Origin: Wyoming, USA
Age: 50 million years
Matrix Dimensions: 118cm x 89cm
This is the highlight of our Winter Exhibition. Turtles are among the rarest fossils from the Green River Formation of Wyoming. This is a Trionyx specimen, a soft-shelled freshwater turtle. The light flexible shell allowed the Trionyx to move easily in open water and through muddy bottoms. They were thought to be strict carnivores, feeding mainly on fish, amphibians, shrimp and sometimes even small mammals and birds. To ambush their prey, It is likely that they would have hid in the mud, buried so that only their eyes and mouth were protruding.
This specimen is finely detailed and shows remarkable detail of the shell, its limbs, tail and skull. In terms of rarity, experts estimate that only one turtle is found for every 10,000 fish in the Green River Formation.