Basilemys variolosa “Doug”

 

Basilemys variolosa “Doug”

Basilemys variolosa
Description:

Basilemys is the largest land turtle of the Cretaceous period in North America.

Given its size, this genus is surprisingly poorly known as a complete animal. This specimen is exciting because the shell, being totally disarticulated before burial, gives us the opportunity to restore the high domed carapace in 3 dimensions for the first time ever. It is also significant because it preserves several non-shell elements, adding to our knowledge of this specimen and the shell itself shows evidence of fungal infections during life, just like modern tortoises. This specimen has been stratigraphically determined to be around 78 million years old.

Basilemys with Dr. Derstler
Dr. Kraig Derstler beginning the reconstruction process

Locality: Judith River Formation in Montana, 78 million years old

Size: Precise measurements unavailable until restored

Availability: 8 months from date of acquisition

Price: $ 65,000 mounted and restored

Comments: Original material is prepared. Reference specimen is currently under preparation in anticipation of restoration.

Galapagos Tortoise
Galapagos turtle for comparison