Turtles: The Animal Answer Guide

Turtles: The Animal Answer Guide


View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


Ever wonder how many kinds of turtles there are? Or if they have teeth? Why so many turtles have yellow stripes on their neck? If it is wise to feed turtles in your neighborhood pond or lake? Whit Gibbons and Judy Greene, two internationally known turtle biologists, provide complete answers to the most frequently asked questions about the more than 300 turtle, tortoise, and terrapin species of the world.

From the palm-sized bog turtles of the United States to the great oceanic leatherbacks, turtles across the globe are admired for their persistence, patience, and resilience. They are favorites of scientific study and beloved pets throughout the world. With a friendly mix of scientific analysis and basic encyclopedic coverage, Gibbons and Greene discuss a broad range of turtle topics, including behavior, ecology, reproduction and development, turtle-human relationships, and the appearance of turtles in popular literature.

With attractive photographs and an intuitive question-and-answer format, Gibbons and Greene answer more than 100 common questions about these remarkable creatures. Readers who want answers to specific questions or just want to expand their knowledge about these unique and interesting animals will find the information they seek in this essential reference.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801893506
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 12/21/2009
Series: The Animal Answer Guides: Q&A for the Curious Naturalist
Pages: 184
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Whit Gibbons is a professor emeritus of ecology at the University of Georgia. He writes the weekly environmental column Ecoviews and is the author or editor of eleven books, including Snakes of the Southeast. Judy Greene is the herpetology research coordinator at the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory and has coauthored, with Dr. Gibbons, a number of scholarly articles on herpetology and ecology.

Table of Contents

1. Introducting Turtles
What are turtles?
What is the difference between turtles, terrapins, and tortoises?
How many kinds of turtles are there?
Why are turtles important?
Why should people care about turtles?
Where do turtles live?
What is the current classification of turtles?
What characterizes the major groups of turtles?
When did turtles first evolve?
What is the oldest fossil turtle?
What is the largest fossil turtle?
2. Form and Function
What are the largest and smallest living turtles?
What is the metabolism of a turtle?
Do turtles have teeth?
Do turtles sleep?
Can turtles see color?
Do all turtles have hard shells?
Can a turtle emerge from its shell?
Can turtles run?
Can all turtles swim?
Do all aquatic turtles have flippers?
Can turtles breathe under water?
Can you tell whether a fossil turtle lived in the sea, in freshwater, or on land?
3. Turtle Colors
Why do so many turtles have yellow stripes on their neck?
What causes the different shell and skin colors of turtles?
What color are a turtle's eyes?
Is there a reason for the patterns on the shell?
Do a turtle's colors change as it grows?
Do a turtle's colors change in different seasons?
Is there much geographic variation within a single turtlespecies?
4. Turtle Behavior
Are turtles social?
Do turtles fight?
Are snapping turtles the only ones that bite?
How smart are turtles?
Do turtles play?
Do turtles talk?
How do turtles avoid predators?
5. Turtle Ecology
Where do turtles sleep?
Do turtles migrate?
How many turtle species live in rivers?
How many turtle species live in lakes?
How many turtle species live in the ocean?
Which geographic regions have the most species of turtles?
How do turtles survive in the desert?
How do turtles survive the winter?
How do turtles survive droughts?
What is hibernation?
Do all turtles bask?
Do turtles have enemies?
Do turtles get sick?
How can you tell if a turtle is sick?
Are turtles good for the environment?
6. Reproduction and Development
How do turtles reproduce?
Do all turtles lay eggs?
Why do sea turtles lay so many eggs but box turtles lay only afew?
How long do female turtles hold eggs in their body?
Where do turtles lay their eggs?
Does a turtle nest at the same time and in the same place every year?
Do turtles nest only one time per year?
How many eggs do turtles lay?
Are all hatchlings in a turtle nest full siblings?
How is the sex of a turtle determined?
Do turtles care for their young?
How fast do turtles grow?
How can you tell the age of a turtle?
How long do turtles live?
7. Foods and Feeding
What do turtles eat?
Do turtles chew their food?
How do turtles find food?
Are any turtles scavengers?
How do turtles eat hard-shelled animals?
Do turtles store their food?
8. Turtles and Humans
Do turtles make good pets?
How do you take care of a pet turtle?
Are turtles dangerous?
Do turtles feel pain?
What should I do if I find an injured turtle?
What should I do if I find a turtle crossing the road?
What should I do if I find a turtle laying eggs?
What should I do if I find a baby turtle?
How can I see turtles in the wild?
Should people feed turtles in lakes?
9. Turtle Problems (from a human viewpoint)
Are turtles pests?
Do turtles reduce the number of fish in lakes and rivers?
Do turtles kill ducks in ponds?
Do turtles have diseases and are they contagious?
Is it safe to eat turtles?
What should I do if I get bitten by a turtle?
10. Human Problems (from a turtle's viewpoint)
Are any turtles endangered?
Will turtles be affected by global warming?
Are turtles affected by pollution?
Why do people hunt and eat turtles?
Are "tortoiseshell" items actually made from turtle shells?
Why do so many turtles get hit by cars?
Are boats dangerous for aquatic turtles?
How are turtles affected by litter?
What can an ordinary citizen do to help turtles?
11. Turtles in Stories and Literature
What roles do turtles play in religion and mythology?
Are turtles depicted at all in the Christian religion?
Did any early philosophers/naturalists mention turtles in their writings?
What are the roles turtles have played in children's literature?
What roles do turtles play in popular culture?
What about turtles and math?
What roles have turtles played in poetry and famoussayings?
12. "Turtleology"
Who studies turtles?
Which species are best known?
Which species are least known?
How do scientists tell turtles apart?
Appendix A: Scientific and Common Names of Living Turtles
Appendix B: Organizations and Societies for Turtle Conservation

What People are Saying About This

"Turtles, with their strange anatomy and ancient pedigree, never cease to amaze people. Whit Gibbons and Judy Greene have been faced with every conceivable question about the 300 or so species of these endearing reptiles, and in this book they have succeeded splendidly in coming up with the answers."

Peter C. H. Pritchard

Turtles, with their strange anatomy and ancient pedigree, never cease to amaze people. Whit Gibbons and Judy Greene have been faced with every conceivable question about the 300 or so species of these endearing reptiles, and in this book they have succeeded splendidly in coming up with the answers.

Peter C. H. Pritchard, Chelonian Research Institute

Customer Reviews