A turtle Skeleton is the hardest and most durable piece of turtle shell that can be found on the market today. They can also be customized to meet your exact measurements for a perfect fit. A pre-formed turtle skeleton showing how both the shell and the entire carapace connect together to form a complete shell surrounding the entire body. Skeleton is measured in girth, length, and shell-to-shell measurement, and is often made of heavy grade marine grade resin and vinyl.
The most popular style of turtle shell is the alligator-style. It is usually carved from alligator skin, and the ribs are joined together with cutouts or channels. Many have seen the real alligators jaws and assumed that these were used to cut the ribs. But this is not the case as alligators have soft, undetectable teeth, and they do not use their jaws to pull, tear or cut into turtle shells.
All turtles have a hard, fibrous underbelly and head. This serves a twofold purpose. First, the shell is more difficult to crack when an animal is defending itself. Second, the underbelly serves as a heat sink to keep the turtle cool during warm days. Turtles have a special hormone that causes them to store fat on their undersides to allow energy to be spent later.
There are three common types of turtle: land, sea, and barbell. All have a wide range of dietary needs, and eat a variety of foods. Land turtles are small in comparison to sea turtles and have a very short lifespan. Barbells, on the other hand, are large, with a very long life span. Although not as common as land turtles, red-eared and pink-eared chicken turtles are sometimes considered game fish, due to their bright orange coloration and tendency to roam.
The first step in determining the type of turtle is to look at its head, which is called the anteroposterum. This is the thin, cartilaginous tissue located directly above the turtle’s eye. Its shape and size vary greatly from one turtle to another. A well-shaped anteroposterum will reflect the eye and provide clues to identifying a particular turtle. If it is not a turtle shell, but has a bony veneer, this veneer will be in the same shape as the head, rather than pointing away from it.
Next look at the turtle’s upper carapace. It is the largest part of the turtle, and is constructed out of knobby, grasping cells that are expanded outward towards the tip of the turtle’s head. Each plate is lined with a series of ribs, each paired by a pair of ribs of a similar size. This arrangement provides the basis for distinguishing different turtle species.
To determine the true kind of turtle, look carefully at the three layers of bony prominences around its head, legs, and tail. These are the turtle’s true bones. Also look closely at the tail. The tail is simply a long thin piece of keratin; the bony prominences, or layers, enclose the head and the spinal cord, and the muscle tissues which compose the scutes.
A plastron is the thickest part of any turtle’s body. It is also the thinnest. It is composed entirely of a thick soft bone of the turtle’s ribs, which encloses the plastron. Look at the plastron, or the upper ribs, and note how much more tightly packed with keratin there is in the plastron than in the rest of the turtle’s body.
The scapula is the broad bone at the front of the turtle’s lower torso. The two large claws on the lower end of the scapula, along with the two short ones on either side, are called talons. The two incisors also called canine claws, are used to cut food into pieces large enough to eat. The carapace protects the head and neck, and the claws, or carapaces, protect the tail and undercarriage from damage.
Note that the word “carapace” can also refer to the undershirt that a turtle wears. In the case of the Eastern Pacific turtle, the carapace is a solid colored, vinyl-like cover over the entire body. In the West Atlantic and the San Diego species of turtle, the carapace is colored mauve or green. If you find a turtle with an orange carapace (sometimes referred to as a streaked carapace), be sure that this turtle is sick.
A plastron is the lower half of the turtle’s shell. It is shaped in a way that allows it to move forward. The four legs of the plastron extend downward and out to the sides of the opening of the shell. When a turtle moves, it draws its weight, or energy, along with its legs and claws through the plastron. As it pulls itself along, the plastron fills the opening and the turtle sets down and moves to the next leg. Moving legs in the direction of the tide allow a turtle to keep one leg in constant circulation while swimming.