An order of reptiles that comprises the turtles, terrapins, and tortoises. They are distinguished by having a shell of bony plates covered with horny scales, and many kinds are aquatic. Also called (especially formerly) Chelonia.
- All turtles are placed within the order Testudines.
- All these taxa are relevant to the history of the conquest of land by vertebrates because they are outside the large clades of extant tetrapods (Apoda, Caudata, Anura, Mammalia, Testudines, Sauria).
- The first formal use of the word Testudines as a taxon name can be found in Batsch.
Modern Latin (plural), based on Latin testa 'shell'.
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