Advertisement

Nostimochelonelampra gen. et sp. nov., an Enigmatic New Podocnemidoidean Turtle from the Early Miocene of Northern Greece

  • Georgios L. Georgalis
  • Evangelos Velitzelos
  • Dimitrios E. Velitzelos
  • Benjamin P. Kear
Chapter
Part of the Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology book series (VERT)

Abstract

A new podocnemidoidean turtle, Nostimochelone lampra gen. et sp. nov., was recently recovered from littoral marine-estuarine sediments of the lower Miocene Zeugostasion Formation, near the village of Nostimo in northwestern Macedonia, Greece. This new taxon is characterized by a mosaic of primitive and derived features most notably the presence of a broad embayment on the anterior carapace margin, which involves both the nuchal (whose width > length) and first pair of peripherals, a continuous series of six markedly elongate and very narrowed hexagonal neural bones, extension of the axillary buttress onto the midline of the anteroposteriorly elongate costal I (leaving a concave scar) and also laterally across the peripheral II–peripheral III suture, medial contact of the humeral scutes (implying a small intergular), and extensive overlap of the pectoral scutes on the entoplastron, probably extending to the epiplastral–hyoplastral suture. Conclusive phylogenetic placement of Nostimochelone is difficult to establish because the remains are incompletely preserved. Nevertheless, its discovery is significant because it represents both the first record of a pleurodiran turtle from Greece and also one of only a handful of fossil podocnemidoidean occurrences thus far documented from the Neogene of Europe.

Keywords

Burdigalian Littoral marine Mediterranean Europe  Neogene Podocnemidoidea  

Notes

Acknowledgments

We are indebted to Petros Papakonstantinou (Nostimo Museum of Paleontology) for his assistance with access to NMP V1 and information on the type locality/horizon. France de Lapparent de Broin generously contributed both her knowledge and time towards earlier drafts of this work. Eugene Gaffney, Adán Pérez-García, and Márton Rabi also contributed helpful reviews. Many thanks to Lampros Georgalis (Thessaloniki) for facilitating travel to the Nostimo Museum of Palaeontology for GLG and BPK. This research was supported financially by The Palaeontological Association and La Trobe University.

