Hiker Fossilized Turtle: Hiker Finds 90-Million-Year-Old Turtle Fossil In New Mexico

A hiker found a fossilized turtle in a desert in southern New Mexico about 10 years ago, and now the fossil has been completely dug up.

According to the Huffington Post, Jeff Dornbusch came across a pile of gray matter a decade ago, and he always had a feeling that they were way more than just a pile of rocks. In 2012, Dornbusch went back to the site and was able to excavate some of the area. He brought a piece of his find to a scientist who identified the “rock” as a fossil… one that belonged to a turtle that lived 90 million years ago.

“The prehistoric Adocus turtle’s environment 90 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period was much different than the desert landscape where its remains were unearthed,” reports the Huffington Post.

According to Science World Report, the area where the fossil was found used to be “swampy,” and would have been a perfect breeding ground for creatures like turtles. The dirt surrounding the fossil was tested, and gave away the age of the fossil.

The hiker that found the fossilized turtle turned the excavation over to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History. Working with volunteers, the researchers were able to excavate the rest of the turtle’s body. There are plans for the fossil to be put on display at the museum after the remains are properly sorted.

“I never really knew this area as a place for marine fossils-shells and stuff in the mountains,” said Dornbusch of his amazing find.

Fossils are found quite frequently all over the world. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, an entirely new species of dinosaur was discovered just last month.

“Scientists have announced they’ve solved the mystery of the Mongolian ostrich dinosaur. The mystery began in 1965, when fossil hunters found a pair of 6-foot-long, heavily-clawed arm bones in Mongolia’s Gobi desert. Now scientists say they’ve got the rest of the beast, and they are confident that dinosaur textbooks are about to be rewritten.”

Today, the Guardian reported that the first amphibian ichthyosaur fossil found in Anhui Province, China. The fossil dates back 248 million years.

“As well as big flippers, Cartorhynchus had flexible wrists which would have been essential for movement on the ground,” read the report in part. Researchers say that the creature lived 4 million years after the world’s worst mass extinction.

[Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]