You have no items in your basket.
Boffins studying the ancient ancestor of modern turtles have discovered how the turtle’s shell came to evolve.
This month experts say their finds have shed light on a 30-55 million year gap in the history of the reptilem based on studying an extinct ancestral turtle from South Africa called Eunotosaurus.
Tyler Lyson of the Smithsonian and Yale said: “The turtle shell is a complex structure that started evolving over 260 million years ago.”
A turtle’s shell isn’t one thing it is actually a fusion of 50 bones – ribs and vertebrae.
The expert said very few animals have evolved like this because fusing the ribs together make it very hard to breathe – only turtles and tortoises have found a way.
The discovery of Eunotosaurus – a fossil where the bones are clearly visible in comprising the shell. Prior to that other ancient turtles discovered only had a partial carapace.