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Know what you're reading about by understanding these commonly used terms.

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Bastard: the result of a  cross between two different species / subspecies.

Bastardization: a process in which species and subspecies cross-breed


Beak: The hard outer covering of the jaws

Bioindicator: a natural indicator 

Biotope: habitat

Breeding: The species-specific behaviors preceding the production go offspring 


Bridges: Sides of the shell connecting the carapace and the plastron


Calcium carbonate: Carbonic calcium salt. Central component of "calcium" feeding

Captive Bred: born in captivity

CB: captive bred


Carapace: The "top shell" of turtles and tortoises covering the back


Carapace length: measurement in a straight line from the front to the back of the top shell


Caudal: tail side

Chelonian: a turtle, tortoise or terrapin


CITES: Convention on International Trade in Endagered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora


CL: carapace length

Cloaca: common cavity at the end of the digestive tract for the release of both excretory and genital products in chelonians

Clutch: a number of eggs laid by a female at one time

Crowding Effect: effects that occur when too many animals are kept in a confined space


Abdomen: abdomen, abdominal region

Abdominal Scutes: the two largest scutes at the midsection of the plastron joined by a suture along the midline

Abscess: A bacterial / pus-filled cavity formed by tissue destruction

Abundance: population density, in ecology: number of individuals related to a given area

Adaptation: To "take to" or conform to an environment 

Adult: mature animal that has surpassed all early stages of life

Aeorcystitis: floating-bubble inflammation, air sac inflammation

Aestivation: Summer rest, dry sleep Aggregation: accumulation of similar animals on a limited space caused by external influences

Albino: animals that are genetically non-pigmented and therefore have a very light color and red eyes

Allele: one of two or more alternative forms of a gene that arise by mutation and are found at the same place on a chromosome

Allopatric: living in different areas

Age Dimorphism: Conspicuous change in the external shape due to increasing aging of the animal

Ameba: a single-celled animal that catches food and moves about by extending fingerlike projections of protoplasm. Amoebas are either free-living in damp environments or parasitic.

Amnion: embryonic envelope

Amniotic Cavern: the amnion-encased cavity in which the embryo of an egg is located

Amphibious: life forms suited for both water and land

Anal Scutes: two scutes that join via a suture at the end of the plastron where the tail protrudes

Animal hoarding: Over-collection of animals, kept in inadequate settings, from collective addiction and / or uncontrolled offspring

Annidation: The adaptation of the various genotypes to different ecological niches

Anomaly: Irregularity (not abnormality!) In the physical appearance of an animal

Anorexia: food denial

Anterior: closer to the front

Anthropogenic: created or strongly influenced by humans 

Antibiotic: Medical drug for bacterial diseases


Antifungal: an antimycotic medication,  pharmaceutical fungicide or fungistatic used to treat and prevent mycoses


Annuli: Pattern of growth rings on the scutes of tortoises like that of trees

Aragonite: Crystalline expression of calcium carbonate (e.g., in snail shells, mussel shells)

Archelosauria: a clade proposed in 2014 for the grouping of turtles and archosaurs (birds and crocodilians) and their fossil relatives.

Areal: area, terrain

Areole: The center of of each scute where growth lines begin from

Arid: dry landscape with low precipitation

Assimilation: adaptation - The change of behavior in order to adapt to changing conditions in the habitat

Atavism: Developmental regression , an evolutionary throwback

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