The discovery of fossils of 120 million-year-old turtle claimed as the oldest turtle, surpassing the previous oldest turtle fossil is 25 million years old. Turtle with a Latin name Desmatochelys sp padillai was found near the community of Villa de Leyva, Colombia.
As quoted from Sciencedaily, the creature a length of 2 meters and shows all the characteristics and traits of modern turtles. This discovery adds an important link in the evolution of the turtle. "This is an important discovery that may contribute to classify phylogeny of turtles," said Dr. Edwin Cadena, the second author of a study published in the journal PaleoBios.
|The skeleton of the fossilized sea turtle measures almost 2 meters. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1MayMOA)|
Evolution of the turtle is a convoluted story and has always been a hot topic for discussion. With a bit of intermediate fossils that show how they have a shell, it is difficult to track their origins.
A theory is based on the oldest fossil turtle species that have become extinct, Odontochelys, indicates that the group began to develop a special anatomy in the water before returning to shore.
This evolution occurs because Odontochelys has plastron, or bottom shell which are well developed, but do not have a carapace (upper shell). Plastron can better protect from predators under the sea that are often encountered Odontochelys semi-aquatic. Carapace is only needed when they are on the ground to protect from predators that attack from above.
Based on its physical characteristics, Cadena and his colleagues put Desmatochelys into the Cheloniodea turtle groups. Until now there are six species of Cheloniodea turtle group surviving in the world. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | SCIENCEDAILY]
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