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The Geoemydidae (formerly known as Bataguridae) are one of the largest and most diverse
families In human society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or social territory, typically subject to the same Politi ...
in the order
Testudines Turtles are an order Order or ORDER or Orders may refer to: * Orderliness Orderliness is associated with other qualities such as cleanliness Cleanliness is both the abstract state of being clean and free from germs, dirt, trash, or waste, ...
(turtles), with about 70
species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individu ...

species
. The family includes the
Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a ...

Eurasia
n pond and river turtles and
Neotropical The Neotropical realm is one of the eight biogeographic realms constituting Earth's land surface. Physically, it includes the tropics, tropical Ecoregion#Terrestrial, terrestrial ecoregions of the Americas and the entire South American temperat ...
wood turtles.


Characteristics

Geoemydidae are turtles of various sizes (from about in length) with often a high degree of
sexual dimorphism Sexual dimorphism is the condition where the sex Sex is either of two divisions, typically male Male (♂) is the sex of an organism that produces the gamete known as sperm. A male gamete can fuse with a larger female gamete, or ovum, in ...
. They usually have webbed toes, and their
pelvic girdle The pelvis (plural pelves or pelvises) is the lower part of the trunk, between the abdomen The abdomen (colloquially called the belly, tummy, midriff or stomach) is the part of the body between the thorax (chest) and pelvis, in humans and in ...
s articulate with their
plastron The turtle shell is a shield for the ventral and dorsal parts of turtles (the Order (biology), order Testudines), completely enclosing all the vital organs of the turtle and in some cases even the head. It is constructed of modified bony elements ...

plastron
s flexibly. Their necks are drawn back vertically. Their
carapace A carapace is a Dorsum (biology), 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 tor ...
s have 24 marginal
scute A scute or scutum (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the ...
s. The plastron is composed of 12 scutes and has no mesoplastron; the pectoral and abdominal scutes contact the marginal scutes. Some other features include a single articulation between the fifth and sixth
cervical vertebra In tetrapod Tetrapods (; from Greek 'four' and 'foot') are four-limbed animals constituting the superclass Tetrapoda . It includes extant and extinct amphibians, reptiles (including dinosaurs and therefore birds), and synapsids (including ...

cervical vertebra
e, the lack of a hyomandibular branch of the
facial nerve The facial nerve (the labyrinthine segment) is the seventh Cranial nerves, cranial nerve, or simply CN VII. It emerges from the pons of the brainstem, controls the muscles of facial expression, and functions in the conveyance of taste sensation ...

facial nerve
, and an epipterygoid bone in the skull.


Ecology

Geoemydidae live in tropics and subtropics of Asia, Europe and
North Africa North Africa or Northern Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Mauritania in th ...

North Africa
, the only genus in
Central Central is an adjective In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign languag ...

Central
and South America is ''
Rhinoclemmys ''Rhinoclemmys'' is a genus Genus (plural genera) is a taxonomic rank Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. The term may also refer ...
''. Their habitats include freshwater ecosystems, coastal marine areas, and tropical forests. Most are
herbivorous A herbivore is an animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All ...
, but some are
omnivorous An omnivore () is an animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an individual entity. Al ...
or
carnivorous A carnivore , meaning "meat eater" (Latin, ''caro'', genitive ''carnis'', meaning "meat" or "flesh" and ''vorare'' meaning "to devour"), is an organism, animal whose food and energy requirements derive solely from animal Tissue (biology), tissu ...
species. In
mating In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological mechanis ...

mating
, the males are usually much more active than females. A relatively small number of eggs per
clutch A clutch is a mechanical device that engages and disengages power transmission Transmission may refer to: Science and technology * Power transmissionPower transmission is the movement of energy from its place of generation to a location wh ...
is common, produced several times a year. Some species have a temperature-dependent sex determination system, while others possess different
sex chromosome A sex chromosome (also referred to as an allosome, heterotypical chromosome, gonosome, heterochromosome, or idiochromosome) is a chromosome A chromosome is a long DNA molecule with part or all of the genome, genetic material of an organi ...
s; one known species ( ''Siebenrockiella crassicolis'') exhibits XX/XY sex determination, while another species (''
Pangshura smithii The brown roofed turtle (''Pangshura smithii)'' is a species of turtle in the Family (biology), family Geoemydidae. The species is Endemism, endemic to South Asia. Two subspecies are recognized. Etymology The Specific name (zoology), specific na ...
'') exhibits ZZ/ZW sex determination. About 70% of the extant species have been reported to be in
endangered An endangered species is a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group ...
or vulnerable condition.


