Koopa-style Giant Turtle

A family of giant armored turtles called meiolaniid flourished millions of years ago and was thought to have gone extinct 50,000 years ago. But now evidence from an archaeological dig on the island of Vanuatu shows a species called Meiolania damelipi survived until about 3,000 years ago.
The shell of one early meiolaniid species, known from fossils recovered in South America and named Stupendemys for its size, was 11 feet long and seven feet wide. The more modern Meiolania platyceps, found in Australia and Melanesia, had a relatively small five-foot-diameter shell, and weighed an estimated half-ton. All had armored club tails and horned heads.

(One species is even named Ninjemys, in honor of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, though M. platyceps looks much more like Super Mario Brothers 3-vintage Bowser, the King Koopa).

According to the fossil record, Meiolania damelipi flourished 3,000 years ago and were extinct 200 years later, possibly because of human hunting. The size of the newly-discovered species is not specified in the article. Pictured is Meiolania platyceps. Link -via Unique Daily

(Image credit: Australian National Museum)

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Meiolania are awesome, but can you please change the image credit to the "Australian Museum" instead of "Australian National Museum"? The skull of one is currently on display there (http://australianmuseum.net.au/Palaeontology-Collection-The-Hole-in-the-head-skull/).
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Ever since it was revealed that basically the entire dinosaur line-up from my childhood was fraught with lies, damned lies, and stegosauruses ... I nary believe any of these crypto-species wielding ancient snake-oil sales-folks.
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