This object is on permanent display in the Florida Fossils: Evolution of Life and Land exhibit, located in the Pleistocene Epoch wall case.
This specimen of Hesperotestudo incisa is incredibly rare and it was found in the Haile Quarry, which is about a half hour from here in Gainesville. It’s incredibly rare in that it’s a complete skeleton of this animal which has never been seen before and it’s about the size of the modern Gopher Tortoise. We don’t know if they dug burrows or not like Gopher Tortoises, but they did have an armored pad on their tail. So they either dug burrows and had this armored pad exposed at the end of the burrow, or they dug themselves under bushes and things and had this protective shield on their back end.
Fossil Preparator, Vertebrate Paleontology
Florida Museum of Natural History
Dwarf Tortoise (Hesperotestudo incisa)
From Alachua Co., Florida
Lived ~100,000 years ago