NUEVA ESPECIE DE RHINOCLEMMYS FITZINGER, 1836 (CHELONII, CRYPTODIRA) DEL CENOZOICO TARDÍO DE COSTA RICA

Rafael A. Acuña-Mesén, César A. Laurito-Morn

Abstract


The new species Rhinoclemmys nicoyana is recognized by its nucal bone, with the nucal plate longer than wide, by the axillary pillars of the hipoplastron with an angle of 65°, and by its large size in comparison to other species of this genus. Several features of the holotype -and only known specimen- agree with semiaquatic habitats characterized by strong seasonality. It al so shows closer affinities with living South American species of the genus rather than with those presently living in North America. The new turtle provides evidence supporting previous hypotheses about the major development of savanna habitats in the pacific coast of Southem Central America during late Pleistocene times.

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