Giant Turtle Bones Found Centuries Apart

In 2012 an amateur paleontologist found a broken half of an ancient sea turtle humerus. What’s interesting about this fossil is that it’s other half was found in 1849. The two halves of the same fossil were found over 160 years apart! Not only was it astounding that the two halves fit, but the missing half drastically changed the size estimations for its species, Atlantochelys mortoni. Now scientists estimate this sea turtle was about 10 ft. long from tip to tail, making it one of the largest sea turtles ever known. However, this find did not just change the size estimations of the Atlantochelys mortoni. The finding one half of this fossil 162 years after the other half was discovered has changed scientists believe about the longevity of fossils. No one believed that the other half could have been discovered after being exposed to the elements for at least 162 years, but this fossil proved them wrong. Now scientists are revising their beliefs about how long exposed fossils can survive. Just one half of a ancient sea turtle humerus had the power to change not only scientists beliefs about the animal itself but also about the survival of fossils in general. The article is linked below.

Paleontologists Assemble Giant Turtle Bone from Fossil Discoveries Made Centuries Apart