Fossil Friday 12/19/14: A turtle

VP UF237887

UF 237887, the partially articulated shell of Rhinoclemmys panamaensis. (Photo © VP FLMNH)

Black wood turtle

A black wood turtle (black river turtle), Rhinoclemmys funerea. (Photo © Hans Hillewaert)

 

This Fossil Friday I would like to introduce you to Rhinoclemmys panamaensis. This specimen was collected from the Cucaracha Formation under the Centenario Bridge and is early to middle Miocene in age. The genus to which this species belongs (Rhinoclemmys) is commonly called the Neotropical wood turtles and the members of this genus are the only living representatives of the family Geomydidae in the New World (although they have great diversity in the Old World).This species is distinguished from other members of the genus by its large size, and it might have looked most like the extant black wood turtle, or black river turtle, Rhinoclemmys funerea.

If you would like to find out more about this specimen and other turtles from Panama, read the publication here.

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