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Desmatochelys padillai is an extinct species of sea turtle described in 2015 and belongs to the family Protostegidae. Estimated to be more than 120 millions years old, it became the oldest known sea turtle, superseding a record earlier held by Santanachelys gaffneyi, which was described in 1998. The fossil, including bones and shells, was discovered from Villa de Leyva in Colombia in 2007. The specimen is larger than an average-sized humans, measuring 2 m in length, and exhibits the key features of modern sea turtles. The specific name is given in honour of Carlos Bernardo Padilla, a renowned supporter of the palaeontology of the region.

Desmatochelys padillai
Desmatochelys padillai Colombia.jpg
Fossil in the Centro de Investigaciones Paleontológicas, Villa de Leyva, Colombia
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Superfamily: Chelonioidea
Family: Protostegidae
Genus: Desmatochelys
Species: D. padillai
Binomial name
Desmatochelys padillai

Desmatochelys padillai is an extinct species of sea turtle described in 2015 and belongs to the family Protostegidae. Estimated to be more than 120 millions years old, it became the oldest known sea turtle, superseding a record earlier held by Santanachelys gaffneyi, which was described in 1998. The fossil, including bones and shells, was discovered from Villa de Leyva in Colombia in 2007. The specimen is larger than an average-sized humans, measuring 2 m in length, and exhibits the key features of modern sea turtles. The specific name is given in honour of Carlos Bernardo Padilla, a renowned supporter of the palaeontology of the region.