A hiker discovered the remains of a sea turtle 3 meters high in Spain. These remains appear to belong to a previously unknown species. This makes it the largest European sea turtle ever discovered.
SGGsource: Nature, CNN
Sea turtles the size of a car used to swim in European waters. Although this was more than 70 million years ago. In 2016, a park found the remains of a new species of sea turtle in Spain. Researchers have now named it Leviathanochelys aenigmatica, and it is the largest of the European species at 3.7 metres. These giants were actually discovered in North America, and the largest species so far in Europe was only 1.5 meters long.
Originally, the researchers thought they had found the bones of another animal. “It’s very common to find bone fragments, actually quite a lot. But most of them don’t make sense. It’s very rare to find something that really tells you something about life in the past,” said Albert Celis, co-author of the study.
So the bones were found already in 2016, but nothing had been done with them for five years. When Sellés begins his research in 2021, he discovers a new species. He also returned to the Pyrenees for further research.
We are optimistic and believe that it is possible to find more species of giant tortoises in Europe. “Fragmentary remains of large sea turtles have been found across Europe before, but no complete remains like Leviathanochelys have been found,” said Angel Hernandez-Lujan, one of the study’s co-authors. “It’s only a matter of time before new species of large-bodied sea turtles from the time of the dinosaurs are discovered.”