I will be starting a series shortly on turtle identification. In order to do this series, I thought it might be appropriate to write a short introductory post to turtle morphology. The upper portion of a turtle’s shell is known as the carapace while the underside is known as the plastron. These two shells are joined by two bridges on the side of the turtle. At turtle’s shell is formed by scutes, or oddly shaped plates. Below is a diagram showing the names of the groups of scutes and their positions on a turtle’s shell.