Science & Technology

Prehistoric Fossilized Eocene Epoch Turtles Died Locked In Coitus


These extraordinary 47-million yr outdated fossils depict prehistoric turtles reproducing. The examine was led by Walter Joyce, of the College of Tübingen in Germany, and printed within the journal Biology Letters.

The fossil is the primary direct proof of prehistoric turtle intercourse. The gender of Allaeochelys crassesculpta is distinguished by a few of the traits of their shells and tails. The tails of the companions have been aligned with one another, proving that these turtles have been caught whereas mating.


It isn’t identified why so many turtles and different animals accrued within the Messel Lake. One speculation states that the lake emitted poisonous gases that killed creatures round it, in addition to inside it. One other one says that the floor water was full of poisonous cyanobacteria, poisoning aquatic organisms and different creatures ingesting this water.


Paleontologists have hypothesized that beneath the floor waters, was a layer poisoned by volcanic gases or rotting natural materials, which proved lethal to the turtles after repeated publicity. This may increasingly assist to elucidate the ecology of this prehistoric lake. The mating turtles suggest that the floor waters of the Messel Lake have been hospitable sufficient for them to reside and mate, however lethal in the event that they went beneath a sure depth.

The controversy lies within the interpretation of the existence of such a fossil. The notion of a stratified lake works for this fossil, however not for others present in the identical space, which embody bats and different small mammals.

[via Nature]

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