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Back Blog The First Turtle - Odontochelys
07 Mar 2012

The First Turtle - Odontochelys

Odontochelys ("toothed shell") is a case study in how slippery the title of "first" anything can be. When this late Triassic turtle was discovered in 2008, it immediately took precedence over the then-reigning turtle ancestor, Proganochelys, which lived 10 million years later. Odontochelys' toothed beak and semi-soft carapace point to its kinship with the obscure family of Permian reptiles--most likely the pareiasaurs--from which all modern turtles and tortoises evolved. And yes, in case you were wondering, it was pretty small: only about a foot long and one or two pounds.

Last modified on Monday, 03 June 2013 21:18

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