The old turtles were immature

An almost complete petrified turtle fight of 228 million years proves that turtles did not have armor in the early stages of their evolution.

The fossil skeleton in the excavation in the southwest of China is larger than a double bed. "He looks like a turtle, but his armor is missing on his stomach and back," said Nicholas Fraser, head of the natural sciences at the Edinburgh National Museum in Edinburgh.

The armor is in place, but the armor itself is not yet formed. Moreover, it is a very distinctive tube for the dog, "he added.

According to the BBC News article, the old man named Eorhynchochelys sinensis, meaning "early turtle beak from China" means.

The remains of the Eorhynchochelys sinensis turtleSource: Xiao-Chun Wu

Armor protection for turtles, while it helps to keep it under water. The armor contains calcium and magnesium, which prevents the accumulation of lactic acid.

The armor consists of about 50 bones, ribs, shoulders and vertebrae that turn into a hard outer layer. According to Fraser, turtles are very strange animals, "their coat is their armor." "It is as if our shoulders are in our chest, which would limit our movement to very unusual animals, but they have existed for more than 200 million years," he explained.

The formation of turtle armor has long been a concern for scientists. Many of the primitive turtles found their fossil remains, which have already developed their armor.

Reconstructed image of Eorhynchochelys sinensis tortoiseSource: Yu Chen

The oldest turtle, which used to be earlier than today, was called Odontochelys. The armor of this old-fashioned chestnut was already formed, but there was no bony skin on his back.

Researchers say the new discovery will help to understand the evolution of the turtle's armor.

As Fraser remarked: on the fossilized remains it is clear that his ribs have begun to expand. But a new record is needed to find out what happened next.

The study was published in the journal Nature.

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