Gigantic Turtles Ruled 10 Million Year Ago

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This is a graphic reconstruction of a male Stupendemys geographicus swimming in freshwater. (Artwork by Jaime Chirinos)

Health Editor’s Note: I have to say these turtles would have made a big impression on anyone/anything who chose to challenge them.  They weighed as much as hippos. Wow!…..Carol

Gigantic Turtles Fought Epic Battles 10 Million Years Ago—and Have the Scars to Prove It

by Theresa Machemer/Smithsonianmag.com

Researchers have uncovered complete fossils of the giant turtle Stupendemys geographicus in Venezuela and Colombia. The fossils, including a gigantic top shell and the first examples of S. geographicus jaw bones, give new insight into the lives of ancient South American giant turtles.

Although the fossils were dug up in deserts, five to ten million years ago the land that’s now northeast Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Venezuela was covered in deep swamps and rivers that supported giant reptiles. The paper, published in Science Advances on February 12, shows that S. geographicus turtles had shells up to ten feet across. For comparison, a standard United States freeway lane is 12 feet wide.

It was “one of the largest, if not the largest turtle that ever existed,” says University of Zurich paleobiologist Marcelo Sánchez in a statement.

The creatures, which at 2,500 pounds weighed nearly as much as a hippopotamus, were not just massive but also well-armed. New specimens found by the research team have a foot-long horn on each shoulder, and one horn had a long scar down its side. Sánchez says that the horns were likely used by males to battle for mates.

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Biography
Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master’s of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator.

She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen – two daughters-in-law; Suzy and Katie – two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia – and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with husband Gordon Duff, many cats, two rescue pups, and two guinea pigs.

Carol’s Archives 2009-2013
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