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Geochelone crassiscutata (3) plate

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  • Product Code: F17622
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Description

Origin : Florida (U.S.A.) - Santa Fe River

Geological era : Late Pleistocene

Age : 30,000 - 10,000 years ago

Size : mm 41 x 30 x 10


fossil bone piece of shell (carapace or plastron) of land turtle, mm 41 x 30 x 10.

Hesperotestudo is an extinct genus of turtle that lived from the Miocene to the Pleistocene. Its remains are known from North America and Central America. Geochelone (Hesperotestudo) crassiscutata was a Giant Land Tortoise large as or larger than the Galapagos Islands reptile cousin and was the common Pleistocene Tortoise of Florida. This Land Turtle could get up to 6 foot in length and weigh as much as 500-600 lbs. The modern Galapagos Tortoise can live to around 200 years old and is considered one of the oldest living creatures on the planet.
Due to the moderate climate during the warm phase of the Ice Age or Pleistocene Period, they did well in Florida, but became extinct later. Two other species of tortoises related to it lived in southeastern North America: a kind of intermediate size (Hesperotestudo incisa) and the gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus), which still exists. As the latter is able to dig burrows, also G. crassiscutata, to escape the frost, probably digging deep burrows or occupying those of other species, caves, hot springs, or under the roots of overturned trees. How he survived the frost is therefore a matter of conjecture. The fossil record suggests that early prehistoric people (Paleo-Indians) of Florida, lived here with the giant beasts and hunted them for food.
It is a land crawling reptile and its shell protects it against predators. The top part, of the shell, is called the Carapace (the part most often fossilized) and the bottom part, the Plastron.  The legs and tails of these reptiles are protected by a bony armor or scutes of different shapes and sizes. These scutes often become fossilized and are found in many Florida Rivers.



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