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The Prehistoric Turtle Thread

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  • Baby sea turtle tracks from the Pleistocene found in South Africa:

    http://theconversation.com/first-fossil-trails-of-baby-sea-turtles-found-in-south-africa-122434

    file-20190828-184207-ctfoif.JPG?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&q=45&auto=format&w=600&h=450&fit=crop&dpr=1
    These trackways date from a time in the Pleistocene Epoch, when our species, Homo sapiens, was emerging. The Pleistocene was characterised by large fluctuations in global climate. Ice sheets repeatedly advanced and retreated over much of the northern hemisphere, as the climate cooled and warmed. These changes are reflected along the Cape South Coast by evidence of fluctuating ocean levels, which at times rose to as much 13 metres above present-day levels.

    Because nothing like these fossil trackways has ever been described before, we have coined the scientific term “Marineropodidae” meaning “seafarer foot traces” to describe the family of remarkable trackways that we have encountered.




  • Aragochersis , a rare terrestrial turtle from Cretaceous Spain:

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195667119303179?via%3Dihub

    EJQYAEGW4AAQHy1?format=png&name=small




  • Asmodochelys, a fossil sea turtle from the late Cretaceous, sheds light on origins of modern relatives:

    https://phys.org/news/2019-12-turtle-genus-species-evolution-modern.html

    75millionyea.jpg




  • Laurasichersis, the only turtle of its kind to survive the late Cretaceous extinction in the northern Hemisphere:

    https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/prehistoric-turtle-survive-mass-extinction

    EQCLqVBXsAEJzz2?format=jpg&name=small




  • Battle-scarred fossils suggest giant turtles fought each other—and crocodiles three times their size

    In the swamps and rivers of northern South America 12 million years ago, some of the largest turtles that ever lived fought epic battles for mates and territory. New fossils unearthed in Colombia and Venezuela reveal that the 1100-kilogram males of the species, Stupendemys geographicus, bore unusual horns on the front of their 2.4-meter-long shells, which they likely used to fight each other and fend off crocodiles more than three times their size. At the same time, a detailed look at the turtles’ gigantic jaws suggest they might not have been the ferocious predators some scientists presumed, but instead ate hard-shelled mollusks and large fruits.

    ADV_Ancient_turtle_illustration.jpg?itok=207dEBvz


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  • Scarinae wrote: »
    Battle-scarred fossils suggest giant turtles fought each other—and crocodiles three times their size

    In the swamps and rivers of northern South America 12 million years ago, some of the largest turtles that ever lived fought epic battles for mates and territory. New fossils unearthed in Colombia and Venezuela reveal that the 1100-kilogram males of the species, Stupendemys geographicus, bore unusual horns on the front of their 2.4-meter-long shells, which they likely used to fight each other and fend off crocodiles more than three times their size. At the same time, a detailed look at the turtles’ gigantic jaws suggest they might not have been the ferocious predators some scientists presumed, but instead ate hard-shelled mollusks and large fruits.

    ADV_Ancient_turtle_illustration.jpg?itok=207dEBvz

    Beat me to it! Very interesting, although I am not at all convinced that it couldn´t have been an opportunistic predator (even if an omnivorous one), considering how many freshwater turtles today will eat a very wide range of foods.

    The largest modern day freshwater turtle in South America is the arrau (Podocnemis expansa), which is omnivorous; even though its diet is based on vegetable matter, it does eat carrion and small animals. The juveniles apparently eat many fish.

    This turtle can grow up to 1 m long and weigh 90 kg which is very large as modern turtles go, but only a fraction of Stupendemys' size.

    Podocnemis-expansa-adult-female-on-a-river-sand-bank-in-the-environmental-protection-area.jpg


    Stupendemys' closest living relative appears to be another Amazonian turtle, the big-headed turtle (Peltocephalus dumerilianus), also an omnivore known to take both invertebrate and vertebrate prey (apparently including piranha)

    peltocephalus_dumerilianus_s.jpg




  • a small part of me is glad that the bigger ones are now extinct to be honest can you imagine the kids getting them rom a pet shop and not telling you about them ?




  • Rubecula wrote: »
    a small part of me is glad that the bigger ones are now extinct to be honest can you imagine the kids getting them rom a pet shop and not telling you about them ?

    :pac:

    Now I'm wondering how small they were at birth... maybe it would've been easy to convince buyers that they'd stay small, and next thing you know you need an Olympic-sized pond...




  • Giant turtle from the Jurassic of Germany, nicknamed "Mobbl" but yet to be scientifically described and formally named. Article is in German.

    At 1.40 m long this may be the largest known Jurassic turtle.

    http://naturkundemuseum-bamberg.de/index.php/de/sonderausstellung/mobbl

    Mobbl_r.jpg


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