The 2018 Issue of BioScience
- Vol. 68, No. 10 -
A Forum for Integrating the Life Sciences
Publishing 12 times a year. ISSN 0006-3568.
A broad-shelled snake-necked turtle (Chelodina expansa) from southeastern Australia, photographed at the Tennessee Aquarium. This species belongs to a group of side-necked turtles that cannot pull their head and neck into the shell like many other turtles. Instead, they pull it in to the side, hence their name. Side-necked turtles evolved on the supercontinent Gondwanaland, and therefore, today, they are found only on continents in the Southern Hemisphere that were once part of that larger land mass. With few exceptions, "straight-necked" turtles in the Northern Hemisphere can retract their head and neck fully into the shell when threatened. This species is carnivorous and an important member of the food web of Australian rivers. The ecological roles of turtles and the effects of their declining populations are discussed in an article in this issue by Jeffrey Lovich and colleagues. Photograph: @Todd Stailey/Tennessee Aquarium.
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