Prehistoric Models: Turtles

Turtles and tortoises are a unique group of reptiles known for their hard bony shells that are attached to their backbones. The earlies known turtles appear in the fossil record during the late Triassic along with the first true dinosaurs. To see my turtle fossils click here.

Kingdom: Animalia – Phylum: Chordata – Superclass: Tetrapoda – Class: Reptilia – Clade: Sauropsida – Clade: Parareptilia – Order: Testudines – Suborder: Cryptodira – Clade: Americhelydia – Clade: Panchelonioidea – Superfamily: Chelonioidea

(sea turtles)

Early Cretaceous to Holocene

 

Name: Archelon ‭”Ruling turtle‭”
Phonetic: Are-kell-on
Named By: G.R.‭ ‬Wieland‭ ‬-‭ ‬1895
Classification: Order: Testudines -‭ Suborder: Cryptodira – ‬Family: Protostegidae
Species: A.‭ ‬ischyros‭ (‬type‭)‬
Diet: Sea jellies and cephalopods
Known locations: South Dakota and Wyoming
Time period: Late Cretaceous (Campanian)
Size: 4‭ ‬meter long,‭ ‬4.9‭ ‬meters wide
Name and species: Dermochelys coriacea
Common name: “Leatherback sea turtle”
Classification: Order: Testudines -‭ Suborder: Cryptodira – Superfamily: Chelonioidea – ‬Family: Dermochelyidae – Subfamily: Dermochelyinae
Diet: Sea jellies and cephalopods
Known locations: Global
Time period: Holocene
Name and species: Chelonia mydas
Common name: “Green sea turtle”
Classification: Order: Testudines -‭ Suborder: Cryptodira – Superfamily: Chelonioidea – ‬Family: Cheloniinae – Subfamily: Cheloniinae
Diet: Juveniles are carnivores, adults are omnivores
Known locations: Global non artic
Time period: Holocene
Name and species: Chelonia mydas
Common name: “Green sea turtle”
Classification: Order: Testudines -‭ Suborder: Cryptodira – Superfamily: Chelonioidea – ‬Family: Cheloniinae – Subfamily: Cheloniinae
Diet: Juveniles are carnivores, adults are omnivores
Known locations: Global non artic
Time period: Holocene
Name and species: Caretta caretta
Common name: “Loggerhead sea turtle”
Classification: Order: Testudines -‭ Suborder: Cryptodira – Superfamily: Chelonioidea – ‬Family: Cheloniinae – Subfamily: Carettinae
Diet: Adults are omnivores
Known locations: Global non artic
Time period: Eocene to Holocene
Name and species: Caretta caretta
Common name: “Loggerhead sea turtle”
Classification: Order: Testudines -‭ Suborder: Cryptodira – Superfamily: Chelonioidea – ‬Family: Cheloniinae – Subfamily: Carettinae
Diet: Adults are omnivores
Known locations: Global non artic
Time period: Eocene to Holocene

Kingdom: Animalia – Phylum: Chordata – Superclass: Tetrapoda – Class: Reptilia – Clade: Sauropsida – Clade: Parareptilia – Order: Testudines – Suborder: Cryptodira – Superfamily: Testudinoidea – Family: Testudinidae

(tortoises)

Eocene to Holocene

 

Name and species: Chelonoidis niger
Common name: “Galapagos tortoise”
Classification: Order: Testudines -‭ Suborder: Cryptodira – Superfamily: Testudinoidea – ‬Family: Testudinidae
Diet: Herbivores
Known locations: Galapagos Islands
Time period: Holocene
Name and species: Chelonoidis niger
Common name: “Galapagos tortoise”
Classification: Order: Testudines -‭ Suborder: Cryptodira – Superfamily: Testudinoidea – ‬Family: Testudinidae
Diet: Herbivores
Known locations: Galapagos Islands
Time period: Holocene
Name and species: Testudo sp.
Common name: “Tortoises”
Classification: Order: Testudines -‭ Suborder: Cryptodira – Superfamily: Testudinoidea – ‬Family: Testudinidae
Diet: Herbivores
Known locations: Temporate zones
Time period: Holocene

Kingdom: Animalia – Phylum: Chordata – Superclass: Tetrapoda – Class: Reptilia – Clade: Sauropsida – Clade: Parareptilia – Order: Testudines – Suborder: Cryptodira – Clade: Americhelydia – Family: Chelydridae

(snapping turtles)

Late Cretaceous to Holocene

 

Name and species: Macrochelys sp.
Common name: “Alligator snapping turtle”
Classification: Order: Testudines -‭ Suborder: Cryptodira Family: Chelydridae
Diet: Carnivore
Known locations: Southeastern United States
Time period: Miocene to Holocene
Name and species: Chelydra serpentina
Common name: “Common snapping turtles”
Classification: Order: Testudines -‭ Suborder: Cryptodira – Family: Chelydridae
Diet: Carnivore
Known locations: Eastern and non-coastal central North America
Time period: Holocene

Kingdom: Animalia – Phylum: Chordata – Superclass: Tetrapoda – Class: Reptilia – Clade: Sauropsida – Clade: Parareptilia – Order: Testudines – Suborder: Cryptodira – Superfamily: Testudinoidea – Family: Emydidae

(terrapins, pond turtles, or marsh turtles)

Late Cretaceous to Holocene

 

Name and species: Graptemys sp.
Common name: “Sawback turtles or Map turtles”
Classification: Order: Testudines -‭ Suborder: Cryptodira – Family: Emydidae – Subfamily: Deirochelyinae
Diet: Carnivore
Known locations: Eastern North America and Gulf Coast
Time period: Pleistocene to Holocene
Name and species: Graptemys flavimaculata.
Common name: “Yellow-blotched map turtle or yellow-blotched sawback”
Classification: Order: Testudines -‭ Suborder: Cryptodira – Superfamily: Testudinoidea – Family: Emydidae 
Diet: Carnivore
Known locations: Southern United States and Gulf Coast
Time period: Holocene

Kingdom: Animalia – Phylum: Chordata – Superclass: Tetrapoda – Class: Reptilia – Clade: Sauropsida – Clade: Parareptilia – Order: Testudines – Suborder: Pleuridira – Family: Chelidae

(austro-south american side-neck turtles)

Early Cretaceous (Albian) to Holocene

 

Name and species: Chelus fimbriata.
Common name: “Mata mata”
Classification: Order: Testudines -‭ Suborder: Pleurodira – Family: Chelidae 
Diet: Carnivore
Known locations: Amazon and Orinoco basin, South America
Time period: Pliocene to Holocene

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