Biology of Turtles: From Structures to Strategies of Life

Jeanette Wyneken, Matthew H. Godfrey, Vincent Bels

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December 26, 2007 by CRC Press
Reference - 408 Pages - 10 Color & 173 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9780849333392 - CAT# 3339

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Features

  • Explores the development of the most distinct turtle feature, the shell
  • Synthesizes important work on bone growth and aging, and furthers our understanding of bone strength
  • Presents comparative, experimental and functional perspectives on locomotion
  • Describes the retractable neck in its functional context, taking the reader beyond the simple view of “protecting the head”
  • Provides a functional, anatomical, and behavioral overview of feeding in herbivorous and carnivorous, and aquatic vs. terrestrial, turtles that has never previously been synthesized
  • Discusses cardiopulmonary structure from several behavioral and functional perspectives
  • Challenges researchers to think rigorously when analyzing the consequences of environmental sex determination and turtle sex ratios
  • Examines the unique structural and functional adaptations for tolerating low oxygen levels found in turtles that hibernate under water
  • Explores why the origin of turtles and their relationship to other amniotes is such a great challenge
  • Summary

    Featuring in-depth contributions from an international team of experts, the Biology of Turtles provides the first comprehensive review of the Testudinata. The book starts with the premise that the structure of turtles is particularly interesting and best understood within the context of their development, novelty, functional diversity, and evolution. It provides a robust discussion of the development and diversity of the shell. The book also explores the turtle body plan, its physiological and ecological consequences, evolutionary novelties, and their importance. The 200 illustrations found throughout the text enhance the chapters combine with color illustrations of the development of the shell, aspects of bone structural diversity, growth, and skeletochronology, to make this book an unparalleled resource. The volume concludes with a thoughtful discussion of the more than century long debate on the origins of turtles and the reasons why our understanding of the phylogenic origins and evolution of turtles remains tentative.

    Currently available books on this subject are woefully out of date and no overall review of Testudinata has been undertaken…until now. Each chapter represents a milestone in synthesizing a wide range of available information on specific subjects. The book’s challenge: look both inside and outside the shell to build a clearer understanding of the diversity and evolution of turtles.