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Turtles are unmistakable. Their shells set them apart from all other animals. The shell is a modified ribcage and part of the vertebral column. It cannot be taken off (as cartoons would lead us to believe) anymore than you could take off your spine and ribs. Turtles lack teeth. Most are mute, but they have keen senses of smell and color vision. There are about 330 species of turtles worldwide.

University of Michigan Museum of ZoologyNational Science Foundation

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. "Testudines" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed May 19, 2024 at

BioKIDS is sponsored in part by the Interagency Education Research Initiative. It is a partnership of the University of Michigan School of Education, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, and the Detroit Public Schools. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant DRL-0628151.
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