Discovery of a new Giant Sea Turtle that Lived Millions of Years Ago

Partial skeleton of a prehistoric giant sea turtle.

A long time ago, giant sea turtles swam in the oceans. Most of them lived in the waters near North America. Some types of sea turtles are extinct. They no longer exist. Scientists work to find the bones of prehistoric animals. The bones or fossils they find are put together like a puzzle. Building skeletons can help scientists identify other prehistoric animals. Recently, scientists discovered the bones of a giant sea turtle. This giant sea turtle was one of the largest to ever exist. Scientists believe it lived millions of years ago. The bones show that the turtle grew to be over twelve feet long. That’s the size of a great white shark!

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

Scientists discovered the sea turtle bones in Spain. Scientists said this is the largest sea turtle ever discovered in Europe. This newly discovered species had a special feature. This sea turtle had a boney bump that stuck out from the front of its lower stomach. Other prehistoric sea turtles did not have this bone structure. Scientists are using this new discovery to learn more about sea turtles that once lived around the world.

What Do You Think? Why is it important to discover bones of extinct animals? What kind of things can we learn from their skeletons? Ask an adult to help you research this information.

Photo Credit: (t)McGraw Hill, (b)McGraw Hill