9.4" Inflated Fossil Tortoise (Stylemys) - South Dakota

This is a beautiful 9.4" wide shell (carapace and plastron) of an Oligocene-aged tortoise (Stylemys nebrascensis) from the Brule Formation in the Badlands of South Dakota. It's nicely inflated with very little crushing.

The carapace has some spots of gap fill restoration, with significant marginal scute restoration at the posterior end of the shell. The plastron is approximately 65% complete. A white plaster has been used as gap fill for the 1/4 of the plastron that's missing.

Stylemys ("pillar turtle") is the first fossil genus of dry land tortoise discovered in the United States. They lived in temperate to subtropical areas of North America, Europe, and Asia.

These extinct tortoises had primitive jaw muscles, unlike today's tortoises that also display the os transiliens bone, and would have been herbivorous. While Stylemys species did exhibit the same neck structure as modern tortoises, the forelimbs weren't ideal for burrowing.
Stylemys nebrascensis
South Dakota
Brule Formation - White River Badlands Group
Length: 9.4", Width: 7", Height: 3.2"
We guarantee the authenticity of all of our
specimens. Read more about our
Authenticity Guarantee.