Although formally described in 2005 (under the name Carbonemys cofrinii, in reference to the coal mine in Cerro Cerrejón, northern Colombia, where it was discovered) it was not until recently when the largest specimen (measuring 172 centimeters, or about 5 feet 7 inches, long) was found.
Reconstruction of Carbonemys preying upon a small crocodylomorph. (Credit: Artwork by Liz Bradford)
This giant lived five million years after the dinosaurs vanished, along with other large reptiles like giant boas and crocodiles. Scientists believe that a combination of fewer predators, larger habitat area, plentiful food supply, and climate changes, along other changes in the ecosystem, worked together to allow these giant species to survive.
Read more at the ScienceDaily news report.