10 Things You Might Not Have Known About Turtles #4
Ancient turtles were huge.
The largest of the freshwater turtles was actually called Stupendemys. This beast lived in South America during the Pliocene epoch and was nearly 11 feet long. Testudo atlas, a land tortoise, was the biggest land tortoise to ever live. It looked just like those Galapagos tortoises, but it was 8 feet long and weighed four tons.
Another monstrous chelonian was Archelon, which was one of the sea turtles of the Cretaceous period. It looked a bit like the leatherback turtle but was 15 feet long. Like modern sea turtles, it ate jellyfish, sponges and other soft-bodied creatures.