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Turtle & Tortoise Terms (F-P)

A glossary of turtle and tortoise terminology

  • False crawl: Where a sea turtle has been disturbed in trying to lay her eggs resulting in no eggs laid
  • Filter: A device containing such a material used to extract impurities from air or water
  • Full spectrum light: A fluorescent light with UVA and UVB rays
  • Gestation: In turtles and tortoises, the time between breeding and laying the eggs
  • Gravid: Pregnant
  • Gular: A projection that extends under the head from the plastron. Males use it to flip an opponent.
  • Habitat: The environment in which an animal lives
  • Hatchling: A baby turtle
  • Herbivore: An animal or reptile that eats plants and plant products
  • Herpetoculture: The hobby of keeping and/or breeding reptiles and amphibians
  • Herpetoculturist: Someone who keeps and/or breeds reptiles and amphibians
  • Herpetologist: Scientist or other person studying reptiles and amphibians
  • Herpetology: Scientific study of reptiles and amphibians
  • Hibernation: A period of winter dormancy
  • Hiding place: A place where a turtle can hide from others to escape from stress
  • Hybrid: Offspring resulting from parents of different species or subspecies
  • Incubation: The time that elapses from when an egg is laid to when it hatches
  • Insectivore: An animal or reptile that eats insects
  • Intergrade: An individual that is intermediate in appearance between two related subspecies
  • Keel: A ridge found on the carapace, following the spine, on some turtles and tortoises
  • Keratin: A tough protein found in scutes, beaks and claws, and in human fingernails
  • Melanism: Darkening of coloration
  • Nocturnal: Active at night
  • Omnivore: An animal or reptile that eats a variety of foods, including plants and plant products, insects, and/or meats
  • Oviparous: Egg-laying
  • Plastron: The ventral part (bottom) of the shell of a turtle or tortoise shell
  • Prolapse: A condition where the organs, usually the reproductive organs or intestines, fall outside the body. This is common in turtles, it may cause distress.
  • Prophylactic: Medicine given in hopes of preventing disease
  • Protozoa: Microscopic single-celled creatures that sometimes cause disease

Turtle & Tortoise Terms (A – E) | Turtle & Tortoise Terms (S – W)