ocepechelon

Reconstruction of the extinct seaturtle Ocepechelon bouyai by Charlène Letenneur. This species appears to have been a suction-feeder, although unlike extant turtles which use that strategy, the gape is very small and the snout is a long bony tube. Remarkably, the functional morphology has been compared to beaked whales and pipefish. This illustration also shows the curious posteriorly-placed nostrils and traces of mouth papillae (inferred from leatherbacks and beaked whales). What it doesn’t show is the size; with a 70 cm long skull, this was one of the largest of the marine turtles.

Bardet, N. et al. (2013) A Giant Chelonioid Turtle from the Late Cretaceous of Morocco with a Suction Feeding Apparatus Unique among Tetrapods. PLoS ONE 8(7) e63586. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0063586