Light on turtle shell mystery

Date: 3/2/2009

The fossilised remains of an ancient reptile that lived 220 million years ago may have solved the puzzle of how the turtle got its shell. It is the oldest known turtle-like fossil and its shell appears to be only half-formed, covering its belly but leaving its back unprotected. Scientists believe it shows the evolutionary transition from the shell-less state of the earliest turtle ancestor to the fully-formed shell of all living turtles.

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