Late Triassic Turtles from South America

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Science  12 May 1995:
Vol. 268, Issue 5212, pp. 855-858
DOI: 10.1126/science.268.5212.855


The discovery of Triassic (Norian) turtles from the northwest part of Argentina extends the South American record of turtles by 60 million years. Two skeletons, one almost complete, represent a new genus and species of a basal turtle, Palaeochersis talampayensis. This turtle is a member of the family Australochelidae that was recently erected for Australochelys africanus from the Lower Jurassic of South Africa. Here, it is proposed that Australochelidae is the sister group of Proterochersis plus Casichelydia, that turtles were diverse by the Late Triassic, and that Casichelydia probably originated during the Jurassic.