A GIGANTIC turtle has been unearthed, with paleontologists believing that it had a length of over 12 feet and that it’s Europe’s largest turtle species ever.
According to the researchers, the turtle remains were uncovered in Spain and are double the size of modern turtles.
The turtle remains were found in Spain and are over 80 million years old[/caption]
Researchers have named the new species Leviathanochelys Aenigmatica and described it as “bizarre”.
They’ve also determined that the turtle roamed the oceans in the Cretaceous period, the final stage of the dinosaur era, around 83.6 and 72.1 million years ago.
Fossils and fragments of the turtle were uncovered between the years 2016 and 2021, in the northern area of Spain.
Paleontologists believe this discovery opens up new avenues for research on turtles since the newly uncovered species belongs to a new genus.
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This suggests that there is more than one type of giant marine turtle.
The turtle’s bones have an unusual protrusion that was likely related to its respiratory system.
This finding sets the turtle apart from other modern and extinct turtles that have been studied.
While the turtle species Leviathanochelys aenigmatica is enormous, it’s still not the world’s largest turtle; that record belongs to the Archelon ischyros, with some turtles measuring up to 15 feet.
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Still, this discovery remains an important one for biologists and paleontologists, expanding on their knowledge.
Not only does it mean that there are other turtles species that haven’t been discovered, the species is also the largest turtle fossil discovered in Europe.
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These large animals have been historically found in South and North America.
The giant turtle research has been published in the journal Scientific Reports.