Tortoises: The Oldest Island Hoppers

  • Marcelo S. de la Fuente
  • Juliana Sterli
  • Ignacio Maniel
Part of the Springer Earth System Sciences book series (SPRINGEREARTH)


Tortoises are terrestrial turtles grouped in the clade Testudinidae. This clade represents 18 % of the living turtle diversity and is the most widespread group of nonmarine turtles, distributed across all nonpolar continents except Australia. The fossil history of the clade dates back to the Palaeocene of Asia. The South American forms are represented by the genus Chelonoidis, which includes 4 extant and 4 extinct named species. The invasion of tortoises in South American is a contentious subject, and two continental sources have been proposed (Central America and Africa).


Testudinidae Chelonoidis Oligocene Neogene Biogeography 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcelo S. de la Fuente
    • 1
  • Juliana Sterli
    • 2
  • Ignacio Maniel
    • 3
  1. 1.CONICET Museo de Historia Natural de San RafaelSan RafaelArgentina
  2. 2.CONICET Museo Paleontológico Egidio FeruglioTrelewArgentina
  3. 3.CONICET Fundación de Historia Natural Felix de Azara Universidad MaimonidesBuenos AiresArgentina

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