STL Science Center

STL Science Center

01 September 2015

Turtle Descriptions

Turtle phylogenies are ludicrous things. The trees with turtles well represented are biased one way or another; toward archosaurs or closer to lizards, generally. In 1898 that debate was just starting to become highly published, in relation to the species Protostega gigas. O.P. Hay was one of the first to describe the relationships between turtles like Protostega and other turtles like Dermochelys. This was after, of course, the initial description of the original fossil material by E.D. Cope in 1871. Descriptions abounded early in the knowledge of the existence of Protostega beyond these. Charles Sternberg even described new fossil materials of Protostega gigas at the turn of the century, or shortly thereafter, in 1903.

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