Thursday, 7 June 2012

An Eucryptodiran Turtle from the Early Cretaceous of Spain

The Eucryptodiran Turtles are capable of retracting their heads completely into their shells; all modern Turtles and Tortoises fall into this group, with the exception of the Side-Necked Turtles (Pleurodira). The group originated In Europe during the Jurassic, and expanded into Asia in the Early Cretaceous, eventually spreading across the globe.

In a paper published in the journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica on 11 May 2012, Adán Pérez−García of the Departamento de Paleontología at the Facultad de Ciencias Geológicas at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Marcelo de la Fuente of the Departamento de Paleontología at the Museo de Historia Natural de San Rafael, and Francisco Ortega of the Grupo de Biología at the Facultad de Ciencias at the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, describe a new, basal (i.e. from before the modern groups separated from one another) Eucryptodiran Turtle from the Early Cretaceous (Barremian) Las Hoyas Limestone of Cuenca, Spain.

Map showing the location where the new Turtle was discovered (star). Pérez−García et al. (2012).

The new turtle is named as Hoyasemys jimenezi, Jiménez's Hoya-Turtle, after Emiliano Jiménez Fuentes, an expert on Spanish fossil Turtles. In is a small (~80 mm) turtle preserved on two slabs; it is more-or-less complete, lacking only the upper portion of the skull. The deposits it comes from are interpreted as finely laminated freshwater limestones; suggesting a low energy, freshwater environment, such as a lake.

Hoyasemys jimenezi in ventral view. (A) Photograph. (B) Interpretive drawing. Pérez−García et al. (2012).

Hoyasemys jimenezi detail of skull in ventral view. (A) Photograph. (B) Interpretive drawing. Pérez−García et al. (2012).

Hoyasemys jimenezi in ventral view. (A) Photograph. (B) Interpretive drawing. Pérez−García et al. (2012).


Follow Sciency Thoughts on Facebook.

No comments:

Post a Comment