Loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta, photographed by Strobilomyces.

Belongs within: Procoelocryptodira.

The Cheloniidae (here used to include the Osteopygidae) is the total group containing living sea turtles with the exception of the leatherback Dermochelys coriacea.

Synapomorphies (from Gaffney & Meylan 1988): Secondary palate formed by broad maxilla with contributions from palatine, choanal passages separated by ventral plate of vomer forming prominent part of palate; foramen caroticum laterale and canalis caroticus lateralis much larger in diameter than foramen anterius canalis carotici interni and medial branch of canalis caroticus internus.

    |  i. s.: Tasbacka Nessov 1987 TH02
    |           |--*T. aldabergeni Nessov 1987 TH02
    |           `--T. ouleabdounensis Tong & Hirayama 2002 TH02
    |         Catapleura ruhoffi Weems 1988 TH02
    |--Osteopyginae [Osteopygidae] TH02
    |    |--Osteopygis emarginatus TH02
    |    |--Rhetechelys GM88
    |    `--Erquelinnesia TH02
    |         |--E. gosseleti TH02
    |         `--E. planimenta TH02
    `--+--Eochelyinae TH02
       |    |--Argillochelys Lydekker 1889 TH02
       |    |--Puppigerus Cope 1871 TH02
       |    |    `--P. camperi TH02
       |    `--Eochelone Dollo 1903 GM88, TH02
       |         `--E. brabantica TH02
       `--+--Carettini [Carettidae] GM88
          |    |--Procolpochelys GM88
          |    |--Lepidochelys olivacea GM88, TH02
          |    |--Caretta F13
          |    |    |--*C. caretta (Linnaeus 1758) I92
          |    |    |--C. olivacea F13
          |    |    `--C. remivaga Hay 1908 F13
          |    `--Colpochelys kempii [=Lepidochelys kempii] F13
          `--Chelonini GM88
               |--Eretmochelys imbricata (Linné 1766) GM88, I92
               `--Chelonia [incl. Natator McCulloch 1908] F13
                    |--‘Chelone’ cuneiceps F13
                    |--C. depressa Garman 1881 [incl. *Natator tessellatus McCulloch 1908] F13
                    |--C. imbricata [=Chelone imbricata, Testudo imbricata] R13
                    |--C. japonica F13
                    `--C. mydas (Linnaeus 1758) I92 [=Chelone mydas F13]
                         |--C. m. mydas BF88
                         |--C. m. agassizi M94
                         `--C. m. caranigra BF88

*Type species of generic name indicated


[BF88] Bishop, M. J., & A. E. Friday. 1988. Estimating the interrelationships of tetrapod groups on the basis of molecular sequence data. In The Phylogeny and Classification of the Tetrapods, vol. 1. Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds (M. J. Benton, ed.) pp. 33-58. Clarendon Press: Oxford.

[F13] Fry, D. B. 1913. On the status of Chelonia depressa, Garman. Records of the Australian Museum 10 (7): 159-185, plates XIX-XXII.

[GM88] Gaffney, E. S., & P. A. Meylan. 1988. A phylogeny of turtles. In The Phylogeny and Classification of the Tetrapods, vol. 1. Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds (M. J. Benton, ed.) pp. 157-219. Clarendon Press: Oxford.

[I92] Iwahashi, J. (ed.) 1992. Reddo Deeta Animaruzu: a pictorial of Japanese fauna facing extinction. JICC: Tokyo.

[M94] Moritz, C. 1994. Defining ‘evolutionarily significant units’ for conservation. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 9 (10): 373-375.

[R13] Roux, J. 1913. Les reptiles de la Nouvelle-Calédonie et des îles Loyalty. In Nova Caledonia: Forschungen in Neu-Caledonian und auf den Loyalty-Inseln. A. Zoologie vol. 1, Heft II (F. Sarasin & J. Roux, eds) pp. 79-160. C. W. Kreidels Verlag: Wiesbaden.

[TH02] Tong, H., & R. Hirayama. 2002. A new species of Tasbacka (Testudines: Cryptodira: Cheloniidae) from the Paleocene of the Ouled Abdoun phosphate basin, Morocco. Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie Monatshefte 2002 (5): 277-294.

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