chelonian

[ki-loh-nee-uh n]

adjective

belonging or pertaining to the order Chelonia, comprising the turtles.

noun

a turtle.

Origin of chelonian

1820–30; < New Latin Cheloni(a) (< Greek chelṓn(ē) turtle + New Latin -ia, neuter plural noun suffix) + -an
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British Dictionary definitions for chelonian

chelonian

noun

any reptile of the order Chelonia, including the tortoises and turtles, in which most of the body is enclosed in a protective bony capsule

adjective

of, relating to, belonging to, or characteristic of the Chelonia

Word Origin for chelonian

C19: from New Latin Chelōnia, from Greek khelōnē tortoise
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Science definitions for chelonian

chelonian

[kĭ-lōnē-ən]

Any of various reptiles of the order Chelonia (or Testudines), which includes the turtles and tortoises. Chelonians lack teeth and usually have a hard shell that protects the body and consists of bony plates fused to the vertebrae and ribs. Unlike all other living reptiles, the skulls of chelonians lack temporal openings, which is characteristic of the earliest known reptiles (called anapsids). Chelonians evolved during the late Permian or Triassic Period and have changed little since.
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