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Kayentachelys aprix

Kayentachelys aprix from the Early Jurassic of Arizona is the earliest recorded cryptodire turtle.


Kayentachelys aprix


Gaffney, Hutchinson, Jenkins & Meeker, 1987

Meaning of the generic name

"Kayenta turtle"
 Meaning of the specific name



Skull length: , Length:


Holotype (MNA V1558): skull and shell.
Referred materials: MCZ 8914, MCZ 8983, MCZ 8917, MNA V1558, MNA V2664, TMM 43647-1, TMM 43651-1, TMM 43670-2, UCMP 130408, TMM43670-1.

Age and Distribution

Horizon: Kayenta Formation, early Jurassic (Plienbaschian).
Locality: Gold Spring Quarry, Adeii Eechii Cliffs, Coconino County, Arizona, US.


Anpasida Chelonia Cryptodira Kayentachelyidae

  Further Reading

  Gaffney, E. S., Hutchison, J. H., Jenkins, F. A., Jr and Meeker, L. J. 1987. Modern turtle origins: the oldest known cryptodire. Science 237: 289–291.

Sterli, J. and Joyce, W. G. 2007. The cranial anatomy of the Early Jurassic turtle Kayentachelys aprix.  Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 52: 675–694.


Reconstructed skull of Kayentachelys aprix. From Gaffney and Jenkins, 2009.