Geology Collection - Fossilized Painted Turtle Hatchling

“Squishy” and the Mastodon Mud Project

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The mastodons are the unquestioned stars of our dig site at Carrolls Corner. But there are many supporting characters as well. This 80,000-year-old fossilized Painted Turtle hatchling from the Quaternary Period is the only one of its kind in Canada, maybe even North America. Unlike most of the fossil record, this is a “soft-body” specimen – quite rare, because body parts like skin, hair and tissue usually decompose or are devoured by other organisms. “Squishy,” as we like to call him (or her), was found by a very young palaeontologist as part of the Nova Scotia Museum’s Mastodon Mud Project. Four tons of mud from the mastodon dig site were shipped in plastic fish boxes to 300 schools in Nova Scotia. Students uncovered many small specimens now found in the Museum collection, including this rare, soft-body Painted Turtle hatchling.

Object type: 
Collection name: 
Date (age/made): 
Quarternary Period, approximately 80,000 years ago
National Gypsum Quarry, East Milford, NS
Organic material
2 cm long