September 5, 2009 in Region

Tortoise fossil may be 20 million years old

Associated Press

NEWPORT, Ore. — A fossilized tortoise found along the beach on the Oregon coast may be 20 million years old.

Now the state paleontologist is seeking permission to remove the fossil before it is lost to the tides and the sea.

The stone measures about 30 inches long by 24 inches wide, suggesting it was a land turtle. It was found along a beach in Lincoln County by a woman who sent a picture of it to a researcher at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport.

Officials say the last major fossil find on the Oregon coast was in the 1970s.

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