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You might have read an article on this page ( ). Xacro file is macro file of urdf. Xacro file allow us to make it easier to maintain the robot description files. So you can convert urdf.xacro to urdf in launch.

< param name="robot_description" 
   command="$(find xacro)/ '$(find pr2_description)/robots/pr2.urdf.xacro'" />

If you have a turtlebot, I think that you have launched minimal.launch. The description.launch.xml in /turtlebot_bringup/launch/includes also describes robot_description for a turtlebot. Rviz need a robot_description to show a robot model.