New research on fossilized smooth-shelled turtle species discovered in Sask.

An incredible fossil first dug in Grasslands National Park in 2016 is a new species of turtle known as Leiochelys tokaryki, or “Tokaryk’s smooth turtle,” in recognition of Tim Tokaryk, the former curator of palaeontology at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum (RSM).

The tiny turtle, which is the size of a human fist, is the subject of a new research paper involving Ryan McKellar from the RSM. Paleontologists say it’s a rare fossil where all the bones are connected inside the shell.

Read more: Scientists studying world’s largest T. rex to gain insight into dinosaurs, evolution

“The whole shell is tiny…. The turtle is about 66 million years old and was found near Grasslands National Park in 2016, next to bones of a triceratops,” said McKellar. “The new specimen is only the second of its kind studied in North America and our ability to look at the entire skeleton with CT scans brought a new level of detail to the research.”

Story continues below advertisement

New research on the tiny turtle is sparking academic interest as the specimen involved is only the second of its kind studied in North America. University of Regina master of science student Caelan Libke and Canadian Light Source scientist Sergei Gasilov used CT scanning to image the delicate specimen.

Read more: Royal Saskatchewan Museum, U of R partnering on urban wildlife research project

“Whether it is uncovering and reassembling the world’s largest Tyrannosaurus, on display in the CN T.rex Gallery, to last year’s amazing Prognathodon discovery, the work of scientists at the RSM is as fascinating as it is wide-ranging,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Laura Ross stated in a release. “At the RSM, there is always a potential new discovery on the horizon to amaze us.”

Click to play video: 'Royal Sask. Museum’s T-Rex starring in ‘Twas The Night Before Hibernation’' Royal Sask. Museum’s T-Rex starring in ‘Twas The Night Before Hibernation’

Royal Sask. Museum’s T-Rex starring in ‘Twas The Night Before Hibernation’ – Dec 27, 2019

Story continues below advertisement

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

View original article here Source