The anatomy that the sea turtle is distinctive in the it is just one of the few creatures to have both an internal and external skeleton. In all varieties except the leatherback, the exterior skeleton, whose main purpose is to carry out protection and support for inner organs, is consisted of of a bony shell which is, itself, split into two halves: the reduced plastron and the upper carapace. The carapace is actually the broadened, unify ribs of the turtle and also is extended by a series of firm yet pliant structures called scutes. Together you might have guessed, there space several types of scutes based on their position on the carapace. They space the nuchal scute, situated at the forward edge that the carapace, the vertebral scutes that run down the middle, the costal scutes, which are right beside the vertebral scutes, and also the marginal spine that heat the external edge. The scutes are regularly used to identify one turtle species from an additional by counting the number of each kind of scute.

You are watching: Does a turtles have a backbone

The interior skeleton provides an anchor because that the turtles’ muscles. V the exception of the leatherback, the spine is fused to the carapace. The long digits in the limbs of the turtle are fused together to kind the flipper.

The flippers us are huge and sensitive to touch. The front flippers propel the turtles v the water as they’re moved in a figure-eight pattern. The rear flippers act as rudders, providing both direction and stability come the turtles’ motion. Lock are likewise used by females to dig the egg cavity during nesting.

The mouths of sea turtles contain no teeth. Instead, they space sharp and also beak-like and also are well-suited because that crushing or tearing your food. The leatherback’s mouth includes a collection of behind pointing spines that avoid jellyfish native slipping earlier into the water.

The eye of sea turtles carry out them with great underwater vision, yet are much less useful over the water’s surface ar where they provide the tortoise a near-sighted see of the world. There is a gland near the eye the releases overabundance salt and fluids in bespeak to save the eyes moist when females space on floor and likewise to aid the tortoise rid chin of the salt that ingests as soon as drinking sea water. This glands are responsible because that the tears a tortoise sheds if laying the nest. Legend has actually it that the female tortoise is crying because that its unborn young. Science, however, offers us with a an ext biological answer.

Although turtles do not have actually ears, lock are qualified of perceiving low frequency sounds and also vibrations. Among the turtle’s gifts is its an effective sense of smell. This sense may assist sea turtles situate the beach from which they were hatched in order to deposit their own nests.

In most respects, the males and also females of the miscellaneous turtle species have few physical distinctions on the outside. One obvious difference is the size of their tails. Female’s tails room short and also do not extend past the hind flippers. However, the tails that the males are considerably larger and usually prolong well past the hind limbs. Additionally, just the female has actually an ovipositor, the structure used to deposit her burden of eggs.

See more: Sisters Of St Francis Of The Martyr St George, Sisters Of St

As was already stated, the spine the the leatherback, unequal the various other species, is not fused v its carapace, nor does it have a bony shell. Instead, that is extended with a leathery skin sustained by a mosaic of small bones. These adaptations permit it come dive up to three thousand feet listed below the s surface, whereby the tremendous water push would to like a less flexible body.