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DomainEukaryota • RegnumAnimalia • PhylumChordata • SubphylumVertebrata • InfraphylumGnathostomata • SuperclassisTetrapoda • ClassisReptilia • SubclassisAnapsida • OrdoTestudines • SubordoCryptodira • SuperfamiliaTestudinoidea • FamiliaTestudinidae • Genus: Chelonoidis Fitzgerald, 1835

Chelonoidis is a genus of turtles in the tortoise family.[1][2] They are found in South America and the Galápagos Islands. They were formerly assigned to Geochelone, but a recent comparative genetic analysis has indicated that they are actually most closely related to African hingeback tortoises.[3] Their ancestors apparently floated across the Atlantic in the Oligocene.[3] This crossing was made possible by the their ability to float with their heads up and to survive up to six months without food or water.[3]

The members of this genus on the Galápagos Islands are among the largest extant terrestrial chelonians. Giant members of the genus were also present in mainland South America during the Pleistocene.[4]


Included species (for Turtle Taxonomy Working Group 2011):
C. carbonaria, C. chilensis, C. denticulata, C. nigra, C. petersi
Included species (for ReptileDB):
C. abingdonii, C. becki, C. carbonaria, C. chathamensis, C. chilensis, C. darwini, C. denticulata, C. duncanensis, C. hoodensis, C. nigra, C. phantastica, C. porteri, C. vicina


  1. Turtle Taxonomy Working Group 2010 (2010-12-14). Turtles of the World 2010 Update: Annotated Checklist of Taxonomy, Synonymy, Distribution and Conservation Status (pdf). Archived from the original on 2010-12-15. Retrieved on 2010-12-15.
  2. Turtle Taxonomy Working Group 2011 (2011-12-31). Turtles of the World 2011 Update: Annotated Checklist of Taxonomy, Synonymy, Distribution and Conservation Status (pdf). Retrieved on 2012-07-30.
  3. a b c Le, M.; Raxworthy, C. J.; McCord, W. P.; Mertz, L. (2006-05-05). "A molecular phylogeny of tortoises (Testudines: Testudinidae) based on mitochondrial and nuclear genes". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 40 (2): 517–531. DOI:10.1016/j.ympev.2006.03.003. PMID 16678445.
  4. Cione, A. L.; Tonni, E. P.; Soibelzon, L. (2003). "The Broken Zig-Zag: Late Cenozoic large mammal and tortoise extinction in South America". Rev. Mus. Argentino Cienc. Nat., n.s. 5 (1): 1–19. ISSN 1514-5158. Retrieved on 2011-02-06.


This category has the following 11 subcategories, out of 11 total.







Media in category "Chelonoidis"

The following 4 files are in this category, out of 4 total.