Geoemydidae

Geoemydidae

Taxobox


image_width = 240px
image_caption = Ornate Wood Turtle "Rhinoclemmys pulcherrima manni"
name = Geoemydidae
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Sauropsida
ordo = Testudines
subordo = Cryptodira
superfamilia = Testudinoidea
familia = Geoemydidae
familia_authority = Theobald, 1868
synonyms =Bataguridae
Batagurinae

Geoemydidae (formerly known as Batagurinae) is the largest and most diverse family in the order Testudines (turtles) with about 75 species. It includes the Eurasian pond and river turtles and Neotropical wood turtles.

Characteristics

Geoemydidae are turtles of various sizes (from about 10 to 80 cm in length) with often a high degree of sexual dimorphism. They usually have webbed toes, and the pelvic girdle articulates with the plastron flexibly. The neck is drawn back vertically. The carapace has 24 marginal scutes. 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, the lack of hyomandibular branch of the facial nerve and an epipterygoid bone in the skull.

Ecology

Geoemydidae live in tropics and subtropics of Asia, Europe and North Africa, the only genus in Central and South America is "Rhinoclemmys". The habitats include freshwater ecosystems, coastal marine areas and tropical forests. Most of them are herbivorous, but there are also some omnivorous and carnivorous species. By mating the males are usually much more active than females. A relatively small number of eggs per clutch is common, produced several times a year.Some species have temperature-dependent sex determination system while others possess different sex chromosomes.

About 70% of the extant species have been reported to be in endangered or vulnerable condition.

ystematics and evolution

Traditional systematics placed the Geoemydids to thefamily Emydidae as the subfamily Batagurinae. In the 1980s the subfamily was elevated to the family status and renamed to Geoemydidae according to the ICZN rules.

The majority of fossil and molecular data support their close relationship to the family Testudinidae.

The intra-familial taxonomy is not well established yet, due to the large number and diversity of species.The family is usually divided into two subfamilies and 22 to 27 genera. The division into subfamilies is currently disputed by some scientists.Fact|date=June 2008 Several species are known to give viable hybrids, which makes the systematics even more complicated.Buskirk "et al." (2005)] .

ubfamilies and genera

*Subfamily Batagurinae
**Genus "Batagur"
**Genus "Callagur" now regarded to be included into "Batagur" (Le & Mccord, 2007, Praschag et al. 2007)
**Genus "Geoclemys"
**Genus "Hardella"
**Genus "Kachuga" - now regarded to be included into "Batagur" (Le & Mccord, 2007, Praschag et al. 2007)
**Genus "Morenia"
**Genus "Pangshura" - once included in "Kachuga"

*Subfamily Geoemydinae
**Genus "Chinemys" - sometimes included in "Mauremys"
**Genus "Cuora" - includes "Cistoclemmys"
**Genus "Cyclemys"
**Genus "Geoemyda"
**Genus "Leucocephalon" - once included in "Heosemys"
**Genus "Malayemys"
**Genus "Heosemys"
**Genus "Hieremys" - often included in "Heosemys"
**Genus "Mauremys" - includes "Annamemys", "Cathaiemys" and "Emmenia"
**Genus "Melanochelys"
**Genus "Notochelys"
**Genus "Ocadia" - sometimes included in "Mauremys"
**Genus "Orlitia"
**Genus "Pyxidea" - often included in "Cuora"
**Genus "Rhinoclemmys"
**Genus "Sacalia"
**Genus "Siebenrockiella"
**Genus "Vijayachelys" once included in "Heosemys" and "Geoemyda"

Footnotes

References

*aut|Buskirk, James R.; Parham, James F. & Feldman, Chris R. (2005): On the hybridisation between two distantly related Asian turtles (Testudines: "Sacalia" × "Mauremys"). "Salamandra" 41: 21-26. [http://cc.usu.edu/~crfeldman/Buskirk_et_al_05.pdf PDF fulltext]

External links

*An article about the phylogeny of Geoemydidae [http://www2.eve.ucdavis.edu/shafferlab/pubs/SpinksMolPhyloEvo2004.pdf] Verify source|date=September 2007


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