Green River Turtle
Order Testudines, Suborder Cryptodira, Family Baenidae
Time: Early Eocene (~ 50 million years ago)
Turtle fossil is 93 mm long (tip of skull to tip of tail along backbone)
Shell: 30 mm by 35 mm. Skull: 10 mm by 11 mm Matrix: 113 mm by 115
Site: Green River Formation, Fossil Lake, Kemmerer, Wyoming
is a world-class fossil of a hatchling turtle known as Chisternon
undulatum. It is one of two genera of baenid turtles found in the
Green River Formation. As of the publication of Lance Grande’s
book some dozen complete specimens were known, of which two were
complete hatchlings figured in his book. This one is some 20 mm
smaller yet than either figured in his book, so it is even younger.
Note the outer rim of the shell is only delineated by small pieces
of bone as there was much more ossification to occur as the hatchling
grew. I was fortunate to obtain this specimen at the 2017 Tucson
Fossil Show, and am pleased to offer it to the collecting community.
There is minimal restoration, with only minor touchups to the skull,
sacral region, and a few toes. To help protect it the specimen has
been affixed to a backing for greater strength.
Reference: Grande, Lance; The Lost World of Fossil
Lake, 2013; pp 190-193.
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