Lifestyle & Belief

Turtle sex, perfectly preserved for the ages


Together... forever. The perfectly preserved fossilized remains of two turtles caught in the act may be up to 47 million years old.



We all have to go sometime, so why not meet your maker doing the thing you love most? 

The remains of two turtles have been excavated from the Messel Pit, a disused quarry that was once a volcanic lake, according to Science Mag. The turtles died and were fossilized some 47 million years ago, while coppulating. 

And they weren't alone. 

Walter Joyce, of the University of Tübingen in Germany, and colleagues found 51 specimans including six pairs. The group confirmed that all six pairs were mating when they died, according to New Scientist. Those who weren't in distinct pairs were only centimeters apart from potential mates. 

According to the BBC, the researchers think the turtles had initiated sex in the surface waters of the lake that once existed on the site, and were then overcome as they sank through deeper layers of water made toxic by the release of volcanic gases.

"We've demonstrated quite clearly that each pair is a male and a female, and not, for example, just two males that might have died in combat," Joyce told the BBC.

"This fact combined with the observation that their back ends are always orientated toward one another, and the two pairs with tails in the position of mating - that's a smoking gun in our view."

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