The 60 Million Year Old Turtle

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rEmily Sullivan 9/28/12
Puentemys Mushaisaensis, The 60 Million Year Old Turtle
On September 11, 2012 researchers form the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and North Carolina State University discovered fossil of a prehistoric turtle in the northern part of South America. They dated the turtle to be sixty million years old and named it Puentemys mushaisaensis because the skeleton was found in the Cerrejon Coal Mine. This mine was made famous with the discovery of Titanoboa, the world’s biggest fresh water snake. Also it was here where the discovery of the world’s largest fresh water turtle was found, Carbonemys, which is as big as a smart car. The discoveries of the Cerrejon Coal Mine allow opportunity’s to understand the origins of diversity in the last sixty million years. The Puentemys Mushaisaensis is most interesting for its shell, which is extreamly round and as big as a car tire. Researchers say that the turtles round shape could have warded off predators and helped to keep the animals body temperature regulating.

I believe that the discovery of this ancient turtle will expand the knowledge and understanding of the wildlife in the area sixty million years ago. I find the discovery of new animals all over the world very fascinating. Finding a fossil of and extinct animal underscores the my sties of the way things lived millions of years ago.

I think that the discovery of this ancient animal will open the doors to more discoveries I the future. With studying this skeleton, scientists hypothesize that the width and low- domed shape of the turtle’s shell increased the sun exposure of the animal. This allowed the cold-blooded turtle to stay warm and there for be more active. With this discovery we can now see if other animals can use their massive body size to produce more heat to cold-blooded animals. Also unearthing this animals will allow the discovery of different predator it had, what it and, and the behaviors...
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