It’s been just revealed that a huge turtle specimen was discovered which used to roam the Earth.
This is about an 8-million-year-old turtle shell that was found in Venezuela – it measures about 8 feet long, and this makes it the largest complete turtle shell that is known to science so far, according to the latest reports.
LiveScience notes that the shell belonged to an extinct monster called Stupendemys geographicus. The species lived in northern South America during the Miocene epoch, which lasted from 12 million to 5 million years ago.
It’s also interesting to note the fact that S. geographicus weighed about 2,500 lbs. (1,145 kilograms). “This is almost 100 times the size of its closest living relative, the Amazon river turtle (Peltocephalus dumerilianus), and twice the size of the largest living turtle, the marine leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea),” according to experts.
This amazing shell makes the ancient creature one of the largest or even the largest turtle that ever existed on our planet, according to what the study senior researcher Marcelo Sánchez-Villagra.
It’s been reported that this species of turtles were able to achieve such a huge size thanks to the warm wetlands and lakes in its habitat, according to Sánchez.
The male turtles had horns which they used as weapons
Also, experts knew about the species from back in 1976, but now they discovered even more fossils. After scientists examined them, they realized that the male turtle had unique horn-like weapons at the front of their upper shells.
LiveScience writes that “these horns were likely used as weapons in male-to-male combat, the researchers said.”
The online publicaiton continued and mentioned that “Similar combative behavior is seen today in snapping turtles (Chelydridae), whose males often fight each other to establish dominance in overlapping territories.”
This study was published in the journal Science Advances, and we recommend that you check it out.