A terrapin is one of several small species of turtle living in fresh or brackish water. Terrapins do not form a taxonomic unit, and may not be related. Many belong to the families Geoemydidae and Emydidae.
The name "terrapin" is derived from torope, a word in the Native American Algonquian language that referred to the species, Malaclemys terrapin. It appears that it became part of common usage during the colonial era of North America and was carried back to Great Britain. Since then, it has been used in common names for turtles in the English language. In the UK, red-eared sliders are known as red-eared terrapins.
Turtle species with "terrapin" in their common English-language names include:
- Bengal eyed terrapin, Burmese eyed turtle or Burmese peacock turtle, Morenia ocellata, a turtle in the family Geoemydidae found in Burma and possibly Yunnan, China.
- Diamondback terrapin or just "terrapin", Malaclemys terrapin, a turtle of the Emydidae family, native to the United States.
- European pond terrapin or European pond turtle, Emys orbicularis, a turtle in the family Emydidae found in West Asia and parts of North Africa.
- Indian pond terrapin, or Indian black turtle, Melanochelys trijuga, a turtle in the family Geoemydidae found in South Asia.
- Mexican spotted terrapin or Mexican spotted wood turtle, Rhinoclemmys rubida, a species of turtle in the family Geoemydidae, endemic to Mexico.
- Northern river terrapin, Batagur baska, a critically endangered turtle in the Geoemydidae family native to Cambodia.
- Painted terrapin, Batagur borneoensis, a turtle in the Geoemydidae family native to Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.
- Serrated hinged terrapin, Pelusios sinuatus, is a species of turtle in the Pelomedusidae family found in southern Africa.
- Seychelles black terrapin, Pelusios seychellensis, an extinct species of turtle in the Pelomedusidae family that was endemic to the Seychelles.
- Smiling terrapin or Black marsh turtle, Siebenrockiella crassicollis, a turtle in the Geoemydidae family native to Southeast Asia.
- Southern river terrapin, Batagur affinis, a turtle in the Geoemydidae family native to Cambodia.
- Striped-neck terrapin or Caspian turtle, Mauremys caspica, a turtle in the family Geoemydidae (Bataguridae), native to the eastern Mediterranean region.
Terrapin is not a turtle. Fact
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