A new ancient giant sea turtle was found in Europe
A new ancient giant sea turtle was found in Europe
Apparently, millions of years ago giant sea turtles swam in Earth's seas. Until recently these prehistoric giants, reaching over 3 meters in length from head to tail, were thought to be found only in the waters surrounding North America. In 2021, scientists discovered an unknown species of a huge ancient sea turtle in Spain with a length of 3.74 m, which is now the largest sea turtle found in Europe.
The fossil was discovered by a hiker in 2016 in the Pyrenees mountains of northern Spain, but no one examined the bones for nearly five years. Researchers at the Catalan Institute of Paleontology of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, led by Ángel Luján and Albert Seles, began studying the bones in 2021, and realized that they had a new species of sea turtle completely new to science. They soon returned to the site to conduct more excavations.
The species was named Leviathanochelys aenigmatica. "Leviathan" is a biblical term for a sea monster while "chelys" translates as turtle and "aenigmatica" translates to enigma - in reference to the strange characteristics of the turtle. The researchers published the paper of the discovery in the Scientific Reports journal on November 17, 2022. The research team estimated that the ancient animal lived during the Cretaceous Period, making it at least 72 million years old.
The largest sea turtle fossil recorded in the world was found in South America, it is called Archelon ischyros and is 4.5 m long. The fossil can be found in the Natural History Museum of Vienna and is estimated to have lived about 70 million years ago.
The Spanish scientists concluded that giant sea turtles did not only develop in North America but now also in Europe.
Read the article here.
Over 5,800 nests monitored by daily walking on sea turtle nesting beaches in 2022!
We got together at Impact Hub in Athens for the Presentation of Results of the 2022 actions!
- OUR NEWS15/09/2023
Lilo, the tiny green turtle, made it back to the sea!
In November 2021 a small green turtle arrived at the ARCHELON Rescue Centre with a very serious head injury. After almost two years of intensive care, one Wednesday in September 2023 he was finally discharged and returned to the sea!
- OUR NEWS17/08/2023
World record of 37 years of reproductive life for a loggerhead sea turtle in Zakynthos, Greece – increased number of nests this summer, says ARCHELON
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- OUR NEWS07/08/2023
ATTENTION! Sea turtles are not pets: Do not touch them or feed them!
The Municipality of Eastern Mani and the Port Authorities requested the assistance of ARCHELON to inform beach users in the area of Limeni, near Mani, where 35 new incidents of sea turtle attacks on sea bathers have been recorded during this summer season. These are added to the already long list of 200 such records of previous years found in the nearby Health Center in Areopolis.
- OUR NEWS01/08/2023
Interview with a volunteer: Lea Heinen, Rescue Centre
Interview with a volunteer: Lea Heinen, Rescue Centre Lea shares her experience volunteering at the ARCHELON Sea Turtle Rescue Centre: “I think when a turtle starts to eat after a month of trying, when you can see the improvement or healing of a turtle's injury and when a turtle is released back into the sea, into its natural habitat, into its home - then you know that you are indeed saving turtles”.
- OUR NEWS21/07/2023
Kids Beach Competition 2023: Make your own little sea turtle with natural materials and send us a photo!
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- OUR NEWS18/07/2023
Paving the way for next steps in conservation of marine turtles in the Mediterranean region
Last week the partner organizations of the project “Conservation of Marine Turtles in the Mediterranean Region” met for the 9th Steering Committee Meeting. The meeting was organized by SPA/RAC in the area of Kyparissia Bay, Greece on the 4th and 5th of July, 2023 in collaboration with ARCHELON.
- OUR NEWS04/07/2023
An offer to EXPERIENCED volunteers: You can now join the beach projects for 2-3 weeks!
The time is just right to join the projects again, even if you have only 2 or 3 weeks of available time. This offer is valid for August, September, October 2023. Apply through our new website and find out more about the dates and places you can join. More…
- OUR NEWS22/06/2023
The nesting season has begun! Learn what you can do if you find sea turtle tracks or nests on the beach
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- OUR NEWS16/06/2023
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- OUR NEWS15/06/2023
A Saturday unlike any other - Turtle Festival 2023
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- OUR NEWS07/06/2023
Announcement for all past volunteers of ARCHELON: Shall we meet this September?
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- OUR NEWS07/04/2023
Waiting list for schools that want to visit the ARCHELON Rescue Centre
Thousands of Greek students visit the Centre and get informed about the value of protecting the environment through contact with a particularly beloved animal, the sea turtle. "All the available visiting hours until the end of the 2022-2023 school year have been booked, but there is a waiting list that is activated in case of cancellations", says Anna Kontoleon, ARCHELON’s Education Officer. More hours for online tours may be added in May if volunteers become available.
- OUR NEWS28/03/2023
People are supporting wildlife conservation
The donations and "adoptions" made at the Rescue Centre in Glyfada, Attica and at ARCHELON’s field projects in Zakynthos, the Peloponnese and Crete in 2022, reached the amount of €350,000. We did a lot last year thanks to all these people, who also made it possible for us to continue this year.
- OUR NEWS24/03/2023
We learned with deep sadness the passing away of Gail Schofield, a pronounced sea turtle researcher and former ARCHELON volunteer. Read more…
- OUR NEWS20/03/2023
More than half of the rehabilitated sea turtles got released back to the sea in 2022!
The Sea Turtle Rescue Centre of ARCHELON in Glyfada rescues, takes care of and rehabilitates injured sea turtles from all parts of Greece since 1994. More than half of the sea turtles that were under care at the Rescue Centre in 2022 got released back to the sea after reaching full recovery this year! Read more…