STL Science Center

STL Science Center

22 February 2017

Turtle Anatomy

As mentioned yesterday, there are two major divisions of turtles aside from binning the animals as freshwater, marine, or tortoise. There are other aspects of the anatomy of Stupendemys that are just as important as the way which it retracted its neck and head. Most of the anatomy that has been described is related to the shell of the turtle as the enormous shell was most readily preserved and fossilized. Additionally, materials such as the humerus, pelvic girdles, and an incomplete set of vertebral elements have been found and described. The "problem" with this turtle is that its anatomy is not that much different from modern turtles as to point out anything exciting or overwhelmingly primitive about Stupendemys. The turtle is remarkably enormous though, with the humeri measuring 310 cm and 340 cm in S. souzai and S. geographicus respectively.
Photo by Ryan Somma at American Museum of Natural History. CC BY-SA 2.0

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