Turtle shell fossil
Inland from the sea, during the “Age of the Dinosaur” were cattail marshes, surrounded by banks covered in saplings and rushes. This was the home of Cretaceous turtles, one of the most unique group of reptiles.
Turtle shells are remarkable structures. As embryos, turtles’ bones begin to fuse, as ribs, shoulder bones, and vertebrae merge together to form the hard outer shell. The turtle lives within this strong shell, withdrawing its head, tail and legs for protection.
Fossil turtle shells are found as bony plates with a pattern of grooves and ridges which were used for attaching the leathery skin and horny scutes.