Mating turtles frozen in time fifty million years ago
2012 06 20
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
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
BBC, UK media told to shut up in the name of national security
2013 06 19
MoD serves news outlets with D notice over surveillance leaks
BBC and other media groups issued with D notice to limit publication of information that could ’jeopardise national security’
Defence officials issued a confidential D notice to the BBC and other media groups in an attempt to censor coverage of surveillance tactics employed by intelligence agencies in the UK and US.
Editors were ...
Uri Geller psychic spy? The spoon-bender’s secret life as a Mossad and CIA agent revealed
2013 06 19
A new documentary claims the showbiz psychic is involved in global espionage - and that after 9/11 he was ’reactivated’ as a pyschic spy.
We may know him for spoon bending antics and for his lengthy friendship with pop star Michael Jackson but showbiz psychic Uri Geller has seemingly had a lengthy second career as a secret agent for Mossad ...
Confirmed: 1-Billion-Year-Old Water Tastes ’Terrible’
2013 06 19
Saltier than sea water and the consistency of "very light maple syrup." Yuck.
Last month, a paper published in Nature reported on some water that had been trapped 1.5 miles below the Earth’s surface in Canada for a long while. How long? Based on an analysis of the isotopes of natural gases in the water, scientists believe it to be ...
The Govt Is Spying on America with Drones, Too
2013 06 19
In an alarming but hardly shocking admission, FBI Director Robert Mueller confirmed that drones have been used to conduct surveillance in the US, though he was quick to reassure citizens that it was ’very seldom’.
He did not disclose the particulars of the surveillance to the Senate hearing being held on Wednesday (June 19, 2013), but went on to characterize ...
TWA Flight 800 Investigators Claim the Official Crash Story Is a Lie
2013 06 19
A new film claims the official government report on the crash of TWA Flight 800 in 1996 is an elaborate fabrication, but the most shocking part of the story is that charges are being leveled by some of the very investigators who put the report together. Six experts who appear in the film were members of the National Transportation Safety ...
|More News » |