Table of Contents
What is the name of tortoise cover?
The shell is made up of two halves, the underneath known as the plastron and the top known as the carapace. Both parts are fused together at the sides by a “bridge”. The whole shell of the tortoise is made up of numerous small bones which are covered by separate plates of keratin called scutes.
What is the outer covering of a turtle?
The outer surface of the shell is covered in epidermal (outer skin) scales known as scutes which are made of keratin, the same substance that makes up hair and fingernails. Typically, a turtle has 38 scutes on the carapace and 16 on the plastron, giving them 54 in total.
What is the outer shell of a tortoise called?
Normal Shells Turtles and tortoises have a carapace (the top or dorsal shell) and a plastron (the bottom or ventral shell), both of which should always be hard (unless it is a hatchling turtle or a species of water turtle that always has a soft shell).
What part of tortoise protects it?
Carapace and Plastron The tortoise’s hard upper outer shell, also known as a carapace, protects the vast majority of its upper body from predation, while the plastron, or under-shell, protects its underbelly.
What is tortoise shell pattern?
Tortoise shell pattern is characterized by speckled or mottled flakes in a fluid, natural pattern. This pattern classically has tones of brown and yellow, similar to types of tortoises, but can be offered in a range of colors to fit personal style.
What is a carapace on a tortoise?
A carapace is a dorsal (upper) section of the exoskeleton or shell in a number of animal groups, including arthropods, such as crustaceans and arachnids, as well as vertebrates, such as turtles and tortoises. In turtles and tortoises, the underside is called the plastron.
What is the difference between carapace and plastron?
The key difference between carapace and plastron is that carapace is the dorsal part of the shell while plastron is the ventral part of the shell of an animal, especially a crustacean. Arthropods have an exoskeleton or a shell. Some vertebrates, especially tortoises and turtles, also have an exoskeleton.
How hard is tortoise shell?
A turtle shell is extremely hard, and can withstand thousands of pounds worth of pressure. The average turtle shell has a fracture toughness of 36.4MPa m1/2.
What is pyramiding tortoise?
Pyramiding is the raising of scutes during active growth periods in tortoises. As a tortoise grows normally each scute increases in size horizontally thus increasing the overall diameter of each scute and the size of the tortoise. During normal growth this scute enlargement will lead to smooth growth.
What kind of shell does a tortoise have?
The shell is mostly dome-shaped, hard, and heavy for most tortoise species except for pancake species, whose shell is flattened, allowing it to survive by fitting in between rock crevices. These places are the most secure hiding spots given that once it settles among the rocks, its lungs inflate, tightening the shell.
What are the scutes on the back of a tortoise called?
Each scute on the shell actually has its own name. The scutes on the outer bottom edge of the carapace and along the back end are called marginal scutes. The one at the back of the neck is the nuchal scute. The scutes along the sides are the costal scutes.
Can a turtle and a tortoise live without their shell?
Turtles and tortoises can’t live without shells; the organ functions as a rib cage and a skin, both essential parts of a vertebrate’s anatomy. Looking at animals like the hermit crabs, one would think that the reptiles can also detach from their shell as they mature then grow another one.
Why does a tortoise hold back its head?
Most tortoises can hold back their appendages and head whenever they sense danger and relax when they feel safe. The shell is spacious enough to accommodate all limbs such that the predators can’t reach them. The tortoise is inseparable from its shell, and detaching it is fatal.