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Temporal range: Early Jurassic—Present, 190–0Ma
[citation needed]
Aldabra giant tortoise (Aldabrachelys gigantea)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines (=Chelonii)
Suborder: Cryptodira
Cope, 1868[1]



Cryptoderes Duméril and Bibron, 1834
Cryptodera Lichtenstein, 1856
Cryptodira Cope, 1868
Cryptodiramorpha Lee, 1995
Pancryptodira Joyce, Parham, and Gauthier, 2004

Cryptodira is the taxonomic suborder of Testudines that includes most living tortoises and turtles. Cryptodira differ from Pleurodira (side-neck turtles) in that they lower their necks and pull the heads straight back into the shells; instead of folding their necks sideways along the body under the shells' margins. They include among their species freshwater turtles, snapping turtles, tortoises, soft shell turtles, and sea turtles.

Systematics and evolution[edit]

The earliest known cryptodire fossils belong to the species Kayentachelys aprix, from the early Jurassic period of Arizona (around 190 million years ago).[3] Cryptodires evolved primarily through the Jurassic period, and by the end of the Jurassic had almost completely replaced Pleurodires in the lakes and rivers, while beginning to develop land-based species.

Cryptodira has three living superfamilies, the Chelonioidea (sea turtles), Testudinoidea (tortoises and pond turtles) and Trionychoidea (softshell turtles and relatives). The Kinosternoidea are now recognized as a paraphyletic assemblage of mostly primitive Trionychoidea; they do not form a natural group.[4]

Two circumscriptions of the Cryptodira are commonly found. One is used here; it includes a number of primitive extinct lineages known only from fossils, as well as the Eucryptodira. These are, in turn, made up from some very basal groups, and the Centrocryptodira contains the prehistoric relatives of the living cryptodires, as well as the latter, which are collectively called Polycryptodira.[4]

The alternate concept restricts the use of the term "Cryptodira" to the crown clade (i.e. Polycryptodira). The Cryptodira as understood here are called Cryptodiramorpha in this view. Under this approach, the pleurodires and cryptodires are not sister taxa.[4]

As per the system used here, the Cryptodira can be classified as:[4]


The Indian flapshell turtle (Lissemys punctata) from the Trionychidae is a highly advanced eucryptodire


  1. ^ a b Rhodin 2011, p. 000.171
  2. ^ Rhodin 2008, p. 000.3
  3. ^ Gafney, E., Hutchinson, H., Jenkins, F., and Meeker, L. 1987. Modern turtle origins; the oldest known cryptodire. Science 237: p. 289-291.
  4. ^ a b c d See references in Haaramo (2008)


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptodira — Please support Wikipedia.
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Under the Gun Review

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Wed, 03 Dec 2014 11:03:48 -0800

Hey, prog-metal heads: Washington D.C. based prog-metal band Wings Denied just announced a co-headlining tour in January with New York's Cryptodira. The bands will be making 13 stops, primarily on the East Coast, ending back in Wings Denied's ...

Free Times (blog)

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Thu, 31 Jul 2014 13:00:40 -0700

The local prog-rockers in Trees on Mars take their craft seriously, delivering tangled instrumentals that lean confidently on familiar genre tropes. Long Island-based tourmates Johnny Booth and Cryptodira explore their own progressive impulses through ...
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Unlike the post-hardcore/emo movement of the early 2000s, Cryptodira are part of the growing progressive death metal wave, playing dynamic multi-sectioned pieces lasting well over four minutes each. They have done extremely well for themselves, sharing ...


Tue, 17 Feb 2015 05:59:01 -0800

Jonathan appartient à l'espèce des testudinidae cryptodira, et serait originaire des Seychelles. C'est en 1882 qu'il a été introduit sur l'île de Sainte Hélène, un territoire d'outre-mer appartenant au Royaume-Uni, alors qu'il était déjà âgé d'au moins ...


Mon, 09 Feb 2015 08:35:40 -0800

Cette tortue géante de l'espèce des testudinidae cryptodira a atteint les 183 ans cette année. Bien qu'éreinté par sa très longue existence, Jonathan semble mener une vie paisible sur l'île britannique de Saint-Hélène. 183 ans, au bas mot. La naissance ...

Nova News

Nova News
Wed, 04 Feb 2015 07:33:35 -0800

Джонатан, който е от вида testudinidae cryptodira, е донесен през 1882 г. в британската територия Св. Елена, малък остров в Южния Атлантик. Тогава той вече е бил зряла костенурка, поради което специалисти преценили, че е поне на 50 г.


Wed, 11 Feb 2015 02:18:45 -0800

يُصَنّف من سلالة السلاحف Testudinidae Cryptodira، ويُعتقَد أنه أُحضِرَ إلى الجزيرة عندما كان في الخمسين من عمره، بعدما نُقِلَ شحناً من جزر السيشيل. يعيش اليوم في حقلٍ صغير قرب اسطبلٍ في مزرعة حاكم الجزيرة البريطاني، ويأتي الزوّار لرؤيته وتصويره وإطعامه. ويعتني به ...
Baltimore City Paper (blog)
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Virginia death-metal band Short Bus PileUp plays the Sidebar with Ground, Splitwig, Cryptodira, Universal Remonster, and Gnarkillian Battlecruiser. FLATOUT at the Windup Space will feature DJ sets from Neuport and Abdu Ali and a performance from Philly ...

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