Turtles, tortoises and terrapins: survivors in armor
Turtles, almost alone among reptiles, have earned both human interest and affection. Our fascination with turtles, though, has not helped them much. Sought after for food, as pets, and for tortoiseshell, their habitats under attack on land and sea, turtle populations are in decline around the world. Understanding turtles is not only interesting, but also important.
Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins have been on earth since the Triassic Period, approximately 200 million years ago. Their exact origins are uncertain, though - it is still unclear from which group of reptiles turtles sprang. Although the earliest fossils are clearly turtles, their anatomy has changed dramatically over time. In addition, turtle species vary greatly in such basic characteristics as anatomy and habitat preferences. Turtles, Tortoises and Terrapins surveys the myriad of turtle anatomy, habitat, and life cycles throughout the ages.
Human activities on the land and at sea pose the greatest threat that turtles have faced in the last 200 million years. The battle to save turtles goes on, and this book provides an important voice in turtle ecology. Turtles, Tortoises and Terrapins is the perfect resource for anyone interested in all facets of these amazing and diverse reptiles.