Cretaceous fossil: the discovery of an embryo in a prehistoric turtle egg

However, there are some specific traits that have helped to associate the prehistoric tortoise with a particular family. For example, the upper jaw bone has a slightly angular shape and a jagged posterior edge. Real estate that, according to Darla Zelenitsky, is family-run Nanhsiungchelyidae Find again.

hard shell

Probably the most striking characteristic of the egg is its extremely thick shell, 2 millimeters thick, which is quite different from the thinner egg shell that is typical of turtle eggs. In modern turtles, the thickness of the shell varies from the skin-like balls in which small sea turtles grow to the hard eggs of the giant Galapagos turtle. But according to the study, the shell of the Neixiang fossil is four times thicker than that of an egg Geochelone elephantopusOne of the giants of the Galapagos.

Why was such a thick crust necessary? Based on traces of vegetation at the site, it is assumed that the area was dry in the Cretaceous period. The thicker shell can be formed by adapting to this climate in order to reduce the fluid loss of the egg. Another possible explanation is that even if the turtles dug their nests deep in the ground, the shell was not allowed to break.

Aside from the unknown purpose of the extremely thick shell, there is another conundrum for Darla Zelenitsky as: “I have no idea how they got out of there.” To escape from the egg, baby turtles will always have their limbs inside that must hit the shell hard again.

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