Skip to main content


Chelidae (snake-necked turtles; order Chelonia, suborder Pleurodira) A family of freshwater turtles in which the head and neck may be longer than the carapace. The neck vertebrae fold only sideways. The turtles' diet is mixed. Chelus fimbriatus (matamata), which inhabits stagnant pools in tropical S. America, has a large and flattened head with nostrils at the end of a slender proboscis, a long neck, and a carapace up to 45 cm long, with three ridges and covered with small knobs; small prey are rapidly sucked into the large mouth cavity. There are 31 species in the family, occurring in S. America, Australia, and New Guinea.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Chelidae." A Dictionary of Zoology. . 19 Mar. 2019 <>.

"Chelidae." A Dictionary of Zoology. . (March 19, 2019).

"Chelidae." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Retrieved March 19, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.