Mating turtles frozen in time fifty million years ago
2012 06 20

From: Telegraph.co.uk



It is the first time fossils of vertebrates - animals with backbones that include ourselves - have been caught in the act.

Nine pairs of fossils - the females identified by their shorter tails - were found in a the Messel Pit, near Darmstadt in Germany. It is believed the copulating couples were overcome by poisonous gas at the bottom of a volcanic crater.

Dr Walter Joyce, of the University of Tuebingen, Germany, said the turtles belonged to an extinct species known as Allaeochelys crassesculpta and anatomical evidence revealed each pair had a male and female member.

Their upper shell would have reached almost two feet in length and been more than a foot wide. Males had much longer tails protruding beyond the margin of the shell, whereas the females’ were short enough to remain inside.

Dr Joyce said: "We demonstrate for the first time all couples contain one male and one female individual and the tails of some males are aligned with those of the female."

It is believed volcanic gases were emitted from the lake from time to time and caused the death of many animals that lived in and around it which is why so many fossil vertebrates have been found in the sediment.

Dr Joyce, whose findings are published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters, said: "The behaviour of fossil organisms can typically be inferred only indirectly, but rare fossil finds can provide surprising insights.

"Here, we report numerous pairs of the fossil turtle Allaeochelys crassesculpta that represent for the first time among fossil vertebrates couples that perished during copulation.

[...]


Read the full article at: telegraph.co.uk
Image: Telegraph.co.uk "Nine pairs of fossils - the females identified by their shorter tails - were found in a the Messel Pit, near Darmstadt in Germany." National News








Related Articles
Experts baffled by mysterious sea turtle deaths
BP Blocks Attempt to Save Endangered Sea Turtles from Oil Spill
Villagers protect turtle they declare to be God
The Red Deer People - Human fossils hint at new species
Rare (Nessie) Fossil Find in Alberta Tar Sands
Whales in the desert: A fossil mystery (Gallery)
Life on Mars? Fossil find shows it’s possible
Monstrously Big Ant Fossil Found in Wyoming
Largest Fossil Spider Found in Volcanic Ash


Latest News from our Front Page

Recent Israeli Synagogue Attack, a Possible False Flag?
2014 11 21
Dear Friends - I woke up yesterday morning to see a newspaper lying on the kitchen table with the front page proclaiming that five people were slain in an Israeli synagogue after a so-called "Palestinian attack." Some members of the media said that four people were killed, others said five, so it seems like that there was some confusion (or ...
The Michael Brown Shooting, Race Baiting for Political Power and Militarization of the Police
2014 11 21
From Youtube: The evidence clearly shows that Officer Darren Wilson was justified in shooting Michael Brown, so why is this case being hyped by the mainstream media and the leftist political establishment?
Detekt: A New Malware Detection Tool That Can Expose Illegitimate State Surveillance
2014 11 21
Recent years have seen a boom in the adoption of surveillance technology by governments around the world, including spyware that provides its purchasers the unchecked ability to target remote Internet users’ computers, to read their personal emails, listen in on private audio calls, record keystrokes and passwords, and remotely activate their computer’s camera or microphone. EFF, together with Amnesty International, ...
New UK spy chief says tech giants aid terrorism, privacy not ‘absolute right’
2014 11 21
Robert Hannigan, the new head of GCHQ The new head of Britain’s GCHQ, the UK equivalent of the NSA in the U.S., said he believes privacy is not an absolute right and that tech giants must open themselves up to intelligence agencies. “GCHQ is happy to be part of a mature debate on privacy in the digital age,” Hannigan said. “But privacy ...
LOL: Atheist Feminist Pornographer Used as Moral Authority in T-shirt Row
2014 11 21
Dr. Matt Taylor was thrust into the headlines this last week, largely for his lead role in successfully landing a spacecraft on a comet 300 million miles from earth that travels at a speed of 85,000 mph. In short, Taylor and his colleagues pulled off one of the most amazing achievements in contemporary science and space exploration, and in a ...
More News »