[From Span, for tortoise.] A reptile enclosed in a double shield or shell, from which the head, legs, and tail are protruded, but under which they can be drawn. The shell is an expansion of the vertebrae and ribs. Turtles do not shed their shells, and have no teeth, but have, horny jaws. They are ocean swimmers, coming on shore only to lay their eggs in the sands.
Some Of Them Are Very Large. The name is also often given to the land tortoise. (See Tortoise.) The green turtle is much esteemed as a table delicacy.