A turtle fossil of gargantuan proportions has been discovered in northern Columbia, according to paleontologists, who have stated the fossil is the size of a smart car.
The giant fossil was discovered in Columbia in 2005 and has a shell big enough to fit a kiddie pool.
According to Huffington Post, Edwin Cadena, the North Carolina State University doctoral student who discovered the fossil stated:
“We had recovered smaller turtle specimens from the site. But after spending about four days working on uncovering the shell, I realized that this particular turtle was the biggest anyone had found in this area for this time period–and it gave us the first evidence of giantism in freshwater turtles.”
The Carbonemys cofrinii (which means coal turtle) is thought to have lived about 60 million years ago, about the same time as the titanoboa, a snake snake thought to measure around 46-feet long.
e! Science News reports that Dr. Dan Ksepka NC State paleontologist and research associate at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences believes that the reason only one turtle of this size was found is because it would need a large territory in order to survive.
He further explained in the paper published about the find that:
“It’s like having one big snapping turtle living in the middle of a lake. That turtle survives because it has eaten all of the major competitors for resources. We found many bite-marked shells at this site that show crocodilians preyed on side-necked turtles. None would have bothered an adult Carbonemys, though — in fact smaller crocs would have been easy prey for this behemoth.”
Ksepka further stated to LiveScience that:
“The environment seems to have been tropical based on fossil plants found at the site. And the turtle appears to have been adapted to spending most of its time in the water, though coming ashore to lay eggs would be part of its life cycle.”
According to Huffington Post, if you think that this turtle, whose head was the size of a football, was the biggest to walk the Earth, then you’re wrong. The National Museum of Wales website boasts that the largest turtle on record washed ashore in 1988. It was reportedly almost nine feet long and weighed 2,016 pounds. The turtle was thought to be about 100 years old when it died.
Check out more information about giant turtles here: