Leviathanochelys aenigmatica could weigh over three tons and swim along the coasts of the North American continent during the Cretaceous
In Spain, a fossil of a giant sea turtle belonging to the species Leviathanochelys aenigmatica with a length of 3.74 meters was found. The discovery, described in the Scientific Reports journal, was made by scientists at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.
A’ngel H. Lujàn and Albert Sellès leading the team of researchers examined the artifact found in northeastern Spain, in the locality of Cal Torrades. The largest ever-existing turtles belonged to the genus Archelon and could reach 4.6 meters in length and weigh 3.2 tons. These, during the Cretaceous, swam along the coasts of the North American continent.
The specimen of Leviathanochelys aenigmatica found in Spain has a fragmented but almost complete pelvis with a bony prominence projecting forward from the anterior part of the pelvis. The animal lived between 83.6 and 72.1 million years ago and represents a new, hitherto unknown group of sea turtles. Studies on the basin found made it possible to estimate its dimensions : the turtle could reach a length of 3.74 meters and a width of 88.9 centi-meters. This makes it the largest turtle specimen ever found in Europe.
- The fossil of a sea turtle of almost 4 meters found in Spain (agi.it)