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Turtle from the Paleocene–Eocene of Colombia Preserving Blood Vessels and Osteocytes

Ben Creisler

A recent paper that may be of interest:

Edwin A. Cadena and Mary H. Schweitzer (2014)
A Pelomedusoid Turtle from the Paleocene-Eocene of Colombia Exhibiting
Preservation of Blood Vessels and Osteocytes.
Journal of Herpetology 48(4):461-465
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1670/13-046

We describe a Paleocene–Eocene pelomedusoid turtle from tropical South
America in a new fossiliferous locality, from Los Cuervos Formation,
at the Calenturitas Coal Mine, Colombia. Although no further
systematic precision beyond Pelomedusoides incertae sedis can be
supported, the presence of an ischial scar positioned far anteriorly
to the anal notch, and a strongly decorated ventral surface of the
plastron, indicate that this specimen is potentially related to the
bothremydid clade formed by Puentemys–Foxemys. We also demonstrate the
potential organic preservation of osteocytes and blood vessels for
this specimen, indicating that preservation of soft tissue such as
vessels and bone cells in the fossil record is independent of bone
type, fossil site, or locality; occurring in different lineages of
vertebrates; and that it is even possible to occur in tropical
depositional environments during a period of maximum global warming
such as the Paleocene–Eocene.