Introduction

To look at a Snapping turtle with its horny shell and scaley tail, you might imagine that you are glimpsing a dinosaur. In fact, turtles are even older than dinosaurs and were common on earth 50 million years before the first dinosaurs appeared.

The scientific name for turtles, comes from the Latin testudo, which means tortoise. Six families of the order Testudines are represented in Canada: Chelydridae, Emydidae, Dermochelyidae, Cheloniidae, Trionychidae, and Kinosternidae. To learn more about these families, check out the reptile families of Canada book!