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Fossil of pig-snouted turtle unearthed in Utah offers unique look at extinct creature

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Posted at 4:24 PM, Oct 21, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-21 18:24:28-04

SOUTHERN UTAH -- A fossil of a pig-snouted turtle discovered in Utah offers a look at a creature believed to be extinct for 76 million years.

Scientists said they have never seen anything like this species in the history of turtle evolution, which spans about 250 million years.

The pig-snouted turtle was unearthed in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument by a team from the Natural History Museum of Utah.

It measures about 2-feet in length, and scientists say the streamlined shell was adapted for living in a riverine environment. They said this animal would have been alive during the cretaceous period, when southern Utah would have looked more like present-day Louisiana.