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Carbonemys cofrinii is an extinct podocnemidid turtle known from the Middle Paleocene Cerrejón Formation of northeastern Colombia. The formation is dated at around 60 to 58 million years ago, starting at about five million years after the KT extinction event.

The Carbonemys holotype remains were first discovered in a coal mine, and since coal is essentially fossilised carbon, the name Carbonemys was chosen for the genus. The form of the shell is very interesting as it indicates that Carbonemys would have been a member of the Pleurodira, a group better known as the ‘side-necked turtles’. Side-necked turtles tend to have proportionately longer necks than other turtles, which means that they are too long to retract inwards under the shell. Because of this problem, these turtles instead bend their necks to one side so that they lay against the body and under the ridge of the carapace (upper shell), hence the name ‘side-necked turtle’.

Scientific classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Reptilia
  • Order: Testudines
  • Suborder: Pleurodira
  • Family: Podocnemididae


Carbonemys is a neutral creature, and will fight back only if attacked or you take one of their eggs. Like the Stegosaurus they will defend other Carbonemys. Upon being attacked, Carbonemys can deliver quite a punishing attack, but nothing too fatal. Their extremely low movement speed allows them to be easily kited and killed for meat early on, however they have a very large amount of health, and require quite an amount of time to kill.

  • Scientific name: Carbonem
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Higher classification: Podocnemididae
  • Rank: Genus
  • Order: Turtle
  • Class: Reptilia


  • Lived during the Paleocene Period
  • Lived in what is now South America
  • Was the size of a small car
  • May have been enemies with Titanoboa
  • Was a Carnivore


The Carbonemys are very good as a use of pack mules, though on land they are rather slow moving with the exception of being in water. It is capable of taking down the majority of the game’s creatures, even creatures such as the Megalodon and Tyrannosaurus Rex. It usually takes just under 1 hour to tame.


In 2005, the holotype specimen was discovered in the Cerrejón coal mine by a North Carolina State University doctoral student named Edwin Cadena. It had a shell that measured about 1.72 metres (5 ft 8 in), making it one of the world’s largest turtles.

The jaws of Carbonem were massive and would be powerful enough to eat crocodylians, that were abundant in the first neotropical forest of the Cerrejón Formation. This turtle coexisted with the giant boid, Titanoboa.


Carbonemys has featured in the video game ARK Survival Evolved, developed by Studio Wildcard[6]. It is often one of the first creatures you encounter in the game.

Carbonemys images

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