References Geographic Range The Central American river turtle, Dermatemys mawii, can be found in Central America from southern Mexico as far south as northern and eastern central Guatemala, excluding the Yucatan Peninsula. There have also been sightings of D. Biogeographic Regions native Habitat As long as there is an abundant food supply, D. Individuals can inhabit just about any freshwater aquatic environment within their range, from deep, clean water bodies to muddy backwaters, oxbows, and temporary seasonal pools.
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Twitter By Keith Pecor This family contains a single species, Dermatemys mawii , sometimes called the river turtle.
The range is restricted to Central America. The preferred habitats include large rivers and lakes. The river turtle is almost totally aquatic and performs a large amount of gas exchange though the lining of the nasal passage. The carapace lacks a keel. Diagnostic characters include the morphology of the temporal region of the skull and buttressing of the shell.
Dermatemydids are most closely related to the mud and musk turtles Kinosternidae , based on several skeletal characters, including the shape of the cervical vertebrae. Fossils of extinct members of the Dermatemydidae extend the modern range to include eastern Asia, Europe, and North America. The chronological range of fossil finds extends from the Cretaceous through the Miocene. Ernst, C. Turtles of the World.
Smithsonian Inst. Press, Washington, D. Pough, F. Herpetology, 2nd ed. Contributors Glossary bilateral symmetry having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
Etymology[ edit ] The specific name , mawii, is in honor of the collector of the type specimen , Lieutenant Mawe of the British Navy. These features are lost as the turtle ages. Its skin is predominantly the same color as the shell, with reddish or peach-colored markings around the neck and underside. Males can be differentiated from females by yellow markings on either side of their heads, and longer, thicker tails.