DENVER (CBS4) – Researchers at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science helped uncover a prehistoric turtle species. Dr. Tyler Lyson and Dr. David W. Krause are among the authors published Wednesday in the journal Royal Society Open Science.
The researchers made the discovery based on a nearly complete skeleton recovered from the Maevarano Formation in northwestern Madagascar. The new species of pelomedusoid turtle is named Sahonachelys mailakavava.
The fossilized turtle shell and cranium feature a large number of unique characters, according to researchers. The article suggests that the turtle was an aquatic, suction-feeding species that fed upon moving prey.
“The specialized feeding strategy further highlights the uniqueness of Late Cretaceous Madagascan faunas, as no other crown pelomedusoid is known to have developed this method of prey capture,” the article notes.
Over the last 30 years, paleontologists have uncovered a series of fossils from Madagascar’s Maevarano Formation. Researchers say the discoveries provide important insights into the evolution of ecosystems in that part of the world.