SALT LAKE CITY – Paleontologists say a 75-million-year-old turtle fossil uncovered in southern Utah has a clutch of eggs inside, making it the first prehistoric pregnant turtle found in the United States.
At least three eggs are visible from the outside of the fossil, and Montana State University researchers this week have been studying images taken from a CT scan in search of others inside.
Montana State graduate student Michael Knell says the turtle was probably about a week from laying her eggs when she died and became entombed for millions of years in sandstone.
The fossil was found in 2006 in a remote part of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The eggs weren't discovered until after it sat in storage for two years and was being re-examined by a volunteer.
The world's first prehistoric turtle was found in Alberta, Canada in 1999.