Che*lo"ni*a (?), n.; pl. [NL., fr. Gr. a tortoise.] Zool.

An order of reptiles, including the tortoises and turtles, perculiar in having a part of the vertebrae, ribs, and sternum united with the dermal plates so as to form a firm shell. The jaws are covered by a horny beak. See Reptilia; also, Illust. in Appendix.


© Webster 1913.