Named By: Falconer & Cautley - 1844.
Synonyms: Geochelone atlas, Testudo atlas, Megalochelys sivalensis.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Testudines, Cryptodira, Testudinidae, Testudininae.
Species: C. atlas (type).
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.