Fossil Kinosternidae from the Oligocene and Miocene of Florida, USA

  • Jason R. BourqueEmail author
Part of the Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology book series (VERT)


Kinosternid remains are generally rare through the Oligocene and Miocene. Fossil material from eight Florida localities is presented here. Specimens discussed include the latest and most southeastern occurrence of the genus Xenochelys (new species), one of the earliest occurrences of Kinosternon, the oldest record of the Kinosternon subrubrum-baurii group in Florida, and the presence of Miocene Kinosternon species either convergent with or closely related to taxa that occur today in the southwestern United States and Central-South America.


Arikareean  Kinosternidae  Kinosternon Miocene Xenochelys 



I wish to thank the following for their assistance during this study: R. Hulbert, Jr., J. Bloch, D. Ehret, K. Krysko, and A. Hastings (FLMNH); P. Holroyd and H. Hutchison (UCMP); W. Joyce, D. Brinkman, and S. Chester (YPM); C. Mehling (AMNH); J. Knight (South Carolina State Museum), J. Waldrop for locality information and donation of his Suwannee Springs material. Additionally, Don Brinkman (Royal Tyrrell Museum), R. Hulbert, Jr. (FLMNH), G. Gaffney (AMNH), G. Morgan (New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science), and J. Parham (Alabama Museum of Natural History) provided helpful comments and suggestions that greatly improved this manuscript, and Jim Gardner (Royal Tyrrell Museum) did the final editing and formatting. This is University of Florida Contribution to Paleobiology 632.


