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atlas, formerly known as Colossochelys atlas, Geochelone atlas, or Testudo atlas and initially described in 1837 (later withdrawn) as Megalochelys sivalensis, is an extinct species of cryptodire turtle from the Miocene through the Pleistocene periods.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.
The Land Before TimeA Megalochelys appears in the franchise, at the beginning of the first movie, during Ducky's birth. She chases a butterfly, startles a Cimolestes and ends up face-to-face with the Megalochelys. It opens its huge, beaked jaws slowly while bellowing threateningly and attempts to eat her but Ducky's mom saves her and returns her to the nest. This is one of the species seen in the Land Before Time series that came after the dinosaurs were extinct such as the Ceratogaulus from the TV series episode "Stranger From the Mysterious Above".
- It is unknown why Megalochelys attempted to eat Ducky. Perhaps it mistook her for a plant or, a more likely option, just was trying to scare her away from its territory.
- The Megalochelys featured in the film appears to be based off of the modern snapping turtle; which lives a predatory lifestyle defined by its large and powerful jaws equipped with a sharp beak.