World’s Largest

With a length of nearly five meters, Archelon was the largest turtle that ever lived. Its enormous size protected it from carnivorous inhabitants of the seas that covered North America in the Cretaceous period over 70 million years ago. The skeleton was discovered and purchased only in the 1970s. It reached Vienna as a huge “surprise parcel”. Our technicians removed more than 1.5 tons of limestone before the fossilized bones came to light. The Vienna skeleton is the largest and most complete of its kind. On display in Hall X. (© NHM Wien, Lois Lammerhuber)