From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Temporal range: Late Cretaceous–Paleocene
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Cryptodira
Family: Dermatemydidae ?
Genus: Compsemys
Leidy, 1856
Species: C. victa
Binomial name
Compsemys victa
Leidy, 1856

Compsemys is a genus of prehistoric turtles from the Late Cretaceous and Paleocene of North America. Although several species have been described, they are all considered synonyms of one species, C. victa, first described by Joseph Leidy in 1856.[1] Its familial affinities are unclear,[1] with recent authors favoring Dermatemydidae.[2]

Compsemys was a moderately sized turtle, up to 30 cm (12 in) long, with a carapace covered with raised, flattened tubercles, which are not seen in any other turtle. This allows even small shell fragments to be identified as Compsemys.[3] The skull resembles that of the alligator turtle, with a sharply hooked beak; Compsemys must have been an aquatic carnivore.[3]


  1. ^ a b Laurie J. Bryant (1989). "Systematic Paleontology". Non-dinosaurian lower vertebrates across the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary in northeastern Montana. Volume 134 of University of California publications in geological sciences. University of California Press. pp. 10–58. ISBN 978-0-520-09735-3. 
  2. ^ Benjamin John Burger (2007). "A new Late Paleocene vertebrate fauna from the Ohio Creek Formation of western Colorado" (PDF). The Mountain Geologist. 44 (3): 141–150. 
  3. ^ a b Martin Jehle (April 1, 2006). "Turtles: Business as usual". Paleocene mammals of the world. Retrieved October 10, 2010.