The first turtles are believed to have existed in the Mesozoic, around 200 million years ago. Their exact ancestry is disputed. It was believed that they are the only surviving branch of the ancient clade Anapsida, which includes groups such as procolophonoids, millerettids, protorothyrids and pareiasaurs.
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 turtles 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.
Injected specimens are injected with dye highlighting specific systems. Double injection includes the arterial and venous systems.
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