  1. Agassiz, L. (1857). Contributions to the natural history of the United States of America (Vols. 1–2). Boston: Little, Brown.Google Scholar
  2. Becker, J. J. (1985). Fossil herons (Aves: Ardeidae) of the late Miocene and early Pliocene of Florida. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 5, 24–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Berry, J. F., & Iverson, J. B. (1980). A new species of mud turtle, genus Kinosternon, from Oaxaca, Mexico. Journal of Herpetology, 14, 313–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bourque, J. R. (2011). Reassessment of a putative fossil stinkpot (Kinosternidae: Sternotherus) from the late Miocene (Clarendonian) of Kansas. Journal of Herpetology, 45, 234–237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bryant, J. D. (1991). New early Barstovian (middle Miocene) vertebrates from the upper Torreya Formation, eastern Florida panhandle. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 11, 472–489.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Carr, A. (1938). Pseudemys nelsoni, a new turtle from Florida. Occasional Papers of the Boston Society of Natural History, 8, 305–310.Google Scholar
  7. Carr, A. (1952). Handbook of turtles: The turtles of the United States, Canada, and Baja California. Ithaca: Comstock Publishing.Google Scholar
  8. Conant, R., & Collins, J. T. (1998). Reptiles and amphibians of Eastern/Central North America. Peterson Field Guides (3rd ed.). New York: Houghton Mifflin Co.Google Scholar
  9. Duméril, A. M. C., & Duméril, A. H. A. (1851). Catalogue Methodoque de la Collection des Reptiles du Museum d’Histoire Naturelle. Paris: Gide and Boudry.Google Scholar
  10. Ernst, C. H., & Lovich, J. E. (2009). Turtles of the United States and Canada (2nd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press.Google Scholar
  11. Frailey, C. D. (1978). An early Miocene (Arikareean) fauna from northcentral Florida (the SB-1A Local Fauna). Occasional Papers, Museum of Natural History, the University of Kansas, 85, 1–20.Google Scholar
  12. Garman, S. (1891). On a tortoise found in Florida and Cuba, Cinosternum baurii. Bulletin of the Essex Institute, 22, 1–14.Google Scholar
  13. Gray, J. E. (1831). Synopsis reptilium or short descriptions of the species of reptiles. Part I. Cataphracta, tortoises, crocodiles, and enaliosaurians. London: Treuttel, Wurz Co.Google Scholar
  14. Gray, J. E. (1856). On some new species of freshwater tortoises from North America, Ceylon, and Australia, in the collection of the British Museum. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 1855 (pp. 197–202).Google Scholar
  15. Hartweg, N. (1934). Description of a new kinosternid from Yucatan. Occasional Papers from the Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, 371, 1–5.Google Scholar
  16. Hay, O. P. (1906). Descriptions of two new genera (Echmatemys and Xenochelys) and two new species (Xenochelys formosa and Terrapene putnami) of fossil turtles. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, 22, 27–31.Google Scholar
  17. Hay, O. P. (1908). The fossil turtles of North America. Washington: Carnegie Institute, Publication No. 75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hayes, F. G. (2000). The Brooksville 2 local fauna (Arikareean, latest Oligocene): Hernando County, Florida. Bulletin of the Florida Museum of Natural History, 43, 1–47.Google Scholar
  19. Holman, J. A. (1995). Pleistocene amphibians and reptiles in North America. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Holman, J. A. (1998). Reptiles of the lower Miocene (Hemingfordian) Pollack Farm fossil site, Delaware. In R. N. Benson (Ed.), Geology and Paleontology of the lower Miocene Pollack Farm Fossil Site Delaware (pp. 141–148). Delaware Geological Survey, Special Publication, No. 21. State of Delaware: University of Delaware.Google Scholar
  21. Hulbert, R. C. (1992). A checklist of the fossil vertebrates of Florida. Papers in Florida Paleontology #6. Gainesville, Florida: Florida Paleontological Society, Inc.Google Scholar
  22. Hulbert, R. C. (2001). Chapter 3. In R. C. Hulbert (Ed.), The fossil vertebrates of Florida (pp. 34–74). Gainesville: University Press of Florida.Google Scholar
  23. Hutchison, J. H. (1991). Early Kinosterninae (Reptilia: Testudines) and their phylogenetic significance. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 11, 145–167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hutchison, J. H. (1998). Turtles across the Paleocene/Eocene epoch boundary in west-central North America. In M. P. Aubry, S. G. Lucas, & W. A. Berggren (Eds.), Late Paleocene-Early Eocene climatic and biotic events in the marine and terrestrial records (pp. 401–408). New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Hutchison, J. H. & Weems R. E. (1998). Paleocene turtle remains from South Carolina. In A. E. Sanders (Ed.), Paleobiology of the Williamsburg Formation (Black Mingo Group; Paleocene) of South Carolina, U.S.A. (pp. 165–195). Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 88: Pt. 4.Google Scholar
