In response to a brand new report, scientists simply managed to unearth an Eight-million-year-old turtle shell in Venezuela. Measuring almost Eight ft lengthy (2.four meters), the brand new discovery makes it the biggest full turtle shell identified to science ever.
Belonging to an historic turtle species now referred to as the Stupendemys geographicus, the proprietor of the turtle shell supposedly walked the lands and swam the waters of northern South America throughout the Miocene epoch, a interval that lasted from 12 million to five million years in the past.
In response to the findings made by the researchers within the research, S. geographicus weighs a whopping 2,500 lbs. (1,145 kilograms), nearly 100 instances the dimensions of its closest residing relative, the Amazon river turtle. It’s additionally apparently twice the dimensions of the biggest residing turtle, which is the marine leatherback turtle.
“Its spectacular shell makes this historic creature one of many largest, if not the biggest turtle that ever existed,” Marcelo Sánchez-Villagra, senior researcher and the director of the Paleontological Institute and Museum on the College of Zurich, mentioned in a press release launched after the invention.
Per Sanchez, the nice and cozy wetlands and lakes in its former habitat in all probability contributed to its gargantuan measurement.
In response to scientists, they’ve been conscious creature like S. geographicus used to exist ever since 1976, but it surely’s solely till now that they can unearth some extra discoveries in regards to the historic turtle species. For instance, males of the species apparently had horns, whereas their shells normally get chomped by massive caimans, which is a species of crocodile.
The spotlight, nonetheless, was their horns, which protruded in entrance of their gigantic carapaces. Per the researchers, these horns have been probably utilized in fight, which is an identical conduct that may be noticed in right now’s snapping turtles. Males of those turtle species normally combat as a way to set up their territories, in addition to dominance over the opposite.
The researchers additionally noticed an “elongated and deep scar within the left horn” of one of many S. geographicus shells, which is usually a mark from fight. Additionally they discovered a caiman tooth protruding from one other shell, suggesting that these turtles have been additionally more than likely hunted by fiercer predators regardless of being massive.