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Temporal range: Paleocene
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Cryptodira
Family: Trionychidae
Genus: Palaeotrionyx

Palaeotrionyx ('dawn three-claw') is an extinct genus of softshell turtle from the Paleocene epoch of western North America.

Palaeotrionyx, like its modern relatives, had no scutes on its carapace, which probably had leathery, pliable skin at the sides. Despite living several million years ago, Palaeotrionyx would have looked very similar to its modern relatives, with a long neck, a sharp beak, and three toes on each foot. It grew to around 45 centimetres (18 in) in length, somewhat smaller than many modern day species. Based on the diet of modern softshell turtles, it was an omnivore, eating water plants, invertebrates, and perhaps small fish.[1]


  1. ^ Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 69. ISBN 1-84028-152-9.