Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Monster Turtle Species That Survived 50,000 Years Lasted Only 200 Years After It Met Humans

On the Small Pacific Island of Vanuatu, people are still encountering half-ton turtles with armored club tails and horned heads. The species, called Meiolania damelipi, was thought to have gone extinct 50,000 years until recently. Discarded bones were found of the large turtles species in a mound of animal bones near a village of Lapita. The bottom layer of the mound dated to 3,000 years ago and had many meiolania bones. The top layer dated to 2,800 years ago and had none. Researchers estimate the island of Vanuatu alone could have supported tens of thousands of these giant turtles, all of which were wiped out by huntings, habitat destruction and egg eating invasive species. Courtesy of the new human residents. Click here to read more.