Colossochely's fossil in the American Museum of Natural History
|Miocene to Pliocene|
|12 to 3 million years|
|Falconer & Cautley , 1844|
Atlas turtles are considered to be the largest and heaviest tortoises. The sizes range from 2.50 to 2.70 meters of armor length , up to 1.80 meters in total height and a weight between 900 and 4000 kilograms. The back armor was evenly curved and thickened at the edge. The animals presumably resembled the Seychelles giant tortoises , but were much larger. The belly armor had very elongated and excellent throat shields, which can be understood as a convergence to the Cylindraspis of the Mascarene .
Fossil finds are known from the Miocene to the Pliocene and were found in India and Pakistan , Thailand and on the Indonesian islands of Sulawesi and Timor . Pleistocene fossil finds in cave sediments in Malta also suggest very large turtles. Whether they are Atlas turtles is discussed, but cannot be decided with certainty due to the fragmentary pieces.
- Megalochelys sivalensis Falconer & Cautley, 1837
- Colossochelys atlas Falconer & Cautley, 1844
- Geochelone atlas Falconer & Cautley, 1844
- Megalochelys atlas Falconer & Cautley, 1844
- Testudo atlas Lydekker , 1880
- Testudo atlas Wieland , 1896
- Testudo atlas Brown, 1931
- Testudo margae Hooijer , 1954
- Walter Auffenberg: Checklist of fossil land tortoises (Testudinidae) , In: Bulletin of the Florida State Museum, Biological sciences. 18 , No. 3, University of Florida 1974, p. 173 .
- DM Hansen, CJ Donlan, CJ Griffiths, KJ Campbell: Ecological history and latent conservation potential: large and giant tortoises as a model for taxon substitutions . In: Wiley (Ed.): Ecography. 33 , No. 2, 2010, pp. 272-284.
- Fritz Jürgen Obst : The world of the turtles. Leipzig 1985, p. 82.