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Still Waters

Ancient turtle fossil reveals it had no shell

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Still Waters

There are a couple of key features that make a turtle a turtle: its shell, for one, but also its toothless beak. A newly-discovered fossil turtle that lived 228 million years ago is shedding light on how modern turtles developed these traits. It had a beak, but while its body was Frisbee-shaped, its wide ribs hadn't grown to form a shell like we see in turtles today.

"This creature was over six feet long, it had a strange disc-like body and a long tail, and the anterior part of its jaws developed into this strange beak," says Olivier Rieppel, a paleontologist at Chicago's Field Museum and one of the authors of a new paper in Nature. "It probably lived in shallow water and dug in the mud for food."

https://phys.org/news/2018-08-fossil-turtle-didnt-shell-toothless.html

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MyOtherAccount

All so that millions of years later I could buy a box turtle with a painted back shell for 35 cents at the local Ben Franklin's Store. That lead to states outlawing the sell of box turtles because they were taking over and replacing other turtles.

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qxcontinuum

What is that wasnt a turtle?

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DirtyDocMartens
20 hours ago, qxcontinuum said:

What is that wasnt a turtle?

If you meant "What if...", I was wondering the same thing. How do they know it was an ancestor of today's turtle? I'm not saying they don't, only that I don't.

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Carnoferox
16 minutes ago, DirtyDocMartens said:

If you meant "What if...", I was wondering the same thing. How do they know it was an ancestor of today's turtle? I'm not saying they don't, only that I don't.

This is determined by phylogenetic analysis by comparing different characters of the skeleton to other animals. Eorhynchochelys was found to be closely related to other stem-turtles like Pappochelys and Odontochelys.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0419-1

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Myles
21 hours ago, DirtyDocMartens said:

If you meant "What if...", I was wondering the same thing. How do they know it was an ancestor of today's turtle? I'm not saying they don't, only that I don't.

These one-off's always make me wonder if they found an abnormality.   I guess they would need to find a 228 million year old turtle with a shell to help prove it. 

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UFOwatcher

Apple pie with no crust is just apples... Not a pie.

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