Scrabble Bingo of the Day: PLASTRUM


PLASTRUM  n pl. -S  plastron

62 points (12 points without the bingo)

The PLASTRUM (or PLASTRON) is the ventral part of a turtle's shell, which is the almost flat part on the underside of a turtle or tortoise. It's one of the main two parts of the shell, the other being the CARAPACE, which is the upper portion. Both the plastrum and carapace are made of fused bones, the carapace consisting of the ribs and vertebrae (about 50 bones) and the plastrum made up of the clavicles (collar bones), bones between the clavicles, and portions of the ribs.

Scrabble Bingo of the Day: PLASTRUM

The plastrum also contains an external layer of horny material that is divided into plates, which are called SCUTES. The upper and lower portion of the shell are joined by a bony bridge along the side of the turtle. Some turtles have a moveable joint in the plastrum that works like a hinge, allowing the turtle to pull the shell sections together as it retracts its body inside. This allows it to enclose itself complete within.

Also, both parts of the shell have a blood and nerve supply, so bleeding and pain does happen. Turtle shells are not indestructible.

Scrabble Bingo of the Day: PLASTRUM

The above photo is an oracle bone at the National Palace Museum in Taipei, which is a plastrum. Oracle bones which usually made of ox scapula or turtle plastrum, and were used for divination chiefly during the late Shang Dynasty.


PLASTRON  n pl. -S  a part of the shell of a turtle  PLASTRAL adj

Related Words

CARAPACE  n pl. -S  a hard, protective outer covering
CARAPAX  n pl. -ES  carapace
SCUTE  n pl. -S  a horny plate or scale
TORTOISE  n pl. -S  any of an order of reptiles having the body enclosed in a bony shell
TURTLE  v -TLED, -TLING, -TLES  to catch turtles (tortoises)
TURTLER  n pl. -S  one that turtles
TURTLING  n pl. -S  the act of one that turtles

Scrabble Bingo of the Day: PLASTRUM

Photo by Tobyotter, Rusty Clark, denn

What's a Scrabble Bingo?

A bingo is when a player empties his or her rack in one turn, placing all seven of their letters on the board to create a word that's at least seven letters long. The term "bingo" is used primarily in the U.S., but elsewhere it's simply known as a "bonus" because you get a bonus of 50 points added to your turn's score. "Scrabble Bingo of the Day" will focus on these high scoring plays, teaching you some interesting and possibly unusual seven-letter or longer words accepted in a game of Scrabble.

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