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Temporal range: Miocene – Pleistocene
An artist's illustration of Megalochelys atlas
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Cryptodira
Family: Testudinidae
Genus: Megalochelys
Falconer & Cautley, 1837
Type species
Megalochelys atlas
Falconer and Cautley, 1844
Referred species
  • Megalochelys atlas (Falconer and Cautley, 1844)
  • Megalochelys cautleyi (Lydekker, 1889)
  • Colossochelys Falconer & Cautley, 1844

Megalochelys atlas, formerly known as Colossochelys atlas, Geochelone atlas, or Testudo atlas and initially described in 1837 (later withdrawn) as Megalochelys sivalensis, is an extinct species of cryptodire turtle from the Miocene through the Pleistocene periods. During the dry glacial periods it ranged from western India and Pakistan (possibly even as far west as southern and eastern Europe) to as far east as Sulawesi and Timor in Indonesia. It was the largest testudine known.

In the Media

  • A Megalochelys briefly appears in the 1988 film, The Land Before Time.
  • A Megalochelys is featured as a mechanical Zord in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. 


652px-Colossochelys atlas
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