Acta Palaeontologica Polonica

A new soft-shelled trionychid turtle of the genus Khunnuchelys from the Upper Cretaceous Bostobe Formation of Kazakhstan

Igor G. Danilov, Natasha S. Vitek, Alexander O. Averianov, and Vadim N. Glinskiy

Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 60 (1), 2015: 155-161 doi:

Previously unpublished trionychid turtle material from the Upper Cretaceous (Santonian–lower Campanian) Bostobe Formation from the Baybishe and Baykhozha localities in Kazakhstan is described. The material represents a new  species of Khunnuchelys, a large, skull-based clade of Cretaceous Asian trionychids. Concordant with other partial skulls and fragmentary specimens described previously, Khunnuchelys lophorhothon sp. nov. has the unusual features of a beaklike maxilla and a vaulted, expanded triturating surface. In addition, the specimens reveal novel features including a constricted skull roof. Although estimates of the length of the carapace differ depending on estimation method, the skull belonged to a turtle of comparable size to the shell-based species “Trionyxkansaiensis from the same formation. It is likely that K. lophorhothon and “T.kansaiensis are synonymous, but this can be proved only by a find of associated skull and shell material.

Key words: Testudines, Trionychidae, Trionychia, Khunnuchelys lophorhothon, Cretaceous, Kazakhstan.

Igor G. Danilov [] and Alexander O. Averianov [], Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Universitetskaya Emb. 1, 199034, St. Petersburg, Russia; Natasha S. Vitek [ ], Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA; Vadim N. Glinskiy [], Department of Paleontology, Geological Faculty, St. Petersburg State University, Universitetskaya Emb. 7/9, 199034, St. Petersburg, Russia.

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