Wednesday, 24 July 2019


A beautifully articulated Basilemys hand with osteoderms on the palmar surface. This specimen is from outcrops in the Kaiparowits Formation of Utah, USA. Basilemys is an extinct genus of terrestrial (land) turtle belonging to the family Nanhsiungchelyideae.

These ectotherms (cold-blooded) reptiles were amniotes -- they breathed air and did not lay eggs underwater but came to shore similar to modern turtles. They are known from Cretaceous deposits in North America and Asia.

Fossil remains of Basilemys have been found in Alberta, Saskatchewan, China, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Mongolia, the United States in California, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wyoming and Uzbekistan from 144 collections and 152 occurrences. Photo credit: Joe Sertich