Hesperotestudo crassiscutata Leidy, 1889:31

Southeastern giant tortoise



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Geochelone crassiscutata Leidy, 1889:31; Testudo crassiscutata Leidy, 1889:31; Eupachemys obtusus Leidy, 1877:232; Eupachemys rugosus Leidy, 1889:29; Testudo ocalana Hay, 1916:45; Testudo distans Hay, 1916:48; Testudo sellardsi Hay, 1916:49; Testudo luciae, Hay 1916:52


Conservation Status


Last record: Holocene





Biology & Ecology




Holotype: USNM 983 (a partial skeleton consisting of some plastron, left femur, and left tibia)






Original scientific description:

Leidy, J. (1889). Description of vertebrate remains from Peace Creek, Florida. Transactions of the Wagner Free Institute of Science of Philadelphia 2: 19-31.


Other references:

Auffenberg, Walter. (1963). Fossil testudinine turtle of Florida genera Geochelone and Floridemys. Bulletin of the Florida Museum of Natural History 7: 53-97.

Auffenberg, Walter. (1972). Fossil turtles. The Plaster Jacket (16): 1-10.

Auffenberg, Walter. (1974). Checklist of fossil land tortoises (Testudinidae). Bulletin of the Florida Museum of Natural History 18: 121-251.

Baghai-Riding, Nina L., Husley, Danielle B., Beck, Christine and Blackwell, Eric. (2017). Late Pleistocene megafauna from Mississippi alluvium plain gravel bars. Paludicola 11(3): 124-147. [automatic download: 1.28MB]

Brodkorb, Pierce. (1959). The Pleistocene avifauna of Arredondo, Florida. Bull. Fla. State Mus. Biol. Sci. 4(9): 269-291.

Cisneros, Juan Carlos. (2005). New Pleistocene vertebrate fauna from El Salvador. Revista Brasileira de Paleontologia 8(3): 239-255.

Clausen, C. J., A. D. Cohen, C. Emiliani, J. A. Holman, and J. J. Stipp. (1979). Little Salt Spring, Florida: a unique underwater site. Science 203: 609-614.

Converse, Howard H., Jr. (1972?). A Pleistocene vertebrate fauna from Palm Beach County, Florida. The Plaster Jacket (21): 1-12.

Esker, Donald A. (2019). Thermoregulation and Dental Isotopes Reveal the Behavior and Environment of Pleistocene Megafauna at Waco Mammoth National Monument. PhD thesis, Baylor University.

Hay, O. P. (1908). The Fossil Turtles of North America. Carnegie Institution of Washington, Publication 75: 1-568.

Hay, O. P. (1916). Descriptions of some Floridian fossil vertebrates, belonging mostly to the Pleistocene. Annual Report of the Florida State Geological Survey 8: 39-76.

Holman, J. Alan. (1978). The Late Pleistocene Herpetofauna of Devil's Den Sinkhole, Levy County, Florida. Herpetologica 34(2): 228-237. [Abstract]

Holman, J. Alan and Clausen, C. J. (1984). Fossil vertebrates associated with Paleo-Indian artifacts at Little Salt Spring, Florida. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 4: 146-154.

Leidy, J. (1877). Description of vertebrate remains, chiefly from the phosphate beds of South Carolina. Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia (2)8: 209-261.

Loomis, F. B. (1927). A giant tortoise from Florida. American Journal of Science (5)13: 435-439.

Meylan, Peter A. (1984). A history of fossil amphibians and reptiles in Florida. The Plaster Jacket (44): 1-25.

Meylan, Peter A. (1995). Pleistocene amphibians and reptiles from the Leisey Shell Pit, Hillsborough County, Florida. Bulletin of the Florida Museum of Natural History 37 Pt. I (9): 273-297.

Meylan, Peter A. and Sterrer, W. (2000). Hesperotestudo (Testudines: Testudinidae) from the Pleistocene of Bermuda, with comments on the phylogenetic position of the genus. Zool. J. Linn. Soc. 128: 51-76.

Morgan, Gary S. and Richard C. Hulbert, Jr. (1995). Overview of the geology and vertebrate biochronology of the Leisey Shell Pit Local fauna, Hillsborough County, Florida. Bulletin of the Florida Museum of Natural History 37 Pt. I (l): 1-92.

Powell, Randy L. et al. (2015). Morphometric analysis of carapacial bones: discriminating between two genera of South Texas (North America) Pleistocene tortoises (Testudinidae). Historical Biology. DOI:10.1080/08912963.2015.1088535 [Abstract]

Turtle Extinctions Working Group et al. (2015). Turtles and Tortoises of the World During the Rise and Global Spread of Humanity: First Checklist and Review of Extinct Pleistocene and Holocene Chelonians. Chelonian Research Monographs No. 5: 1-66.


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