If earlier this year the Titanoboa display in the Grand Central Terminal was getting all the rave, researchers found another interesting item in the origin place of the 48 feet long snake fossil. A turtle fossil the size of a car was found in Colombia.
When we’re thinking about nowadays turtles, we often forget how huge these can get. We often think about cute little turtles heading towards the ocean we’re being shown footages on National Geographic. But we forget that some 66 million years ago, animals were quite different. For instance, have you ever imagined a turtle as big as your car, that could have fed with crocodiles?
Yes, I know. It sounds just like a bad horror movie review, but the great part, this is actual news. Researchers found in Colombia a turtle fossil the size of a Smart car, that they say it could have fed on anything from “mollusks to smaller turtles or even crocodiles”.
Researchers say that the titanic turtle found was labeled as Carbonemys cofrinii. It was found some seven years ago in the same place the Titanoboa fossil was retrieved from. Edwin Cadena discovered the turtle fossil. He explained the site had “smaller turtle specimens” but the one in discussion proved to be the “biggest anyone had found in this area for this time period”. For scientists the fossil gave them “the first evidence of giantism in freshwater turtles”.
Interesting fact is that the turtle fossil the size of a car is said to have lived some 60 million years ago. That means, somehow, the species had survived the event that lead to the extinction of dinosaurs. Study researcher Dan Ksepka said: “It’s like having one big snapping turtle living in the middle of a lake. That turtle survives because it has eaten all of the major competitors for resources”. And as Ksepka adds, “smaller crocs would have been easy prey for this behemoth”.
Although discovered back in 2005, it was only just recently the findings have been put together in a scientific journal. You can see more in the Journal of Systematic Paleontology.