A new soft-shelled turtle (Trionychidae, Apalone) from the Late Miocene of north-central Florida





Testudines, Trionychidae, Apalone, Clarendonian, Florida, Love Bone Bed, new species


Trionychid fossils from the late Miocene (late Clarendonian) Love Bone Bed in Alachua County, Florida, are described as a single taxon that represents a new species, Apalone amorense sp. nov. A phylogenetic analysis recovers A. amorense as sister to all extant representatives of Apalone. The new species is relatively small at adult size compared to other species of Apalone and exhibits a mosaic of similarities with extant species of Apalone. It shares the presence of four plastral callosities, lack of surface contact between the jugal and parietal, and a mid-sized postorbital bar with A. ferox, and unfused hyo-hypoplastra (except in some older individuals where these fuse), variably open suprascapular fontanelles in all but the largest individuals, and dermal sculpturing similar to A. mutica and A. spinifera. The age and proposed phylogenetic position of A. amorense are consistent with previously published estimated divergence dates for the clade.

Journal cover with Florida Museum of Natural History Logo and text Florida Museum of Natural History Bulletin University of Florida Gainesville




How to Cite

Valdes, N., Bourque, J., & Vitek, N. (2017). A new soft-shelled turtle (Trionychidae, Apalone) from the Late Miocene of north-central Florida. Bulletin of the Florida Museum of Natural History, 55(6), 117–138. https://doi.org/10.58782/flmnh.mclw7941