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Fossil record for turtle reproduction

Ben Creisler

A new paper that may be of interest to some:

Daniel R. Lawver and Frankie D. Jackson (2014)
A Review of the Fossil Record of Turtle Reproduction: Eggs, Embryos,
Nests and Copulating Pairs.
Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History 55(2):215-236
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.3374/014.055.0210

The fossil record of turtle reproduction (e.g., eggs, embryos, nests
and copulating pairs) is relatively poor compared with that of
dinosaurs. This record extends from the Middle Jurassic to the
Pleistocene, and specimens are known from every continent except
Antarctica. Fossil turtle eggs are recognized as body fossils, and
confident taxonomic identification at the genus or species level is
dependent on embryos preserved within fossil eggs or by eggs found
within a gravid female. Cladistic analysis of egg and eggshell
characters demonstrates a high degree of homoplasy, and only a few
characters provide a strong phylogenetic signal. Taphonomic studies of
fossil turtle eggs are rare but can elucidate size and number of eggs
produced by extinct taxa. Pathological fossil turtle eggs are known
from a few localities and provide information about physiological or
environmental stresses experienced by the gravid female. Fossil turtle
eggs are relatively abundant in Asia, Europe and North America but are
poorly represented in Gondwana. An ootaxonomic review of fossil turtle
eggs shows that of 15 named ootaxa, 8 are nomina valida, 5 are nomen
nudum and 2 are junior synonyms of other ootaxa.