*SPECIAL NOTE* - Colossochelys has now been regarded to be a synonym to Megalochelys. This page remains online for archive purposes.


Name: Colossochelys ‭(‬Colossal shell‭)‬.
Phonetic: Coe-loss-oh-kel-is.
Named By: Falconer‭ & ‬Cautley‭ ‬-‭ ‬1844.
Synonyms: Geochelone atlas,‭ ‬Testudo atlas,‭ ‬Megalochelys sivalensis.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Testudines,‭ ‬Cryptodira,‭ ‬Testudinidae,‭ ‬Testudininae.
Species: C.‭ ‬atlas‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Herbivore.
Size: Around‭ ‬2.5‭ ‬to‭ ‬2.7‭ ‬meters long.
Known locations: India,‭ ‬Pakistan,‭ ‬Thailand‭ ‬-‭ ‬possibly further afield across Asia.
Time period: Miocene to Pliocene.
Fossil representation: Many specimens.

       Colossochelys atlas is regarded as possibly being the largest land living tortoise so far known,‭ ‬even bigger than the terrestrial turtle Meiolania.‭ ‬The only related reptiles bigger than‭ Colossochelys were marine turtles such as Protostega and Archelon.‭ ‬As a slow moving herbivore,‭ ‬Colossochelys would have been a target for predators of the time,‭ ‬but the large shell would have been a formidable defence against their jaws.


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