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Temporal range: Mid-Late Paleocene (Peligran-Itaboraian)
~60–58 Ma
Carbonemys Cofrinii.jpg
Life restoration of Carbonemys
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Pleurodira
Family: Podocnemididae
Genus: Carbonemys
Cadena et al., 2012
Type species
Carbonemys cofrinii
Cadena et al., 2012

Carbonemys cofrinii is an extinct podocnemidid turtle known from the Middle Paleocene Cerrejón Formation of northeastern Colombia. The formation is dated at around 60 to 58 million years ago, starting at about five million years after the KT extinction event.[1]


In 2005, the holotype specimen was discovered in the Cerrejón coal mine by a North Carolina State University doctoral student named Edwin Cadena. It had a shell that measured about 1.72 metres (5 ft 8 in), making it one of the world's largest turtles.[2][3]

The jaws of Carbonemys were massive and would be powerful enough to eat crocodylians, that were abundant in the first neotropical forest of the Cerrejón Formation.[4] This turtle coexisted with the giant boid, Titanoboa.


  1. ^ Cadena, E. A.; Ksepka, D. T.; Jaramillo, C. A.; Bloch, J. I. (2012). "New pelomedusoid turtles from the late Palaeocene Cerrejón Formation of Colombia and their implications for phylogeny and body size evolution". Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. 10 (2): 313. doi:10.1080/14772019.2011.569031. 
  2. ^ "Researchers reveal ancient giant turtle fossil". Phys.Org. 17 May 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  3. ^ Maugh II, Thomas H. (18 May 2012). "Researchers find fossil of a turtle that was size of a Smart car". LA Times. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  4. ^ "Car-sized Turtle Found in Colombian Coal Mine : Discovery News". 2012-05-18. Retrieved 2012-06-14.