References

  1. Agassiz, L. (1833–1844). Recherches sur les Poisons Fossiles (5 volumes with supplements). Paris, France: Imprimerie de Patitpierre, Neuchâtel et Soleure.Google Scholar
  2. Andrews, C. W. (1901). Preliminary note on some recently discovered extinct vertebrates from Egypt (Part II). Geological Magazine, 8, 436–444.Google Scholar
  3. Andrews, C. W. (1903). On some pleurodiran chelonians from the Eocene of the Fayum, Egypt. Annals and Magazine of Natural History (Series 8), 11, 115–122.Google Scholar
  4. Antunes, M. T., & de Broin, F. (1988). Le Crétacé terminal de Beira Litoral, Portugal: Remarques stratigraphiques et écologiques étude complémentaire de Rosasia soutoi (Chelonii, Bothremydidae). Ciências Terra, 9, 153–200.Google Scholar
  5. Batsch A. J. G. C. (1788). Versuch einer Anleitung, zur Kenntniß und Geschichte der Thiere und Mineralien. Jena: Akademische Buchhandlung.Google Scholar
  6. Baur, G. (1887). Ueber den Ursprung der Extremitäten der Ichthyopterygia. Bericht des Oberrheinischen Geologischen Vereins, 20, 17–20.Google Scholar
  7. Baur, G. (1888). Osteologische Notizen über Reptilien. Zoologischer Anzeiger, 296, 1–5.Google Scholar
  8. Bergounioux, F. -M. (1935). Contribution á l’ étude paléontologiques des Chéloniens. Mémoires de la Société Géologique de France (Nouvelle Série), mémoire 25, 1–207.Google Scholar
  9. Bergounioux, F. -M. (1954). Les Chéloniens fóssiles des terrains tertiaires del Vénétie. Mémoire degli Istituti di Geologica e Mineralogia dell’Universitá di Padova, 18, 1–115.Google Scholar
  10. Bramble, D. M., & Hutchison, J. H. (1981). A reevaluation of plastral kinesis in African turtles of the genus Pelusios. Herpetologica, 37, 205–212.Google Scholar
  11. Cadena, E. A., Bloch, J. I., & Jarmillo, C. A. (2010). New podocnemidid turtle (Testudines: Pleurodira) from the middle-upper Paleocene of South America. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 30, 367–382.Google Scholar
  12. Carvalho, P., Bocquentin, J., & de Lapparent de Broin, F. (2002). Une nouvelle espèce de Podocnemis (Pleurodira, Podocnemididae) provenant du Néogène de la formation Solimões, Acre, Brésil. Geobios, 35, 677–686.Google Scholar
  13. Collins, R. L., & Lynn, W. G. (1936). Fossil turtles from Maryland. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 76, 151–174.Google Scholar
  14. Cope, E. D. (1864). On the limits and relations of the Raniformes. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 16, 181–183.Google Scholar
  15. Cope, E. D. (1868). On the origin of genera. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 20, 242–300.Google Scholar
  16. Dacqué, E. (1912). Die fossilen Schildkröten Aegyptens. Geologische und Palaeontologische Abhandlungen, 14, 275–337.Google Scholar
  17. de Broin, F. (1977). Contribution à l’étude des Chéloniens; chéloniens continentaux du Crétacé et du Tertiaire de France. Mémoires du Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Série C Géologie, 38, 1–366.Google Scholar
  18. de Broin, F. (1982). Chelonia, Testudines. In H. Thomas, S. Sen, M. Khan, B. Battail, & G. Ligabue (Eds.), The Lower Miocene fauna of Al-Sarrar (Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia). ATLAL, Journal of Saudi Arabian Archaeology, 5, 117–118.Google Scholar
  19. de la Fuente, M. S. (2003). Two new pleurodiran turtles from the Portezuelo formation (Upper Cretaceous) of northern Patagonia, Argentina. Journal of Paleontology, 77, 559–575.Google Scholar
  20. de la Fuente, M. S., & Iturralde-Vinet, M. (2001). A new pleurodiran turtle from the Jagua formation (Oxfordian) of western Cuba. Journal of Paleontology, 75, 860–869.Google Scholar
  21. de Lapparent de Broin, F. (2000a). The oldest pre-podocnemidid turtle (Chelonii: Pleurodira) from the Early Cretaceous, Ceará State, BrazilCeará State, Brazil and its environment. Treballs del Museu de Geologia de Barcelona, 9, 43–85.Google Scholar
  22. de Lapparent de Broin, F. (2000b). African chelonians from the Jurassic to the present: Phases of development and preliminary catalogue of the fossil record. Palaeontologia Africana, 36, 43–95.Google Scholar
  23. de Lapparent de Broin, F. (2001). The European turtle fauna from the Triassic to the present. Dumerilia, 4, 155–218.Google Scholar
  24. de Lapparent de Broin, F. (2002). A giant tortoise from the late Pliocene of Lesvos Island (Greece) and its possible relationships. Annales Géologiques des Pays Helléniques, 39, 99–130.Google Scholar
