Skeleton of a turtle

The structure of the skeleton

The entire skeleton of turtles is divided into 3 fragments:

  • the skull that formed the skull, jaws and hyoid apparatus;
  • the axial skeleton consisting of the carapace, vertebrae and rib bones;
  • the appendicular skeleton includes the limbs, chest bone and pelvis.

Reptile is slow, since it feeds on grass (most species), which can be easily extracted.It departments similar to the departments of mammals: it's cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral, and caudal.

The cervical vertebrae of a turtle 8, of which 2 are connected movably in the front that allows the animal to move quite actively with the head and clean it under the shell. The division, which forms the torso (thoracic and lumbar) is connected with the upper part of the shell – karapakkam.

The thorax starts with elongated vertebrae, which are connected to the breastbone, forming a turtle's chest.

The sacral vertebrae form the lateral processes connected to the pelvic bone. The tail is composed of 33 vertebrae and is characterized by an extraordinary mobility. Males have a longer tail compared to the females, the cloaca is the oviduct. The skeleton of a male is different and smaller: the males are "slimmer" females.

It's interesting to Pull an animal from "house" is impossible. The shell is completely fused with the skeleton. It is the spine and part of the chest with modified edges. The exception is the leatherback water turtles in which the shell is separated from the spinal column and formed of small bony plates.

Skeleton head

The turtle skull is completely ossified. In its composition many bones that form a fixed joint. It consists of 2 divisions: the visceral and the cerebral. The visceral part is movable and consists of the jaws and the hyoid apparatus.

Instead of teeth do reptiles have sharp Horny plates on the jaws into a beak. The jaws are movably articulated and have powerful muscles, whereby the compression force of the jaws increases.

The structure of the limbs

If we consider the structure of the shoulder and pelvic girdle for example the skeleton of a mud turtle, it is a good view of their unusual structure:

  • the shoulder girdle is constructed of 3 elongated, radial bones;
  • the scapula is situated vertically, is attached to carapax with thoracic vertebra;
  • the pelvic girdle is composed of 3 major bone associated with the spine and karapakkam;
  • vertically arranged powszechnie bone pass into the ischium and pubes, having a horizontal location.

Features of the structure of the limbs is that the bones of the hips and shoulders shorter, there are fewer carpal bones, the metatarsal, tarsal and phalanges. This structure is more typical for land reptiles that rely on your fingers.

From sea creatures finger bones are elongated, they form fins that are needed for aquatic lifestyle. Females use flippers, coming ashore and digging pits to lay their eggs.

This is interesting: Armored skeleton is arranged so that one of the movable joints helps to "hide" inside all parts of the body at the approach of danger.

The structure of the shell

The structure of the skeleton of turtles has undergone significant changes due to the presence of the shell. This Horny education, it is important for the animal and plays the following role:

  • saves you from injury;
  • protects from predators;
  • maintains body temperature, keeping warm;
  • connects a skeleton together, creating the main skeleton.

For example, the skeleton of a mud turtle can be seen that the shell is formed by bony plates that are fused together, forming a strong armor. Between the plates is cartilage. Due to this, the reptile can hold the weight of 200 times its own mass.

If you look at the skeleton of a turtle in the cut, the shell is formed by a curved dorsal division of a carapace and a flat ventral plastron. Carapace is constructed from 38 of the horn plate and the plastron of 16. Depending on the type and way of life formed a different number of plates and the shape of the shell.

The carapace is the "link" with a skeleton that is attached vertebrae, underneath is badly bent spine. The tortoise belongs to a unique animal that have both external and internal skeleton.

This is interesting: the Shell resembles a solid, impenetrable shield. But it has nerve endings and blood vessels in the injury of "house" the turtle feels pain.

How was formed the skeleton of a turtle?

It is assumed that the ancient ancestors of turtles had lived in the Triassic of the Mesozoic era, that is 220 million years ago. The carapace is formed from ribs, and around gradually increasing the "dome" of records.

One of the ancestors of modern species is Odontochelys semitestacea, which is an inhabitant of the aquatic environment and were found in the South-West of China. She had the teeth placed on the jaws.

The formation of the shell was not completed: the carapace was formed of advanced Reber, and the plastron has taken a modern look. Unusual animal was distinguished by a long tail division, and a more elongated eye sockets in the skull. Scientists believe that before Odontochelys semitestacea lived in the seas.

Turtle is a unique chordal animal with a shell. Thanks to him, the reptile has an unusual arrangement of bones and a few "strange" skeleton. A powerful framework allows the turtle to adapt to life in water and on land. And now the question is: is there a spine of a turtle, removed from the agenda.

Skeleton of a turtle
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