Remains of an enormous turtle, which was the size of a Smart car, have been unearthed in a Colombian coal mine.How nasty was this turtle in relation to modern ones?
The shell alone of the 60-million-year-old turtle, Carbonemys cofrinii aka "coal turtle," is large enough to be a small swimming pool. Its skull is roughly the size of a regulation NFL football. The coal mine where it was found is part of northern Colombia's Cerrejon formation.
"We had recovered smaller turtle specimens from the site," Edwin Cadena, a North Carolina State doctoral student who discovered the turtle, said in a press release. "But after spending about four days working on uncovering the shell, I realized that this particular turtle was the biggest anyone had found in this area for this time period -- and it gave us the first evidence of giant-ism in freshwater turtles."
Turtles today are usually seen slowly chewing plants, but this prehistoric species had massive, powerful jaws that would have enabled it to eat anything nearby, from mollusks to smaller turtles or even crocodiles.Not a nice place to live, I don't think.
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