  25. de Lapparent de Broin, F. (2003). Neochelys sp. (Chelonii, Erymnochelyinae), from Silveirinha, early Eocene, Portugal. Ciências da Terra, 15, 117–132.Google Scholar
  26. de Lapparent de Broin, F. (2008). Miocene chelonians from south-western Namibia. Memoir of the Geological Survey of Namibia, 20, 107–145.Google Scholar
  27. de Lapparent de Broin, F., & Murelaga, X. (1999). Turtles from the Upper Cretaceous of Laño (Iberian Peninsula). Estudios del Museo de Ciencias Naturales de Alva, 14(1), 135–212.Google Scholar
  28. de Lapparent de Broin, F., Bocquentin J., & Negri, F. R. (1993). Gigantic Turtles (Pleurodira, Podocnemididae) from the Late Miocene-Early Pliocene of South Western Amazon. Bulletin de l’Institut Français d’Études Andines, 23, 657–670.Google Scholar
  29. de Lapparent de Broin, F., & Werner, C. (1998). New Late Cretaceous turtles from the Western Desert, Egypt. Annales de Paléontologie, 84, 131–214.Google Scholar
  30. de Lapparent de Broin, F., Murelaga Bereikua, X., & Codrea, V. (2004). Presence of Dortokidae (Chelonii, Pleurodira) in the earliest Tertiary of the Jibou formation, Romania: Palaeobiogeographical implications. Acta Palaeontologica Romaniae, 4, 203–215.Google Scholar
  31. França, M. A. G., & Langer, M. C. (2005). A new freshwater turtle (Reptilia, Pleurodira, Podocnemidae) from the Upper Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Geodiversitas, 27, 391–411.Google Scholar
  32. França, M. A. G., & Langer, M. C. (2006). Phylogenetic relationships of the Bauru Group turtles (Late Cretaceous of south-central Brazil). Revista Brasileira de Paleontologia, 9, 365–373.Google Scholar
  33. Gaffney, E. S. (1988). A cladogram of the pleurodiran turtles. Acta Zoologica Cracoviensia, 31, 487–492.Google Scholar
  34. Gaffney, E. S., & Meylan, P. A. (1988). A phylogeny of turtles. In M. J. Benton (Ed.), The phylogeny and classification of the tetrapods. Volume 1. Amphibians, reptiles, birds (pp. 157–219). Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  35. Gaffney, E. S., & Wood, R. C. (2002). Bairdemys, a new side-necked turtle (Pelomedusoides: Podocnemididae) from the Miocene of the Caribbean. American Museum Novitates, 3359, 1–28.Google Scholar
  36. Gaffney, E. S., & Zangerl, E. S. (1968). A revision of the chelonian genus Bothremys (Pleurodira: Pelomedusidae). Fieldiana Geology, 16, 193–239.Google Scholar
  37. Gaffney, E. S., Chatterjee, S., & Rudra, D. K. (2001). Kurmademys, a new side-necked turtle (Pelomedusoides, Bothremydidae) from the late Cretaceous of India. American Museum Novitates, 3321, 1–16.Google Scholar
  38. Gaffney, E. S., Tong, H., & Meylan, P. A. (2002). Galianemys, a new side-necked turtle (Pelomedusoides, Bothremydidae) from the late Cretaceous of Morocco. American Museum Novitates, 3379, 1–20.Google Scholar
  39. Gaffney, E. S., Tong, H., & Meylan, P. A. (2006). Evolution of the side-necked turtles: The families Bothremydidae, Euraxemydidae, and Araripemydidae. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, 300, 1–698.Google Scholar
  40. Gaffney, E. S., Roberts, E. M., Sissoko, F., Bouaré, M. L., Tapanila, L. M., & O’Leary, M. A. (2007). Acleistochelys, a new side-necked turtle (Pelomedusoides, Bothremydidae) from the Paleocene of Mali. American Museum Novitates, 3549, 1–24.Google Scholar
  41. Gaffney, E. S., Hooks, G. E., & Schneider, V. P. (2009a). New material of North American side-necked turtles (Pleurodira, Bothremydidae). American Museum Novitates, 3655, 1–26.Google Scholar
  42. Gaffney, E. S., Krause, D. W., & Zalmout, I. S. (2009b). Kinkonychelys, a new side-necked turtle (Pelomedusoides, Bothremydidae) from the late Cretaceous of Madagascar. American Museum Novitates, 3662, 1–25.Google Scholar
  43. Georgiades-Dikeoulia, E., Velitzelos, E., & Koskeridou, E. (2000). The Crassostrea gryphoides Schlot. Miocene banks of Greece as palaeoenvironmental indicators. Geological Society of Greece, Special Publications, 9, 101–108.Google Scholar
  44. Gheerbrant, E., Codrea, V., Hosu, A., Sen, S., Guernet, C., de Lapparent de Broin, F., et al. (1999). Découverte de vertébrés dans les Calcaires de Rona (Thanétien ou Sparnacien), Transylvanie, Roumanie: Les plus anciens mammiféres cénozoïques d’Europe Orientale. Ecologae Geologicae Helvetiae, 92, 517–535.Google Scholar
  45. Gray, J. E. (1867). Description of a new Australian tortoise (Elseya latisternum). Annals and Magazine of Natural History (Series 3) 20, 43–45.Google Scholar
  46. Haas, G. (1978a). A Cretaceous pleurodire turtle from the surroundings of Jerusalem. Israel Journal of Zoology, 27, 20–33.Google Scholar
