Fossils of Placochelys dates back to the Triassic period (age range: 221.5 to 205.6 million years ago). They have been found in Germany, Austria, Hungary and Italy.
Placochelys looked remarkably similar to a sea turtle, and grew to about 90 centimeters (3.0 ft) in length. It had a flat turtle-like carapace covered with knobbly plates, and a compact triangular skull. Its beaked skull had powerful muscles. It had only two pairs of palatal teeth, a large posterior pair, and a small rostral pair. The specialized broad teeth on the pallet, were most likely used for crushing shellfish and hard-shelled preys. Its limbs were paddle-shaped for swimming, although, unlike modern sea turtles, they still had clear toes, and it also had a short tail.
Placochelys In The Land Before Time
A turtle-like creature, possibly Placochelys, briefly appears in the The Land Before Time Animated Moviebook's Swamp Bubble Spelling Bee minigame, during a presentation of the word "Smile".