COMPLETE & INTACT
PLEISTOCENE FOSSIL BOX TURTLE SHELL WITH INTACT FUSED VERTEBRA
Fe River, Florida
PLEISTOCENE PERIOD: 100,000 - 10,000 years ago
is a remarkably well-preserved carapace of the BOX TURTLE Terrapene
carolina. It was collected from the Santa Fe River from a
Pleistocene peat layer which explains its beautiful color and uncommon
preservation. The entire carapace is in PERFECT condition with NO REPAIR
and NO RECONSTRUCTION OR FABRICATION.
The carapace has only been treated with paleontological hardener.
Size is large on this fully grown adult specimen. Very rare is the
intact fused vertebra that can be seen in the last photos above. This makes for a rare and uncommon TURTLE FOSSIL as most
fossil turtle shells require extensive rebuilding of the pieces and
fabrication where the parts are missing. Unlike nearly all fossil
turtle carapaces, this shell is
oldest fossil turtles found date back to the Triassic Period in Germany
with Progaochelys and Proterocheris. Before the end
of the Cretaceous Period, most modern turtle groups existed with
representatives in existence. Florida's oldest fossil ever found
is a marine turtle dating to the Cretaceous. Portions of the
creature were collected 9210 feet below the surface of Okeechobee County
during well-drilling in 1955.
have highly specialized anatomy for living in their environment.
The upper carapace is formed from the fusing of individual bony
elements. Thoracic vertebra are fused to the inside of the upper
carapace. The underside flat portion of the shell is called the
PLASTRON. The overall shape of the carapace indicates the
environment in which the turtle or tortoise lived in. High-domed
shells indicate land-dwelling species while low-domed shells are more
hydrodynamic and indicate an aquatic life. Even though the do not
possess teeth, most turtles are carnivores.
Box turtle is a partially aquatic turtle that spends most of its life on
dry land near shallow fresh water. A woody grassland area with dry
sandy soil on top and humid earth beneath is also needed for their
survival. The American box turtle can be found today in eastern,
central and southwestern United States and in the northern parts of
Mexico. The majority of their life is spent foraging for food on
land. To keep away from predators, they build their homes in
burrows under fallen trees or rocks. When they are young, they are
omnivorous but as they reach adulthood they eat mostly vegetation.
The Eastern box turtle, Terrapene carolina, is a woodland species found
in the eastern and central United States. There are records of Box
turtles living for 80 - 100 years but most live around 30
makes box turtles so unique is the hinge in the plastron. This
allows them to completely withdraw their legs, tail, head and neck
within the shell for protection from predators hence the name, BOX
TURTLE. If a predator attempts to eat a box turtle, it will not
find anything to nip at. The sturdy shell protects the turtle
until its enemy gets frustrated and goes away. This feature is not
true of aquatic turtles. A few aquatic turtles have hinged
plastrons, but most do not as they are almost always near water, which
allows them a quick escape from danger.
A ONE-OF-A-KIND SPECIMEN FOR THE COLLECTOR DEMANDING THE UNCOMMON AND
Item - One Only