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03. Scott Hocknull - Dinosaur Man

Mt Etna SNAKES, TURTLES AND CROCODILES

Images of the Blind snake by Gary Cranitch and Venomous snake by Jeff Wright

Images of the Blind snake by Gary Cranitch and Venomous snake by Jeff Wright, © Queensland Museum; Carpet python by magdalena b, Creative Commons licence BY-NC-SA.

Snakes are very abundant in the fossil record and include the second only record of blind snakes. Giant pythons of several different kinds were present.

Smaller pythons are found in the arid fauna and very large venomous snakes appear.

Image of the Turtle by Gary Cranitch, and illustration of Quinkana (extinct crocodile) by artist Robert Allen

Image of the Turtle by Gary Cranitch, and illustration of Quinkana (extinct crocodile) by artist Robert Allen, © Queensland Museum.

The remains of freshwater turtles and crocodiles were found in the older sites. The crocodiles belong to a completely extinct group called mekosuchines. Some mekosuchines may have been land-dwelling, which would explain their presence in cave deposits.

Turtles have been known the wander into caves as they move from water hole to water hole. Turtles only enter caves that are relatively easy to enter. Therefore, the ground surface during this time must have been considerably higher to allow these turtles to fall in big holes.