What are sea turtles closest relatives?

Most genetic studies over the past 20 years have positioned crocodilians, dinosaurs and modern birds as the turtles’ closest evolutionary relatives. But some studies looking at DNA or RNA, as well as analyses of turtle anatomy, have pointed to lizards and snakes as the group’s closest relatives.

What is the ancestor of turtles?

The DNA hypothesis suggests that turtles were a sister group to the archosaurs (the group that contains the dinosaurs and their relatives, including crocodiles and their ancestors and modern birds and their ancestors). A second hypothesis posits that turtles were more closely related to lizards and tuataras.

Is Archelon still alive?

Or Ruler turtle. Archelon is an extinct sea turtle which lived approximately 75 million to 65 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous Period. This giant turtle could live to 100 years old, possibly thanks to taking long sleeps on the seabed.

What did leatherback sea turtles evolve from?

The ancient leatherbacks In the shallow seas that covered much of North America 90 million years ago, a giant had evolved. This giant was called Archelon, and at 4m long with a flipper span of 4.9m it was by far the largest turtle species that has ever lived.

What family do turtles belong to?

Reptiles are a class of cold-blooded vertebrates – their body temperature varies with their environment. Reptiles include snakes, lizards, crocodiles, and turtles. Reptiles have scaly skin, breathe air with lungs, and have a three-chambered heart.

Are turtles descendants of dinosaurs?

Recent studies have shown that turtles belong in the group Archelosauria, along with relatives like birds, crocodiles, and – you guessed it – dinosaurs. Turtles evolved alongside dinosaurs, with sea turtles emerging as a distinct type about 110 million years ago.

Are all turtles related?

Having recently looked at more than a thousand of the least-changed regions in the genomes of turtles and their closest relatives, a team of Boston University researchers has confirmed that turtles are most closely related to crocodilians and birds rather than to lizards, snakes, and tuataras.

How did turtle shells evolve?

Paleontologists mostly argued that the shells evolved from bony scales called osteoderms, which are also responsible for the armor of crocodiles, armadillos, and many dinosaurs. These scales simply expanded to fuse with the ribs and backbone, creating a solid covering.

Was there a prehistoric turtle?

Proganochelys. Until the recent discovery of Odontochelys, Proganochelys was the earliest prehistoric turtle yet identified in the fossil record—a three-foot-long, well-carapaced reptile that lumbered across the swamplands of late Triassic western Europe (and probably North America and Asia as well).

What is the biggest turtle ever lived?

Archelon is an extinct marine turtle from the Late Cretaceous, and is the largest turtle ever to have been documented, with the biggest specimen measuring 5 m (16 ft) from head to tail and 2,200 kg (4,900 lb) in body mass.

Where did tortoises evolve from?

Triassic Tortoises already had evolved fused carapace and plastron. With newly discovered fossils of a modified parareptile known as Eunotosaurus africanus, from Late Permian aged deposits in South Africa, the Smithsonian team had an opportunity to study the origins of the turtle evolutionary line.

Where do leatherbacks nest?

subtropical beaches
Female leatherbacks nest at night on tropical and subtropical beaches. They dig a large body pit to lay their eggs in deep egg chambers/nests. A nesting leatherback will disturb a huge area on the beach and leave behind long, circling tracks.

What are the members of the Protostegidae family?

Size comparison of three members of the Protostegidae family : Protostega gigas, Archelon ischyros, and Notochelone costata, with a human for scale. By TheF, silouettes from artwork by by Dmitry Bogdanov. GNU Free Documentation / Creative Commons Attribution license, via Wikimedia

Is a sea turtle a Protostegidae?

…is a member of the Protostegidae, a likely sister group of modern leatherback sea turtles. S. gaffneyi had a streamlined shell of about 1.5 metres (5 feet) and forelimbs well along the evolutionary path to becoming flippers.

What happened to the Protostegidae?

As with most large fauna of the era, the Protostegidae died out during the events of the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs. The exact phylogenetic position of protostegids among turtles is uncertain.

What kind of animal is Protostega?

Protostega (early roof) is an extinct genus of marine turtle that lived throughout the Late Cretaceous Period. It contains the species P. gigas.