In China found fossils of ancient giant turtle

In China found fossils of ancient giant turtle

She lived about 228 million years ago; she had a toothless beak, but no shell.


Paleontologists have discovered in China the fossils of ancient turtles that lived approximately 228 million years ago. As scientists have identified, the individual belongs to a new, previously unknown mind Eorhynchochelys sinensis.

NewsLife on Earth was much older

The oldest known turtle was thought Odontochelys semitestacea: individuals of this species did not have a carapace (dorsal shield) but had a plastron — the protection of the belly, and had a beak — though with teeth, unlike modern turtles. The oldest remains of Odontochelys semitestacea date from roughly 220 million years.

Discovered turtle (a new kind Eorhynchochelys sinensis), as scholars have noted, reached a length of over 180 centimeters, had a strange, disc-shaped body and a long tail and lived probably in shallow water. Have Eorhynchochelys sinensis, as reported, was not a dorsal carapace or plastron, but turtles this type, as modern representatives of the order of turtles, had a toothless beak.

What Eorhynchochelys sinensis developed a toothless beak before other ancient turtles, but had neither carapace nor plastron, evidence of mosaic evolution: the latter assumes that various features can be formed independently from each other and in different pace, and not all ancient types have the same combination of these characteristics. Modern turtles have a full shell and a toothless beak: in the distant past some turtles partially had a carapace, the other had a toothless beak probably, then, as a result of genetic mutations, there was an animal that includes both the characteristic data.

In addition, the finding according to the researchers, clearly confirms that the ancestors of modern turtles treated diapsida (subclass of reptiles, formed about 300 million years ago and existing to this day) in the skull Eorhynchochelys sinensis, the researchers found two temporal hollows.