Megalochelys Scientific Classification
Scientific name
cryptodiran tortoises
Megalochelys Physical Characteristics
Brown, Grey, Black, Dark Brown, Black-Brown
2200-4400lbs (1,000 to 2,000 kg)
Megalochelys Distribition

The Megalochelys was an effective genus of gigantic tortoise that resided in Southeast Asia from the Miocene (regarding 5 million years ago) till the Pleistocene date (regarding 10,000 years ago). It is similar in composition to the Galapagos titan tortoise. Nonetheless, it was considerably larger. Standing at as much as 2m in elevation, Megalochelys is thought about the largest land tortoise on document.

Summary & Dimension

Megalochelys is an extinct genus of tortoises that lived from the Miocene right into the Pliocene date. It was a cryptodidian tortoise. This indicates it comes from a team of tortoises that normally reduced their neck and draw their heads right into their coverings instead of folding them sidewards under the covering.

The name Megalochelys indicates “wonderful turtle,” which is suitable thinking about the truth that this tortoise is among the biggest of any one of the well-known testudines. One species of Megalochelys, the Megalochelys atlas, is the biggest tortoise ever before recognized. It had a covering size of greater than 2 m (6.6 feet) and an approximated overall size of 2.7 m (8.9 feet). The tortoise stood at an approximate elevation of 1.8 m (5.9 feet).

The weight price quote of this tortoise species differs significantly. According to the greatest quotes, Megalochelys tortoises most likely considered as much as 4,000 kg (8,800 pound). Nonetheless, a lot more conventional quotes placed the mass at around 1,000 to 2,000 kg (2,200 to 4,400 pound). Despite having this price quote, Megalochelys tortoises are still the biggest well-known land tortoises. Like lots of modern-day tortoises. The Megalochelys strolled on 4 elephantine feet, constructed to sustain its substantial weight.

Admire the unbelievable dimension of the Megalochelys.– Certificate

Diet – What Did Megalochelys Eat?

TheMegalochelys was more than likely an herbivore. Researchers involved this verdict because the majority of the associated family members, Testudinidae, are likewise vegetarian. Their diet more than likely was composed mostly of dried out fallen leaves on the woodland flooring. It most likely preyed on leafy blooming plants too.

Environment – When and Where It Lived

Megalochelys is best recognized from the external range of mountains of the Mountain ranges called the Siwaliks. The tortoise’s array covered components of Western India and Pakistan. The array most likely prolonged west as for Europe and all the means to Indonesia in the East.

The Siwaliks are the youngest component of the Himalayan range of mountains. Throughout the Miocene, when this tortoise flourished, it was a cozy and moist place with a solid downpour period. This indicates it should have had a wealth of leafed blooming greenery, which the gigantic tortoise can eat.

Risks And Predators

Offered the substantial dimension of this tortoise, it would certainly have been a powerful target for any kind of killer to handle. That is till human beings shown up on the scene. Before the arrival of the human beings, the Megalochelys was an effective genus that was well- dispersed throughout different atmospheres, specifically in Southeast Asia. The genus contended the very least 4 acknowledged species from the Late Pliocene to the Very Early Pleistocene. Since it was slow-moving and really did not have a lot in regards to defenses, it would certainly have been fairly very easy for human beings to quest.

Discoveries and Fossils – Where It was Discovered

Paleontologists found the very first fossils of the Megalochelys as much back as 1844. It was located in Late Miocene to Very early Pleistocene down payments in the Siwalik Hills of India in the external range of mountains of the Mountain ranges. Hugh Falconer and Captain Proby Thomas Cautley designated the name; Megalochelys sivalensis, which indicates “The huge turtle from the Siwalik Hills,” to this fossil. Nonetheless, they later on took out the name and changed it with the name “Colossochelys atlas, which equates as “The enormous turtle that stood up the globe.”

The timing of the gigantic turtle’s exploration came with a debatable time in reptile paleontology. Early writers favored to identify the tortoise in the genus Testudo provided its resemblances to modern-day species. Nonetheless, later on writers favored to position it in the Geochelone genus. In even more current alterations, researchers went back to the initial selections, and the genus name Megalochelys was picked as the main one. The species name sivalensis was gone down for atlas due to the fact that the last had a much more thorough summary.

Termination – When Did Megalochelys Pass Away Out?

Turtles en masse composed a huge part of the diet of very early human beings, and there are indicators that the Megalochelys experienced the exact same destiny too. The loss of these gigantic tortoises accompanied the arrival of Residence Erectus on the islands they survived on. Human beings almost pursued them to termination by the end of the Pleistocene date. Nonetheless, a few of them lingered on some separated islands till the Center Pleistocene.

Similar Animals to The Megalochelys

Similar animals to the Megalochelys consist of:

  • Archelon: This is an extinct genus of aquatic turtles that lived throughout the Late Cretaceous. It had to do with 5 m (16 feet) lengthy and considered as much as 2,200 kg (4,900 pound), making it the biggest aquatic turtle on document. 
  • Protostega: This is an extinct genus of sea turtles that lived throughout the Cretaceous. Researchers take into consideration the Protostega the 2nd- biggest aquatic turtle. 
  • Centrochelys: This is a genus of tortoise took into consideration the closest living family member of the Megalochelys. 

Relevant Animals


  1. Prehistoric Wildlife, Available here:
  2. Reptilis, Available here:
  3. Prehistoric Fauna, Available here:
  4. Wikipedia, Available here:

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