Lord Howe Island Horned Turtle

Stuart Humphreys

Australian Museum

Australian Museum
Sydney, Australia

Lord Howe Island Horned Turtle
Meiolania platyceps

This huge horned turtle grew up to two metres long and lived on Lord Howe Island, a small, forested island off the coast of New South Wales. Its skull was covered in bony bumps and the two large horns prevented it from retracting its head into its shell. Its long tail had a row of spikes near the end.

Horned turtles are Gondwanan, and have been found on mainland Australia and in South America as well as on other Pacific islands. The ancestors of M. platyceps arrived on Lord Howe by ‘island-hopping’ along now-submerged islands to the north of Lord Howe, and similar species have been found on islands to the north-east.

Pleistocene, 100,000 years ago, Lord Howe Island, Australia


  • Title: Lord Howe Island Horned Turtle
  • Creator: Stuart Humphreys
  • Publisher: Australian Museum
  • Rights: Australian Museum

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