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Scientists identify new ancestors of modern sea turtles in Alabama



The new discovery suggests that certain species of modern sea turtles were of different origins than previously thought.

A recent study suggests that a recent sea turtle recently found and identified in Alabama could be a second ancestor at certain times of the day. Scientists believe that this species existed in the late Cretaceous, about 100 to 66 million years ago.

As explained by Science Daily it was believed that some species of modern sea turtles descended from a single prehistoric species in the Peritresius family. This species, which also lived in the Upper Cretaceous, received the scientific name Peritresius ornatus and may have been found only in North American waters in these ancient times.

Given the limited number of Peritresius discoveries in the southeastern US, a team of researchers from the University of Alabama in Birmingham studied sea turtle fossils from Alabama and Mississippi, hoping to identify their species. The fossils date back to 83 to 66 million years ago, and some of the finds found in Alabama come from a different species than P. Ornatus although he still belongs to the Peritresius sea turtle family belongs. This species was named in honor of its discoverer George Martin Peritresius martini

According to the findings of the researchers, published on Wednesday in the journal PLOS One P. Martini had a shell that was more than 35 inches (90 cm) long and 29 inches (75 cm) wide, making it much larger than that of P. Ornatus . The researchers also noted another interesting detail about P. ornatus since its shell had a peculiarity that could not be found in any other known species of chalk sea turtles.

As P. Ornatus "Shell had modeled skin elements that could be" well-supplied "with blood vessels, the UAB team believed that the ancient turtle was capable of making drastic changes It survives during the Upper Cretaceous and outlasts other sea turtles that died out due to the global slowdown at that time.

In a statement lead UAB researchers and study Author Drew Gentry explained that the discovery of the new sea turtle in Alabama suggests that the Peritresus family was more widespread and slightly more diverse than originally thought.

"This discovery not only answers some important questions about the distribution and diversity of sea turtles during this period, but also further evidence that Alabama is one of the best places in the world to study some of the earliest ancestors of modern sea turtles "Gentry said.


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