Fossils of Mating Turtles Found in GermanyJune 20th, 2012 - 8:44 pm ICT by Aishwarya Bhatt
Darmstadt, June 19 (THAINDIAN NEWS) For the first time, experts have discovered fossils of two vertebrates copulating. Nine such pairs of fossils have been near Darmstadt (Germany).
Paleontology experts believe that the couples were mating at the time when they were poisoned by volcanic gases emitting from the lake at the bottom of a volcanic crater. Emitted from time to time, the toxic gases are estimated to have been to cause of the death of many animals that lived at the time around the lake.
Scientists believe that this is the reason why numerous fossils can be found in the sediment. The palaeontologists had previously believed that the A. crassesculpta couples, whose fossils have been found at Messel, could swim, court and then copulate in poisonous surface waters, which they may have ingested while mating.
Experts at Germany’s University of Tuebingen, have announced that the fossils belong to a species known as Allaeochelys crassesculpta, which are already extinct, according to Dr Walter Joyce.
The findings of Dr Joyce and his team have been release by the Royal Society in their journal Biology Letters. The turtles’ upper shell would have reached approximately two feet in length, been over one foot wide. The males were easily distinguishable from females, because of their longer tails.
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