Ocepechelon

Name: Ocepechelon.
Phonetic: O-cep-e-kel-on.
Named By: N.‭ ‬Bardet,‭ ‬N.-E.‭ ‬Jalil,‭ ‬F.‭ ‬Lapparent Broin,‭ ‬D.‭ ‬Germain,‭ ‬O.‭ ‬Lambert‭ & ‬M.‭ ‬Amaghzaz‭ ‬-‭ ‬2013.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Testudines,‭ ‬Cryptodira,‭ ‬Dermochelyoidae,‭ ‬Dermochelyidae.
Species: O.‭ ‬bouyai (type‭)‬.
Diet: Uncertain.
Size: Holotype skull‭ ‬70‭ ‬centimetres long.
Known locations: Morocco.
Time period: Maastrichtian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Partial skull.

       Ocepechelon is a fascinating genus of sea turtle for two reasons.‭ ‬First,‭ ‬with a skull that was seventy centimetres long,‭ ‬Ocepechelon must have been huge,‭ ‬but unfortunately without a shell and/or post cranial skeleton we don’t know how big.‭ ‬Second,‭ ‬the mouth of Ocepechelon is formed into a pipette-like feature which suggests that Ocepechelon may have been a suction feeder or some kind.‭ ‬We don’t yet know what Ocepechelon was eating,‭ ‬but living relatives such as Dermochelys,‭ ‬better known as the leatherback turtle,‭ ‬are known to eat jellyfish.‭ ‬Perhaps Ocepechelon was swimming into swarms of small soft bodied jellyfish,‭ ‬sucking them up as it casually swam by.

Further reading
-‭ ‬A Giant Chelonioid Turtle from the Late Cretaceous of Morocco with a Suction Feeding Apparatus Unique among Tetrapods.‭ ‬-‭ ‬PLoS One‭ ‬8‭(‬7‭)‬:e63586.‭ ‬-‭ ‬N.‭ ‬Bardet,‭ ‬N.-E.‭ ‬Jalil,‭ ‬F.‭ ‬Lapparent Broin,‭ ‬D.‭ ‬Germain,‭ ‬O.‭ ‬Lambert‭ & ‬M.‭ ‬Amaghzaz‭ ‬-‭ ‬2013.



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