90 Million Year Old Fossilized Turtle Unearthed From New Mexico, Was Found During Hiking

November 4, 2014 8:13 AM

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A simple rock mound turned out to be a 90-million-year-old turtle fossil, identified by a museum volunteer during a nature hike in New Mexico. Jeff Dornbusch, who is a volunteer with the Truth or Consequences museum in southern New Mexico, stumbled upon this rare discovery. He revealed to Las Cruces Sun-News that he was completely unaware about the area being a place for marine fossils, shells and other stuffs. More than a decade ago, Dornbusch spotted the turtle fossil by observing the light grey color evident amid the brown dirt, but its exact location remained untraced. However, two summers back, a site about six miles away towards the east of a famous park called Turtleback Mountain, near Truth or Consequences, was identified as its precise location. Belonging to the prehistoric era, the turtle was of the genus Adocus and is believed to have dwelled in a marshy environ. Examination of the surrounding dirt confirmed the era to be the late Cretaceous Period, dating back to about ten million years. The turtle remains were excavated last week by a four-person team and one of the team members, Tom Suazo, confirmed that “basically, what this is a swampy, near-shore environment”. As per The Smithsonian Institution, the Cretaceous Period, also recognized for the time period when the dinosaurs became extinct, continued from 146 to 65.5 million years ago. Scientists are planning to move the turtle fossil to the Albuquerque-based New Mexico Museum of Natural History which has a huge collection of 25,000 other fossils.

A simple rock mound turned out to be a 90-million-year-old turtle fossil, identified by a museum volunteer during a nature hike in New Mexico. Jeff Dornbusch, who is a volunteer with the Truth or Consequences museum in southern New Mexico, stumbled upon this rare discovery. He revealed to Las Cruces...

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