• WordNet 3.6
    • n Chelonia tortoises and turtles
    • n Chelonia green turtles
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n. pl Chelonia (Zoöl) An order of reptiles, including the tortoises and turtles, peculiar in having a part of the vertebræ, ribs, and sternum united with the dermal plates so as to form a firm shell. The jaws are covered by a horny beak. See Reptilia; also, Illust. in Appendix.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • chelonia The Testudinata or shield-reptiles; the turtles and tortoises; an order of Reptilia, in which the body is inclosed in a shell consisting of a carapace and a plastron, from between which the head, tail, and four limbs protrude. These animals have the bones of the skull united to such a degree that the quadrates and pterygoids form part of the same mass as the rest; there are no teeth, the jaws being incased in horn and forming a beak; the eyes are provided with eyelids; and a sacrum is developed. In consequence of the formation of the shell, the cervical and caudal regions are the only movable parts of the spinal column; the dorsal vertebræ are devoid of transverse processes; the ribs are not movable upon the vertebræ; and the union of the vertebræ and ribs by means of superficial bony plates almost always forms the carapace or upper shell, the lower shell or plastron being composed of dermal bones, usually 9 in number, 1 median, and 4 lateral and paired. Tortoise-shell is the peculiar epidermal or exoskeletal integument of the bony case. The lungs extend into the abdominal cavity with the other viscera. The Chelonia are generally sluggish, cold-blooded animals, very tenacious of life, and able to pass long periods without food. Some, however, are quite active. They are oviparous. Most of the species are carnivorous and predatory, but the true land-tortoises are mainly herbivorous. There are over 200 species, among them a few gigantic ones, as the tortoises of the Galapagos and Mascarene islands: one of the fossil species is said to have been about 20 feet long. The living genera are very numerous. The Chelonia are variously subdivided. They were formerly generally distributed among four families, the club-footed land-tortoises, the related fresh-water tortoises, the soft tortoises, and the sea-turtles. Huxley called these four groups Testudinea, Emydea, Trionychoidea, and Euereta. These groups have, however, been long discarded, and the species are now segregated among many families which have been variously combined. Most of the species of the southern hemisphere belong to a peculiar old-fashioned group, the pleurodirous, while those of the northern are cryptodirous. Also Chelonides, Chelonii.
    • chelonia Same as Chelone, 1.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Chelonia ke-lō′ni-a an order of vertebrate animals including the tortoise and turtle
    • adj Chelonia and n. Chelō′nian
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
NL., fr. Gr. chelw`nh a tortoise


In literature:

The turtle-group (Chelonia) makes its appearance in the Triassic and thrives in the Jurassic.
"The Story of Evolution" by Joseph McCabe
Turtles and tortoises belong to the order known as Chelonia.
"Pathfinder" by Alan Douglas
In Reptilia it lies close to the trachea, and in the Chelonia and Crocodilia is paired.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 8, Slice 8" by Various
We still have the snakes, the turtles and tortoises (the Chelonia), {28} the alligators and crocodiles, and the lizards.
"A Short History of the World" by H. G. Wells
CHELONIA, sexual differences in, ii.
"The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex" by Charles Darwin
In Reptilia the eye is spherical and its anterior part is often protected by bony plates in the sclerotic (Lacertilia and Chelonia).
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 10, Slice 1" by Various
Potamita Trionyx +Chelonia+ { 18.
"The History of Creation, Vol. II (of 2)" by Ernst Haeckel