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Turtle Shell: In the Size of a Car

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Discovery of full shell of Stupendemys geographicus, the giant turtle, in Colombia’s Tatacoa Desert has completed the missing information of the similar find in Venezuela in 1976.

Stupendemys geographicus was a massive turtle with a horned shell measuring about 10 feet across that lived between 5 and 23 million years ago. Scientist believe these horns were used to combat other large predators.One of the Stupendemys fossils was found with a giant crocodile tooth embedded in it.

Researchers suggest that the turtle size must have been due to the warm lakes and wetlands of the time period. The damp environment may have been an ideal climate for the creatures to expand their size. Also lack of competition as this is the onlyspecies of its kind in the northern Neotropic region must have helped.

The climate conditions helped not just turtles but also other animals from that time to have huge size. An example is the 40-foot-long snake Titanoboa cerrejonensis.

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