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Turtle Dissection

Biology 521

Shobhitha Balasubramaniam

on 22 January 2014

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Transcript of Turtle Dissection

Sexual maturity:
2-4 for
, 3-5 for
Mating season:
March to June
male swims backwards in front of female
Eggs undergo internal fertilization

Female creates nest no more than 200 meters from water in sandy soil
-Nest is 10 to 12 cm deep
-Clutch of eggs may have more than 28
-Female can lay 3-4 clutches per season
-Eggs hatch 60 days after laid
-Turtles lack sex chromosomes; temperature decides their sex

Chordata Quartets
Turtle Dissection

Shobhitha Balasubramaniam
Trachea length
Turtles and humans share almost the exact same respiratory system. They both breathe oxygen in through the mouth or nose, which help to moisten the air as it passes through the pharynx into the larynx and trachea. The trachea then divides into the bronchi, bronchial tubes, bronchioles, and alveoli. Although both animals exchange gas the same way, there are some differences between the two systems.
Expanding and contracting chest
diaphragm and rib cage
layers of abdominal muscles
Temperature Regulation

All reptiles are poikilothermic (cold-blooded). Their body heat is influenced by their external environment and they need to adapt to control their body temperature and maintain homeostasis. Some ways turtles stabilize body temperature:
-moving in and out of warm or cool places.
-If they live in a seasonal climate, many turtles will enter a dormant state similar to hibernation (torpor).


Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Family: Emydidae

Characteristics of Red Eared Slider

Digestive System
-digestive tract: extracellular complete
-turtles have no teeth
- they have hard, flat surfaces on their jaws and have a flat and wide tongue
-turtles' salivary glands help to break down and soften food
-food is further broken down in the stomach, which is filled with digestive enzymes and acids
-stomach acid has a pH approximately between 1-2
carapace: olive and typically has yellow and black bands
adult carapace of a Red Eared Slider is 5 to 11 inches
yellow plastron is covered in dark, blotchy markings
red mark located just behind the eye
head, neck, arms and legs are greenish with yellow stripes
Evolutionary History
Study of brain functions may be beneficial to humans
-Turtles survive hibernation underwater with no oxygen in their brains
-Humans suffer severe brain damage with no oxygen in only minutes
-Believed to be possible to adapt abilities to humans
-Turtles and humans share 19 genes in the brain and 23 in the heart
-Long lifespan has prevented turtles from evolving, rather, they adapt.

Presence of a Coelom

turtles are known as an ancient group of vertebrates
an ancestral turtle group went through an astounding anatomical change
paleontologists suggest that a 260-million-year-old reptile from South Africa, Eunotosaurus africanus, is the earliest known version of a turtle

Turtle Pics
From Shobhi's camera
The Red-Eared Slider turtle has a coelom with two distinct parts: the pericardial cavity and the pleuroperitoneal cavity.
Small and
large intestine
Excretory System
The turtle excretory system is similar to that of a human.
- Kidneys filter blood, wastes from kidney are concentrated and sent to bladder as urine
- Turtles have 2 kidneys, 2 ureters, and 1 urinary bladder

- Turtles have no urethra, bladder drains into cloaca
- Female turtles have accessory bladders that hold water to soften the dirt when digging a nest for eggs
- Turtles are reptiles so they don't have sweat glands

Circulatory System
unique characteristics
Turtles belong to the class Reptilia, so they...
... have rough, scaly, dry skin which protects them from injury and prevents water loss.
... have claws.
... are coldblooded (poikilotherms)
... lay tough, leathery eggs.
All chordates have three germ layers- endoderm, mesoderm, and ectoderm, making them triploblastic.
reptile's nervous system: brain, a spinal cord, and nerves running from brain and spinal cord, and sense organs. While the turtle's brain is thought to be more advanced than an amphibian's, they are considered less developed than a mammal's. Differences: smaller brain size, and different sense organ strengths (underdeveloped hearing, strong sense of smell and sight)

Melissa MacKay
Umara Muhammad
Sahara Wallace
Body Structure
-Connective tissue mineralizes to become bone
-Insides made up of spongy marrow
-Two main sections: Endoskeleton (inner bones) and exoskeleton (shell)
-Endoskeleton is made up of 2 sections: Axial skeleton and appendicular skeleton
-Scales made up of keratin (hair and nails in humans)
-Melanin causes pigmentation
-Upper shell called carapace and lower, plastron
-Two parts joined by bridges
-Shell provides protection
-Baby's born with scales unattached, more vulnerable.

similar to fallopian tubes in humans
closed circulatory system
blood vessels
pathways of circulation
aspects of circulation of blood

Sinus Venosus & Inferior and Superior Vena Cava
aspects of circulation of blood
heart rate
Renal Cortex
Renal Medulla
Renal Pelvis
Right Atrium
Right Atrium
Right Aorta
Right Subclavian
Right Carotid
Left Carotid
Left Subclavian
Left Aorta
Innominate Artery
Ventral Surface of Turtle's Heart
Dorsal Surface of Turtle's Heart
Ventral Surface of Human's Heart
- Like humans, the turtle's liver produces bile, which is stored in the connected gallbladder. Bile helps to break down the fat found in food.
- The pancreas, which lines a segment of the intestine, aids in digestion by releasing enzymes into the small intestine.
- The wall of the small intestine has villi that helps absorb nutrients into the body,
- The large intestine reabsorbs excess waste and water. The remaining waste exits the body through the cloaca.
Body Symmetry: Bilateral
Nervous System
No teeth
Germ Layers
Content in Stomach and Intestines
Respiratory System
Major Characteristics:
Evolutionary History
Body Symmetry
Germ layers
Temperature Regulation
Body Structure
Characteristics of Reptiles & Specimen
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