New Discovery of a Giant Sea Turtle the Size of a Great White Shark

The largest sea turtle skeleton hanging in a museum. The turtle that was found is larger than this one.

Some organisms that lived a long time ago were gigantic. Prehistoric sea turtles were some of those organisms. Recently, the remains of a new species of giant sea turtles were discovered.  Scientists say they lived around 80 million years ago. Scientists used the pieces of bone that were found to build a skeleton. They used the skeleton to determine that these giant sea turtles were more than twelve feet long. Imagine a sea turtle the size of a great white shark! Scientists say this is one of the largest sea turtles to ever live on the planet.

The remains of these prehistoric sea turtles were discovered in northeastern Spain. Until now, sea turtle fossils this large had never been found in Europe. The biggest marine turtle to ever live was called the Archelon. The Archelon lived around the ancient North American continent. The new species of giant sea turtles that scientists recently discovered had a feature that was different from the Archelon. Researchers found that the new species had bump, or a special bone, that stuck out from the front of its lower stomach. Other prehistoric sea turtles did not have this bone structure. The newly discovered giant sea turtles swam in open waters and never came to shore. Their special bone structure may have been related to their breathing while they swam for miles and miles in open water. Scientists are using this information to learn more about species of sea turtles that have existed all over the world.

What Do You Think? What other things can you learn about extinct animals by examining their bones and skeletons?

Photo Credit: McGraw Hill