Detail of fossil tortoise shell

Detail of fossil tortoise shell

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Credit: DIRK WIERSMA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Stylemys was a dry-land tortoise found in Middle Oligocene deposits of the White River Badlands of South Dakota and Northwestern Nebraska. Tortoises, like turtles, belong to the order of reptiles called Testudines with the difference that turtles are water dwelling (aquatic), whereas tortoises are land dwelling (terrestrial). The detail of the shield here shown, actual width 45 cm, is of a specimen from Nebrasca (Stylemys Nebrascensis). It clearly exposes the suture type joints that connect the scutes forming the shield

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Keywords: aquatic, dakota, nebraska, oligocene, scutes, shield, stylemys, suture joints, terrestrial, tortoise, turtl

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