Skip to main content


The Archelon type specimen
I love covering extinct Turtles because they have such an interesting evolutionary history. Turtles have been around since the Triassic, dating back 220 million years. They've even had roughly the same body shape for the last 200 million of those years, with modifications being made to their teeth (losing them), their shells (going from soft to hard) and their size (varies completely!)

Today's Turtle, Archelon, definitely had a unique size. These giant Sea Turtles grew to be 12 feet long! Archelon lived during the late Cretaceous Period, and its fossils have been found primarily in South Dakota and Wyoming, which were once covered by shallow seas.

Once you get past its car-like size, you'll notice that Archelon did look quite a bit like our modern Sea Turtles. In fact, its closest living relative is the large (but not that large) Leatherback Sea Turtle. In fact, like the Leatherbacks of today, Archelon probably ate jellyfish and other soft-bodied sea creatures like squid.

Archelon did have two major differences though. The first was that its shell wasn't hard-- it was actually soft and leathery and supported by an internal bone structure. Secondly, they had remarkably broad, paddle-like flippers (modern Sea Turtles also have long flippers, but they are not nearly as broad proportionally).

They died out at the end of the Cretaceous Period, around 65 million years ago, and no Turtle since has come close to rivaling it in size!

Status : Extinct for 65 million years
Location : North America
Size : Length around 12ft (3.6m), Weight up to 2tons
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Reptilia -- Order : Testudines
Family : †Protostegidae -- Genus : †Archelon -- Species : A. ischyros


  1. Hiya! I just wanted to say the fact that you really managed to customize a marvelous website. And there is one thing which I wanted to ask you. Do you plan to write as a professional or running a blog is solely a hobby of yours?


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Bornean Orangutan

The Bornean Orangutan is one of two extant Orangutan species in the world. It is the third largest primate (after Gorillas) and is the largest primarily tree-dwelling animal in the world. Males are substantially larger than females, and average at around 165lbs. Bornean Orangutans are largely solitary. A handful might live within a small range but they will seldom interact with one another. Males and females only meet up to breed, which happens only once every several years. A young Orangutan will stay with it's mother for about five years, and the females tend to go about eight years between births. That is the longest interim period of any animal! Sadly, the Bornean Orangutans are in a lot of trouble. They need large forests in order to thrive, and deforestation and habitat degradation has left many homeless. They are also hunted for meat and for traditional medicines. Conservation areas are being established to help these guys in the wild, and it is believed that there are a


For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful! And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles. I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out! Thanks again for four awesome years!


The Binturong ( Arctictis binturong ) also has an equally awesome alternate common name, the Bearcat! However, it really isn't much of a bear OR a cat. While it is true that it is part of the Feliforma suborder, it is not a member of family Felidae. Binturongs are a part of their own family, Viverridae, which is shared with Civets, Linsangs, and Genets. There are six subspecies of Binturong, all of which have slight differences based upon location and habitat. Binturongs range in body size from 60-100cm in length, (not including their tail which has roughly the same length) and weigh between 20 and 30lbs. Binturongs are nocturnal animals native to the rain forests of South East Asia. The species range spans through several countries including China, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. They are tree dwelling mammals, and have fully prehensile tails that basically double their body length and can be used to cling to the trees or to grasp food. Binturongs are phe