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SEWELL, N.J. (CBS) – A prehistoric sea turtle that weighed hundreds of pounds has been unearthed in Gloucester County, NJ.


Drexel University biology professor and paleontologist Dr. Ken Lacovara (below right) says the Sewell location is a prime archeological site.

lacovara side Drexel Group Finds Huge Prehistoric Turtle Fossil In Sewell, NJ“Sixty-five million years ago, the planet was much warmer, sea level was much higher, and the coast came all the way to right about where (interstate) 295 is,” he explains.  “So just off shore, in Gloucester County, was this very productive shallow marine environment.  We find crocodiles there…”

…not to mention this sea turtle fossil, which in life was three feet across and weighed 600 to 700 pounds.

Dr. Lacovara says fossil-hunting can be quite fulfilling.

“When you uncover a fossil,” he says, “you are the first one to see that. It’s the first time those bones have seen light in 65 million years, and for a second you are the only one to know that little piece of information.”

Right now the turtle fossil is back at Drexel, where graduate students will work quickly to put its pieces together.

Eventually it will go on display either on Drexel’s main campus or the Academy of Natural Sciences.


Reported by Michelle Durham, KYW Newsradio 1060

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