  47. Haas, G. (1978b). A new turtle of the genus Podocnemis from the lower Cenomanian of Ein Yabrud. Israel Journal of Zoology, 27, 169–175.Google Scholar
  48. Jain, S. L. (1977). A new fossil pelomedusid turtle from the Upper Cretaceous Pisdura sediments, Central India. Journal of the Plaeontological Society of India, 20, 360–365.Google Scholar
  49. Jain, S. L. (1986). New pelomedusid turtle (Pleurodira: Chelonia) remains from Lameta formation (Maastrichtian) at Dongargon, Central India, and a review of the pelomedusids from India. Journal of the Plaeontological Society of India, 31, 63–75.Google Scholar
  50. Jiménez Fuentes, E. (1993). Aclaraciones sobre el status de Neochelys zamorensis, Pelomedúsido (Reptilia, Chelonii) de Pequeña Talla del Eoceno de Zamora (España). Studia Geologica Salmanticensia, 28, 141–153.Google Scholar
  51. Joyce, W. G. 2007. Phylogenetic relationships of Mesozoic turtles. Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History, 48, 3–102.Google Scholar
  52. Kischlat, E. E. (1994). Observaçôes sobre Podocnemis elegans Suarez (Chelonii, Pleurodira, Podocnemididae) do Neocretáceo do brazil. Acta Geologica Leopoldensia, 17, 345–351.Google Scholar
  53. Kovar-Eder, J. H., Jechorek, H. Kvaček, Z., & Parashiv, V. (2008). The integrated plant record: An essential tool for reconstructing Neogene zonal vegetation in Europe. Palaios, 23, 97–111.Google Scholar
  54. Laurent, Y., Tong, H., & Claude, J. (2002). New side-necked turtle (Pleurodira: Bothremydidae) from the Upper Maastrichtian of the Petites-Pyrénées (Haute-Garonne, France). Cretaceous Research, 23, 465–471.Google Scholar
  55. Lehman, T. M., & Wick, S. L. (2010). Chupacabrachelys complexus, n. gen. n. spn. sp. (Testudines: Bothremydidae), from the Aguja formation (Campanian) of West Texas. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 30, 1709–1725.Google Scholar
  56. Linnaeus, C. (1758). Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Holmiae, Laurentii Salvii, 824 p.Google Scholar
  57. MacPhee, R. D. E., & Wyss, A. R. (1990). Oligo-Miocene vertebrates from Puerto RicoPuerto Rico, with a catalog of localities. American Museum Novitates, 2865, 1–45.Google Scholar
  58. Meylan, P. A. (1996). Skeletal morphology and relationships of the Early Cretaceous side-necked turtle, Araripemys barretoi (Testudines: Pelomedusoides: Araripemydidae), from the Santana formation of Brazil. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 16, 20–33.Google Scholar
  59. Meylan, P. A., Gaffney, E. S., & de Almeida Campos, D. (2009). Caninemys, a new side-necked turtle (Pelomedusoides: Podocnemididae) from the Miocene of Brazil. American Museum Novitates, 3639, 1–26.Google Scholar
  60. Nopcsa, F. (1931). Sur des nouveaux restes de Tortues du Danien du Midi de la France. Bulletin de la Société Géologique de France, 1, 223–236.Google Scholar
  61. Price, L. I. (1973). Quelônio amphichelydia no Cretáceo inferior do nordeste do Brazil. Revista Brasileira de Geociências, 3, 84–96.Google Scholar
  62. Ristori, G. (1895). Di un nuovo Chelonio fossile del Miocene dell’Isola di Malta. Atti della Società Toscana di Scienze Naturali, Memoire, 14, 3–17.Google Scholar
  63. Roger, J., Pickford, M., Thomas, H., de Lapparent de Broin, F., Tassy, P., Van Neer, W., et al. (1994). Découverte de vertébrés fossiles dans le Miocéne de la région du Huqf au Sultanat d’Oman. Annales de Paléontologie, 80, 253–273.Google Scholar
  64. Romano, P. S. R., & Azevado, S. A. K. (2006). Are extant podocnemidid turtles relicts of a widespread Cretaceous ancestor? South America Journal of Herpetology, 1, 175–184.Google Scholar
  65. Savoyat, E., Monopolis, D., Bizon, G., & Yannetakis, C. P. (1971). Geological Map of Greece. Nestorion Sheet. Scale 1:50,000. Athens: Institute of Geology and Mineral Exploration, Athens (formerly Institute for Geology and Subsurface Research, Athens).Google Scholar
  66. Schleich, H. H. (1994). Fossil schildkröten und krokodilreste aus dem tertiar Thrakiens (W-Turkei). Courier Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg, 173, 137–151.Google Scholar
  67. Schlotheim, E. F. (1813). Beiträge zur Naturgeschichte der Versteinerungen in geognostischer Hinsicht. Leonard‘s taschenbuch für die gesammte mineralogie, 7(1813), 3–134.Google Scholar
  68. Schmidt, K. P. (1940). A new turtle of the genus Podocnemis from the Cretaceous of Arkansas. Field Museum of Natural History Geology Series, 8, 1–12.Google Scholar
