Paleo Profile: “Miss Piggy” the Prehistoric Turtle
Shortly after I moved to the beehive state and started doing fieldwork with the Natural History Museum of Utah, I started hearing snippets of a new turtle found in the vast desert of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The 76 million year old reptile, being studied by graduate student Josh Lively (now at the University of Texas at Austin), was unlike any other turtle ever found. You can see it right in the snout.
In addition to features like a shell, every other turtle ever known has a single bony opening for the nose. The two separate nostrils you can see on the outside are soft tissues. But this new fossil turtle, named Arvinachelys by Lively and colleagues, is different. This turtle