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Giant Turtles Once Roamed Through South America

The extinct turtle called the Carbonemys roamed around what is now known as Colombia 60 million years ago. It was a massive side-neck turtle. Its scientific name is Carbonemys cofrinii or coal turtle, which is fitting since its fossil was discovered in a coal mine. In 2005, the fossil was discovered in Colombia by paleontologist Edwin Cadena. This turtle was the largest turtle species in the area at the time. Their average length was five foot seven inches.

This species appeared 5 million years after the extinction of the dinosaurs. The habitat of the Carbonemys was in the deltas of the Ornico or the Amazon rainforest. This species had enormous and powerful jaws that could take down small crocodiles, mollusks and small turtles. The Carbonemys was an omnivourous species. Nothing bothered the Carbonemys since they could easily kill their prey. Sixty million years ago, the Carbonemys lived alongside the giant 40-foot-long titanoboa snake. During what was called the late paleocene, there were many unique animals living in northern Colombia.

Carbonemys were a unique turtle species because of how its skeleton was found in a coal mine. Scientists and paleontologists are continuing returning and attempting to find out more about the Carbonemys.


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