By Reis Thebault
New research, published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, reveals important findings about the Stupendemys, a now-extinct freshwater turtle, and details the discovery of one of its shells — the largest known turtle shell found to date, at nearly nine-and-a-half-feet long. The animal would have resembled, in length and weight, a midsized car.
The hulking reptile was about 100 times the size of its closest living relative, the Amazon river turtle, and twice the size of the largest living turtle, the marine leatherback, the researchers estimated. The new findings provide the most thorough accounting yet of the Stupendemys, helping scientists answer crucial questions about what may have been the largest turtle to ever live.
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