropical freshwater turtles (Souza and Abe, 2000).
Other species, such as the side-necked turtles of Australia, cope by using specialised cavities in their rear, known as cloacal bursae, to draw in water and remove the oxygen.