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Turtle Discovery May Provide Global Warming Clues

University Daily News
go to original
April 5, 2015



Ancient Turtle (University of Florida)

Scientists at the University of Florida claim that tropical turtle fossils discovered in Wyoming could unlock the clues to climate change.

The newly discovered genus and species, Gomphochelys (pronounced gom-fo-keel-eez) nanus, revealed that when the earth got warmer, prehistoric turtles headed north. The fossils could also provide a clue to how animals might respond to future climate change.

The wayfaring turtle was among the species that researchers believe migrated 500-600 miles north 56 million years ago, during a temperature peak known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. Lasting about 200,000 years, the temperature peak resulted in significant movement and diversification of plants and animals.

"We knew that some plants and lizards migrated north when the climate warmed, but this is the first evidence that turtles did the same," Jason Bourque, lead author of the study and a paleontologist at the Florida Museum of Natural History, said in a statement. "If global warming continues on its current track, some turtles could once again migrate northward, while others would need to adapt to warmer temperatures or go extinct."

Read the rest at University Daily News

  Check out Ecological Group of Costa Verde

  Check out The Western Ecological Society

  Check out Association for Environmental Unity in Mexico


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