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Testudo antiqua

Reptilia - Testudines - Testudinidae


(Corsini et al. 2014): Given that we were not able to identify a single individual from Bronn’s (1831) original syntype series, we herein designate the best-preserved specimen, MT PAL 2012.0.10, as the neotype, and abandon the lectotype designation by Schleich (1981). The original description of T. antiqua is based on shell material from three to four specimens collected at Hohenhowen, but Bronn’s (1831) descriptions and illustrations are insufficient for identification of the individuals in that original syntype series within the available material. Von Meyer (1865) clearly illustrated FFSM 3446.1, perhaps also UFGC 9, and stated that Bronn examined those two in his original work, but we were unable to independently verify this assertion. Schleich (1981) felt compelled to designate SMNS 4450, a poorly prepared and extremely deformed individual, as the lectotype, probably because it was readily available at the Stuttgart Museum (SMNS). However, given that we found no evidence that SMNS 4450 was indeed part of the syntype series, the designation of a lectotype is dubious to us, and we also question the assignment of type status to a specimen with so many missing characters. Karl (2013) more recently argued that the specimen housed at the University of Freiburg Geological Museum (UFGC 9) should be the lectotype, based mainly upon the fact that von Meyer (1865) was thought to have viewed that specimen. However, he makes no clear connection between that specimen and the specimens viewed by Bronn in 1806. The designation of a lectotype is therefore not valid, as lectotypes must demonstrably be part of the original syntype series. We therefore conclude that a neotype designation is appropriate, and designate MT PAL.2012.0.10 as the neotype because: 1) it originates from the type locality; 2) it is the best preserved specimen; and 3) it is easily accessible in a large public collection. We finally note that one specimen at FFSM is also quite well preserved, but we omitted this specimen from consideration, because it is not housed at a regular, public museum.

Testudo antiqua was named by Bronn (1831). Its type specimen is MT PAL 2012.0.10 (neotype), a shell, and it is a 3D body fossil. Its type locality is Hohenhowen, which is in a Miocene terrestrial gypsum in Germany.

It was recombined as Paleotestudo antiqua by Pérez-García (2017) and Pérez-García (2017).

Synonymy list
YearName and author
1831Testudo antiqua Bronn
1851Testudo canetotiana Lartet
1926Testudo catalaunica Bataller
1964Stylemys canetotiana Auffenberg p. 323
2014Testudo antiqua Corsini et al.
2017Paleotestudo antiqua Pérez-García

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phylumChordataHaeckel 1847
subclassDipnotetrapodomorpha(Nelson 2006)
Testudinata(Oppel 1811)
orderTestudinesBatsch 1788
familyTestudinidaeBatsch 1788
speciesantiquaBronn 1831

If no rank is listed, the taxon is considered an unranked clade in modern classifications. Ranks may be repeated or presented in the wrong order because authors working on different parts of the classification may disagree about how to rank taxa.

J. A. Corsini et al. 2014Testudo antiqua can be placed within Testudo by the presence of an elongate cervical scute, a narrow nuchal notch defined by the first marginals, a quadrangular pygal that is wide anteriorly and narrow posteriorly, a humeral-pectoral sulcus that does not cross entoplastron, an epiplastral excavation that penetrates nearly half of the thickness of the anterior portion of the epiplastron, two suprapygals, and a suprapygal 1 that embraces the half-moon shaped suprapygal 2. Testudo antiqua differs from T. graeca, T. marginata, and T. kleinmanni and their fossil relatives in lacking a posterior plastral hinge, and from T. horsfieldii and its relatives by being high-domed. The vertebral series differs from T. graeca in being somewhat narrower than the vertebral series of T. graeca but not as narrow as that observed in T. hermanni.
A. Pérez-García 2017Paleartic European testudinid with a shell rarely exceeding 25 cm in length. Shell subquadrangular in dorsal view. Shell relatively high, but not too wide relative to its length (width generally about 70 % of the length). Verticalized lateral and posterior margins, lacking a postero-dorsal expansion of the distal margin of the posterior peripherals. Low plastral bridge relative to the height of the peripheral plates. Relatively thick carapace and plastron plates. Presence of two suprapygals, the second being generally sublenticular, and the first one postero-lateraly contacting the pygal and the peripheral series. Trapezoidal suprapygal series, with straight lateral margins. Trapezoidal pygal plate, wider anteriorly than posteriorly, and lacking small latero-anterior margins. Pygal showing a slight convexity in posterior view, both in males and in females. Narrow cervical scute, both dorsally and ventrally. Vertebral series narrower than in Testudo graeca, but wider than that characterizing Chersine hermanni. Pleuro-marginal sulcus approximately coincident with the costo-peripheral suture, along its entire path. Posterior margin of the fifth vertebral scute coincident with the posterior margin of the suprapygal plates. Fusion of the last pair of marginals, constituting a single supracaudal scute, both in dorsal and in visceral views. No overlapping of the eleventh pair of marginals on the pygal plate. Trapezoidal to rounded morphology of the anterior plastral lobe. Poorly-developed or absent gular protrusion. Convex and well-developed epiplastral lip, showing a uniform thickening from the lateral margins to the medial region, and also from the anterior margin to near its posterior margin, where the thickening is slightly reduced (resulting in a subrounded morphology in section). Variable posterior expansion of the epiplastral lip, usually being located close to the anterior margin of the entoplastron. Absence or presence of a gular pocket, usually shallow, which can generate an overhang on the entoplastron. Flat visceral medial surface of the plastron posterior to the epiplastral lip. No plastral hinge. Short and wide posterior lobe. Gular scutes overlying the anterior region of the entoplastron. Concave humero-pectoral sulcus, lacking a marked change of lateral curvature, in contact with the posterior margin of the entoplastron or, generally, not contacting it. Abdomino-femoral sulcus with a strong medial concavity, where it is close to the hypo-xiphiplastral suture, but being laterally concave. Coalescence of the femoral trochanters more developed than in Testudo graeca, but less than in Chersine hermanni.