The anatomy, paleobiology, and evolutionary relationships of the largest extinct side-necked turtle

Edwin Alberto Cadena Rueda, Jorge Carrillo-Briceño, Torsten Scheyer, Rodolfo Sánchez, Orangel Aguilera-Socorro, Andrés Vanegas, Mauricio Pardo, Denis Hansen, Marcelo Sánchez-Villagra

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Abstract

Despite being among the largest turtles that ever lived, the biology and systematics of Stupendemys geographicus remain largely unknown because of scant, fragmentary finds. We describe exceptional specimens and new local- ities of S. geographicus from the Miocene of Venezuela and Colombia. We document the largest shell reported for any extant or extinct turtle, with a carapace length of 2.40 m and estimated mass of 1.145 kg, almost 100 times the size of its closest living relative, the Amazon river turtle Peltocephalus dumerilianus, and twice that of the largest extant turtle, the marine leatherback Dermochelys coriacea. The new specimens greatly increase knowledge of the biology and evolution of this iconic species. Our findings suggest the existence of a single giant turtle species across the northern Neotropics, but with two shell morphotypes, suggestive of sexual dimorphism. Bite marks and punctured bones indicate interactions with large caimans that also inhabited the northern Neotropics.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereaay4593
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalScience advances
Volume6
Issue numbereaay4593
StatePublished - Feb 12 2020

Cite this

Cadena Rueda, E. A., Carrillo-Briceño, J., Scheyer, T., Sánchez, R., Aguilera-Socorro, O., Vanegas, A., ... Sánchez-Villagra, M. (2020). The anatomy, paleobiology, and evolutionary relationships of the largest extinct side-necked turtle. Science advances, 6(eaay4593), 1-13. [eaay4593].
Cadena Rueda, Edwin Alberto ; Carrillo-Briceño, Jorge ; Scheyer, Torsten ; Sánchez, Rodolfo ; Aguilera-Socorro, Orangel ; Vanegas, Andrés ; Pardo, Mauricio ; Hansen, Denis ; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo. / The anatomy, paleobiology, and evolutionary relationships of the largest extinct side-necked turtle. In: Science advances. 2020 ; Vol. 6, No. eaay4593. pp. 1-13.
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abstract = "Despite being among the largest turtles that ever lived, the biology and systematics of Stupendemys geographicus remain largely unknown because of scant, fragmentary finds. We describe exceptional specimens and new local- ities of S. geographicus from the Miocene of Venezuela and Colombia. We document the largest shell reported for any extant or extinct turtle, with a carapace length of 2.40 m and estimated mass of 1.145 kg, almost 100 times the size of its closest living relative, the Amazon river turtle Peltocephalus dumerilianus, and twice that of the largest extant turtle, the marine leatherback Dermochelys coriacea. The new specimens greatly increase knowledge of the biology and evolution of this iconic species. Our findings suggest the existence of a single giant turtle species across the northern Neotropics, but with two shell morphotypes, suggestive of sexual dimorphism. Bite marks and punctured bones indicate interactions with large caimans that also inhabited the northern Neotropics.",
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Cadena Rueda, EA, Carrillo-Briceño, J, Scheyer, T, Sánchez, R, Aguilera-Socorro, O, Vanegas, A, Pardo, M, Hansen, D & Sánchez-Villagra, M 2020, 'The anatomy, paleobiology, and evolutionary relationships of the largest extinct side-necked turtle', Science advances, vol. 6, no. eaay4593, eaay4593, pp. 1-13.

The anatomy, paleobiology, and evolutionary relationships of the largest extinct side-necked turtle. / Cadena Rueda, Edwin Alberto; Carrillo-Briceño, Jorge; Scheyer, Torsten; Sánchez, Rodolfo; Aguilera-Socorro, Orangel; Vanegas, Andrés ; Pardo, Mauricio; Hansen, Denis; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo.

In: Science advances, Vol. 6, No. eaay4593, eaay4593, 12.02.2020, p. 1-13.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Aguilera-Socorro, Orangel

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Cadena Rueda EA, Carrillo-Briceño J, Scheyer T, Sánchez R, Aguilera-Socorro O, Vanegas A et al. The anatomy, paleobiology, and evolutionary relationships of the largest extinct side-necked turtle. Science advances. 2020 Feb 12;6(eaay4593):1-13. eaay4593.