Shell elliptic, carinated, with the plates of the disk imbricated.
C. imhricata, Gray, Syn. Rept. part i. p. 52. Testudo imhricata, Linn. Syst. Nat. torn. i. p. 350. Turt. Brit. Faun. p. 78. Chelona imhricata, Flem. Brit. An. p. 149. Imbricated Turtle, Shaw, Gen. Zool. vol. iii. part i. p. 89. pl. 26.
General length, from the tip of the hill to the end of the shell, about three feet: has been known to measure five feet. Shaw.
Body roundish-ovate, slightly heart-shaped, slightly carinated down the back: head small, prominent; with the upper mandible curved over the lower: two claws on each foot: plates of the disk imbricated, thirteen in number, rather square, semi-transparent, variegated; of the circumference twenty-five, pointed and incumbent on each other in a serrated manner: tail a mere notch. Turt.
A native of the American seas: has occurred, however, in a few instances, as a straggler, on the British coasts. The first individual (according to Dr. Fleming) is recorded by Sibbald, as having appeared in Orkney. Dr. Fleming himself states that he has " credible testimony of its having been taken at Papa Stour, one of the West Zetland Islands." Dr. Turton has also mentioned one which was taken in the Severn in the Spring of 1774. This last was placed in a fish pond, where it lived till the Winter.