10-year-old tortoise shell 8 m long shell and weighed in at about 2,500 pounds, says study

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Talk about a mutant turtle.

Researchers have found out that it is the largest turtle alive, Stupendemys geographicus, once roamed the ancient seas at a greater distance than previously believed, according to a new study.

The fossilized remains of the jaws and other skeletal parts have been discovered recently in Venezuela and Colombia, according to a statement released by the University of Zurich, switzerland. The huge reptiles, that had a shell that reached nearly 8 feet in length, was first discovered in the 1970’s, and is believed to have lived between 5 and 10 million years ago, and over the whole of the northern part of South America.

This is a graphic reconstruction of the giant turtle Stupendemys geographicus: a man (they are), and the female has an individual (on the left) to swim in the fresh water. The largest turtle ever to have lived weighing more than a ton, with an eight-foot-long shell that once roamed modern day Colombia 10 million for the year-ago period. (Credit: SWNS)


“It’s a shield of some Stupendemys of people reached almost three feet, making it one of the largest, if not the largest turtle that ever existed,” said Marcelo Sanchez, director of the Paleontological Institute and Museum of the UZH and head of the research, in a statement.

“The now-extinct animal is the largest land tortoise of all time,” as one of the co-authors of the study, Edwin Cadena, told the British news agency, SWNS. “The remains of the largest full turtle shell, has ever been identified.”

The huge reptile had a shell that measured 8 feet in length and could be in the favour of the turtle, which weighed more than 2,500 pounds, the researchers noted. At that size, it’s almost 100 times the size of its closest living relative, the Amazon river turtle and is twice the size of the largest turtle today is the marine leatherback turtle, Cadena added. The Marine leatherback sea turtles can weigh between 550 and 1,150 pounds.

In addition to having a huge shell, and the men of the ancient species had a horn, like shells on the front surface of the upper shell, which is a feature that Cadena said, it can be used for defense. “This is a feature that is used in order to protect their massive skulls that are in competition with other males,” Cadena said.

Venezuelan Paleontologist Rodolfo Sanchez is the nest of the male carapace of the giant turtle Stupendemys geographicus, from Urumaco, Venezuela, is found in the 8-million-year old deposits. (Credit: SWNS)

Conversely, females had a hornless, shells, Guards have been added.

Cadena believes that the tortoise would have reached the enormous size of the area, having lived in hot, humid areas. “The enormous crocodile may also have been influenced by the tortoise, from all over the world, with bite marks on some of the instances, including in a lonely crocodile’s teeth stick out a sign,” the researcher explained. “All of this suggests that it is necessary to protect it from other giant in the corner.”

It is therefore likely that in S. geographicus has grown to such an enormous size, as the continent is home to a “lost world”, with lots of oversized creatures (including rats, and alligators, according to the fossil records.


The study, which was published in the Science Advances.

Ancient turtle fossils have garnered increasing attention in the last few weeks. The fossils of a land-turtle survived the asteroid blast and the death of the dinosaurs has recently been discovered in the north of the country.

Known as the Laurasichersis relicta, to the old turtle that has been described as “peculiar” by some of its unusual features, compared to modern turtles and tortoises. It has a shell that reaches a little more than 23 inches of it in adulthood, but it was not in a position to attract her in the head.


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