Thursday , June 17 2021

This frog-faced turtle literally sucked its prey millions of years ago

© Andrei Atuchin

With the help of researchers from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, paleontologists from Madagascar have discovered a new species of already extinct turtle, which originates from the geological period of the Cretaceous. Baptized Sahonachelis is cruel, or a turtle frog with a fast mouth in the native Malagasy language, the turtle would have a face similar to the face of a frog.

This turtle literally sucked its prey

This frog-faced turtle literally sucked its prey millions of years ago. This species of turtle is christened Sahonachelis is cruel was found while researchers were searching for the remains of dinosaurs and crocodiles in a suitable place for this type of expedition to Madagascar. In particular, they found an almost intact skeleton: ” The specimen is absolutely stunning and certainly one of the best preserved late Cretaceous turtles known from any southern continent. In all respects, this is an extremely rare discovery Walter Joice, the lead author of the study and a paleontologist from the University of Friborg in Switzerland, said.

The animal had a carapace about 25 centimeters long, a flattened skull, a rounded mouth and a tongue with large bones. This served as a vacuum cleaner and gave the turtles the appearance of amphibians. According to a study published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, the latter belongs to the family Pelomedusidae, some of which are still alive.

According to the researchers, the frog with a fast mouth probably sucked food. ” This is a specialized method of underwater feeding, by which the animal quickly opens its mouth and widens its throat to almost inhale a large amount of water, including the desired prey, including plankton, tadpoles and fish larvae. “, Explained Walter Joice.

© Andrei Atuchin

The species survived the extinction of the dinosaurs

According to a paleontologist, there are several types of modern feeding turtles, most of which belong to the helide family and evolved separately from fast-mouthed frogs. However, the latter would probably be the first Pelomedusidae to evolve by suction feeding.

In addition, scientists have not yet been able to determine when a new species of turtle appeared, nor when and why it became extinct. However, they believe that it survived a major event that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs and ended the Cretaceous period about 66 million years ago.

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