Glyptops plicatulus

Glyptops plicatulus
(Left) This adult Glyptops was found in the Carnegie Quarry. The head would have been at the top of the shell. Scale bar is 6 inches. (Right) This Glyptops is on display at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

About Glyptops plicatulus:

Glyptops probably lived a life similar to that of modern turtles. It lived in or near water and ate plants, insects, and fish. The ornamented shell was used for protection and is the most common turtle part found as fossils. It retracted its head by folding its neck back vertically like box turtles, pond turtles, and tortoises of today.

Glyptops juvenile back
Ornamentation is apparent on the shell of this juvenile Glyptops. The scale bar is one inch.

Why is Glyptops plicatulus a superstar?

The adult Glyptops shell at Dinosaur is one of the best preserved ever found. Most of the shell is intact. The small shell is the only well preserved juvenile Glyptops. The adult and juvenile shells display different ornamentation. The underside of the juvenile shell has a small triangular gap where the shell has not yet fully formed.This gap is evidence that the specimen is a juvenile.

Glyptops juvenile belly
Note the triangular gap on the underside where the shell has not fully formed.  The scale bar is one inch.

Jurassic Fact: Glyptops is the most common turtle in the Morrison Formation.

For more information: Visit the Quarry Exhibit Hall at Dinosaur National Monument where both the adult and juvenile will be on display. The Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, PA also has an adult shell from Dinosaur on display.

Last updated: February 24, 2015

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