Egyptian palaeontologists unearth fossil of a millions-years-old side-neck river turtle in New Valley governorate s Kharga oasis. Photo : New Valley University
According to an announcement by the President of New Valley University Abdel-Aziz Tantawy on Sunday, a joint research team from both New Valley University and Cairo University unearthed a fossil of a side-necked river turtle’s complete shell at the Quseir formation in Kharga Oasis in New Valley Governorate.
Tantawy added that this type of turtle is the first of its kind to be discovered in Egypt and North Africa and that it has been officially named “Khargachelys Carioensis” after Kharga Oasis and Cairo University.
The fossil of the complete shell goes back more than 70 million years ago to the Upper Cretaceous epoch (Campanian), according to researchers.
The new discovery helps fill in the missing evolutionary gap of the Late Cretaceous Pleurodires, or side-neck river turtles, in Egypt and North Africa.
The discovery of the fossil was published in December in “Diversity journal” in cooperation with researchers from Japan’s Waseda University and Spanish Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia. The research is available online in English.