On the News | Ancient giant turtle revealed by local shop @ Kemmerer Gazette

On the News @ Kemmerer Gazette


Ancient giant turtle revealed by local shop


© 2017-Kemmerer Gazette (@source)

“It started off as a typical spring day for fossil hunter Jim Tynsky, owner of Tynsky’s Fossil Shop, as he headed to the quarry for some early season excavating about a year ago. To their surprise, his three-man team unearthed what they believe to be the largest Trionychidae, or soft shell turtle, found in the Green River Lake Formation. The turtle measures a whopping 6 feet from the tip of its nose to the end of the tail and it took almost a year to reconstruct the specimen.

The team made up of Tynsky, Tom Annala and Matt Helm were working on the Lewis Ranch located just 12 miles north of Kemmerer.

“We were just bulldozing the area to clear the unwanted layers, like we usually do,” said Tynsky. “Then one of our guys spotted something sticking out of the debris.”

It was at that moment when Helm saw a small bone protruding from a rock. Waving his arms, he quickly signaled to the team to halt demolition. Helm’s job is to walk along the bulldozer’s path, scanning the debris material for signs of fossils. It’s a job that he is extremely good at, said Tynsky.

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As many readers know, Kemmerer is the fossil fish capital of the world. Millions of fossils have been found here containing some 60 vertebrate taxa, as well as abundant invertebrates and fauna. In fact, the Tynsky family has been hunting fossils over three generations.

Jim Tynsky has been doing this for over 40 years. He’s found a 13-foot crocodile, a bat, several stingrays, plants and countless fish, among other things. His most famous find was a hyracotherium, an early form of horse. The tiny three-toed horse is the most complete specimen of its kind ever found in the Green River Formation.

“I have never met someone who loves their job as much as Jim does,” said Vicki Tynsky. “You just never know what you are going to find.”” (…) READ MORE

Lurdes Fonseca

Assistant Professor and Researcher at University of Lisbon
Sociologist (PhD), Paleontologist (Researcher in Micropaleontology), Majors in Sociology and Biology, Minor in Geology. Main interests in Paleontology: Microfossils, Molecular fossils, Paleobiology and Paleoecology. (read more about me)