Turtle swimming

Biggest giant turtle found, according to reports in Science (AAAS) News and ScienceDaily 12 February 2020, and Science Advances 12 February 2020, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aay4593. 

Palaeontologists in South America have studied fossilised shells and jaws of a huge extinct turtle with the splendid name Stupendemys geographicus.  The largest shell is 2.4 metres (7.9ft) long, making it the largest turtle, extinct or living, ever found.  The research team estimated the turtle was “almost 100 times the size of its closest living relative, the Amazon river turtle Peltocephalus dumerilianus, and twice that of the largest extant turtle, the marine leatherback Dermochelys coriacea.”  

Some of the largest shells had prominent horns projecting from the front.  One of the horns has a scar on it, and some shells have evidence of bite marks.  The scientists concluded that the turtles used the horns for fighting another or fending off attacks by giant caimans (South American crocodiles), whose fossils have also been found in the same region. 

However, it seems the turtle itself was not a fierce predator, as had been assumed by scientists because it had large jaws and a wide gape.  When the researchers studied the turtle’s jaws they found it had wide surface on the roof of it mouth suitable for grinding.  They suggest it fed on molluscs, and could have swallowed large palm fruits whole, and therefore help spread their seeds. 

Science, ScienceDaily

Editorial Comment:  All the reports about these fossils concentrated on the horns and “battle scar” aspects of these finds, thus reinforcing man’s evolutionary idea of the history of life being one long fight to the death, with only the toughest and meanest surviving.  The fossils certainly do show evidence of having been attacked, but that does not explain how they got here, or why they were so large, although it may partly explain why they are now extinct. 

Let’s look at these fossils beginning with God’s creation perspective.  Revealed history informs that God created both turtles and caimans to eat plants, so the grinding surface on the turtle jaws had to have been useful for grinding plant food.  Beyond a shadow of a doubt this mega turtle could have done that! If the idea of reptiles eating fruit and vegetables seems preposterous see our report on known Fruit Eating Crocs here

To repeat a common theme in this newsletter: the abundance and quality of plans food in the original very good world along with a fabulous climate meant reptiles (including turtles and crocs), which can grow throughout their lives could grow very large.  It would have been a world of gentle giants, but after man rebelled against his Creator and God cursed the ground, the world degenerated, (See Genesis 1-3) and by the time of Noah (1600 years after Adam) it was corrupt and filled with violence.  By then some animals would have grown very large and begun to use whatever features they had, e.g. horns and teeth, to fight one another.  After the flood the environment rapidly degenerated, so animals scrounged for whatever food they could, and continued to attack one another.  The degeneration of the environment also meant animals could no longer grow as well, and many giant creatures have left only ‘midget’ relatives. The opposite of evolution.

These giant turtle fossils are a stark reminder that the real history of the world is of a good world gone wrong, and a world in need of restoration and salvation by the Creator and Saviour – Jesus Christ.

Evidence News vol. 20, No. 3
4 March 2020
Creation Research Australia