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Phalangeal formulae of geoemydid terrapins (Batagur, Callagur, Hardella, Heosemys, Kachuga, Orlitia, Pangshura, Rhinoclemmys) reflect distinct modes of life

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image of Amphibia-Reptilia

Using radiographies of manus and pes of 133 geoemydid terrapins of nine highly aquatic species (genera Batagur, Callagur, Hardella, Kachuga, Orlitia, Pangshura), four aquatic Rhinoclemmys species, three semiterrestrial Heosemys species, and three terrestrial Rhinoclemmys species, we confirm a correlation between mode of life and phalangeal formulae. Terrestrial geoemydid species tend to have lost phalanges or entire digits, while highly aquatic species with extensive toe webbing generally have retained the full phalangeal number in manus and pes. Phalangeal formulae of species that are not so strictly adapted to aquatic environments, and having less extensive toe webbing, are intermediate, like in the studied semiterrestrial species.

Affiliations: 1: Hoher Weg 6 D110, D-06120 Halle, Germany; 2: Museum of Zoology (Museum für Tierkunde), Natural History State Collections Dresden, A. B. Meyer Building, Königsbrücker Landstr. 159, D-01109 Dresden, Germany; 3: Museum of Zoology (Museum für Tierkunde), Natural History State Collections Dresden, A. B. Meyer Building, Königsbrücker Landstr. 159, D-01109 Dresden, Germany;, Email: uwe.fritz@snsd.smwk.sachsen.de

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/content/journals/10.1163/156853807782152570
2007-10-01
2017-05-28

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