When And How Did The Turtle Get Its Shell?


A turtle’s shell is what sets them apart from any other type of animal.  Some turtles have flat soft shells and others have high domed extremely hard shells and then there are all kinds of variations between the two.

Studying the embryonic development of turtles, we know how their shell forms.  While the turtles were still developing in the egg the ribs and vertebrae begin to grow wider; forming a bony base for the shell.  Upon that bony base, a specialized layer of skin develops to cover and protect the bony structure of the shell by forming hardened structures called osteoderms.  These are the bone-like scales that form on a number of reptiles.  Made mostly of keratin (same as your fingernails), these bone-like osteoderms form into the large connecting plates that make up the shell.

Evolutionists use this knowledge of how the shell forms to promote their theory on turtle evolution.  Based upon their belief in millions of years, they claim to have fossils of turtles dating back 210 million years.  This fossil had a fully formed shell, indicating that it was very similar to today’s living turtles.

A fossil discovered a century ago, named Eunotosaurus, was supposedly dated to 260 million years old.  Eunotosaurus was classified as a turtle because of the reduced number of dorsal vertebra and the wide ribs, but lacked the broadened vertebral spines found on modern turtles.  However, the skull is somewhat different, resembling most like another group of extinct reptiles known as Parareptilia. Eunotosaurus also lacked the osteoderms that made up the hardened shell of today’s turtles.

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