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Temporal range: Early Jurassic 196.5–183.0 Ma
Kayentachelys NT.jpg
Life restoration
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Clade: Pantestudines
Clade: Testudinata
Genus: Kayentachelys
Gaffney et al., 1987
Species: † K. aprix
Binomial name
Kayentachelys aprix
Gaffney et al., 1987

Kayentachelys ("Kayenta shell") is an extinct genus of stem-turtle from the Early Jurassic Kayenta Formation of northern Arizona.[1] Kayentachelys was about 0.5 m (1.6 ft) wide and 0.6 m (2.0 ft) in length. It lived in an environment dominated by streams and dunes.


Kayentachelys was originally grouped as a primitive cryptodire and part of its own family, Kayentachelyidae. Below is the classification of Kayentachelys within Cryptodira:[1] However, later analysis showed that it was more likely to be a primitive testudinatan outside the group containing living turtles.[2]


  1. ^ a b Gaffney, E.S.; Hutchinson, J.H.; Jenkins, F.A Jr.; Meeker, L.J. (1987). "Modern Turtle Origins; The Oldest Known Cryptodire" (PDF). Science. 237 (4812): 289–291. doi:10.1126/science.237.4812.289. PMID 17772056. 
  2. ^ Anquetin, J. R. M. (2012). "Reassessment of the phylogenetic interrelationships of basal turtles (Testudinata)". Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. 10: 3. doi:10.1080/14772019.2011.558928.