Fossil Friday 10/23/15: A podocnemidid turtle

UF242111

UF 242111, the right second peripheral of an podocnemidid turtle (genus indeterminate). Photo © VP FLMNH.

This week’s Fossil Friday features the peripheral of a podocnemidid turtle! This specimen was found in El Lirio Norte of the Culebra Formation and is early Miocene in age. The family Podocnemididae belongs to the suborder Pleurodira. The most common depiction of turtles shows them pulling their heads into their shells in order to escape danger (suborder Cryptodira); however, pleurodires are distinct in that they hide by pulling their head and neck to the side under an overhang of their carapace.

Twist-necked_Turtle

The twist-necked turtle Platemys platycephala is also a pleurodire (family Chelidae). In this photo, the turtle has pulled its head to the side and glances out from under the overhang of its shell. Photo © http://www.birdphotos.com, taken from Wikimedia.

 

 

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