Ancient giant turtle fossil was size of Smart car ScienceDaily

1 Июн 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »
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Picture a the size of a Smart car, a shell large enough to as a kiddie pool. Paleontologists North Carolina State have found just a specimen — the fossilized of a 60-million-year-old South American that lived in what is now

The turtle in question is Carbonemys . which means coal and is part of a group of side-necked known as pelomedusoides. The fossil was Carbonemys because it was discovered in in a coal mine that was of northern Colombia’s Cerrejon The specimen’s skull measures 24 roughly the size of a regulation NFL The shell which was recovered — and is believed to belong to the species — measures 172 or about 5 feet 7 inches, That’s the same height as Cadena, the NC State doctoral who discovered the fossil.

We had recovered smaller turtle from the site. But after about four days on uncovering the shell, I realized this particular turtle was the anyone had found in this for this time period and it gave us the first evidence of in freshwater turtles, Cadena

Smaller relatives of Carbonemys alongside dinosaurs. But the giant appeared five million after the dinosaurs vanished, a period when giant of many different reptiles including Titanoboa cerrejonensis, the snake ever discovered lived in this part of America. Researchers believe a combination of changes in the ecosystem, fewer predators, a larger area, plentiful food and climate changes, worked to allow these giant to survive. Carbonemys’ habitat have resembled a much modern-day Orinoco or Amazon delta.

In addition to the turtle’s huge the fossil also shows this particular turtle had powerful jaws that have enabled the omnivore to eat nearby — from to smaller turtles or even

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Thus far, only one of this size has been Dr. Dan Ksepka, NC State paleontologist and associate at the North Carolina of Natural Sciences, believes this is because a turtle of size would need a territory in order to obtain food to survive. It’s having one big snapping turtle in the middle of a lake, says co-author of the paper describing the That turtle survives it has eaten all of the major competitors for We found many bite-marked at this site that crocodilians preyed on side-necked None would have an … Carbonemys,

though — in fact crocs would have easy prey for this


The paleontologists’ findings appear in the of Systematic Palaeontology. Dr. Carlos from the Smithsonian Tropical Institute in Panama and Dr. Jonathan from the Florida Museum of History contributed to the work. The was funded by grants from the Institute and the National Science

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The above is based on materials provided by Carolina State University . Materials may be edited for content and

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