Systematics and evolution

Traditional systematics placed the geoemydids in the family
Emydidae Emydidae (Latin ''emys'' (freshwater tortoise) + Ancient Greek εἶδος (''eîdos'', “appearance, resemblance”)) is a family (biology), family of testudines (turtles) that includes close to 50 species in 10 genera. Members of this family ...

Emydidae
as the subfamily Batagurinae. In the 1980s, the subfamily was elevated to the family status and renamed to Geoemydidae according to the
ICZN The International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) is a widely accepted convention Convention may refer to: * Convention (norm), a custom or tradition, a standard of presentation or conduct ** Treaty, an agreement in international law * C ...
rules. Most
fossil A fossil (from Classical Latin Classical Latin is the form of Latin language Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, inc ...

fossil
and
molecular A molecule is an electrically Electricity is the set of physical phenomena associated with the presence and motion Image:Leaving Yongsan Station.jpg, 300px, Motion involves a change in position In physics, motion is the phenomenon ...
data support their close relationship to the family Testudinidae. The intrafamilial taxonomy is not well established yet, due to the large number and diversity of species. The family is usually divided into two subfamilies and 19
genera Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxonomy), circumscribing) and classifying gr ...
. Several species are known to give viable hybrids, which makes the systematics even more complicated. (2005): On the hybridisation between two distantly related Asian turtles (Testudines: ''Sacalia'' × ''Mauremys''). ''
Salamandra ''Salamandra'' (Latin Salamandra) is a genus of six species of salamander Salamanders are a group of amphibians typically characterized by a lizard Lizards are a widespread group of Squamata, squamate reptiles, with over 6,000 species, ...
'' 41: 21-26
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Subfamilies and genera

The following genera are classified under Geoemydidae.Turtle Taxonomy Working Group [van Dijk , P.P., Iverson, J.B., Shaffer, H.B., Bour, R., and Rhodin, A.G.J.]. 2012. Turtles of the World, 2012 update: annotated checklist of taxonomy, synonymy, distribution, and conservation status. Chelonian Research Monographs No. 5, pp. 000.243–000.328, doi:10.3854/crm.5.000.checklist.v5.2012, *Family Geoemydidae **Genus ''Banhxeochelys'' **Genus ''Duboisemys'' **Subfamily Geoemydinae ***Genus ''Batagur'' (six species, including part of ''Kachuga'') ***Genus ''Cuora'', Asian box turtle (10 species) (including ''Cistoclemmys'') ***Genus ''Cyclemys'' (seven species) ***Genus ''Geoclemys'' (monotypic genus) ***Genus ''Geoemyda'' (two species) ***Genus ''Hardella'' (monotypic genus) ***Genus ''Heosemys'' (formerly in ''Geoemyda'') ***Genus ''Leucocephalon'' (formerly in ''Geoemyda'' and ''Heosemys'') ***Genus ''Malayemys'' (three species) ***Genus ''Mauremys'', pond turtles (including ''Annamemys'', ''Cathaiemys'' and ''Emmenia'') ***Genus ''Melanochelys'' (two species) ***Genus ''Morenia'' (two species) ***Genus ''Notochelys'' (monotypic genus) ***Genus ''Orlitia'' (monotypic genus) ***Genus ''Pangshura'' (four species) (formerly in ''Kachuga'') ***Genus ''Sacalia'', "eyed" turtles ***Genus ''Siebenrockiella'' (two species, one subgenus ''Panyaenemys'', formerly under ''Heosemys'') ***Genus ''Vijayachelys'', cane turtle (formerly in ''Geoemyda'' and ''Heosemys'') **Subfamily Rhinoclemmys, Rhinoclemmydinae ***Genus ''
Rhinoclemmys ''Rhinoclemmys'' is a genus Genus (plural genera) is a taxonomic rank Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. The term may also refer ...
'', Neotropical wood turtles


Conservation

As of the early 2013, six species of the family Geoemydidae are on the CITES CITES Appendix I, Appendix I, and 30 more are on the treaty's CITES Appendix II, Appendix II. A joint China-US proposal for a March 2013 CITES participants' conference seeks to add 15 more Geoemydidae species to the convention's Appendix II. Dinny McMahon
China Backs Tortoise in Race to Protect Endangered Species
2013-03-04


References


External links

*
Geoemydidae
(all species) a
The Reptile Database
{{Taxonbar , from=Q446640 Geoemydidae, Turtle families Taxa named by William Theobald