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Temporal range: Late Cretaceous, 89–70 Ma
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Cryptodira
Clade: Americhelydia
Clade: Panchelonioidea
Genus: Ctenochelys
Sternberg, 1904
Type species
C. stenoporus
  • C. stenoporus
  • C. acris

Ctenochelys is an extinct genus of marine turtle (Cryptodira, Cheloniidae), which existed during the Cretaceous period, and lived in the shallow waters of the Western Interior Seaway.[1] Its fossils have been found in the Ripley Formation and Mooreville Chalk of central Alabama, United States.[2] It was first named by C.H. Sternberg in 1904,[3] and contains two species, C. stenoporus[4] and C. acris.[5]


  • Ctenochelys stenoporus is the type species. It was originally thought to be a species of Toxochelys; T. bauri, until Sternberg declared it a separate genus.[3] The two genera are similar in carapaces.[1]
  • Ctenochelys acris was first named by Zangerl in 1953 and is now thought to be one of the earliest ancestors of modern cheloniids.[6]


  1. ^ a b Kear BP, Lee MS (March 2006). "A primitive protostegid from Australia and early sea turtle evolution". Biol. Lett. 2 (1): 116–9. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2005.0406. PMC 1617175Freely accessible. PMID 17148342. 
  2. ^ "Gary Kobylski, New Chair of MO–15 Board and State Conservationist in Alabama - Section "Things other than Dirt!"" (PDF). Charles Love, The Coastal Plainer. Fall 2005. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  3. ^ a b "Marine Turtles". Mike Everhart. 2004. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  4. ^ Matzke AT (2007). "An almost complete juvenile specimen of the Cheloniid turtle Ctenochelys Stenoporus (Hay, 1905) From the Upper Cretaceous Niobrara formation of Kansas, USA". Palaeontology. 50 (3): 669–91. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4983.2007.00650.x. 
  5. ^ Zangerl R (1953). "The vertebrate fauna of the Selma Formation of Alabama. Part IV. The turtles of the family Toxochelyidae". Fieldiana Geology Memoirs: 137–277. 
  6. ^ Gentry AD. "New material of the Late Cretaceous marine turtle Ctenochelys acris Zangerl, 1953 and a phylogenetic reassessment of the 'toxochelyid'-grade taxa". Journal of Systematic Palaeontology |In press. doi:10.1080/14772019.2016.1217087.x. 

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