Palaeontologists recently discovered an exceptionally well-preserved fossil of a new and extinct species of Turtle which was dating back to the late Cretaceous Period, which began around 100 million years ago. The discovered species would have had a frog-like face and eaten by sucking in mouthfuls of prey-filled water.
The ancient Turtle was a freshwater species endemic to Madagascar, with a shell length of around 25 centimeters. The species had a flattened skull, rounded mouth and large tongue bones, all of which would have made it a great suction feeder and given it an amphibian-like appearance. In the new study describing the species, the researchers named it Sahonachelys mailakavava, which means quick-mouthed frog Turtle in Malagasy, the language spoken by Indiginous people of Madagascar.
The lead author added that they are unsure how far back the quick-mouthed frog Turtle may have emerged or when and why it went extinct. The new species survived the big extinction event that killed the dinosaurs and brought the Cretaceous Period to an end around 66 million years ago.