Posted: June 20, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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The fossil turtle pairs are the first known example of prehistoric sex.

Courtesy of Senckenberg Naturmuseum Frankfurt

The moment of orgasm has sometimes been called the “little death”, but several pairs of prehistoric turtles may have died before they reached that moment. Palaeontologists have discovered fossilized turtles in flagrante delicto. The description of the 47-million-year-old fossils from Germany’s Messel shale is published today in Biology Letters1. The study, led by Walter Joyce of the University of Tübingen in Germany, provides the first direct evidence of prehistoric turtle sex. “The Messel Lake fossil site has produced tens of thousands of fossils, but only these turtles are found in pairs,” says Joyce. The puzzling pairs have raised eyebrows for years, but Joyce and colleagues have now confirmed that the turtles died in a mating embrace. (via Sex locked in stone : Nature News & Comment)


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