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Temporal range: Mid to Late Triassic
Restored Placochelys placodonta skull at the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Superorder: Sauropterygia
Order: Placodontia
Family: Placochelyidae
Genus: Placochelys

Placochelys ('flat-plate turtle") is an extinct genus of reptile from the Triassic period of Germany.

life restoration of Placochelys
Placochelys placodonta skull seen from below

Placochelys looked remarkably similar to a sea turtle, and grew to about 90 centimetres (3.0 ft) in length. It had a flat shell covered with knobbly plates, and a compact skull. Its skull had beaked, mostly toothless jaws with powerful muscles, and specialized broad teeth on the pallet, which were most likely used for crushing shellfish. Its limbs were paddle-shaped for swimming, although, unlike modern sea turtles, they still had clear toes, and it also had a short tail.[1]


  1. ^ Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 71. ISBN 1-84028-152-9.