Wednesday, December 3, 2008
A New Piece of the Puzzle: Turtles and their shells
(Image source: New York Times Online)
New fossil discovery shows how turtle may have evolved their shells. Chinese scientist, Chun Li and other colleagues have come up with a new ancestral turtle species based on fossils found in Guizhou Province in southwestern China. The species they named Odontochelis semistestacea lived about 220 million years ago and was likely aquatic.
The unique characteristic that differentiates it from other later turtles is that it only has half a shell.
Based on its skeletal structure, the scientists believe that the shell evolved from skeletal changes.
The article appeared in the New York Times,