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Temporal range: Upper Cretaceous
Archelon skeleton.jpg
Type specimen (YPM 3000) of Archelon ischyros
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Cryptodira
Family: Protostegidae
Genus: Archelon
Binomial name
Archelon ischyros
Wieland, 1896

Archelon was huge marine turtle (Testudines) that was the size of a car. It lived in North America 74 million years ago (Upper Cretaceous) in the epeiric inland sea called the Western Interior Seaway. Fossils have been found in Kansas and South Dakota.

This carnivore was up to 4.6 metres (15 ft) long.[1][2] It had a wide, flattened shell, paddle-like legs, a long, narrow head, weak jaws, and a short, pointed tail. Probably, its only predators were the larger mosasaurs. From its beak, its own food was probably squid.

Archelon are like other turtles, had a solidly-roofed skull with no opening (except for eyes, and nostrils).

References[change | change source]

  1. World's largest sea turtle. Black Hills Institute of Geological Research. [1]
  2. Mike Everhart 2004/2012 "Marine turtles from the Western Interior Sea". Retrieved 2009-03-14.