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Cleaning Up Fish Farms
Growing Healthier Tomato Plants
Amphibians
Newts
Poison Dart Frogs
Bullfrogs
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The History of Meow
Dolphin Sponge Moms
Poor Devils
Behavior
Newly named fish crawls and hops
Listening to Birdsong
Mice sense each other's fear
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Condors
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A Butterfly's Electric Glow
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Graphene's superstrength
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A Light Delay
Supersonic Splash
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An Ancient Feathered Biplane
Dino Bite Leaves a Tooth
Some Dinos Dined on Grass
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
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Quick Quake Alerts
Detecting an Eerie Sea Glow
Hints of Life in Ancient Lava
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A Change in Time
Plastic Meals for Seals
Saving Wetlands
Finding the Past
Settling the Americas
A Long Trek to Asia
Watching deep-space fireworks
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Lungfish
Manta Rays
Sting Ray
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Packing Fat
Yummy bugs
Making good, brown fat
GSAT English Rules
Whoever vs. Whomever
Capitalization Rules
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GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
Preparing for the GSAT Exam
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
GSAT Exam Preparation
GSAT Mathematics
How to Slice a Cake Fairly
Math is a real brain bender
It's a Math World for Animals
Human Body
A Fix for Injured Knees
Don't Eat That Sandwich!
Sun Screen
Invertebrates
Sea Urchin
Camel Spiders
Krill
Mammals
Prairie Dogs
Beavers
Koalas
Parents
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
How children learn
Physics
The Particle Zoo
The Pressure of Scuba Diving
Powering Ball Lightning
Plants
Assembling the Tree of Life
Cactus Goo for Clean Water
A Giant Flower's New Family
Reptiles
Boa Constrictors
Anacondas
Turtles
Space and Astronomy
Saturn's Spongy Moon
A Dead Star's Dusty Ring
Witnessing a Rare Venus Eclipse
Technology and Engineering
Young Scientists Take Flight
Sugar Power for Cell Phones
Reach for the Sky
The Parts of Speech
Pronouns
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Adjectives and Adverbs
Transportation
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
Charged cars that would charge
Ready, unplug, drive
Weather
Science loses out when ice caps melt
Weekend Weather Really Is Different
A Dire Shortage of Water
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Turtles

Turtles are reptiles of the order Testudines (all living turtles belong to the crown group Chelonia), most of whose body is shielded by a special bony or cartilagenous shell developed from their ribs. The order of Testudines includes both extant (living) and extinct species, the earliest turtles being known from the early Triassic Period, making them one of the oldest reptile groups, and a much more ancient group than the lizards and snakes. About 300 species are alive today. Some species of turtles are highly endangered. Turtles vary widely in size, although marine turtles tend to be relatively big animals. The largest chelonian is a marine turtle, the great leatherback sea turtle, which can reach a shell length of 200 cm (72 in) and can reach a weight of over 750 kg (2,000 lb). Freshwater turtles are smaller, with the largest species being the Asian softshell turtle Pelochelys bibroni, which has been reported to measure up to 130 cm (51 inches) and weight about 180 kg (400 lb). This dwarfs even the better-known alligator snapping turtle, the largest chelonian in North America, which attains a shell length of up to 80 cm (31.5 in) and a weight of about 76 kg (170 lb). Giant tortoises of the genera Geochelone, Meiolania, and others were relatively widely distributed around the world into prehistoric times, and are known to have existed in North and South America, Australia, and Africa. They became extinct at the same time as the appearance of Man, and it is assumed that humans hunted them for food. The only surviving giant tortoises are on the Seychelles and Galápagos Islands and can grow to over 130 cm (50 in) in length, and weigh about 300 kg (670 lb) [2]. The largest ever chelonian was Archelon ischyros, a Late Cretaceous sea turtle known to have been up to 4.6 m (15 ft) long [3]. The smallest turtle is the speckled padloper tortoise of South Africa. It measures no more than 8 cm (3 in) in length and weighs about 140 g (5 oz). Two other species of small turtles are the American mud turtles and musk turtles that live in an area that ranges from Canada to South America. The shell length of many species in this group is less than 13 cm (5 in) in length. The upper shell of the turtle is called the carapace. The lower shell that incases the belly is called the plastron. The carapace and plastron are joined together on the turtle's sides by bony structures called bridges. The inner layer of a turtle's shell is made up of about 60 bones that includes portions of the backbone and the ribs, meaning the turtle can not crawl out of its shell. In most turtles, the outer layer of the shell is covered by horny scales called scutes that are part of its outer skin, or epidermis. Scutes are made up of a fiberous protein called keratin that also makes up the scales of other reptiles. These scutes overlap the seams between the shell bones and add strength to the shell. Some turtles do not have horny scutes. For example, the leatherback sea turtle and the soft-shelled turtles have shells covered with leathery skin instead. The shape of the shell gives helpful clues to how the turtle lives. Most tortoises have a large domed-shaped shell that makes it difficult for predators to crush them between their jaws. One of the few exceptions is the African pancake tortoise which has a flat, flexible shell that allows it to hide in rock crevices. Most aquatic turtles have flat, streamlined shells that aid with swimming and diving. American snapping turtles and musk turtles have small, cross-shaped plastrons that give the turtle more efficient leg movement for walking along the bottom of ponds and streams. Tortoises have rather heavy shells in contrast to aquatic and soft-shelled turtles that have lighter shells that help them avoid sinking in the water and swim faster and more agile. These light shells have large spaces called fontanelles between the shell bones. The shell of a leatherback turtle is extremely light because they lack scutes and contain many fontanelles. The color of a turtle's shell may vary. Shells are commonly coloured brown, black, or olive green. In some species, shells may have red, orange, yellow, or grey markings and these markings are often spots, lines, or irregular blotches. One of the most colorful turtles is the eastern painted turtle which includes a yellow plastron and a black or olive shell with red markings around the rim.

Turtles
Turtles








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