This is the oldest recorded loggerhead turtle discovery in Colombia. This specimen is stunning to be near complete and reinforces the endangered species conservation message.
In July 2020, scientists at the La Tatacoa Natural History Museum discovered a fossil equivalent to a Tatacoa shell fragment led by young Colombian scientist Rubén Dario Banegas. brown turtle During a field trip near the Tatacoa Desert in Huila Department, Colombia.
“The turtle is almost finished.” After collecting the pieces, Ruben said he took pictures of them and took them to the Valerie Anders Institute, Colombia’s second-best paleontology lab. So Ruben said there were no similar turtle fossils in the museum, crocodile shell bite .
A unique and original find
With the help of Professor Edwin Cadena, a paleontologist and director of the Earth System Sciences Program at the University of Rosario in Bogota, the discovery revealed that: it was new to science Ruben says.
After two years of working together, an article was published in a professional journal geological diversityannounced that a new species was baptized Podoknemis tatakoensis In honor of the turtle family to which it belongs and the desert in which it is found.
The species lived in northern South America, according to publications 13 million years ago , a geological epoch called the Middle Miocene.In fact it is about oldest record In Colombia, it is known as the genus Podocnemis turtles or river turtles.
Protective messages after the discovery of turtle fossils
This new fossil is relevant because it helps us understand the paleofauna. lived in the humid tropical forests of the area , when its panorama consisted of flat surfaces connected by marshes, lakes and small rivers.Notably the Andes Mountains not fully formed, no large rivers existed .
In addition, this fossil is characterized by the preservation of specific holes at the junctions. between turtle shell and bottom what Professor Cadena calls the “fingerprint” of torture, and it allowed them to be sure about the family he belonged to.
However, the significance of this discovery also serves to underscore the importance of species that are currently in danger of extinction. Amazon, Orinoco, Magdalena .
Thus, roads are not the only fossils of such size Reconstructing evolutionary history As well as sending protective messages to the community, learn more about Cadena.
Turtle fossils are now on display. La Tatacoa Natural History Museum Along with other discoveries within the historical map of animals that inhabited the country millions of years ago.