Article: Solnhofen-style soft-tissue preservation in a new species of turtle from the Crato Formation (Early Cretaceous, Aptian) of north-east Brazil
Sarah Fielding, David M. Martill and Darren Naish
The partial, articulated skeleton of a pleurodiran turtle from the Nova Olinda Member of the Crato Formation (Araripe Basin) of north-east Brazil displays an impression of the outline of the soft tissues surrounding the left hind limb. The external mould of the soft tissue surface preserves only the gross morphology of the limb although the outline of the limb is well defined. It appears to be an external mould of the limb's surface, which formed prior to the decay of the integument. The limb skeleton is mostly fully articulated. This style of preservation is comparable with the mouldic preservation found in such famous fossils as the feathered Archaeopteryx specimens of the Solnhofen limestone. Although soft-tissue preservation is occasionally encountered in the Crato Formation, this is the first documented occurrence of mouldic preservation of body outline reported for this Konservat-Lagerstatten. The new specimen is referred to the pelomedusoid Araripemys and represents a new species, A. arturi sp. nov., which is described here.