70-Million-Year-Old Fossil of Car-Sized Giant Turtle Found in Spain, Scientists Speculate Use of New Strange Feature – Nature World News

One of the biggest turtles to have ever lived was fossilized 70 million years ago, and paleontologists have just discovered its remains. During the time of the dinosaurs, a giant turtle about the dimensions of a Volkswagen Beetle inhabited the European seas. The team of scientists also found a new strange feature.
Leviathanochelys aenigmatica, which means “giant beast turtle enigma,” is the name given to the new species, which lived approximately 70 million years ago. The creature’s estimated length of 3.74 m, or 12.27 ft, makes it one of the world’s largest turtles that ever existed, so its given name is appropriate. The largest one found in Europe, it is just a hair smaller than its American relatives like Archelon.
It’s interesting to note that, despite having a similar appearance, the ancient turtles of Europe And north America weren’t closely related; instead, they developed independently to reach those enormous sizes. The team speculates that in the case of Leviathanochelys, it was likely due to the roomy inland oceans that at the time covered much of Europe.
When a hiker came across a few bones in the Pyrenees mountains in northern Spain, he made the initial accidental discovery. Paleontologists tracked it down and found the pelvis and shell’s back of the enormous turtle. Even though it might not seem like much, the team was able to infer from some peculiar characteristics that it belonged to a completely different species.

Read also: Fossil Found in Scottish Highlands Spark Speculation About Scotland’s National Animal: The Unicorn 
One peculiar aspect, in particular, caught the attention of the scientists: a bone fragment that protrudes to the side of the pelvis. This structure, called a pubic process, has never been observed in any turtle species, either living or extinct.
Àngel Hernández Luján, a co-author of the study, said that they hypothesize that this action provided a second anchor point for the muscles in charge of the abdominal contraction of the turtle. This could imply that it played a role in the respiratory system and that it assisted the enormous turtle in maximizing its ability to breathe at great depths.
Before more details about the species can be determined, the team says that more bones must be discovered. That also includes a more accurate calculation of its size, New Atlas reports.
Luján added that they are upbeat and think more species of enormous turtles may exist in Europe. Before the discovery of Leviathanochelys, incomplete remains of sizable marine turtles were discovered all over Europe.
She added that it won’t be long before new varieties of dinosaur-era sea turtles with large bodies are found.
Dr. Sandra Chapman, the National History Museum’s former Curator of Fossil Reptiles and Birds, believes that this specimen is an excellent find that has undergone extensive research.
Chapman, who has researched fossil turtles, said it adds yet another element to the trend analysis of turtle evolution. It is consistent with the hypothesis that extreme sizes are more prevalent prior to extinction and smaller but still significant sizes prevail post-extinction, National History Museum reports.
The research by Castillo-Visa, Luján, and their colleagues was published in the journal Scientific Reports.
Related article: Largest Dinosaur Species: T. Rex Might have been Bigger, Heavier than Previously Thought 

Tags 70 million years old, fossil, car-sized turtle, car-sized, giant turtle, Spain
© 2022 NatureWorldNews.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.