  26. Iverson, J. B. (1978). Variation in striped mud turtles, Kinosternon baurii (Reptilia, Testudines, Kinosternidae). Journal of Herpetology, 12, 135–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Iverson, J. B. (1991). Phylogenetic hypotheses for the evolution of modern kinosternine turtles. Herpetological Monographs, 5, 1–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Jackson, D. R. (1976). The status of the Pliocene turtles Pseudemys caelata Hay and Chrysemys carri Rose and Weaver. Copeia, 1976, 655–659.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Jackson, D. R. (1978). Evolution and fossil record of the chicken turtle Deirochelys, with a re-evaluation of the genus. Tulane Studies in Zoology and Botany, 20, 35–55.Google Scholar
  30. Lacépède, B. G. E. (1788). Histoire naturelle des quadrupèdes ovipares et des serpents (Vol. 1) [Ovipares]. Paris: Hôtel de Thou.Google Scholar
  31. LeConte, J. (1830). Description of the species of North American tortoises. Annales of the Lyceum Natural History (New York), 3, 91–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. LeConte, J. (1854). Description of four new species of Kinosternon. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 7, 180–190.Google Scholar
  33. Legler, J. M. (1965). A new species of turtle, genus Kinosternon from Central America. University of Kansas Publications, Museum of Natural History, 15, 615–625.Google Scholar
  34. Linnaeus, C. (1766). Systema Naturae (12th ed.). Sweden: Halae Magdeborgicae.Google Scholar
  35. Morgan, G. S. (1989). Miocene vertebrate faunas from the Suwannee River Basin of north Florida and south Georgia. In G. S. Morgan (Ed.), Miocene paleontology and stratigraphy of the Suwannee River Basin of north Florida and south Georgia (pp. 26–53). Tallahassee, Florida: Southeastern Geological Society, Guidebook #30.Google Scholar
  36. Prothero, D. R., & Emry, R. J. (2004). The Chadronian, Orellan, and Whitneyan North American land mammal ages. In M. O. Woodburne (Ed.), Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic mammals of North America: Biostratigraphy and geochronology (pp. 156–168). New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  37. Rose, F. L., & Weaver, W. G., Jr. (1966). Two new species of Chrysemys (= Pseudemys) from the Florida Pliocene. Tulane Studies in Geology, 5, 41–48.Google Scholar
  38. Schneider, J. G. (1783). Allegemeine naturgeschichte der schildkröten, nebst einem system. Leipzig: Verzeichnisse der einzelnen Arten.Google Scholar
  39. Schoepff, J. D. (1792–1801). Historia testudinum iconibus illustrata. Germany: Palm, Erlangae.Google Scholar
  40. Scott, T. M. (1988). The lithostratigraphy of the Hawthorn Group (Miocene) of Florida. Tallahassee: Florida Geological Survey.Google Scholar
  41. Siebenrock, F. (1906). Eine neue Cinosternum- Artaus Florida. Zoologische Anzeigel, 30, 727–728.Google Scholar
  42. Simpson, G. G. (1930). Tertiary land mammals of Florida. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, 59, 149–211.Google Scholar
  43. Smith, H. M., & Glass, B. P. (1947). A new musk turtle from southeastern United States. Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences, 37, 22–24.Google Scholar
  44. Sonnini De Manoncourt, C. S., & Latreille, P. A. (1802). Histoire naturelle des reptiles avec figures dessinées d’après nature (Vol. 1). Paris: Chez Deterville.Google Scholar
  45. Stejneger, L. (1925). New species and subspecies of American turtles. Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences, 15, 462–463.Google Scholar
  46. Tedford, R. H., & Hunter, M. E. (1984). Miocene marine-nonmarine correlations, atlantic and gulf coastal plains, North America. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 47, 129–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Tedford, R. H., Albright, L. B., III, Barnosky, A. D., Ferrusquia-Villafranca, I., Hunt, R. M., Jr., Storer J. E., et al. (2004). Mammalian biochronology of the Arikareean through Hemphillian interval (late Oligocene through early Pliocene epochs). In M. O. Woodburne (Ed.), Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic Mammals of North America: Biostratigraphy and geochronology (pp. 169–231). New York; Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Wagler, J. (1830). Natürliches System der Amphibien, mit Vorangehender Classification der Säugthiere und Vögel. Munich: J. G. Cotta’schen.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Weaver, W. G., Jr, & Robertson, J. S. (1967). A re-evaluation of fossil turtles of the Chrysemys scripta group. Tulane studies in geology, 5, 53–66.Google Scholar
  50. Webb, S. D., MacFadden, B. J., & Baskin, J. A. (1981). Geology and paleontology of the love bone bed from the late Miocene of Florida. American Journal of Science, 281, 513–544.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. White, T. E. (1942). A new alligator from the Miocene of Florida. Copeia, 1942, 3–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Williams, E. E. (1952). A staurotypine skull from the Oligocene of South Dakota (Testudinata, Chelydridae). Breviora, 2, 1–16.Google Scholar
  53. Williams, E. E. (1953). A new fossil tortoise from the Thomas Farm Miocene of Florida. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, 107, 537–554.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Vertebrate PaleontologyFlorida Museum of Natural History, Dickinson Hall, University of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations