The Status of Deirochelys Floridana Hay with Comments on the Fossil History of the Genus

C.G. Jackson, Jr.


Hay_ (1908) described an extinct species of ch1ck~n turtle, Deirochelys f loridana, fr?m Pleistocene beds (formerly considered Pliocene), al?ng Peace Creek, Hillsborough County, Florida. His description is based upon a single, complete nuchal bone. A comparison of the type specimen with modern skeletal material demonstrates conclusively that this fossil is not Deirochelys, but should be consigned tO the genus Pseudemys Gray. On the basis of data presently available the fossil cannot be placed with certainty in the extant species Pseudemys nelsoni Carr or Pseudemys floridana Le Conte, although it is slightly closer to the mean v_alues of the former in some of its proportions. With D. floridana Hay referred to the genus P seudemys, Deirochelys would lack a fossil hisrory except that a partial nuchal element definitely referable to this genus recently has been found in a Pleisrocene deposit in Marion County, Florida.

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