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TXV24

Unidentified Testudine Carapace

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TXV24

Hi, 

 

I've recently been sorting through my freshwater turtle pieces from the Bouldnor Fm. and have come across a couple of fragments that don't resemble the normal finds of Emys and Trionyx. I remember collecting them at the time and thinking how weird they looked but I presumed the markings were the result of damage etc. so didn't give them much thought. Interestingly I've found a reference in a paper from 1890 on the fossil chelonians of the Isle Of Wight that states: "There is a third species of chelonian, the remains of which are comparatively rare, and the outer surface of whose carapace is furrowed in lines, much after the manner of the larger species of recent land tortoises." This accurately describes the pieces I have, but as far as I know no large tortoise (or any tortoise material) has been collected from the Bouldnor Fm. and with the paper being nearly 130 years old I took it with a pinch of salt. I was wondering if anyone would be able to confirm if these pieces are actually from a separate taxa of chelonian or whether the markings could've been caused during diagenesis etc. 

 

Thank you, 

 

Theo

 

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JohnBrewer

I’ve got at least one of those collected from Boulder fm too. 

:popcorn:

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jpc

In paleo, a 130 year old paper is a good start.  I'm not sure where to send you from here, but it looks like you have third genus that was undescribed 130 years ago.  

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piranha

Paleobiology Database has a record of Cuvierichelys parisiensis from the Hamstead Member of the Bouldnor Formation: BMNH R 5268

 

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TXV24

@JohnBrewer Seems like we've got ourselves some bits of a fairly rare or under-reported genus. 

 

@piranha @jpc @abyssunder Cheers for your help on this guys this has really taken me by surprise! Comparing the fragments I have to the monographs it definitely resembles Cuvierchelys, which is a new genus for my collection. I've never heard any mention of it before in any faunal lists or databases which usually only mention the two main genera Emys and Trionyx so this is really surprising! I may take the specimens into Dinosaur Isle when I'm in on Wednesday and see if I can find any references to it in the literature they have there as this could be quite rare. 

 

Thank you, 

 

Theo 

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TXV24

Hi, 

 

I've checked through the literature we have at Dinosaur Isle today and have worked out the identity of these strange turtle pieces. They are very rare, but seem to be pathological marks on the carapace of Emys sp. (@JohnBrewer if you have a piece like this from Bouldnor you may find this interesting). The consensus presented in 'Upper Eocene testudines of the Isle Of Wight, Searle 1995' and from talking to others in the lab is that these grooves are caused by growth defects during the turtle's life or at an embryonic stage that cause this deformation to the costal plates. There was also a suggestion that they could be caused post-death as the carapace rocked in the current of the floodplain lakes, ponds, and rivers, but it seems they are most likely pathological. 

 

 

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JohnBrewer

Thanks Theo, very interesting. 

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