  69. Suc, J. -P., Fauquette, S., Bessedik, M., Bertini, A., Zheng, Z., Clauzon, G., et al. (1999). Neogene vegetation changes in West European and West circum-Mediterranean areas. In J. Augusti, L. Rook, & P. Andrews (Eds.), The evolution of Neogene terrestrial ecosystems in Europe (pp. 378–388). Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  70. Swinton, W. E. (1939). A new fossil fresh-water tortoise from Burma. Records of the Geological Survey of India, 74, 548–551.Google Scholar
  71. Thomson, S., & Georges, A. (1996). Neural bones in Australian chelid turtles. Chelonian Conservation and Biology, 2, 82–86.Google Scholar
  72. Tronc, E., & Vuillemin, S. (1974). Contribution a l’étude de la fauna endémique Malgasche: étude ostéologique de Erymnochelys madagascariensis Grandidier, 1867 (Chelonien, Pelomedusidae). Bulletin de l’Académie Malagache, 51, 189–206.Google Scholar
  73. Vargas-Ramirez, M., Castaño-Mora, O. V., & Fritz, U. (2008). Molecular phylogeny and divergence times of ancient South American and Malagasy river turtles (Testudines: Pleurodira: Podocnemididae). Organisms, Diversity and Evolution, 8, 388–398.Google Scholar
  74. Velitzelos, E., & Velitzelos, D. (1999). Rational and museum prominence of the paleontological findings of Western Macedonia. Elliniko Panorama, 15, 188–205.Google Scholar
  75. von Meyer H. (1847). Palaeochelys bussenensis im älteren Süsswasserkalk. Jahreshefte des Vereins für Vaterländische Naturkunde in Württemberg, 3, 167–168.Google Scholar
  76. von Reinach, A.V. (1903). Schildkrötenreste aus dem ägyptischen Tertiär. Abhandlungen herausgegeben von der Senckenbergischen Naturforschenden Gesellschaft (Frankfurt), 29, 1–64.Google Scholar
  77. Wagler, J. (1830). Natürliches System der Amphibien, mit Vorangehender Classification der Säugethiere und Vögel. Tübingen: J. C. Cotta’achen, München, Stuttgart.Google Scholar
  78. Wagner, A. (1853). Beschreibung einer fossilen Schildkröte und etlicher anderer Reptilien Überreste aus den lithographischen Schiefern und dem grünen Sandsteine von Kehlheim. Abhandlungen der Königlichen Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 7, 241–264.Google Scholar
  79. Weems, R. E., & Knight, J. L. (2012). A new species of Bairdemys (Pelomedusoides: Podocnemididae) from the Oligocene (early Chattian) Chandler Bridge formation of South Carolina, USA, and its paleobiogeographic implications for the genus. In D. B. Brinkman, P. A. Holroyd, & J. D. Gardner (Eds.), Morphology and evolution of turtles (pp. XXX–XXX). Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  80. Wielandt-Schuster, U., Schuster, F., Harzhauser, M., Mandic, O., Kroh, A., Röge, F., et al. (2004). Stratigraphy and paleoecology of Oligocene and early Miocene sedimentary sequences of the Mesohellenic Basin (NW Greece). Courier Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg, 248, 1–55.Google Scholar
  81. Wood, R. C. (1976). Stupendemys geographicus, the world’s largest turtle. Breviora, 436, 1–31.Google Scholar
  82. Wood, R. C. (1983). Kenyemys williamsi, a fossil pelomedusid turtle from the Pliocene of Kenya. In A. J. G. Rhodin & K. Miyata (Eds.), Advances in herpetology and evolutionary biology. Essays in honor of Ernest E. Williams (pp. 74–85). Cambridge, MA: Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University.Google Scholar
  83. Wood, R. C. (2003). Fossil turtles from Lothagam. In M. G. Leakey & J. M. Harris (Eds.), Lothagam. The dawn of humanity in Eastern Africa (pp. 115–136). New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  84. Wood, R. C., & Diaz de Gamero, M. L. (1971). Podocnemis venezuelensis, a fossil pelomedusid (Testudines, Pleurodira) from the Pliocene of Venezuela and a review of the history of Podocnemis in South America. Breviora, 376, 1–23.Google Scholar
  85. Zangerl, R. (1948). The vertebrate fauna of the Selma formation of Alabama. Part II. The pleurodiran turtles. Fieldiana Geology Memoirs, 3, 23–56.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Georgios L. Georgalis
    • 1
  • Evangelos Velitzelos
    • 2
  • Dimitrios E. Velitzelos
    • 2
  • Benjamin P. Kear
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Chemical EngineeringAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece
  2. 2.Department of Historical Geology and PaleontologyNational and Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece
  3. 3.Palaeobiology Programme, Department of Earth SciencesUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden

Personalised recommendations