dinosaur museum

Prionochelys nauta

Pronounced (pry-on-oh-kee-leez naw-ta)

Discovery Location: Central Alabama
Diet: Omnivore
Period: Late Cretaceous
Age: 80 million years
Formation: Mooreville Chalk
Length: 30 in


Prionochelys nauta is a member of the turtle family Toxochelyidae, one of many types of animals that lived during the late Cretaceous.  This rare specimen is from the Mooreville Chalk of Alabama.   This turtle was probably capable of fast, short distance locomotion by means of rapid paddling with the hind limbs, and slow cruising speeds by vertical strokes of the forelimbs.

Prionochelys is sometimes called ‘Saw Turtle’ due to the serrated edge of its shell.  This specimen is 30 inches long.

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