Wieland, the author of the initial description of Archelon, thought, based on the raptorial curve of the turtle's beak, that Archelon was an entirely carnivorous animal and that it could catch slow moving prey. This narrows down diet to jellyfish, as in some extant sea turtles, and slow moving fishes and, perhaps, sedentary mollusks. The raptorial nature of the beak, rather than the tough crushing beak of, say, a seed crunching bird, was not necessarily built for crunching down on clams and other inoceramids. That raptorial beak would be a good defensive tool as well.
Tylosaurus, a big mean mosasaur, would have loved to have made a snack of smaller Archelon, typically juveniles, but that beak could have been used, in addition to the protective shell, to survive attacks from giant mosasaurs such as Tylosaurus. Use your imagination in finishing out the drama of this image sold by Great American Media Services and through a few museums as an info card or poster:
|Artist unknown (so far)|