60-million-year-old turtle discovered


This video from the USA includes discussion about fossil turtles.

From Wired Science:

Fossil Turtle Had Extra-Thick Shell to Fend Off World’s Largest Snake

* By Betsy Mason

* April 6, 2010

A new fossil turtle species discovered in a Colombian coal mine had a shell as thick as a 400-page book, which may have protected it from crocodiles and the world’s biggest known snake.

Scientists from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the Florida Museum of Natural History uncovered the Cerrejón coal mine. The 60-million-year-old fossilized shell found there was almost 1.5 inches thick and over 3 feet across. The scientists named the species Cerrejonemys wayuunaiki after the language of the local Wayuu people.

The giant snake that lived alongside this is called the Titanoboa cerrejonensis. Fossils of the snake, also discovered in Colombian coal mines in the same area as the turtle, show that it grew to be between 40 and 50 feet long. The longest known living snake species, Python reticulatus, has been measured at 29 feet long.

“The fossils from Cerrejón provide a snapshot of the first modern rainforest in South America — after the big Cretaceous extinctions and before the Andes rose, modern river basins formed and the Panama land bridge connected North and South America,” Carlos Jarmillo, staff scientist at the Smithsonian who studies the plants from Cerrejón, said in a press release April 5.

Two more new fossil turtle species have turned up in the mines and will be described by Edwin Cadena of North Carolina State University, first author of the C. wayuunaiki paper published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

“I hope this will give us an even better understanding of turtle diversity in the region and some important clues about the environment where they lived,” Cadena said in the press release.

See also here.

3 thoughts on “60-million-year-old turtle discovered

  1. Pingback: Giant fossil turtle discovery | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Colombian crocodile fossil discovery | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Big fossil turtle discovered in Colombia | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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