Names such as Stupendmys geographicus can trigger some expectations, according tomedia CNET. A group of palaeontologists from the University of Zurich (UZH) in Switzerland recently studied the fossilized shell of the extinct giant freshwater turtle, which lived in Venezuela and Colombia about 5 to 10 million years ago. The fossils show that the shell stretches to 10 feet (3 meters), while the male turtle’s shell has horns at the front end.
Researchers published the study of the turtle fossil in the journal Science Advances on Wednesday. The turtle shell fossil is probably the largest ever, said Marcelo S?nchez, director of the UZH Institute of Paleontology and the museum and head of research. Scientists first described the earthly tortoise in the 1970s. The university’s researchers call these special shells “special specimens.”
The researchers also found some of the jaws and bones that could help the turtle. “Based on the anatomy of the tortoises, we now know that some of the living turtles from the Amazon are their closest living relatives,” says Marcelo S?nchez. “
Some of the fossils show bite marks and stab wounds. Although the turtles may be large, their size does not necessarily protect them from the delicious dinners of their natural enemies, the researchers said.