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Fossil Record A palaeontological open-access journal of the Museum für Naturkunde

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Foss. Rec., 20, 245-251, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/fr-20-245-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
11 Oct 2017
Identification of the African–European Erymnochelys group (Pleurodira, Podocnemididae) in the Belgian fossil record: first finding of Eocenochelus eremberti outside its type locality
Adán Pérez-García1 and Thierry Smith2 1Grupo de Biología Evolutiva, Facultad de Ciencias, UNED, Paseo de la Senda del Rey 9, 28040 Madrid, Spain
2Directorate Earth & History of Life, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, rue Vautier 29, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
Abstract. An almost complete plastron, as well as several peripherals and a costal plate of a turtle from the middle Eocene of Saint-Gilles, is presented here. Although this turtle specimen was donated to the Institut royal des Sciences naturelles de Belgique (Brussels, Belgium) more than a century ago, it remained undescribed. Its study allows us to recognize the second pleurodiran in the Belgian fossil record, where, until now, the Eocene Neochelys was the only one known. The Belgian material of Neochelys is known in lower Eocene (early Ypresian) levels, but the new pleurodiran specimen comes from the middle Eocene (early Lutetian). It is the first partial articulate shell of a pleurodiran turtle recognized in Belgium, and the only member of this clade recognized in this country at specific level. The new specimen is a representative of the so-called Erymnochelys group, this lineage being known in Africa from the Upper Cretaceous to the present but in Europe only during the Eocene. It represents the first specimen of Eocenochelus eremberti identified outside its type locality, the French region of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Yvelines, Île-de-France), where only one specimen was found. The plastron of the Belgian individual corresponds to the most complete for this species. Its analysis allows us not only to broaden the range of paleobiogeographical distribution of Eocenochelus eremberti but also to improve the knowledge about the anatomy and variability of this taxon.

Citation: Pérez-García, A. and Smith, T.: Identification of the African–European Erymnochelys group (Pleurodira, Podocnemididae) in the Belgian fossil record: first finding of Eocenochelus eremberti outside its type locality, Foss. Rec., 20, 245-251, https://doi.org/10.5194/fr-20-245-2017, 2017.
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A partial carapace of a turtle from the middle Eocene of Saint-Gilles is presented here. Although it was donated to the Institut royal des Sciences naturelles de Belgique (Brussels, Belgium) more than a century ago, it remained undescribed. Its study allows us to recognize the second pleurodiran turtle in the Belgian fossil record. It is the first partial articulate shell of a pleurodiran recognized in Belgium, and the only member of this clade recognized in this country at specific level.
A partial carapace of a turtle from the middle Eocene of Saint-Gilles is presented here....
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